Anna Nicole Smith's longtime companion and attorney Howard K. Stern and two psychiatrists were charged today with conspiring to furnish drugs to the one-time Playboy playmate in the years leading up to her 2007 death from a prescription medication overdose.
Stern, 40, and Drs. Sandeep Kapoor, 40, and Khristine Eroshevich, 61, were each charged with a single count of conspiracy, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Arraignment dates have not yet been scheduled.
Eroshevich was Smith's personal psychiatrist.
The charges allege that the trio conspired to furnish drugs to Smith between June 5, 2004, and Jan. 26, 2007.
Kapoor and Stern were also charged with one count of "prescribing,administering or dispensing a controlled substance to an addict." Eroshevich was charged with the same crime in a separate count.
Kapoor and Stern were also charged with a single count of unlawfully prescribing a controlled substance between June 9, 2004, and Sept. 22, 2006.
Meanwhile, Eroshevich and Stern were charged with unlawfully prescribing a controlled substance between June 5, 2004, and Jan. 26, 2007.
Kapoor and Eroshevich were also charged with one count each of obtaining a prescription for opiates by "fraud, deceit or misrepresentation." They were also charged with a single count of obtaining a prescription for opiates by giving a false name or address.
The charges were filed in downtown Los Angeles as part of a felony complaint for arrest warrant for all three, prosecutors said. The entertainment news Web site TMZ.com reported that Stern planned to surrender to authorities, but it was unclear where or when.
Smith, who was 39, died in Hollywood, Fla., on Feb. 8, 2007, of an accidental overdose of prescription drugs shortly after the birth of her daughter and death of her son, who also died of a drug overdose.
Following Smith's death, a legal battle erupted over who was the father of her daughter, Dannielynn Hope. DNA tests determined the father was photographer Larry Birkhead, who now has custody of the girl. Stern had also contended that he was the girl's father.
The criminal charges filed today were the result of an investigation that involved not only the District Attorney's Office, but the state Attorney General's Office, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, California Medical Board and state Department of Insurance.
In October 2007, investigators served warrants at various medical
offices and other locations in Los Angeles and Orange counties as part of the probe. The offices of Eroshevich and Kapoor were both searched.
"These individuals repeatedly and excessively furnished thousands of prescription pills to Anna Nicole Smith, often for no legitimate medical purpose," state Attorney General Jerry Brown said. "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 trio furnished Smith with pills including opiates,
benzodiazapines and other controlled substances.