Attorney: Howard K. Stern Innocent of 'Baseless' Allegations

Attorney: Howard K. Stern Innocent of 'Baseless' Allegations
Howard K. Stern's mugshot and Anna Nicole Smith
Kevin Winter/Getty

04/07/2009 AT 02:40 PM EDT

Two of the people accused of contributing to Anna Nicole Smith's drug death made their first court appearances Tuesday as their attorneys alleged the felonies were filed for political reasons.

Howard K. Stern, 40, boyfriend and lawyer of the Playboy model, and Kristine Eroshevich, 61, Smith's neighbor and psychiatrist, appeared before Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Kristi Lousteau, but said they were not ready to enter pleas. Lousteau ordered the pair back May 13 for arraignment.

Steve Sadow, one of three attorneys representing Stern, told reporters outside of court that state Attorney General Jerry Brown's allegations Stern was Smith's "principal enabler" in acquiring the toxic prescription drugs that led to her death two years ago are a "blatant attempt to advance his own political career."

"He is innocent of the baseless allegations made against him in the criminal complaint," Sadow said. "Both Anna and Howard believed in their doctors and relied in good faith on their medical judgment."

Sadow said Smith was "intelligent, strong and street smart," and "no one told her what to do and when to do it. No one enabled Anna Nicole Smith. She was her own person."

Lawyer Criticizes Jerry Brown

Sadow also said that "Brown, not Howard K. Stern, is the real enabler in this misguided and unprecedented prosecution," and that Brown was wrong to refer to Smith as a drug addict.

Attorney Adam Braun said his client, Eroshevich, treated Smith for "acute physical and psychological ailments, complicated by the fact that she didn't want to return to the United States or be hospitalized." He said that Eroshevich treated Smith "with the best interests of the patient in mind."

The two and Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, 40, Smith's physician, were charged last month with conspiring to use fake names to prescribe vast amounts of potent prescription drugs, including methadone, clonazepam and chloral hydrate, to an addict. Brown said the three epitomize society's reckless handling of toxic prescription drugs.

The charges prompted Florida investigators to reopen their probe into Smith's death on Feb. 8, 2007 in Hollywood, Fla., at age 39.

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