Anna Nicole Smiths life – monster dad, secret lesbian wedding and son tragedy

Late model Anna Nicole Smith had a heartbreakingly colourful life – from dropping out of school to tragically dying from an overdose.

She rose to fame as a covergirl for Playboy and Guess and embarked on a successful TV and film career before her death in 2007.

Now, the new documentary Anna Nicole Smith: You Don't Know Me claims to provide an “unflinching and humanising examination of the life, death and secrets” of Anna, legal name Vickie Lynn Marshall.

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The film delves into the various aspects of her life, including her childhood, struggles with substance abuse and the tragic loss of her son.

While some critics say the documentary is a “grubby examination of the tabloid sensation’s life”, the filmmakers said the goal was to humanise Anna Nicole and try to reveal who she really was – but it hasn’t been without controversy.

You can learn more about the star's heartbreaking journey below…

Relationship with estranged father

There have been some explosive claims made in the documentary – such as the allegation that her estranged father tried to have sex with her after a party at the Playboy Mansion in 1993.

In the film, a friend of Anna, Melissa 'Missy' Byrum, claims the late model hired a private detective to find her estranged father, Donald Hogan.

Anna Nicole was raised by her single mother and never knew her father.

She was only a baby when he served six months in jail after pleading guilty to raping Anna's then 10-year-old aunt.

Once he was found, the starlet then invited him and her half-brother, Donnie, to attend the celebration where she was being named Playmate of the Year.

“She told me that her father had tried to have sex with her,” Missy said in the documentary.

“I was really sad to see that. She was so so disappointed.”

In the documentary, when Anna’s brother Donnie was presented with the claims about their father, he said he wasn’t a good man.

“I was there every step of the way, but I wouldn't put it past him. I guess I wasn't there all the time, so it could be true,” he explained.

“My father is not the type of guy you want to be alone with.

“You're not going to feel safe. He's a monster.”

Secret lesbian wedding

Missy met Anna Nicole at a strip club in Houston in the late 1980s and they soon became friends.

According to her, they married “in the backyard by the pool” in 1993 before breaking up due to the cover model's drug use.

“She said that she loved me. We’d now been through some bad relationships, both of us, with men. We decided that we just didn’t need men,” she said.

“She wanted me to have a baby with her. But I always knew it wasn’t ever going to work out. Because she was never, ever going to settle down with one person.

“I was not (Anna’s) first female lover. But I knew it would not last. She needed more love than any one human being could give her.”

Oil tycoon marriage

The documentary also touched on Anna Nicole’s transformation from a teenage mum in Texas to a stripper at the club Gigi's.

This is where she met 86-year-old oil tycoon J Howard Marshall who she ended up marrying when she was 26 and he was 89.

While their wedding became a punchline for many, J Marshall, Anna Nicole, and her loved ones argued there was a sincere bond between the unlikely couple.

The oil baron died just over one year later, and Anna Nicole got caught up in a legal battle with his family over the inheritance.

Even though her name wasn't mentioned in the will, she claimed J Howard had promised to leave her a portion of his estate before his death.

The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, but Anna Nicole never gained any control of the billionaire's estate.

Son's sudden death

Daniel Wayne Smith was the son of Anna Nicole and her first husband, Billy Smith.

In September 2006, Anna Nicole gave birth to her second child, daughter Dannielynn, from her previous relationship with photographer Larry Birkhead.

Daniel, then aged 20, came to visit his mum and the baby in the hospital, where he died by the side of her bed.

Daniel's cause of death was determined as an accidental drug overdose, with his passing leaving his mother utterly heartbroken. He had taken a deadly cocktail of methadone and the antidepressants, Lexapro and Zoloft

Her partner at the time, Howard Stern, previously told People: "Anna saw herself as both mother and father to Daniel. From the time I met her, everything was for Daniel.

"I would say that physically, she died last week, but in a lot of ways, emotionally she died when Daniel died."

Anna Nicole's tragic death

Anna Nicole died in February 2007 in Florida, just months after her son Daniel's death.

Aged just 39, the screen star died of an accidental prescription drug overdose, believed to be the result of combined drug intoxication.

The months leading up to her death had been challenging as she was subjected to renewed scrutiny from the media in the wake of Daniel's death.

Speaking on her death in court, according to Fox News, Stern said: "She talked about death really from the time I met her.

"Anna always thought in a way that she was going to die young.

"She thought she was going to be like Marilyn Monroe, she thought she would die at the age of 36 or 37."

Her only daughter

Anna is survived by her daughter, Dannielynn Burkhead, now 16, from the model's relationship with photographer Larry Burkhead, 50.

The teen has been raised away from the spotlight by her father, who is devoted to keeping Anna Nicole's legacy alive for the sake of their daughter.

Larry declined to be involved in the documentary, which he slammed for being a “cesspool”.

“We declined to participate as I did not want my daughter in an overwhelmingly poorly reviewed cesspool of a project about her mother, where some people were allowed to invent things and rewrite history,” he said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight.

“I am looking forward to a true definitive Anna Nicole project where her truth can be heard from her own perspective and by those that truly knew her the best and not just another 'wash, rinse and repeat' Anna Nicole project. Anna truly deserved better and that day will come.”


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