Anna Nicole Smith’s Boyfriend, Doctors Go to Trial in Drug Case

Anna Nicole Smith

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

updated 08/04/2010 AT 7:00 PM ET

originally published 08/04/2010 AT 7:50 PM ET

Anna Nicole Smith was doped up on drugs – with the help of two doctors and her lawyer boyfriend – until the model-actress died, a prosecutor told jurors in a Los Angeles courtroom Wednesday.

Smith’s boyfriend Howard K. Stern, personal physician Sandeep Kapoor, 41, and psychiatrist Khristine Eroshevich, 61, face several felony charges in the long-awaited trial that kicked off Wednesday.

In opening statements, Deputy District Attorney Renee Rose told the L.A. jury that Stern helped get drugs for Smith in illegal ways. She also alleged that Kapoor and Eroshevich “prescribed powerful and addictive medications without treating the underlying” addiction.

Kapoor, Eroshevich, and Stern each face up to five years in prison if convicted of charges, including unlawfully prescribing a controlled substance to an addict, obtaining a prescription by deceit, fraud, and conspiracy. They have pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutor Lays Out the Case

During her opening statement, Rose displayed a video of Smith acting loopy and possibly drugged during a presentation at the 2004 American Music Awards. She also noted a long list of prescription drugs found in Smith’s body after her death in 2007 at age 39.

Among the evidence Rose also mentioned: Drugs prescribed to “Howard K. Stearn,” a misspelled version of Stern’s name, and notes hidden in Kapoor’s closet indicating he was going against a colleague’s advice not to develop personal relationships with patients. “I was making out with Anna, my patient, blurring the lines,” Kapoor allegedly wrote. “I gave her methadone, Valium. Can she ruin me?”

Kapoor’s attorney, Ellyn Garofalo, said that encounter was the only time the two socialized, and emphasized that Kapoor was not involved in prescribing drugs during the last five months of Smith s life.

Eroshevich’s attorney, meanwhile, said her client was “not a pill mill” and the drugs were legally prescribed to Smith for medical purposes.

Smith’s mother, Virgie Arthur, stared intently at the defendants from the back row and held hands with her husband, James. “This brings all the hurt back,” Arthur said.


From Our Partners