herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Anna Nicole two guilty of fraud

Anna Nicole Smith's psychiatrist and boyfriend have been convicted of conspiring to use false names to obtain prescription drugs for the reality TV star.

But the Los Angeles jury last night acquitted the doctor who prescribed a plethora of drugs for the 39-year-old former Playboy model.

During the nine-week trial prosecutors said the defendants were dazzled by Smith's glamour and filled her demands for prescription drugs to protect their insider status in her personal life and her celebrity world.

The jury was asked to decide if the three were trying to relieve Smith's emotional and physical pain or were feeding her addiction to prescription drugs.

Smith eventually died of an accidental drug overdose in Florida in 2007, but the defendants were not charged in connection with her death.



victory

Dr Sandeep Kapoor said today he felt "shellshocked and exhilarated" about being cleared.

"This is not just a victory for me, but for patients everywhere who suffer chronic pain," an emotional Dr Kapoor said outside the court.

His lawyer Ellyn Garofalo said it also was a victory in some ways for Smith. "The jury found she was not an addict," Ms Garofalo said.

The only conviction against Smith's boyfriend-lawyer Howard Stern was for giving false names and acting by fraud to obtain prescriptions. He was cleared of seven other charges.

As he left the court, Stern said the lone conviction came from him trying to protect Smith's privacy.

Along with conspiracy, psychiatrist Khristine Eroshevich was convicted of unlawfully prescribing Vicodin by fraud. The jury was deadlocked on several counts against her.

Her lawyer, Brad Brunon, said he would probably move for a new trial and might ask to have the charges against her reduced to misdemeanours.

The defendants had been charged with conspiracy, excessive prescribing of opiates and sedatives to an addict, and fraudulently obtaining drugs by using false names.

Stern (41) had been Smith's lawyer, manager, lover and friend since they met in 2001.

hnews@herald.ie

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