Anna Nicole Smith’s doctor, Khristine Eroshevich: the story of her giving Smith heavy prescriptions in inappropriate doses and combinations started in my former column in early March 2007.
Now as Eroshevich, Dr. Sandeep Kapoor and Howard K. Stern go through a preliminary hearing before a probable trial, here is the fax that started it all. Eroshevich sent it to Dr. Kapoor in the fall of 2006, from the Bahamas ‘ where she was always at Smith’s side ‘ to Los Angeles in September 2006 right after baby Daniellyn was born and Smith’s son Daniel died.
Eroshevich wanted a laundry list of medications sent to the Bahamas by courier for ‘M. Chase,’ the pseudonym Smith used to obtain drugs.
The list is scary and potentially very harmful. It included: four bottles of 2 mg Dilaudid; 2 milliliter bottles of Lorazepam Intensol (Ativan); two bottles of 350 mg Soma, a total of 180 tablets; one bottle each of 30 mg Dalmane and 400 mg Prexige, the latter a British drug; and one bottle of methadone, 300 5mg tablets. All of them are classified as different types of painkillers.
Eroshevich sent the fax on Sept. 15, 2006, a week after the baby was born and five days after Daniel’s death.
At first she sent it from the Bahamas to Sandeep Kapoor, the Los Angeles physician who treated Smith under the pseudonym ‘Michelle Chase.’
When Kapoor refused to fill the prescriptions, sources say, Eroshevich sent the request directly to Key Pharmacy in North Hollywood, Calif. It was also refused there.
The doctor wrote the fax in her own hand and added a note at the bottom: ‘You have my local number here. Please call if half of the amounts can be prepared, I’ll have someone take them to a courier to bring to me and he can [illegible] Fedex the rest, except for the Intensol, which has to be on ice.’
She signed it ‘Kris,’ even though it seemed from the fax that she didn’t actually know Kapoor.
One pharmacist, to whom I read this list two years ago, noted that all the dosages requested were much higher than usual.
‘That’s 12 times the amount of Dalmane. All together, these drugs potentially will kill you. I would have refused to fill the order.’
All of the drugs carry warnings for pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding especially not to take them.
The directions for Prexige read: ‘Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Ask your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking Prexige in this case. It is not known if lumiracoxib, the active ingredient of Prexige, passes into the breast milk and could affect your baby.’
When I first revealed this fax, I spoke to Eroshevich. The psychiatrist acknowledged the existence of the fax, but declined to comment on it, citing “patient confidentiality.”
The Broward County Medical Examiner’s report found that upon her death, Smith was loaded with Noctec (chloral hydrate), as well as about a dozen painkillers and sedatives including Valium and the aforementioned Lorazepam.
The judge in this new hearing may or not know that Eroshevich was fired from her only other job in July 2006. At the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (LACERA), Eroshevich’s professional issues cropped up right away. On July 7, 2006, the doctor was stripped of her job for failing to perform her duties properly.
From the Board of Retirement minutes:
“Recommendation to terminate the services of Board Panel Psychiatrist Khristine Eroshevich, M.D., Ph.D. (Memo dated July 7, 2006):
“Mr. [James] Castranova [the board’s legal counsel] gave a brief explanation of the recommendation to terminate Dr. Eroshevich’s services. It was noted that on two occasions, Dr. Eroshevich arranged for psychologists to conduct fact-to-face examination of LACERA members, which is a violation of the agreement between LACERA and Dr. Eroshevich, when only Board Certified Physicians are allowed to conduct these examinations.
“A motion was made by Mr. Russin, seconded by Mr. Chery, to approve the recommendation. The Legal Office, at the request of Mr. Russin, will review Dr. Eroshevich’s invoices to ensure that charges are proper. The Legal Office will report its findings and any recommendations to the Insurance, Benefits and Legislative Committee. The motion passed with Mr. Macias abstaining.”
James Castranova, whom I spoke with in 2007, confirmed that Dr. Eroshevich farmed out her duties to other shrinks in violation of her agreement.
In other words, she was sending unqualified doctors to interview members of LACERA when she was supposed to be doing the work herself.
LACERA spokesman Gregg Rademacher told me it’s the first time he can remember that his organization had a physician who farmed out their job to other professionals, only to be caught later.
Eroshevich is also being questioned in court about the propriety of her close relationship with Smith. In fact, they were so close, they were next-door neighbors.
Real estate records for both Anna Nicole and Dr. Khristine Eroshevich reveal that the patient and her doctor actually lived next door to each other in million-dollar homes in Studio City, Calif.
Public records indicate that Eroshevich and her husband, Wes Irwin, live at 3656 Avenida Del Sol in Studio City. Their house is listed as a four-bath, four-bedroom set-up purchased in 2002 for $925,000. Eroshevich bought the house with a mortgage of $693,750. In 2006, according to public records, the total value was $980,335. And yes, the house has a pool.
Oddly, right next door at 3646 Avenida Del Sol is a home owned by Smith and Howard K. Stern. The home was purchased in 2004 for $1,335,000, with a $934,500 mortgage from a private firm in Burbank, Calif., called J&R Lending.
The deal wasn’t finalized until almost a year later and the home was registered to a company called Hot Smoochie Lips, Inc. Stern and Smith were the only officers of that company. A woman who answered the phone at J&R said the loan had been subsequently sold, but refused to give any more information.
And still, it’s interesting to watch both syndicated shows, “The Insider” and “Entertainment Tonight” as they cover the drug hearing. The two shows, owned by CBS Paramount Television, paid Eroshevich as a source and on-air interviewee throughout their non-stop coverage of Smith’s death and funeral. The shows never once questioned her involvement or that of Howard K. Stern, whom they paid as well.