Phil Spector Slapped With Wrongful-Death Suit

Actress Lana Clarkson's mother filed suit against the producer on Thursday.

Phil Spector, who will stand trial for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson, has now been sued by Clarkson's mother for wrongful death.

The civil suit, filed Thursday in the Los Angeles Superior Court by Donna Clarkson, charges Spector with negligence and battery, and says the producer "grabbed, hit, fought with and restrained" the actress before shooting and killing her, according to Reuters.

In the civil suit, Clarkson's mother is seeking monetary compensation for the death of her daughter.

An attorney for Clarkson said in a statement that the Clarkson family had planned to wait to bring the civil action forward until there was "some resolution with regard to the criminal proceedings," but added that the statute of limitations for the civil action to be filed would expire on February 3, 2005.

"Phil did not cause the death of this woman," said Spector's lead attorney, Bruce Cutler, according to Reuters. "He's not criminally responsible and he's not civilly responsible, either. But I'm not surprised they filed a suit for money — that seems to be de rigueur nowadays."

Spector has pleaded not guilty to charges of murdering the B-movie actress, and has claimed that she committed suicide by shooting herself in the foyer of his Alhambra, California, home on February 3, 2003. Grand-jury transcripts obtained by The Los Angeles Times in January revealed that Spector initially told police he shot Clarkson by "accident" (see "Phil Spector Told Police He Shot Actress By 'Accident,' According To Transcripts").

Spector was indicted on murder charges on September 27, 2003 (see "Grand Jury Indicts Phil Spector On Murder Charges"), and a Los Angeles Superior Court judge is reportedly expected to set a trial date later this month.

He is currently free on $1 million bail.