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Legal Woes Worsen For Phil Spector

Record producer Phil Spector, awaiting trial for murder, is being sued for more than $5 million by his former personal assistant, whose claims include sexual harassment.

In September, the creator of rock music's "wall of sound" sued Michelle Blaine, alleging that she siphoned off hundreds of thousands of dollars from his accounts.

Blaine countersued Friday, saying Spector, 66, authorized all payments to her including the gift of a $700,000 house, sexually harassed her, sometimes appeared naked in front of her and once asked her to find him a prostitute. One time, she said, she declined an invitation to join him and a prostitute in his hotel room.

"We believe there is very, very powerful evidence that Michelle Blaine acted not only appropriately but that she was very, very badly treated by Mr. Spector," Blaine's attorney, Tim Reuben, said Tuesday.

Blaine is seeking millions in punitive damages in addition to about $5.25 million in actual damages, the attorney said.

In 2003, Spector was charged with the murder of actress Lana Clarkson, who was shot in the face at the producer's mansion in suburban Alhambra.

Afterward, Blaine claims Spector repeatedly proposed marriage to her as a way to prevent her from testifying against him at his criminal trial.

California law says spouses cannot be forced to testify against each other.

Blaine also says she was sent to music industry parties in Los Angeles and New York to pass out fliers proclaiming Spector did not kill the 40-year-old Clarkson.

Spector's attorney, Bruce Cutler, accused Blaine of trying to cover up theft and embezzlement.

"She stole this money and her final lie is now that it's hush money," Cutler said. "It's all a lie."

Spector's murder trial was recently postponed until September. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on $1 million bail.

Clarkson starred in Roger Corman's cult film "Barbarian Queen." She was working as a hostess at the House of Blues on Sunset Strip when she went home with Spector the night she was killed, police say.
By Linda Deutsch