Looking Back on the Anna Nicole Custody Case

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," March 16, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: And there is news developing right now out of California in the Anna Nicole Smith case. Anna Nicole's lawyer and boyfriend Howard K. Stern, and two of Anna Nicole's doctors have all been charged, 11 felonies in total.

The D.A. says the three conspired to illegally give the former playmate prescription drugs. Stern and one of the doctors turned themselves in last week and were released on bond.

And today, Dr. Khristine Eroshevich, the psychiatrist, turned herself in to the L.A. police and has been released after posting $20,000 bail.

Joining us live is somebody you know very well, Judge Larry Seidlin. Everybody remembers Judge Larry. He presided over the case that decided who should have custody of Anna Nicole's body after she died.

Nice to see you, judge, and did you think this case would still be going on this much later?

LARRY SEIDLIN, FORMER FLORIDA JUDGE: It's amazing, Greta. You and I were together two years ago, and you spent six days with us down here in Ft. Lauderdale. And it is like "The Godfather," just when you think you're out, they bring you right back in.

VAN SUSTEREN: Judge, what do you make of this case? It is brought not in your state of Florida, but it's brought in California. And we're seeing-it's extraordinary-two doctors now in deep trouble, and also a lawyer in deep trouble.

SEIDLIN: The California attorney general, Jerry Brown, his underlings, his assistants, very carefully drew up the charging documents. There are 11 counts, but each defendant, Stern and the other two doctors, have six counts against each one of them.

And it is not like a suit that you take off of Iraq. This was brought in from Hong Kong, where it's handmade. Each count was so carefully drafted.

And then there's 95 overt acts that are attached to these violations of the law.

VAN SUSTEREN: Judge, how do you make sure, as a judge, that these three -- it is such a high-profile case. How do you make sure they get a fair trial, because no matter what you think of them, what you think of the evidence, they are entitled to a fair trial. How do you as a judge make sure that happens?

SEIDLIN: Well, we have a presumption of innocence in America, and that stays with you all the way through until the jury goes into the jury room and deliberates.

So what you have to do is try to get a jury that you empanel, and you instruct them that they must disregard everything they read, everything they say, and hopefully you try to get juries that have not read about this or haven't talked about this.

It's a difficult mission, but as you and I know, 90 percent of all these cases are plea-bargained. Very few cases really get to the trial stage.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is this a case that was particularly hard for you emotionally? Did this one get to you more than other ones?

SEIDLIN: Well, I reflect on that sometimes. As you know, I was in the family court for most of my years on the bench, and every day I would try to put a family back together again. It would be like humpty dumpty falling off of the wall. And you try to put together these dysfunctional families.

And I think we saved some children along the way. I see some of them now. They're adults, because when you graduated Georgetown in `79, I took the bench that same year. So I was on the bench a long time.

And, yes, this case was emotional for me. I knew that I was going to hang up the uniform, hang up the black robe pretty quickly after that case. And I knew that this would be one of the last kids that I would say, Dannielynn.

And it was sad for me because I wasn't going to be there as she progressed through her life, and that was sad for me, because in family court, you know, in juvenile court, you are always there holding the hands of the family members to try to get these kids through these tough times.

VAN SUSTEREN: And, indeed, they are tough times, and they're hard on everybody in the system.

Of course, now, a doctor and -- two doctors, a psychiatrist and a medical doctor and a lawyer are facing very serious charges, 11 felonies in California.

Judge Seidlin, thank you very much, and I hope you'll come back to go "On the Record" again, sir.

SEIDLIN: Well, thank you, Greta. It's always good to be with you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Nice to see you, judge.

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