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Bodyguard: Smith's boyfriend supplied drugs

August 6, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A bodyguard who tried to revive Anna Nicole Smith after she died testified Friday in the drug conspiracy trial of Smith's boyfriend, and two doctors. The three defendants, Dr. Sanjeep Kapoor, Dr. Khristine Eroshevich and Smith's lawyer-boyfriend, Howard K. Stern, have all pleaded not guilty to charges of over prescribing drugs. They are not charged with causing her death.

Maurice Brighthaupt, a Miami firefighter and paramedic, who was one of the last people to see Smith alive, said in court Friday that he saw Stern and Eroshevich supply the former Playboy model with drugs as she slipped into addiction in the year before her death.

Brighthaupt says that Smith popped pills for years but following the 2006 death of her son, Daniel, she fell into a depression, began taking 20 pills at a time and spent most of her time sleeping. One time he had to carry her onto a tour bus.

Brighthaupt testified that he saw Stern hold Smith's head to give her pills when she was too weak to take them on her own.

He said Eroshevich would travel from Los Angeles to the Bahamas to bring prescription medications to Smith, but would try to hide the medications from model.

"She was demanding them like an addict," Brighthaupt said, but the comment was stricken by the judge because an issue in the case is whether Smith was addicted or merely dependent on drugs to ease pain.

In one confrontation with Smith, Eroshevich "started crying and threatening to leave if she mixed alcohol and prescription drugs," Brighthaupt said.

"And what was Mr. Stern saying?" Deputy District Attorney Renee Rose asked.

"Oh, he said she can handle it. Anna can handle it," the bodyguard recalled.

Across the courtroom, Stern shook his head and appeared incredulous.

Brighthaupt has said in the past that he liked Eroshevich but had a falling out with Stern. The bodyguard said he and Eroshevich tried to convince Stern that Smith should go into rehab.

Asked about Stern's reaction to the rehab suggestion, Brighthaupt said: "He explained she was in rehab before and that it almost killed her and she vowed not to go into rehab again."

The witness said he and Eroshevich suggested Smith should be put on placebos and Stern agreed, but it was never done.

He testified that both Eroshevich and Stern injected Smith with substances, but he didn't know if she was given B-12 shots or drugs.

Brighthaupt told jurors how he began working for Smith in 2003. He says he was hired to protect her and travel with her entourage.

The former Playmate died on Feb. 8, 2007 from an accidental prescription drug overdose in a Florida hotel room.

Authorities claim that 44 different medications were prescribed for Smith under a number of other names, including Stern's. According to Stern's lawyer, Steve Sadow, the fake names used were to keep Smith's medical issues out of the eye of prying media.

The autopsy showed that the 39-year-old had nine different medications in her system.

On Thursday, Det. Katherine Frank was the first witness to take the stand. She testified that shortly after her body was found and taken away, Stern fell to his knees in the room and began crying.

"He was visibly shaken with reddened eyes, tears and trembling," she said.

Frank said a duffel bag found in the room at the hotel contained more than $8,000. She also said that Brighthaupt told police he was owed the money and demanded they hand it over, but they refused.

If convicted all three defendants could face more than five years in prison and the doctors would lose their medical licenses.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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