The prosecution in the Phil Spector trial spent the better part of the day aggressively trying to discredit defense witness Dr. Vincent DiMaio (pictured), a forensics expert and author of a book on gunshot wounds, who insists the only way Barbarian Queen star Lana Clarkson could have died the night she followed an insistent Spector to his castle-like manse was by placing the gun in her mouth and pulling the trigger herself. DiMaio cited both physical and circumstantial evidence, including the fact that the aging actress seemed depressed over her dwindling career prospects—at which point the world's most ubiquitous ex-con socialite made an unexpected cameo:
[Deputy District Attorney Alan] Jackson projected on a huge courtroom screen dazzling professional photos of Clarkson showing her in numerous glamorous poses, head shots intended to promote her career.
"She's a very beautiful girl," the witness conceded. "And she's 40 years old and there a lot of people after the same jobs she was. It's a hard life for an actress. That's Hollywood. ... She's competing against younger girls. She's competing against Paris Hilton and things like that."
In our current media cycle of Hilton overload, that statement might easily be framed by an unscrupulous tabloid editor incapable of resisting the circulation bump that might accompany any headline screaming, "SPECTOR TRIAL SHOCKER: PARIS DID IT!" No, it seems not even a perfectly good, sensationalist celebrity murder trial can unfold without being tainted by Hilton's ever-looming presence, regardless of how plausible or not DiMaio's assertions are that Clarkson was driven to suicide by the threat posed by another "actress" whose total body of work consists of Screaming Blonde Girl # 2 in House of Wax and some fancy golf-cart stunt driving in Bottom's Up.