Prosecutor says Anna Nicole Smith was surrounded by enablers including 3 defendants

By Linda Deutsch, AP
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Prosecutor says Smith was surrounded by enablers

LOS ANGELES — Anna Nicole Smith was surrounded by a circle of enablers, including her boyfriend and two doctors who supplied her with drugs for years despite her obvious addiction, a prosecutor told jurors Tuesday.

Deputy District Attorney Renee Rose, who spoke to jurors for four hours, concluded by listing the name of every drug prescribed to Smith during the last five years of her life.

She then asked the jury to convict the defendants of providing excessive drugs to an addict.

Defense attorneys were expected to begin their closing arguments later in the day. They have said their clients are caring people who were trying to rescue Smith from a life of pain.

Rose, however, said Smith’s attorney-boyfriend Howard K. Stern took no action to help Smith withdraw from opiates and sedatives, while Drs. Sandeep Kapoor and Khristine Eroshevich continued to prescribe painkillers for the former Playboy model despite signs she was addicted.

Rose reminded jurors that in the spring of 2006, Smith was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center while pregnant and trying to stop her use of Methadone and Xanax.

“She’s relied on these medications for so many years. She was in a place that could have helped her,” the prosecutor said. “But after five days, she says, I’m done. This is too hard.”

At that point, Rose said, “she goes back into the environment of enablers, people who don’t want her to get better.”

Stern, Kapoor and Eroshevich have pleaded not guilty to conspiring to provide excessive prescription drugs to an addict and other charges. They are not charged in Smith’s 2007 accidental overdose death.

Rose said the defendants wanted to preserve their positions in Smith’s celebrity world.

In the final months of Smith’s life, when Eroshevich flew to the Bahamas with supplies of Methadone and other drugs, Rose said, “She becomes the most important person in (Smith’s) life. That’s important in determining the motivation.”

In closing arguments Monday, another prosecutor said Smith’s ailments were a ruse to get drugs.

Witnesses, however, have said Smith suffered from chronic pain syndrome, seizures, migraines, spinal pain and fractured ribs, among other illnesses.

Superior Court Judge Robert Perry reminded jurors that someone who seeks drugs primarily to control pain is not an addict.

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