November 28, 1967– Anna Nicole Smith:
“I love the paparazzi. They take pictures, and I just smile away. I’ve always liked attention. I didn’t get it very much growing up, and I always wanted to be, you know, noticed.”
Anna Nicole Smith left this world in 2007, taken by a drug overdose. The 39-year-old media star was found surrounded by 1,500 prescription pills of Clonazepam, Ativan, Serax, Valium, Benadryl, and Topamax, an anticonvulsant.
In 2009, Dr. Sandeep Kapoor was charged with illegally prescribing drugs to Smith. Kapoor was cleared of all charges, but at the trial his relationship with Smith was called into question, when pictures emerged of a shirtless Kapoor kissing Smith.
Kapoor claimed that he had been treating Smith once a month for over a year, prescribing her Valium and Methadone, when in June 2005 she invited him to the Pride Parade in West Hollywood. Kapoor:
“She knew I was openly gay and that I had been involved with Project Angel Food, delivering food to AIDS patients, so I was very happy to support her at the pride. At the last minute she said: ‘come on, come on the float with me!’ I was flattered by the invitation, Anna Nicole was a Gay Icon at the time, part of me was honored and liked the fact she was in the spotlight, I can’t say I wasn’t star-struck”.
After drinking bottles of Cristal champagne with Smith in her limo, Kapoor went to an after party at the famous West Hollywood nightclub The Abbey.
Kapoor now claims that Smith had an affair with her son Daniel Smith’s girlfriend in 2006, and that was the main reason Smith and her son were estranged. Kappor:
“Apparently, Daniel met a girl that spring, began dating her, and introduced her to Anna Nicole. The girl fell in love with Anna Nicole, and the two of them had a brief sexual relationship. It was downright Shakespearean”.
The mother and son reconciled, and in September 2006 her son went to visit her in the Bahamas.
Smith was born Vickie Lynn Hogan. Growing up, she told everyone that she would be the next Marilyn Monroe. Her first step to achieve her goal was to marry Billy Wayne Smith, a 16-year-old cook at Jim’s Krispy Fried Chicken in Mexia, Texas, where she worked as a waitress.
Two years later, Smith walked away from her 18-year-old husband. She moved to Houston, where she embarked on a career at Red Lobster. Still unable to provide for herself and her one-year-old son, she took an extra job dirty dancing at an exotic nightclub. She also chose to add silicone to her greatest assets. A choice that would remain a big part of her identity.
In 1992, Smith appeared on the cover of the March edition of Playboy Magazine and everything changed. She became a new woman and so Vicki Lynn Hogan went away and Anna Nicole Smith was born.
Smith signed with an agent and appeared in seven films, four television series and in special editions of the magazine that made her famous. She became even more famous by squeezing into a pair of Guess jeans. She really did resemble Monroe, a similarity played up in her Guess magazine ads, billboards and department store displays. She ate it up, and then had dessert.
In 1995, Smith successfully squeezed into a very tight little black dress for the reading of the will of her second husband, the octogenarian billionaire J. Howard Marshall, whom she had married a year earlier. She gained more weight and then fought back in the only way America knows how: with pharmaceuticals. Slurred speech and lazy eyes were a small price to pay.
Marshall’s will was contested. Smith’s nemesis and competitor was her 67-year-old son-in-law, E. Pierce Marshall. A federal court in California awarded Smith $474 million in a complicated legal twist that began after she declared bankruptcy. That was later overturned. The Supreme Court took up her case, ruling that she deserved another day in court in her battle with her former stepson. Then he succumbed to an infection around the same time Smith succumbed to pregnancy.
In 2006, 20 years after the birth of her son, Smith gave birth to a daughter, Dannielynn. Then, shockingly, Daniel Smith died in his mother’s hospital room in the Bahamas, just days after she gave birth to her daughter. A combination of Zoloft, Lexapro and Methadone took her son.
Howard K. Stern, her lawyer, claimed he was Dannielynn’s father. Larry Birkhead, Smith’s former boyfriend, claimed he was the father. In 2007, a Bahamian court ruled Birkhead was the father of Dannielynn.
Smith was probably best known as the star of The Anna Nicole Show which aired on the E! Network from 2002 to 2004. The show chronicled the minutiae of Smith’s daily life, showing her on visits to her dentist, shopping, and giving Prozac to her dog.
Smith was a determined and upwardly mobile young woman. She served her way up the fast-food ladder, broke through the silicone ceiling, stretched her assets to their limits and lent her femininity to a battle of wills. Smith showed every aspiring media personality that they already possess the tools for success. All it takes to make it is really good exposure.
The very idea that having no talent and still being famous still seemed crazy in 2007, the year that Smith died. Yet, none of the Kardashians are as goofy and endearing as Anna Nicole Smith, although their vagina-smell contests and sex talk owe some sort of debt to Smith.
On The Anna Nicole Smith Show, she was given to quips like:
“There’s three reasons I like dogs better than I like men. Dogs are loyal, dogs are affectionate, and dogs can be fixed.”
“Some people say it’s a man’s world. Maybe it was… until Eve came along.”
Asked if she wanted to go home or to dinner, she dryly responded:
“I want to go to a goddamned orgy. I haven’t had sex in two years.”
In 2011, the SCOTUS issued a ruling against the estate of Smith, holding that a bankruptcy court ruling giving her estate $475 million was decided without jurisdiction. A California bankruptcy court had awarded Smith the money, but the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal said that a bankruptcy court could not make a decision on an issue outside bankruptcy law. SCOTUS agreed.
In 2014, a federal judge in Orange County rejected the effort to obtain about $44 million from the estate of Marshall. The judge also denied request from Smith’s estate to sanction the estate of Marshall’s son. So, Dannielynn ends up with no money, but do not worry, the 11-year-old has a contract to model for, you guessed it, Guess Jeans.
Many thought of her as a joke, yet it is easy to forget just how lovely Smith was. Monroe had talent that she did not, absolutely; but Smith had a better face. There’s a diamond-hardness to it, whatever her weight. Whether Smith liked being sexy, we will never know. In her diary, Smith wrote:
“I hate for men to want sex all the time. I hate sex anyway. People ask me about my childhood. Well, I didn’t have a childhood, so I’m having one now. I like fast men, fast cars, and fast food.”
What a burden for a sex symbol; no wonder she chose to present herself as belching, uncouth and flawed.