Anna Nicole Smith was concerned about her adult son's friends and drug use before he died, though she also once apparently gave him an Ecstasy pill, a former boyfriend of the now-deceased Playboy playmate testified Monday.
Larry Birkhead, testifying at an inquest into the September 2006 death of 20-year-old Daniel Smith, said there was "a little tension" between Anna Nicole and her son between January and May of that year while they lived in Los Angeles.
She had concerns about his drinking too much and possibly taking drugs, noting that he had lost about 20 pounds and was breaking curfew, Birkhead told a jury determining the official cause of Daniel Smith's death in a hospital in Nassau, the Bahamian capital.
"She didn't care for the kids he was hanging out with at the community college he attended," said Birkhead, who gained custody of Anna Nicole Smith's daughter, Dannielynn, after the reality TV star's February 2007 death from an accidental overdose in Florida.
But Birkhead said Anna Nicole also preferred Daniel take drugs in her presence, rather than "running around experimenting with his friends" and gave Daniel a pill that the boyfriend said he later learned was the drug Ecstasy.
Birkhead said he did not recall the exact date of the incident and did not say how he learned it was Ecstasy.
An autopsy concluded that Daniel Smith died Sept. 10, 2006, from a combination of drugs, including methadone and antidepressants. At the time, he was visiting his celebrity mother three days after she had given birth to Dannielynn in a Nassau hospital.
Birkhead told the court that a bottle of Anna Nicole Smith's methadone disappeared from her Los Angeles home around April 2006 and a review of the home's security videotapes showed Daniel Smith had taken the powerful prescription painkiller.
In response to a question, Birkhead said he did not know if Daniel might have removed the bottle to prevent Anna Nicole from taking the methadone — a drug she had struggled at times to drop.
Birkhead also was asked about a police report that he earlier acknowledged seeing Daniel, Anna Nicole and Howard K. Stern, the former playmate's lawyer smoking marijuana. Birkhead said Monday that he only recalled attending a party with the three where marijuana was present.
Wayne Munroe, a lawyer for Stern, noted that Birkhead was embroiled in a custody fight with Stern at the time of the police statement.
The inquest began in November but was delayed while the court tried to secure testimony from witnesses in the U.S. The final witnesses are expected to testify this week.
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