Published September 03, 2010
LOS ANGELES – A witness in the Anna Nicole Smith drug conspiracy trial recanted statements Friday that he saw defendant Howard K. Stern give the celebrity model excessive drugs.
Ford Shelley also testified that he never saw Smith abuse drugs, and that he believed her boyfriend-lawyer Stern shouldn't be on trial.
Shelley, whose family provided Smith a house and spent time with her in the year before she died, was a combative prosecution witness.
"Mr. Shelley, you don't want to be here testifying, do you?" Deputy District Attorney Renee Rose asked.
"No, because I don't think the man ought to be sitting here," Shelley said, looking at Stern across the courtroom.
Shelley had previously suggested to investigators that Stern overmedicated Smith.
However, he said Friday he had been mad many of the times he had been interviewed since the death of Smith.
Stern, Eroshevich and Dr. Sandeep Kapoor have pleaded not guilty to providing Smith with excessive drugs and other charges.
Smith died of a drug overdose in 2007. The defendants are not charged in her death.
Shelley, a resident of South Carolina, described Eroshevich as a good woman who was trying to help Smith.
Shelley wept on the witness stand after he was asked to describe Smith's condition after the 2006 death of her son Daniel.
"Not good," Shelley said hoarsely. "Bad shape. She'd lost her son. I saw Anna grieving."
Shelley said he saw Stern give Smith medication once and that she "went to la-la land" after that. He also said he saw her take medicine on her own.
Even in grief, Smith "was the boss ... She was adamant about what she wanted," he said.
Attorney Brad Brunon, who represents Eroshevich, asked Shelley to describe the psychiatrist's relationship with Smith.
"A very loving, caring friend," he testified.