Doctor on trial partied with Anna Nicole Smith, writes in his journal, ‘Can she ruin me?’

By Linda Deutsch, AP
Thursday, August 12, 2010

Doctor partied with Anna Nicole Smith

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles prosecutors have shown jurors their most explosive evidence against Anna Nicole Smith’s doctor — personal journal entries in which he talks of partying with her during a gay pride parade.

Dr. Sandeep Kapoor writes of “blurring the lines” between doctor and patient and wonders, “Can she ruin me?”

The journal entries, displayed in court Thursday, mention his prescribing drugs to her and his addiction to the sleeping medication Ambien.

The journals were identified by a medical board investigator who found them in Kapoor’s desk during a search of the doctor’s home after Smith’s death.

Kapoor is among three defendants who have pleaded not guilty to conspiring to provide excessive drugs to Smith, who died of an overdose in 2007.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Seven months after Anna Nicole Smith’s death, a law enforcement team entered the home of the model’s doctor with a search warrant and guns drawn, and found her medical records under a pile of clothing in a closet, investigators testified Thursday.

Carmen Aguillera Marquez, a senior investigator for the California Medical Board, said she and team leader Jon Genens had been told by Dr. Sandeep Kapoor that he did not have any patient files at home. But when she poked her hand into a pile of neatly folded clothing on the floor of his bedroom closet, she said, she felt papers and extracted a file folder with Smith’s name inside, along with one of her pseudonyms and the name of her son.

Genens testified that three different files were found — two in the home and one in Kapoor’s lawyer’s office — detailing a single home visit made to Smith a year before she died. One of them mentioned that she had a possible addiction to opiates, he said.

Kapoor, Dr. Khristine Eroshevich and Smith’s boyfriend-lawyer Howard K. Stern have pleaded not guilty to charges that include conspiring to provide Smith with excessive drugs, prescribing to an addict, and prescribing to Smith under fraudulent names.

They are not charged with causing her 2007 death from a drug overdose.

With the medical records displayed on a courtroom screen in Los Angeles, Genens showed jurors how the three files contained different information for the same visit. One detailed the drugs prescribed to Smith, and one had a blank space for medications.

One had the notation: “benzo addicted? To avoid.” The apparent reference to addiction to sedatives known as benzodiazopines was missing from the second set of files for the same day, he said.

Superior Court Judge Robert Perry warned jurors repeatedly Thursday that the investigators’ testimony is being offered only against Kapoor. Kapoor’s lawyer, Ellyn Garafalo, challenged the methods in which the records were handled. Another witness, attorney Lawrence Wolfe, who was appointed as a special master to oversee the collection, testified about the chain of custody.

Garafalo also questioned the display of guns by the large team of investigators, but Genens said that was routine.

In a hearing Thursday outside the jury’s presence, Perry questioned the relevance of the documents and Deputy District Attorney David Barkhurst said, “Our contention is Dr. Kapoor was creating those records after the visit for some nefarious reason.”

Marquez said she also found a private journal of Kapoor’s in his bedroom. Its contents have become a key issue in the case describing his one social contact with Smith when he rode with her in a gay pride parade.

Smith suffered from pain most of her life, a doctor testified Wednesday, saying he treated her with prescription drugs to alleviate her chronic pain syndrome even though he considered her an addict.

“People with substance abuse disorders have the right to pain relief,” said Dr. Victor Kovner, who treated Smith for three years before he sold his practice to Kapoor.

Kovner said had a substance abuse disorder and treating her was a challenge.

Kovner said Smith told him when they met in 2001 that she was an addict and had been treated at the Betty Ford Center for addictions to Vicodin and alcohol.

Kovner later learned she had suffered from migraines and seizures as a child. She also reported pain in her back, arm and intestinal area.

After failing to find a physical cause for the pain, Kovner said he concluded Smith suffered from chronic pain syndrome and treated her with Methadone, Xanax and other drugs.

Kovner said Smith took prescription drugs for physical and emotional relief. Some of the medications he prescribed were for anxiety and depression, he added.

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