As reported in the Independent, psychiatrist Khristine Eroshevich has been charged with others for misconduct in the death of Anna Nicole Smith. Documents obtained after Smith's death showed Eroshevich authorized all 11 prescription medications found in the model's hotel room the day she died. Most of the drugs were prescribed in the name of Stern, her lawyer-turned-companion, and none were prescribed in Smith's own name.
Anna Nicole Smith's boyfriend Howard K. Stern and two doctors have been charged with giving thousands of prescription drugs to the former Playboy Playmate in the years leading up to her fatal drug overdose in 2007.
Stern and doctors Sandeep Kapoor and Khristine Eroshevich were each charged yesterday with three felony counts of conspiracy and several other charges of fraudulent prescriptions. Prosecutors said the doctors gave the drugs — including opiates and sedatives — to Stern, who then gave them to Smith.
The prescriptions were issued between June 2004 and January 2007, just weeks before Smith's death.
"These individuals repeatedly and excessively furnished thousands of prescription pills to Anna Nicole Smith, often for no legitimate medical purpose," California Attorney General Jerry Brown said in a statement.
Brown's spokesman, Scott Gerber, told The Associated Press that Stern and Kapoor surrendered last night and posted $20,000 bond, and that Eroshevich will surrender Monday. An arraignment date was not set.
The medical examiner's office has said Eroshevich, a Los Angeles psychiatrist and friend of the starlet's, authorized all the prescription medications found in the Hollywood, Florida, hotel room where the 39-year-old Smith was found unresponsive shortly before her death in Feb. 8, 2007.
Eroshevich's attorney, Adam Braun, acknowledged his client wrote some of the prescriptions using fictitious names for Smith, but said that the intent wasn't to commit fraud.
"It was done for privacy reasons," Braun told the AP. "She did the best she could under difficult circumstances in the best interest of the patient."
Braun said Eroshevich began treating Smith following the death of the playmate's son in September 2006. The doctor traveled on several occasions over a six-month period to the Bahamas where Smith was living with Stern and wrote the prescriptions.
The criminal complaint also alleges Kapoor wrote prescriptions for Smith under a patient alias Michelle Chase. Prosecutors allege the doctor gave her excessive amounts of sleep aids, opiates, muscle relaxants and methadone-like drugs used to treat addiction, knowing she was an addict.
Messages left with attorneys for Stern and Kapoor were not immediately returned.
Brown said Eroshevich and Kapoor "violated their ethical obligations as physicians, while Mr. Stern funneled highly addictive drugs to Ms. Smith."
The criminal complaint includes eight other felony charges, including obtaining fraudulent prescriptions and unlawfully prescribing a controlled substance. In all, Stern faces six felonies and the doctors each are charged with seven. Prosecutors did not immediately know how many years in prison they faced if convicted.
Rumors swirled for weeks after Smith's death, but police cleared those around Smith of any wrongdoing and the medical examiner's probe deemed it an accidental overdose.
Because the playmate was found unresponsive in a hotel on American Indian land, the case was handled by tribal police and their exemption from public records laws kept most of the investigation from being made public.
Documents obtained by The Associated Press after Smith's death showed Eroshevich authorized all 11 prescription medications found in the model's hotel room the day she died. Most of the drugs were prescribed in the name of Stern, her lawyer-turned-companion, and none were prescribed in Smith's own name.
The quantity was staggering. More than 600 pills — including about 450 muscle relaxants — were missing from prescriptions that were no more than five weeks old. Ultimately, it was a syrup — the powerful sleeping aid chloral hydrate — blamed with tipping the balance in the toxic mix of drugs and causing her death.
Stern, who initially claimed he was the father of Smith's infant daughter, Dannielynn, appeared distraught as he spoke last year at a memorial marking the one-year anniversary of Smith's death.
"Few people who knew Anna might not realize how smart she actually was because unless she wanted you to know you didn't know," Stern said.
Stern, who came to the Bahamas with Smith during her pregnancy in 2006, gave up custody of Dannielynn in spring 2007 after DNA tests proved Smith's ex-boyfriend Larry Birkhead was the father.
Dannielynn has been named the sole heir of her late mother's estate, with Birkhead and Stern as co-trustees. Dannielynn could inherit millions of dollars if the estate wins an ongoing court fight over the oil fortune of Anna Nicole's late second husband, J. Howard Marshall.