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Anna Nicole Smith's ex-companion, doctors charged

 Celebrity Anna Nicole Smith, accompanied by her lawyer Howard Stern, arrives for her hearing at the Supreme Court in Washington February 28, 2006. REUTERS/Chris Kleponis - Reuters
Celebrity Anna Nicole Smith, accompanied by her lawyer Howard Stern, arrives for her hearing at the Supreme Court in Washington February 28, 2006. REUTERS/Chris Kleponis
— image credit: Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The longtime companion of Anna Nicole Smith and two psychiatrists were charged on Thursday with conspiring to furnish drugs to the former Playboy playmate in the years before her 2007 death from a prescription medication overdose.

Howard Stern, an attorney, and doctors Sandeep Kapoor and Khristine Eroshevich were each charged with a single count of conspiracy, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said. Other charges were filed for unlawfully prescribing opiates and other controlled substances.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown said the trio furnished thousands of prescription pills to Smith, "often for no legitimate medical purpose."

"There is ample evidence that Doctor Eroshevich and Doctor Kapoor violated their ethical obligations as physicians, while Mr. Stern funneled highly addictive drugs to Ms. Smith," Brown said.

The charges say they allegedly furnished drugs to Smith between June 2004 and January 26, 2007.

The famously blond and buxom Smith died at age 39 in Hollywood, Florida, on February 8, 2007, of an accidental overdose of prescription drugs shortly after the birth of her daughter and the death of her son, who also died of a drug overdose.

Her death prompted a legal battle over the paternity of her baby daughter. Stern said he was the girl's father, but DNA tests showed photographer Larry Birkhead was the biological father and was given custody of the girl.

The website TMZ.com said Stern would turn himself in to authorities promptly.

The criminal charges resulted from an investigation that involved the District Attorney's Office, the state Attorney General's Office, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the California Medical Board and state Department of Insurance.

Brown is scheduled to hold a news conference in Los Angeles on Friday morning.

(Reporting by Mary Milliken, editing by Vicki Allen)

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