Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Howard K. Stern: enabler?

Big loser during today's court fisticuffs in the battle over Anna Nicole Smith's corpse?

By unanimous decision, Howard K. Stern (pictured to the right with Anna and baby Dannielynn.)

In afternoon court action, Stern was on his heels while Houston attorney John O'Quinn rained blow after blow down upon his nappy head.

The only thing that saved the disgraced lawyer was the judge, who took pity upon the poor sap and told O'Quinn to sit down.

And the worst was yet to come.

The man who most people consider to be the true father of Anna Nicole's little girl -- namedly, photographer Larry Birkhead -- told the court that Howard brought a duffel bag full of drugs to Anna while she was hospitalized for two weeks being "weaned" off of the drugs on which she had become hooked.

Anna, preggers at the time, was on a drug drip for two weeks in the hospital while doctors tried to get her straight, but Howard would smuggle drugs up to the room and slip 'em into the IV, Larry said.

Larry slept in the bed next to Anna during her two week hospital stay while Howard slept on a cot.

Anna used Dilaudid -- synthetic heroin -- the testimony revealed, and Howard testified that he sometimes ran to the drug store for the bosomy blondshell, where she was prescribed narcotics under a variety of pseudonyms, including Vicky Hogan, Vicky Smith, Michelle Chase and Susie Wong.

(Sometimes Anna checked into hotels under the name of "Mrs. Flintstone" or "Norma Jean," Howie also revealed.)

For his part, Larry Birkhead managed to portray himself as a sympathetic figure, though somewhat naive and dimwitted and probably out of his depth for a ball-bustin' tigress like Anna.

A 34-year-old freelance photographer, he met Anna at a Kentucky Derby party in 2003. After that, Anna and Howie hired him to be Anna's photographer, he said.

Larry, pictured at left, said he and Anna were swappin' uglies by July-Aug. '04 while Howard was basically her Boy Friday, running errands and supposedly working on her Supreme Court appearance (in connection with the battle for J. Howard Marshall's gazillions of dollars.)

'Course, all was not peaches 'n cream. Anna miscarried their baby in February '05, Larry testified, but she became pregnant again a year later and the couple planned to marry while buying baby clothes and sorting through possible names for their soon-to-born progeny.

They had a two-month separation in late '05, which Anna spent in the company of an unnamed "wealthy gentleman" in South Carolina (Strom Thurmond was dead, right?) but they later reconciled at the beginning of '06, only to break up again as Anna's drug addiction worsened, which evidently gave Howard the opportunity to fully exploit his enabler role.

But it's not over yet. There will be more tomorrow. There's court action scheduled in the Bahamas, if I heard the TV correctly, and if my busy schedule permits, I'll be watching CourtTV and report back to you ater.

(Who needs Scooter Libby when you've got this?)

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