Whether he liked it or not—and he apparently did not—Larry Birkhead was back on the stand today talking about Anna Nicole Smith, her drug-fueled ways and the effect it may or may not have had on their daughter, Dannielynn.
The photographer testified that Smith was taking such copious amounts of drugs after her son, Daniel, died that Birkhead feared it would poison Dannielynn. That's why, during his paternity battle, he made it a point to request that Anna Nicole and Dannielynn both be drug tested.
"I didn't know what sort of condition she was in," the celebrity photographer said, pointing out that she was on methadone when she was pregnant. "She had just lost her son and that was a tremendous blow. I didn't know if the things I saw happening [before Daniel's death] were carrying on."
But Birkhead's wrenching disclosure about his daughter, now 3, apparently came with a little arm-twisting.
During cross-examination by the defense, Birkhead admitted that the prosecutor asked him to "ramp up" his testimony and play the sympathy card by bringing up Dannielynn.
Birkhead said he was offended when Deputy District Attorney Sarah Slice encouraged him to suggest on the stand that narcotics supplied by the defendants—Smith confidante Howard K. Stern and Drs. Sandeep Kapoor and Khristine Eroshevich—damaged Dannielynn.
"I felt the district attorney was frustrated," he said. "She said I should bite my tongue. She then went into a long speech about my daughter, and how there was going to be something wrong with her.
"[Slice] said my daughter is going to be frustrated in learning and I should find something she excels in. She said she had studied the way the brain was made up."
Birkhead said he didn't see any visible signs of damage with his Danielynn. Nor did he appreciate the prosecutor's insinuation that might be the case.
"I didn't banter about it because I felt she had crossed the line about my daughter's health," he said. "It upset me."
Birkhead also told the judge that when he was riding up the elevator to the courtroom with Slice this morning, she implied that he was taking Stern's side in the case—something Birkhead denied.
During this preliminary hearing, Slice is hoping to show the judge there is enough evidence for Stern and the physicians to go to trial on nearly two dozen charges related to Smith's substance abuse.
Meanwhile Dr. Nathalie Maullin, a psychiatrist who treated the onetime Guess? girl when she was hospitalized in 2006, testified that Smith was going through withdrawal during her pregnancy with Dannielynn.
Maulin said she was taken aback that the pinup was taking an extremely potent prescription drug with an "extremely high addiction potential" typically used for patients with cancer and not for more mild conditions like chronic pain.
Birkhead, meanwhile, kept discussing Smith's drug abuse outside the courthouse once he was excused.
"I think some people made decisions for her, and some told her what they suggested," he said. "She relied on doctors and individuals, but Anna was Anna and she had her own mind too."
While Smith could be strong-willed and stubborn regarding her medications, Birkhead said, "There were times that she was clear."
As for the prosecutor's request to bring Dannielynn into his testimony, Birkhead sounded frustrated.
"People getting to Anna and my daughter's medication, it gets crazy and irrelevant and I think they got off point...I was there for the prosecution, but I'm not sure they liked what I had to say, so they were kind of beating me up in the end."
But he stressed that Dannielynn is "very advanced, healthy and happy."
"I had concerns, but she's doing everything a kid is doing and then some."
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