Investigators: Doctor kept secret medical file on Anna Nicole Smith in closetBy Linda Deutsch, AP
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Witness: Doctor kept secret medical files on Smith
LOS ANGELES — Prosecutors showed jurors their most explosive evidence against Anna Nicole Smith’s doctor Thursday — journal entries in which he writes of partying with her during a gay pride parade and wonders, “Can she ruin me?”
The journals, identified by investigators who found them in Dr. Sandeep Kapoor’s desk in his bedroom, also showed that Kapoor was addicted to the sleeping medication Ambien in the years just before he took over Smith’s treatment.
“Hung over. Gay pride parade,” begins the entry from June 13, 2005. “Rode in parade with Anna Nicole.”
He wrote of crowds gathering around her limousine while six police officers were keeping back the paparazzi.
He writes of drinking expensive champagne with Smith’s boyfriend, Howard K. Stern, in the limousine. “It was mesmerizing, watching the crowd wave at us, Anna and me all buffed out on the car,” the entry says.
Then there was the party at a club, he wrote: “Drinks, booze, orgy. I was making out with Anna, my patient, blurring the lines. I gave her Valium and Methodone. Can she ruin me?”
Kapoor, Stern and Dr Khristine Eroshevich 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.
On cross-examination Thursday, Kapoor’s lawyer, Ellyn Garafalo, elicited testimony from California Medical Board Senior Investigator Jon Genens that the hand written journals comprised 800 pages and only the two pages cited in court mentioned Smith.
On Wednesday, Dr. Victor Kovner, who sold his practice to Kapoor, told of warning him not to socialize with celebrities.
Carmen Aguillera Marquez, a senior investigator for the California Medical Board, testified that she found the journals in four composition books in Kapoor’s bedroom desk shortly after finding a file of Smith’s medical records hidden under a pile of clothing in the doctor’s closet.
She said she turned the materials over to Genens, the leader of the 10-member law enforcement team which entered Kapoor’s home with a search warrant and with guns drawn seven months after Smith died of a drug overdose in February, 2007.
Genens testified that earlier journal entries detailed the doctor’s Ambien addiction.
“I didn’t sleep much last night,” says an entry from May 28, 2001. “I didn’t have Ambien which I am now addicted to.”
Nearly a year later, he wrote, “I’m addicted to Ambien. I’ve got to get off it.”
Genens said the last entry regarding Ambien addiction was in December 2003. Kapoor began treating Smith in April, 2004. Some of her medical charts have shown she took Ambien.
Garafalo noted that the last entry about Ambien was more than three years before Kapoor wrote a prescriptions for Ambien to Stern. Genens agreed.
Genens and Marquez said Kapoor told them 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 Garafalo’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.
With the medical records displayed on a courtroom screen in Los Angeles, Genens noted that 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.
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.”
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