Did Too Much Caffeine Kill Anna Nicole Smith?

Anna Nicole Smith | Michael Jackson | Carice Van Houten

Did Too Much Caffeine Kill Anna Nicole Smith?

Here's a theory about Anna Nicole Smith's various drug interactions: Apparently, the antibiotic she was taking has a deleterious effect when mixed with caffeine. Around Smith's bed, according to her autopsy report, were cans of soda.

The theory offered to me by an expert source is that the combination of Cipro and soda was keeping Smith awake and unable to sleep. The result was Smith accidentally overdosing on chloral hydrate, which she took in liquid form to sleep.

In other words: Dealing with severe insomnia, Smith was swigging the chloral hydrate and overdosed.

I asked Broward County toxicologist Howard Schueler about this Wednesday. He said caffeine was present in Smith's blood, but they don't know how much. Her Cipro level was not that high, as it turns out, but it's there. The main thing was the chloral hydrate. That level was over the top.

Schueler says the caffeine-Cipro theory could be contributory to Smith lapping up the sleep medication. On top of that, he adds, the other drugs in her system were just too much.

"It's the Ativan, the Valium, the Klonopin and the chloral hydrate together," he said.

So, what about the person who prescribed all this stuff, Khristine Eroshevich? Schueler explains that the medical examiner's office cannot rule on things like malpractice or negligence.

"We didn't think it was a homicide," he said.

In other words, Eroshevich did not prescribe this smorgasbord of sedatives and other medicines with the intent to kill. If she did anything wrong, it would have to be taken up in other quarters.

Cipro, by the way, also has a bad interaction with another of Anna Nicole's favorite drugs: methadone. But it's Schueler's feeling that Smith had not taken any methadone for about three days before she started on Cipro. Methadone, however, was found in Smith's bile.

All of this should have some effect on all of us. The next time someone says to you, "Don't take all those pills at the same, they will kill you," listen more carefully.

Michael Jackson Sued by His Latest Lawyer

Michael Jackson still doesn't get it: You have got to pay a lawyer to carry out your various lawsuits. Brent Ayscough, who represented him in the Marc Schaffel case, is already suing him in Los Angeles. They lost that one, by the way.

Now, Jackson is being sued again, this time in Houston. The plaintiff is Michael Sydow, a well-known and contentious attorney who came into Jackson's world through his brother Randy. Sydow is said to be suing Jackson for at least $250,000.

Sydow was representing Jackson in his case with Prescient Capital, aka Darien Dash, in which Dash was claiming that Jackson owed him $48 million.

It was Sydow, Randy Jackson and an accountant named Don Stabler who entered into the agreement with Prescient in 2004 that is now the subject of a New York lawsuit.

The Prescient case concerned the finding of enough money to buy out Jackson's then-$270 million loans with Bank of America.

Prescient found Fortress Investments, which offered more than that — more than $500 million — to take over the loans and acquire Jackson's part of Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

Prescient wanted the 9 percent they were promised — $48 million — even though Fortress only wound up buying the Bank of America loans.

Ironically, Jackson got hit a couple of ways. For one thing, the Fortress deal led to him losing all of his rights to the Beatles catalog. In May 2008, he will be forced to sell all of his remaining stake in the company to Sony per a later agreement with Fortress.

And then there's the $48 million, some part of which he will have to pay Prescient and Dash. And, oh yes, legal fees to his latest group of lawyers who have succeeded Sydow.

Sydow's name comes up a lot in the deposition Jackson gave last year in the Prescient case. No one gets this about Michael Jackson, but he is terminally disloyal and ungrateful to anyone who has ever worked for him. Sydow was no exception. Now he gets in line.

Going Dutch: New Superstar Actress on Her Way

You do not know the name Carice Van Houten. You will know it, however, when the new Paul Verhoeven movie "Black Book" opens in America.

The 21-year-old Dutch actress is about to take the world by storm. And I do mean storm. She is delectable. A star is born, and she speaks English, too. That's always helpful.

"Black Book" is kind of a fantasy. Think if Anne Frank had been a little older, joined the Dutch Resistance, had a lot of "Hogan's Heroes" type adventures and wound up in Israel on a Kibbutz.

I'm trivializing it a little bit, but "Black Book" — the title is a reference to a ledger kept by a Nazi sympathizer that is key to the story — doesn't always succeed

Nevertheless, Verhoeven's movie can be exciting at times and always involving even when it's at its most implausible.

The reasons for this can be found in the acting. Van Houten, Sebastian Koch and Derek De Lint head a cast that takes all the ups and downs brought up by Verhoeven very seriously.

This may be one example of a movie where acting choices actually save the day, because often the viewer's instinct is to balk at incredulities.

"Black Book" may be a mixed bag, but it's well worth seeing when it rolls out next Wednesday in New York and Los Angeles.