AG: Anna Nicole Smith's Boyfriend Was 'Enabler' - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

AG: Anna Nicole Smith's Boyfriend Was 'Enabler'

Posted: Updated:

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Anna Nicole Smith's lawyer-turned-boyfriend was the principal enabler in a conspiracy with two doctors to provide the "known addict" thousands of prescription pills in the months before she died of an overdose, California Attorney General Jerry Brown said Friday.

Howard K. Stern and Drs. Khristine Eroshevich and Sandeep Kapoor were charged by Los Angeles County prosecutors after a two-year probe by the attorney general, state medical and insurance officials and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

"What we have in this case is a conspiracy among three individuals," Brown told a news conference. "Howard K Stern is the principal enabler, and Dr. Eroshevich and Dr. Kapoor are prescribing drugs excessively to a known addict and using false and fictitious names, all in violation of the law and all in furtherance of a conspiracy."

In addition to conspiracy, the charges filed Thursday include unlawfully prescribing a controlled substance and prescribing, administering or dispensing a controlled substance to an addict. Stern faces six felony counts and the doctors face seven each. Each count carries a potential sentence of three years, Brown said.

Smith's life had become a tabloid fixture by the time she died Feb. 8, 2007, in Florida. Embroiled in a battle to inherit millions of dollars from her late billionaire husband's estate, her own son had died shortly after she gave birth to a girl.

Asked what may have been the motive for the alleged conspiracy, Brown suggested the potent allure of wealth and glamour.

"There's a certain psychic gain here, part of the glitz and the celebrity and the power. There's a lot of money floating around," he said. "Is it self-indulgence? Is it some power trip? Is it just getting some contact high off of celebrity? That remains to be seen."

Stern and Kapoor turned themselves in Thursday night and each posted $20,000 bond. Eroshevich was expected to surrender Monday.

Her attorney, Adam Braun, acknowledged Eroshevich wrote some of the prescriptions using fictitious names for Smith, but asserted it was for privacy reasons and not intended to commit fraud.

Braun said Eroshevich began treating Smith in September 2006 when she suffered a nervous breakdown stemming from the death of her 20-year-old son, Daniel Smith, from an accidental drug overdose three days after his mother gave birth to a girl.

Brown declined to comment when asked if there was a trail leading to Daniel Smith from doctors in California, nor did he comment on whether other individuals may face charges.

"We have given you the evidence that we think is ready for the prosecution," he said.

Eroshevich traveled several times over six months to the Bahamas, where Smith was living with Stern and wrote the prescriptions.

The criminal complaint also alleges Kapoor gave her excessive amounts of sleep aids, opiates, muscle relaxants and methadone-like drugs used to treat addiction, knowing she was an addict. Kapoor saw Smith in the spring of 2006 when she was treated at a Los Angeles County hospital for opiate withdrawal and prenatal care for the pregnancy of her daughter Dannielynn, according to the complaint.

Stern's attorney L. Lin Wood said he anticipated releasing a statement about the case sometime Friday. Kapoor's attorney did not return a message from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Smith was found unconscious in her room at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino near Hollywood, Fla. The former Playboy centerfold and Guess jeans model died the same day at a hospital. Her death was ruled an accidental drug overdose.

Aside from her time in the pages of Playboy, Smith gained notoriety for her marriage to J. Howard Marshall II, the Texas oil billionaire 63 years her senior whom she met while dancing at a Houston club. The pair married in 1994; she was 26, he was 89, and Marshall died the following year.

In 2002, Smith debuted her own reality TV show - the tagline for which was "she's so outrageous" - in which cameras followed her through her daily life, often showing her in incoherent states. The star struggled with her weight and in 2003 became a spokeswoman for TrimSpa diet pills.

Jean Rosenbluth, a law professor at the University of Southern California, said prosecutors likely would have considered a range of charges including more serious ones.

They probably settled on the current charges, she said, because proving more serious allegations would have meant they needed to show malicious intent - something that may or may not have been present.

"The intent is always going to be key," she said. "Was it always about making money, was it completely reckless and indifferent, or was there some, no matter how misguided, non-nefarious reason the defendant took the action?"

Loyola University Law School professor Laurie Levenson said prosecutors may have chosen not to file manslaughter or murder charges because "they did not establish exactly what caused her death. ... It's hard to say who is accountable for an accidental overdose."

Brown, who is contemplating a run for governor next year, used his time at the podium to denounce abuse of prescription drugs and the "growing threat" from "people in white smocks in pharmacies ... with their medical degrees."

"Doctors do not have a license to pump innocent and often vulnerable people full of dangerous chemicals," he said. "These cocktails of methadone and antidepressants and sleeping pills and Xanax - you put all that into a cocktail, it explodes."

Arraignments had been set for May 13, he said.

---

Associated Press writers Raquel Maria Dillon, Greg Risling and Linda Deutsch in Los Angeles and Matt Sedensky in Miami contributed to this report.

© 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Entertainment NewsEntertainment NewsMore>>

  • CNN sues Trump, demanding return of Acosta to White House

    CNN sues Trump, demanding return of Acosta to White House

    Tuesday, November 13 2018 9:58 AM EST2018-11-13 14:58:37 GMT
    Tuesday, November 13 2018 10:31 PM EST2018-11-14 03:31:05 GMT
    CNN is suing the Trump administration, demanding that correspondent Jim Acosta's press pass to cover the White House be returned. 
    CNN is suing the Trump administration, demanding that correspondent Jim Acosta's press pass to cover the White House be returned. 
  • Metallica, ex-bandmates to pay concert tribute to Cornell

    Metallica, ex-bandmates to pay concert tribute to Cornell

    Tuesday, November 13 2018 1:39 PM EST2018-11-13 18:39:04 GMT
    Tuesday, November 13 2018 10:08 PM EST2018-11-14 03:08:54 GMT
    (Photo by Casey Curry/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this July 29, 2015 file photo, Chris Cornell poses for a portrait in Agoura Hills, Calif.  Cornell will be honored with a star-studded concert event, "I Am The Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell," at...(Photo by Casey Curry/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this July 29, 2015 file photo, Chris Cornell poses for a portrait in Agoura Hills, Calif. Cornell will be honored with a star-studded concert event, "I Am The Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell," at...
    The late Chris Cornell will be honored with a tribute concert in Los Angeles on Jan. 16 that will feature members of his former bands along with Metallica and the Foo Fighters. 
    The late Chris Cornell will be honored with a tribute concert in Los Angeles on Jan. 16 that will feature members of his former bands along with Metallica and the Foo Fighters. 
  • Cyrus, Hemsworth donate $500K after losing home in wildfire

    Cyrus, Hemsworth donate $500K after losing home in wildfire

    Tuesday, November 13 2018 1:50 PM EST2018-11-13 18:50:36 GMT
    Tuesday, November 13 2018 10:08 PM EST2018-11-14 03:08:39 GMT
    (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, FIle). FILE - In this March 4, 2018 file photo, Miley Cyrus, left, and Liam Hemsworth arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, Calif. Though Cyrus and Hemsworth lost their home in the deadly wildfire ...(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, FIle). FILE - In this March 4, 2018 file photo, Miley Cyrus, left, and Liam Hemsworth arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, Calif. Though Cyrus and Hemsworth lost their home in the deadly wildfire ...
    Though Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth lost their home in the deadly wildfire blazing California, they are donating $500,000 to The Malibu Foundation through Cyrus' charity, The Happy Hippie Foundation. 
    Though Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth lost their home in the deadly wildfire blazing California, they are donating $500,000 to The Malibu Foundation through Cyrus' charity, The Happy Hippie Foundation. 
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KFMB-TV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.