The late Anna Nicole Smith's boyfriend and lawyer Howard K. Stern and her psychiatrist Dr. Khristine Eroshevich were found guilty today on charges of conspiring to provide drugs using false names, but not to providing drugs to a known addict, which was the crux of seven of the nine counts they faced and the conspiracy case's looming cultural issue. While People points out, "Now Howard K. Stern has another label: convicted felon," the jury decided that, in fact, Anna Nicole Smith's entourage did not knowingly enable her drug addiction in an effort to remain Anna Nicole insiders. According to the Post:
Prosecutors contended during the nine-week trial that the defendants were dazzled by Smith's glamor and filled her demands for prescription drugs to protect their insider status in her personal life and her celebrity world.
But ultimately the jury decided that, actually, they likely used false names to fill Smith's prescriptions only in order to protect her privacy, and the drugs — Dilaudid, Demerol, Vicodin, Methadone, Ambien, Xanax, Valium, and Chloral Hydrate, with shipments of as many as 1,500 pills monthly until her death from a drug overdose in 2007 — were necessary for Smith's chronic pain and anxiety. A third defendant, Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, was acquitted on all counts against him. A victory for celebrity entourages who fill prescriptions for increasingly unhinged starlets?