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Anna Nicole's ex wins court victory

A judge has dismissed the drug conspiracy convictions of the late Anna Nicole Smith's boyfriend-lawyer Howard Stern and her psychiatrist, allowing only one conviction to remain against the physician.

Superior Court Judge Robert Perry found that Stern never intended to defraud when he used his name and others to protect the former Playboy pin-up's privacy when he obtained prescriptions for her.

The judge also found that psychiatrist Khristine Eroshevich was acting out of concern for Smith and cited her long career and service to the community in deciding to sentence her to no more than one year of probation and a 100 dollar fine for obtaining one Vicodin prescription under a false name.

District Attorney Steve Cooley said he would appeal against the ruling.

Both Stern and Eroshevich said they were pleased with today's ruling and believed Smith would be happy with the outcome.

Smith died on February 8, 2007 in a Hollywood hotel room due to an overdose of prescription drugs. Stern, 41, said he was thinking of his lost love when the judge announced his decision.

"I was looking up in the sky and thinking, she's vindicated," Stern said. He said he was pleased that Perry recognised Smith was a victim of chronic pain, not addiction. "This case never should have been brought," Stern said outside court. "It has been four years of my life."

© Press Association