1,500 pills don`t prove Smith was addicted: Doctors

Los Angeles: A pain-management doctor testified Wednesday that Anna Nicole Smith was not a drug addict, rebuffing a prosecutor who suggested the model`s prescriptions for 1,500 pills in a single month amounted to an addiction.

"It speaks to potential danger and risk to the patient, but it doesn`t speak to addiction," Dr. Perry G. Fine told jurors in the drug conspiracy trial.

Fine, who testified as a defense witness, said there might be a toxicity risk if Smith took all the drugs but added that her medical records showed no indication of actual harm.

The definition of an addict is central to the case against Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, Dr. Khristine Eroshevich and Howard K. Stern, who have pleaded not guilty to providing drugs to an addict and other charges. They are not charged in Smith`s drug overdose death in 2007.

Stern is a lawyer who was the late celebrity model`s boyfriend.

Fine said he believed Smith had a high tolerance for drugs but was not addicted. He said medical records showed she had suffered fractured ribs and was seeking relief from chronic pain.

"She woke up and functioned from day to day," Fine said. "She was in recovery from rib fractures, and anyone`s function would be highly limited."

Deputy District Attorney David Barkhurst had asked Fine whether Smith`s prescriptions for 1,500 drug tablets in June 2004 might help determine if Smith was an addict.

Fine agreed with Superior Court Judge Robert Perry that it was a lot of drugs but said it was antiquated thinking to equate the number of pills with addiction. The pills included various opiates, muscle relaxants and other drugs.

"The disease of addiction is viewed as largely present in genetic factors, and it takes social and environmental factors to bring it out," he said.

Fine said a typical addict would be driven to compulsive drug use to seek a sense of euphoria, but he had reviewed many records of Smith`s medical treatment and saw no mention of her seeking euphoria. He said he saw many reports of her seeking relief from pain.

Later in the day, prosecutors showed jurors a 15-minute video of Smith in a bathtub with her baby, Danielynn, while she was living in the Bahamas. The video was pixilated to hide Smith`s nakedness.

Prosecutors contend the video supports their theory that Smith was drugged during that time and unable to function normally. The judge told jurors to evaluate whether the actions on screen were relevant to testimony they have heard.

Stern, operating the camera for the home movie, could be heard talking to Smith and to the infant.

Smith`s speech was slow and somewhat slurred, but she communicated with Stern, asking for a bottle of baby soap, waving the baby`s hand at Stern and blowing kisses.

At one point the baby howls, but she eventually settles down on Smith`s stomach as the new mother scoops water over her. For a brief moment, Smith sings a little song to the infant who appeared to be about 2 to 3 months old.

Bureau Report

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