Anna Nicole Smith psychiatrist known as "Dr No"

Updated: Aug 17, 2010, 15:29 PM IST

Los Angeles`: A hospital psychiatrist who tried to wean Anna Nicole Smith off prescription drugs acknowledged under defense questioning that her reluctance to medicate patients earned her the nickname `Dr No`.

Lawyers for two doctors and the celebrity model`s lawyer-boyfriend, Howard K. Stern, painted Dr. Nathalie Maullin as a doctor who conducted an overly aggressive effort to detoxify Smith after she checked into Cedars Sinai Hospital in 2006 pregnant and already in withdrawal from the pain killer Methadone and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax.

Stern`s attorney, Steve Sadow, Maullin acknowledged telling him that "the detox might have been too aggressive."

That was after Smith suffered hallucinations, became agitated and fell out of bed and suffered bruises, she said.

Testimony showed Maullin was slow to respond when nurses called her with reports of problems with Smith. Maullin said she didn`t consider it an emergency.

"She was safe. She was in a hospital. Nothing bad was going to happen to her," Maullin said of Smith.

Attacking Maullin`s decision to withdraw her from drugs, attorneys Brad Brunon and Ellyn Garafalo suggested that Maullin was known to oppose using medications and favored alternative therapies such as acupuncture.

Brunon asked if it was true hospital colleagues gave her the nickname of "Dr. No."

"It was a joke," Maullin said. "They thought there were too many people who said yes to medication. They needed someone who would say no, and two people called me `Dr. No.`"

Brunon, who represents Dr. Khristine Eroshevich, asked about friendships between a psychiatrist and patient. Eroshevich was Smith`s neighbor and friend before she became her psychiatrist.

Maullin said there was a line between a doctor-patient relationship and friendship that must not be crossed.

At the end of their one-week contact, Maullin said she decided she could not treat Smith any further. They had never developed any rapport, she said.

"You washed your hands of her and said, `I`m done?`" asked Superior Court Judge Robert Perry.

"No, I offered her options," Maullin said. When Smith refused, Maullin withdrew as her doctor.

In spite of her earlier criticisms of Smith`s doctor, co-defendant Sandeep Kapoor, she said, "I had talked to Dr. Kapoor and I thought we were on the same page that she had to be off these medications. I actually felt good discharging her to the care of Dr. Kapoor."

Kapoor, Stern and Eroshevich have pleaded not guilty to conspiring to provide excessive opiates and sedatives to Smith. They are not charged in her 2007 overdose death.

Bureau Report