- Associated Press - Friday, August 6, 2010

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Anna Nicole Smith was “obsessed” with pills and was assisted in taking drugs by her lawyer-boyfriend in the weeks before her death, the celebrity model’s bodyguard testified Friday.

Maurice Brighthaupt depicted a chaotic situation at the home where Smith was staying in the Bahamas after the birth of her daughter and the death of her son, Daniel, from a drug overdose.

Brighthaupt said he saw defendant Howard K. Stern holding Smith’s head and giving her pills when she was too weak to take them on her own.

Meanwhile, Dr. Khristine Eroshevich, another defendant who was Smith’s psychiatrist, was trying to hide medications from Smith after shipping the drugs to the model from Los Angeles, he said.

Brighthaupt identified shipping receipts and said Eroshevich sent Chloral Hydrate, a powerful sleep medicine, which Smith gulped from the bottle. It was named in her autopsy as one of the nine drugs on which she eventually overdosed.

“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.

Stern and Eroshevich have pleaded not guilty along with Dr. Sandeep Kapoor to conspiring to supply the Playboy model and reality TV star with massive amounts of opiates and sleep medications. They are not charged with causing her 2007 overdose death in a Hollywood, Fla., hotel room.

On cross-examination by Stern’s lawyer, Steve Sadow, Brighthaupt said Stern loved and cared for Smith.

“I don’t think he forced drugs on her. From what I know, it was her time to take medicine and he gave her medicine,” Brighthaupt said. “I believe Anna made her own decisions.”

Brighthaupt, who said he is 6-foot-6 and 295 pounds, said he wishes he had taken drugs away from Smith. “I think about that every day.”

He acknowledged selling pictures and interviews to cable TV for more than $100,000 after Smith’s death. But most of what he said on the shows were lies, including his claim that he never saw Methadone, a powerful pain killer, in her home, Brighthaupt said. She was taking it in huge doses.

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