Phil Spector's wife has blasted reports the imprisoned music mogul has been beaten up behind bars, despite one of the producer's longtime pals claiming the star had been involved in several scraps.
The veteran music pioneer, who was jailed for 19 years to life last June (09) for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson, was alleged to have had his teeth knocked out in a number of fights with fellow inmates.
Spector's longtime pal Steven Escobar tells the New York Daily News' Rush & Molloy column that the producer has landed himself in trouble on more than one occasion, and a recent beating left him with a bruised nose, a black eye and two missing teeth.
Escobar says, "Phil has quite a mouth on him. Not everyone understands his humour. He said the wrong thing to the wrong inmate in the yard. He mouthed off to a big guy, who punched him. At first, Phil said he fell down a flight of stairs. Later, he told family and friends what really happened."
But Spector's wife Rachelle has slammed Escobar's account, insisting her husband is popular with his fellow prisoners.
She insists, "Phil was not assaulted. Absolutely not... Anyone who meets Phil loves him. He's so freakin' funny. He's an idol to the other inmates. They look out for him."
And Californian prison officials at the Corcoran detention centre have backed Rachelle's comments.
Corcoran spokesman Lieutenant Stephen Smith adds, "We have no reports that he was involved in any altercations."
Spector paid a visit to his private dentist in Toluca Lake, California in December (09), when he received treatment for "an abscess and issues with crowns and implants", according to his wife.