Ronnie Spector, ex-wife of legendary rock producer Phil Spector, says she's "baffled" over the murder arrest of her ex-husband because she never thought he was capable of killing anyone.
"I don't think he would murder anybody," Ronnie Spector told ABCNEWS' Good Morning America today.
"I'm still like in shock, you know, I haven't slept all night," she said.
Spector, the genius behind 1960s girl groups like the Ronettes and later, the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Cher was arrested for murder Monday in the fatal shooting of a woman at his hilltop mansion in a Los Angeles suburb.
Police responded to the music producer's home after receiving a call from someone inside the estate about shots being fired. They found the body of 40-year-old Lana Clarkson in the foyer. After a brief investigation Spector — the recipient of two Grammy awards — was arrested.
Spector's ex-wife is Ronnie Spector, a member of the Ronettes, one of several girl groups he ushered into superstardom. She said Spector's reputation as a temperamental, reclusive and erratic genius is well-founded. But she says she never considered him a physical threat.
‘He Pulled a Gun and I Ran’
"I never thought he would ever kill anybody," Ronnie Spector said. "I ran away a lot of times when I was married to him because he would yell, but he would never hit me," she said. "In the first three months of our marriage he pulled a gun and I ran away because I was afraid, and I never saw him with a gun again."
Spector's neighbors said the 62-year-old producer was rarely seen at his home, a replica castle with a marble entrance overlooking a middle-class neighborhood and shielded by large pine trees, but he was sometimes seen coming or going in a white Rolls Royce or another car.
Robert Christgau, the chief music critic for the Village Voice, said Spector has always been known to those in the music world as someone with odd personality traits.
"He was kind of a paranoid guy, very reclusive, I mean some would say also charming and really smart, but most wouldn't," Christgau said.
Spector's attorney, Marvin Mitchelson, insists that the music producer's worst days were behind him.
"Phil stopped drinking about four years ago," Mitchelson siad. "He's about as together as anyone I know."
Spector's ex-wife, Ronnie, says she doesn't know if her husband was doing any better or worse than when she married him back in 1968. "I left and I never looked back because I knew I had to go on," she said.
Ronnie Spector, who divorced Phil in 1974, said her ex-husband might have been bitter about being tossed aside in the music world after being at the epicenter of it for so long.
"I think he was hurt," she said. "I think people didn't understand him," she said.
Spector was released from police custody on $1 million bail. He has hired another lawyer friend, Robert Shapiro of the O.J. Simpson defense team, to handle his case.
A 21-Year-Old Millionaire
Spector got his start in the music business in 1958 as a songwriter, guitarist and backup singer for the Los Angeles group The Teddy Bears, which had a hit single with "To Know Him Is to Love Him" and made him a millionaire by age 21.
Soon after the group split, Spector moved to New York to pursue a career as a songwriter and producer, working primarily with the Crystals and The Ronettes. He went on to produce records for the Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Ike & Tina Turner, Eric Clapton and the Righteous Brothers. He was voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
A pioneer in pop record production, the Bronx-born Spector is famed for his "Wall of Sound" technique, which featured lush orchestration with strings, horns and additional percussion added to the spare instrumentation of rock music.
Spector was hired by the Beatles to do post-production work on their Let It Be album, which Paul McCartney and many critics later criticized as overdone. He also produced the first solo albums from John Lennon and George Harrison and shared a Grammy with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and others for producing the Concert for Bangladesh album, named album of the year for 1972.
ABCNEWS' Judy Muller contributed to this report.