Anna Nicole Smith's former boyfriend HOWARD K. STERN has accused prosecutors of "destroying" his life by dragging him to court to face charges relating to the late model's drug habit - calling the last four years "a living hell".
The model/reality TV star passed away in 2007 after suffering an accidental overdose and her prescriptions subsequently became the focus of a criminal investigation involving Stern and two of Smith's doctors.
Late last year (10), Stern was found guilty on two charges of conspiracy, for giving false names and acting by fraud to obtain prescriptions for Smith, but he fought the convictions and a judge overturned the charges on Thursday (06Jan11).
Dr. Khristine Eroshevich, who was accused of conspiracy charges and unlawfully prescribing a controlled substance, had all but one of her convictions quashed, while the remaining count was reduced to a misdemeanour. She was sentenced to a year of probation and a fine of $100 (£67). Another medic, Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, was previously cleared.
Stern has now spoken out about the long-running legal battle, calling the case a waste of time and insisting the stress made his life a misery.
He told reporters, "It’s been a living hell. From the day Anna passed away, these last four years - there’s no way to put it into words how difficult they’ve been...
"A lot of this was done for publicity. They (prosecutors) didn't care at what cost, they didn't care whose lives they destroyed in the process... This case never should have been brought. It has been four years of my life."
While Stern also revealed he was glad Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry acknowledged Smith was not a drug addict, but a victim of chronic pain, adding, "I was looking up in the sky and thinking, she's vindicated."