Hope you've eaten lunch, because if you haven't, you might lose your appetite.
Florida-based medical examiner Dr. Harold Schueler told the court today that the former Playmate was seriously ill in the days before her death, suffering from a abscess on her buttock from injections of drugs. The condition may have contributed to her drug-fueled death on Feb. 8, 2007.
"[Infections] would have had an impact on her ability to withstand the drugs," the doctor said, reducing her tolerance to the sedatives and muscle relaxers she had been taking for pain, anxiety and insomnia. "Her respiratory system could also have been compromised."
In other words, it wasn't just a minor boo-boo.
Meanwhile, former bodyguard Maurice "Mo" Brighthaupt testifed that he saw Smith sidekick/defendant Howard K. Stern injecting her with medication on at least five occasions after the death of her son, Daniel.
Still waiting in the wings to take the stand: Smith's baby daddy, Larry Birkhead.
Schueler and Brighthaupt's remarks came in day two of the preliminary hearing for Stern and Drs. Khristine Eroshevich and Sandeep Kapoor, who are facing a litany of felony counts for conspiracy to furnish Smith the drugs that led to her death. They have all pleaded not guilty.
Brighthaupt, who works as a firefighter and paramedic in Miami, said he first met Smith and Stern in 2003, when he began working for the former Playmate. He described her as happy and fun-loving and said she called him "Mo-Mo."
"I would watch her back," he said. "I would treat her as a big brother would treat a little sister."
Brighthaupt testified that he witnessed Smith's mood changed drastically after Daniel's died in 2006. She was so grief-stricken, he said, that she routinely downed antidepressants and postnatal drugs. (Smith and Birkhead's daughter, Dannielynn, was born right before Daniel died.)
He also recalled seeing Anna drink chloral hydrate straight from the bottle.
"[Eroshevich] said that Anna had a hard time sleeping and she was reluctant to bring it [chloral hydrate], but she was saying she had to sleep and this was the only thing that would make her feel better," he said. "Anna was begging for it."
Eroshevich and Stern took to injecting the drug into Smith's body, Brighthaupt said, because Smith "felt that if you put it in the blood system...it would get into the system faster."
The hearing is expected to last two to four weeks. At the end, the judge will decide whether there is enough evidence to warrant trial.
Yesterday, the prelim kicked off with the lead investigator in the case revealing some rather ghoulish details about what police uncovered about Smith's final days, among them that the buxom blonde was found lifeless, lying in her own feces in a hotel room at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Detectives also found bottles containing hundreds of prescription pills in her room, many of which Smith obtained through various aliases.
The defense has argued that most of the prescription medication found in Smith's system was considered therapeutic and far below the dosage levels doctors normally prescribe.
Birkhead is expected to take the stand by the end of the week.
As for a recent report that the celebrity photographer is currently in talks with Bravo about appearing on an upcoming episode of Millionaire Matchmaker, Birkhead exclusively tells E! News: "Not true. I was approached to do the show by the producers and turned the offer down."
Now you know.
(Originally published Oct. 14, 2009, at 12:36 p.m. PT)
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