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Ronnie Spector, the singer whose soaring voice carries what is arguably the best pop song of all time, “Be My Baby,” has long alleged that her producer husband Phil Spector abused her, sabotaged her career, and effectively made her a prisoner in her own house during their six-year marriage, which ended in 1974. She testified that he threatened her life and stole money from her.

And, in a truly bizarre turn, one day in 1971 he surprised her by telling her he had adopted twins. She recently recounted the story to People:

“We were in the car and all of a sudden we pull up to the mansion and there’s a fountain and there are these twins running around — these blond-haired, blue-eyed twins,” she tells PEOPLE. “I’m saying, ‘What’s this?’ He said, ‘Merry Christmas!’”

“He never said, ‘Ronnie, what do you think we should do? Should we adopt twins?’ Nothing! Everything was a surprise, and no woman wants live children as a surprise.”

She soon escaped her husband’s clutches. He received custody of their children in the divorce. The twins, Gary and Louis, are now 52.

Ronnie Spector is currently on a holiday tour and plans to tour next year with the girl group she headed, the Ronettes. Phil Spector is in prison, serving a 19-t0-life sentence for the murder of actor Lana Clarkson. He’ll be eligible for parole in 10 years, when he is 88.