Larry Birkhead isn't doing the D.A. any favors.
The celebrity photographer and father of Anna Nicole Smith's daughter Dannielynn testified for a second day in the conspiracy trial of Howard K. Stern and her doctors Sandeep Kapoor and Khristine Eroshevich, all of whom are accused of plying the Playboy Playmate with the prescription pills that eventually killed her.
And despite being called to support the prosecution's case, Birkhead acted like a hostile witness at times...
Dannielynn's dad testified that Smith had a regimen of drugs she took every day in the morning and at night while they were dating. But while her drug consumption bothered him, Birkhead acknowledged he was reassured in knowing that her medications were prescribed by a physician.
"It wasn't like she was doing illegal street drugs," he told the jury as Smith's mother, Virgie Mae, looked on.
Stern, Kapoor and Eroshevich have all pleaded not guilty to felony charges of conspiring to unlawfully provide drugs for Smith, prescribing to an addict and obtaining false prescriptions involving the use of fake names. If convicted, each could face up to five years in state prison.
Birkhead's testimony didn't do much to support Deputy District Attorney Renee Rose's contention that everyone knew the late reality star had a substance abuse problem enabled by the defendants.
And don't think that L.A. Superior Court Judge Robert Perry isn't aware of the prosecution's struggles in the proof department.
"It's the people's position that Anna Nicole was kept in a drugged state," Perry said today outside the jury's presence, while also reluctantly allowing Rose to show a video of Smith acting goofy at an award show. "They claim she was a pawn in the hands of her handlers and doctors who kept her in a drugged state to control her and her money."
But what he sees, the judge said, is "a strong-willed person who ordered people around and was her own boss."
While Birkhead recounted vividly Thursday a conversation he had with Stern in which her attorney and companion told him she "needed methadone to live," today's testimony was noteworthy for his failure to remember certain details, frustrating the prosecutor's attempts to show Smith was addicted to prescription pain medication.
He would not say she was an addict, but Birkhead did get emotional when describing for the court Anna's health woes. He testified that the buxom blonde took painkillers to treat a shoulder injury. Choking back tears, he revealed she suffered from occasional seizures after taking the medications and recalled how she would doze off while eating. He cited the plethora of pills she was on as the reason.
But Birkhead painted Smith as someone who was stubborn about her needs and often took more medications than ordered due to her numerous illnesses.
He said that he became increasingly concerned after Smith told him in February 2006 that she was pregnant.
"She was trying to ween herself off the pills an I tried my best to suggest other options for her when she said she was in pain, like Advil," Birkhead testified.
When Smith checked into a hospital to get clean that April, he slept in her bed with her and Stern slept on a cot, also in the room with them, Birkhead said. He also said that, on more than one occasion, he saw Smith drinking out of a bottle of what he believed was methadone that she kept in her suitcase.
(Originally published Aug. 20, 2010, at 1:21 p.m. PT)
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