Claudine Longet, 66, was a popular singer in the 1960′s and 1970′s when she shot and killed her lover, famed Olympic skier Spider Sabich at his Aspen, Colorado home on March 21, 1976.
The talented performer was an 18 year old dancer in the Folies Bergere revue at the Tropicana Resort and Casino in Las Vegas when she met the famous singer Andy Williams, who was twice her age at 32. The couple married and had three children Noelle, Christian and Robert, who was named after their very good friend Bobby Kennedy, who died while making a presidential primary victory speech in California. Williams and Longet separated in 1970 and divorced in 1975.
Claudine, who was beautiful, athletic, slender and petite, made her career breakthrough in 1966 while guest starring on NBC television adventure Run for Your Life. She sang an English-French bilingual rendition of Meditation and was quickly signed by A&M records and subsequently recorded five albums. Longet later signed with Williams label Barnaby Records and released two albums, We’ve Only Just Begun and Let’s Spend the Night Together.
Her career came to a screeching halt when she took the life of her lover. The renowned playboy bachelor, Spider Sabich, suddenly found his carefree days dwindling when Longet and her three children moved into his Colorado home.
The shooting took place after Sabich had finished a shower and was in the process of getting dressed. Some speculate that he was getting ready to go out for the evening without her. He had reported to friends that he wanted to get her out of his home because she cramped his style.
Longet told a jury at her murder trial that the gun accidentally discharged when he was showing her how it worked. Evidence in the case showed that Longet had cocaine in her system and that Sabich was actually bent over with his back to her when the shot was fired at no closer than 6 foot range. She stuck with her story and was escorted to and from the trial on a daily basis by her ex-husband Andy Williams. The singer remains her friend to this day.
Several pieces of crucial evidence were reportedly bungled by police investigators. The jury acquitted her of felony manslaughter but convicted her of criminal negligence. She paid a small fine and spent 30 days in jail. She was allowed to serve the sentence in snatches over a considerable period of time. Once the trial was over, she took off for a vacation with her defense attorney Ron Austin, who left his wife and children to do so. The couple later married and are together to this day.
After the trial, the Sabich family initiated civil proceedings against Longet and ended up settling for a considerable amount of money. The secret agreement stipulated that Longet cannot speak of or write about the murder or settlement.
Mick Jagger wrote a song about the murder in 1980 on his Emotional Rescue album. The song, entitled Claudine, carried lyrics that painted a graphic picture of some of the more salacious aspects of the affair and killing.
Photo gallery below.