Anna Nicole Smith’s lawyer-manager Howard Stern was also her best friend and lover and would never have been part of an alleged plot to furnish her with harmful drugs, a defence lawyer said today.
During a dramatic closing argument, attorney Steve Sadow, who represents Stern, said his client was closer to Smith than anyone.
“Here’s a guy who’s been with her since 2001,” Sadow told jurors. “Witnesses have said he cherished her, loved her. She was the love of his life.”
Stern and Drs Sandeep Kapoor and Khristine Eroshevich have pleaded not guilty to conspiring to provide excessive prescription drugs to an addict and other charges.
They are not charged in Smith’s 2007 accidental overdose death in Florida.
Sadow was the last of the three defence lawyers to deliver a closing argument. He warned the panel to be wary of prosecutors trying to win at all cost rather than tell jurors the truth.
“It’s time, ladies and gentlemen, for someone to stand up and say it’s not right,” he said.
Prosecutors maintain Smith was an addict and the defendants were feeding her addiction rather than providing prescription drugs for any legitimate medical purpose.
Stern, Kapoor and Eroshevich catered to Smith’s whims so they could remain a part of her celebrity circle, and Smith faked her pain to get drugs, according to prosecutors.
Sadow depicted Smith as a strong-willed person who made her own decisions when it came to her medication.
He also accused prosecutors of trashing her reputation and trivialising the pain she experienced when her son died of a drug overdose after her daughter was born.
On Wednesday, attorneys for Eroshevich and Kapoor accused prosecutors of trying to prejudice the case with photos of Eroshevich naked in a bathtub with Smith, and other photos of Kapoor nuzzling Smith’s neck.
Eroshevich’s attorney Brad Brunon said the psychiatrist was doing everything she could to help Smith.
“And what is her reward? She’s dragged through this, her name is ruined, and she’s publicly humiliated,” he said.
Kapoor’s attorney Ellyn Garafalo said Kapoor’s diary showed he knew he might have crossed the line by socialising with his patient.
“He never saw Anna Nicole Smith in a social setting again,” the lawyer said.
She said his medical judgment was never affected by Smith’s celebrity, and his instinct was always to help her overcome the pain that plagued her.