LATEST: Troubled Music producer Phil Spector has hired former gangster JOHN GOTTI's attorney to defend him against charges of murdering a B-movie actress.

Bruce Cutler will now represent Spector, 64, who has been charged with the fatal shooting of girlfriend Lana Clarkson at his Alhambra mansion in Los Angeles on 3 February (03).

Last month (JUL04) Spector sued his former attorney ROBERT SHAPIRO - who was a member of OJ Simpson's defence team - claiming he duped him into paying $1 million (GBP555,500) to cover legal fees.

His other attorney ROGER JAY ROSEN explains, "Bruce and I are going to be working hand in hand.

"As far as I understand Cutler is coming in on the case."

The case is scheduled for a status conference on 14 September (04) and a preliminary hearing on 20 October (04).

25/08/2004 17:24