Anna Nicole doctors charged with providing drugs
By Alex Dobuzinskis
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California Attorney General Jerry Brown on Friday described former Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith as a "known addict" and said her companion and two doctors conspired to give her massive quantities of drugs for years before her death in 2007.
Lawyer Howard K. Stern and doctors Sandeep Kapoor and Khristine Eroshevich are charged with conspiracy and prescribing controlled substances to Smith between 2004 and her death.
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 adult son, who also died of a drug overdose.
"What we have in this case is a conspiracy among three individuals. Howard K. Stern is the principal enabler and Dr. Eroshevich and Dr. Kapoor are prescribing drugs excessively to a known addict, using false, fictitious names," Brown told a news conference in Los Angeles, detailing the charges that were filed on Thursday.
"This was done knowingly and it was done with tragic consequences," Brown said. "(Anna Nicole Smith) was a very famous person. But the abuse in this case was serious. Unfortunately, it was not that unusual. It goes on."
Brown, who is expected to run for California Governor in 2010, said the charges were filed after complex and long investigations.
He said Eroshevich, Smith's personal psychiatrist, and Kapoor violated their ethical obligations as physicians, while Stern funneled highly addictive drugs to Smith.
Kapoor and Stern reported to police late on Thursday and were then released after both posted $20,000 bail. Eroshevich is expected to turn herself in early next week, Brown said.
Smith's 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.
(Editing by Jackie Frank)