Belfast Telegraph

Probe call over Anna Nicole Smith death

The flamboyant judge brought to fame in the fight over Anna Nicole Smith's remains says he believes someone is guilty of manslaughter in the starlet's death and second-guesses his own decision over where she is buried in a book to be released on Tuesday.

Larry Seidlin, the former Fort Lauderdale judge, is harshly critical of Smith's lawyer-turned-companion Howard K Stern, and of the police investigations into the deaths of the Playboy Playmate and her son.

But as provocatively titled as "The Killing of Anna Nicole Smith" is, Seidlin offers no evidence either death was anything more than the accidental drug overdoses they were deemed.

"I think enablers should be punished," Seidlin writes, referring to Stern. "How about keeping her off drugs while she was alive? He was with her every day; how about saying no, and if she kicks your ass out, then goodbye and good luck."

Then, the judge says, "we won't have all this celebrity blood on our hands."

Seidlin presided over the six-day televised hearing into the fate of Smith's body, shortly after her February 2007 death. His jurisdiction was limited to control of Smith's body; Florida never charged anyone in connection with her death. A California court is determining whether she was illegally given drugs.

Seidlin's hearing became a national obsession, with a cast of characters suited for reality TV. Bronx-born Seidlin, a former New York cab driver, was full of smart-alecky one-liners and nicknames for the massive roster of attorneys and witnesses. For example, he called Dr. Joshua Perper, the medical examiner, "Dr. Pepper."

"I'm not going to talk about this case ever again," he promised at its close. But, of course, he did and he remained in the news. He even tried to parlay his fame into a TV show. Now he has his book, from Canada-based Transit Publishing, which specializes in celebrity biographies.

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