A psychiatrist testifying for the prosecution in the Anna Nicole Smith drug case forced the reality star off her meds too quickly, a defense lawyer charged.
Dr. Nathalie Maullin, a hospital psychiatrist who earlier testified that drugs given Smith in the weeks before her 2007 overdose death amounted to "overkill," weaned her off of drugs too fast, according to lawyers for Howard K. Stern and Dr. Khristine Eroshevich. Stern, who was Smith's boyfriend, is charged with Eroshevich and Dr. Sandeep Kapoor with illegally conspiring to give Smith prescription drugs.
Maullin, who treated Smith when she became pregnant, acknowledged telling Stern that the detoxification of Smith may have been too aggressive, leading to a number of side effects.
"She was safe. She was in a hospital. Nothing bad was going to happen to her," Maullin said of Smith.
Attacking Maullin's decision to withdraw her from drugs, attorneys Brad Brunon and Ellyn Garafalo suggested that Maullin was known to oppose using medications and favored alternative therapies such as acupuncture.
Brunon asked if it was true hospital colleagues gave her the nickname of "Dr. No."
"It was a joke," Maullin said. "They thought there were too many people who said yes to medication. They needed someone who would say no, and two people called me 'Dr. No.'"
Maullin was on staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center when Smith was brought in pregnant and in withdrawal from Methadone and Xanax. She testified last week that Smith sought to get meds by "putting on a show" and deferred questions to boyfriend Howard Stern, who was with her and is one of the defendants.
Maullin says she conferred with Dr. Sandeep Kapoor and learned the drugs he was giving Smith were "hardcore medications" used for cancer and extreme pain. Kapoor, Stern and Dr. Khristine Eroshevich have pleaded not guilty to charges including prescribing excessive drugs. They are not charged with causing her drug overdose death.
Smith died in February, 2007, of an accidental overdose of at least nine medications while staying at a Florida hotel. She had been living in the Bahamas and was allegedly receiving deliveries of prescription medications from her Los Angeles-based doctors.