LOS ANGELES – A jury on Thursday convicted Anna Nicole Smith’s psychiatrist and boyfriend of conspiracy in a prescription drug case involving the former Playboy model and reality TV star but acquitted the doctor who prescribed a plethora of drugs for her.
Prosecutors contended during the nine-week trial that the defendants were dazzled by Smith’s glamour and filled her demands for prescription drugs to protect their insider status in her personal life and her celebrity world.
The jury was asked to decide if the three defendants were trying to relieve Smith’s emotional and physical pain or were feeding her addiction to prescription drugs.
Smith eventually died of an accidental drug overdose in Florida in 2007, but the defendants were not charged in her death.
Dr. Sandeep Kapoor was acquitted Thursday of all charges.
The only conviction against Smith’s boyfriend-lawyer Howard K. Stern was for giving false names and acting by fraud to obtain prescriptions. He was acquitted of seven other charges.
He said the lone conviction came for trying to protect Smith’s privacy.
Along with conspiracy, psychiatrist Khristine Eroshevich was convicted of unlawfully prescribing Vicodin by fraud. The jury deadlocked on several counts against her.
Stern and Eroshevich remained free pending a Jan. 6 hearing in which the defense can file a motion for a new trial.
While presenting their case, prosecutors displayed multiple prescriptions to Smith for heavy painkillers such as Dilaudid, Demarol, Vicodin and methadone, as well as anti-anxiety drugs and sedatives. In one month, they said, Smith received 1,500 pills.
The judge, however, warned that numbers of pills were not the measure of addiction.
“To violate (the law) a defendant must willfully and knowingly prescribe, administer or dispense a controlled substance to an addict for a non-therapeutic purpose,” Perry instructed the jury.