Prosecutors file amended complaint in Nicole Smith drug case

Defence lawyers in the drug case surrounding the death of Anna Nicole Smith have been notified that prosecutors will file an amended complaint at a discovery hearing today.

The document increases the number of charges against Smith’s lawyer boyfriend, Howard K Stern, who is accused of aiding and abetting two doctors charged with prescribing for Smith the drugs that killed her.

A preliminary hearing in the case is set for October 5 but the date could change as the result of today’s status conference among lawyers for Stern, Dr Sandeep Kapoor and Dr Khristine Eroshevich.

Smith died of a drug overdose on February 8, 2007, in a Florida hotel room.

The three defendants have pleaded not guilty to illegally prescribing controlled substances.

Yesterday, Kapoor’s lawyer said she was outraged by claims in search warrant affidavits that her client crossed professional boundaries and had a sexual relationship with Smith.

Attorney Ellyn Garafalo told the Associated Press that Kapoor is openly gay and never had a sexual or social relationship with his famous client.

A picture of Smith and Kapoor which was cited in the affidavits was taken at a gay pride celebration they both attended, Ms Garafalo said.

“These search warrant affidavits are based on insufficient information and they are wrong in material respects,” she added.

“The prime example is that Dr Kapoor is openly gay and never slept with Anna Nicole Smith or any other woman.”

Ms Garafalo said the doctor and patient encountered each other in a bar after a gay pride parade, but did not have an ongoing social relationship.

Ms Garafalo said the mistaken interpretation of the photo is an example of errors which permeated the decision to charge Kapoor with illegally providing Smith with controlled drugs. She said evidence in the case will exonerate Kapoor.

District attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons declined to comment saying: “The case has not yet gone to preliminary hearing and it would be inappropriate for us to be making comments outside court.”

Eroshevich, a psychiatrist, is also accused of an improper sexual relationship with the former Playboy model based on photographs found on a computer of the two women naked together in a bathtub “in various intimate embraces”.

Eroshevich’s lawyer, Adam Braun, declined to comment directly on the pictures but said the relationship between Smith and the psychiatrist began as one of friendship and evolved into a patient-doctor relationship. He said they were next-door neighbours before Smith moved to the Bahamas.

The complaint against Kapoor and Eroshevich also names Smith’s former lawyer boyfriend, Stern, as conspiring with the doctors to provide illegal drugs to Smith.

The search warrant affidavits suggest Stern put his name on prescriptions for drugs which were given to Smith, and claim that a total of 44 different medications were prescribed for her under a number of other names, including Stern’s.

Braun said Eroshevich’s defence would be based on her friendship with Smith and her desire to help her after Smith’s son died in the Bahamas.

A declaration from Dr Jill Klessig, the district medical consultant for the Medical Board of the California Department of Consumer Affairs, said the only way to correctly determine if the concerns about the prescriptions are correct is to obtain complete medical records for Smith.

Ms Garafalo said she was dismayed that the conclusions reached in 2007 were released when it took a further two and half years for authorities to examine records and issue a complaint.

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