Phil Spector's Ex-Wife Ronnie Spector Speaks out After His Death: 'A Brilliant Producer, But a Lousy Husband'

Ronnie Spector, the ex-wife of the late Phil Spector, reacted to his death by noting his influence on her career, but by also calling him a "lousy husband." Phil died in prison on Saturday at age 81. He was serving 19 years to life in prison for the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson. He was married to Spector from 1968 to 1974, and accused him of psychological torment and trying to ruin her career. In her 1990 memoir, Spector wrote that she escaped from Phil's mansion barefoot in 1972 and thought she would die if she did not leave him.

"It's a sad day for music and a sad day for me," Specter wrote Sunday on Facebook. "When I was working with Phil Spector, watching him create in the recording studio, I knew I was working with the very best. He was in complete control, directing everyone. So much to love about those days." The 77-year-old "Be My Baby" singer compared meeting and falling in love with him to "a fairytale" and the music they made together was "inspired by love."

"I loved him madly, and gave my heart and soul to him," Specter continued. "As I said many times while he was alive, he was a brilliant producer, but a lousy husband. Unfortunately, Phil was not able to live and function outside of the recording studio. Darkness set in, many lives were damaged. I still smile whenever I hear the music we made together, and always will. The music will be forever."

Spector was the lead singer of The Ronnettes, a girl group Specter signed to his Phillies Records in 1963. He produced their biggest hits, including "Be My Baby," "Baby, I Love You," "Walking in the Rain" and "The Best Part of Breakin' Up." She married Phil in 1968. They adopted a son the next year. Two years later, Phil adopted twins without Spector's knowledge.

"The more kids I got, the further I was in that mansion and I never got out until I ran out and escaped," Spector explained in a 2013 Vice interview. "I got out of there with my mom. That's how I had to do it because I would have been dead there and I knew it. I knew, if I didn't leave, I would die. That's weird to say, but it's the truth." She went on to say of her relationship with Specter, "At the beginning it was great. He was a great producer, we loved each other [but] as soon as I got married, I never went on stage again. I went through so much, but it made me stronger to come out now and tell my story. Now, women are more powerful than ever. What better time to tell my story?"


Spector and Phil divorced in 1974. During testimony for the divorce settlement, Spector accused Phil of threatening to hire a hitman to kill her. In the settlement, Spector received $25,000, a used car, and monthly payments of $2,500 for five years. Today, Specter lives with her second husband, Jonathan Greenfield, whom she married in 1982.