Anna Nicole Smith had a wild life that was abruptly cut short, and now her ex, Larry Birkhead, is sharing some of the most shocking facts about her life as part of a new docuseries.
Anna Nicole Smith was a bold character who grabbed people’s attention, but it wasn’t always for good reasons. Labeled a gold digger for marrying a rich man with one foot (and most of the second) in the grave, she eventually found love with Larry Birkhead. Now, more than 13 years after her death, Larry Birkhead is giving more insights into her tragic and complicated life, as well as what it’s like raising their daughter alone in the shadow of her legacy.
On her husband, 90-year-old J. Howard Marshall, Birkhead said people had it all wrong about her. While the general belief was that she only was with him to get his money, he says she was truly in love. On the new Lifetime docuseries “Hopelessly in Love,” he said, “I dated her for two and a half years and on the right side of the bed was a framed photo of J. Howard Marshall,” he revealed. “Anna thought he was god like. She compared every relationship to that with J. Howard Marshall. It was a struggle.” However, he also added that their relationship was like grandfather and granddaughter…so, there’s that.
Birkhead also talked about how their romance came to be. He said they first connected with work and as friends, but they started to grow closer as they spent more time together. Soon after in 2004, they had their first kiss. “The first night I was alone with Anna, she told me she thought I was an angel sent to help her,” said Birkhead.
Later that year, she made headlines for slurring her speech during the 32nd Annual American Music Awards, where she was introducing Kanye West. The media went crazy with headlines about her alleged drug abuse, but Larry says that wasn’t it. He says she had a seizure the previous night, and “She started shaking real violently, her eyes started going into the back of her head … for me, I was pretty scared, I didn’t really know what to do,” he said. He wanted her to cancel, but she didn’t want to let Kanye down since he had out her in his music video.
“The media used Anna and sometimes Anna used the media,” he added.
He also talked about their many fights, saying that they were headed for yet another breakup when she got pregnant with their daughter. Anna had been pregnant before, he claimed, but she had a miscarriage.
He said she was careless with her medications, though “she had a lot of different health conditions that she was being treated for.”
“She had seizures and she would get migraines, her hands would swell, she would have back pain because of her breast implant surgery,” he said. “There was always something she would take. I questioned it early on, like, ‘You’re taking a lot of medicine.’ She was like, ‘You don’t understand,’ assured me everything was great, but I was still worried.”
He tried to get her to be more careful when she got pregnant. “She was talking to her doctor and her doctor said, ‘No, you have to stay on these medicines, if you don’t you can go into a seizure and lose the baby,'” he claimed.
The baby was another tabloid headline, and her relationships further complicated things in her personal life. Birkhead said he thought her living with her personal lawyer, Howard K. Stern strange, but he went with it to be with Anna. He said Stern was clearly “obsessed” with Anna, with it “always felt like a competition of sorts, it was like being on The Bachelor and like who’s going to get the next rose or something.”
Larry went on to deny being the father publicly, and he and Anna Nicole had another big fight before her trip to the Bahamas. He never saw her again.
Many men, including Stern and eventually Birkhead, claimed to be the father of the baby following her death. He saw her little until months later when DNA tests proved he was the father.
“My reward at the end of the day is seeing my daughter growing into this beautiful young lady,” he said.