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The Celebrity Archaeology Podcast


May 25, 2018

Anna Nicole Smith (born Vickie Lynn Hogan; November 28, 1967 – was an American model, actress, and television personality. Smith first gained popularity in Playboy, when she won the title of 1993 Playmate of the Year. She modeled for fashion companies including Guess, H&M, Heatherette, and Lane Bryant. Smith dropped out of high school at age 14 in 1982 and married 3 years later. Her highly publicized second marriage to 89-year old J. Howard Marshall, a billionaire as a result of his 16% ownership stake in Koch Industries, resulted in speculation that she married the octogenarian for his money, which she denied. Following Marshall's death, Smith began a lengthy legal battle over a share of his estate. Her cases reached the Supreme Court of the United States: Marshall v. Marshall on a question of federal jurisdiction and Stern v. Marshall on a question of bankruptcy court authority. During the final 6 months of her life, Smith was the focus of renewed press coverage surrounding the death of her son, Daniel Wayne Smith, and the paternity and custody battle over her newborn daughter, Dannielynn Birkhead. Smith died at age 39 on February 8, 2007, in a Hollywood, Florida hotel room as a result of an overdose of prescription drugs. Early life Smith was born in Houston, Texas, and raised in Mexia, Texas. She was the daughter of Donald Eugene Hogan and Virgie Mae Arthur who married on February 22, 1967, and divorced on November 4, 1969. She had five half-siblings: Donna Hogan, David Tacker Jr., Donnie Hogan, Amy Hogan, and Donald Hart. Smith was raised by her mother and aunt. Virgie subsequently married Donald R. Hart in 1971. After Virgie married Donald, Smith changed her name from Vickie Hogan to Nikki Hart. Smith attended Durkee Elementary School and Aldine Senior High School in Houston. When she was in the ninth grade, she was sent to live with her mother's younger sister, Kay Beall, in Mexia, Texas. At Mexia High School, Smith failed her freshman year and dropped out of school during her Sophomore year. While working at Jim's Krispy Fried Chicken in Mexia, Smith met Billy Wayne Smith, who was a cook at the restaurant; the couple married on April 4, 1985. Modeling [caption id="attachment_1215" align="alignleft" width="200"] CelebrityArchaeology.com Anna Nicole Smith 2005 Photo By John Barrett-PHOTOlink.net[/caption] Smith appeared on the cover of the March 1992 issue of Playboy magazine, with her name given as Vickie Smith. She appeared as the Playboy Playmate of the Month in a pictorial shot by Stephen Wayda for the May 1992 issue. Smith then secured a contract to replace supermodel Claudia Schiffer in a Guess jeans ad campaign featuring a series of sultry black-and-white photographs. During the Guess campaign, Smith changed her name to Anna Nicole Smith.  Guess photographers noticed Smith bore a striking resemblance to bombshell Jayne Mansfield and showcased her in several Mansfield-inspired photo sessions. In 1993 before Christmas, she modeled for the Swedish clothing company H&M. This led to her being pictured on large billboards in Sweden and Norway. In addition to Playboy, Smith appeared on the cover of German Marie Claire magazine, photographed by Peter Lindbergh. A photograph of Smith was used by New York magazine on the cover of its August 22, 1994, issue titled White Trash Nation. In the photo, she appears squatting in a short skirt with cowboy boots as she eats chips. In October 1994, her lawyer, T. Patrick Freydl, initiated a $5 million lawsuit against the magazine, claiming that Smith did not authorize the use of her photo; the suit also alleged that the article damaged her reputation. Her lawyer stated Smith was under the impression that she was being photographed to embody the "all-American look." Editor Kurt Andersen said that the photo was one of the dozens taken for the cover, further stating "I guess they just found the picture we chose unflattering." The lawsuit was reported to be settled. Film and television Smith was successful as a model, but she never found the same recognition or success as an actress. At age 26, she made her screen debut in the 1994 screwball comedy film, The Hudsucker Proxy. She appeared as Za-Za, a flirtatious celebrity who flirts with the lead character, played by Tim Robbins, in a barbershop scene. Smith was next given a larger role as Tanya Peters in Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult (1994), which was released seven days after her initial film debut. Her role in the film, that of a pivotal contact to a crime, earned her favorable reviews and the film enjoyed box office success. Despite the publicity for her performance in both films, they each did very little to improve her acting career. Smith wanted to be taken more seriously as an actress, but Hollywood studios were reluctant. Her persona of a ditzy dumb blonde was compressed heavily in her film roles, which sought only to market her physical assets. In an attempt to earn acting respect, Smith agreed to appear in To the Limit (1995), which would be her first starring role. In the film, she played Colette Dubois, a retired spy seeking revenge on the murderer of her late husband. Although the film was highly publicized and boasted a lavish budget and script, Smith's performance drew negative reviews and it was an ultimate box office bomb. It offered Smith's first and only venture in a mainstream Hollywood leading role. By 1996, Smith's acting career had declined considerably. After the failure of her previous motion picture, Hollywood studios began to realize her public popularity did not affect her acting abilities or ticket sales at the box office. She appeared as herself in the 1995 pilot episode of The Naked Truth. Smith attempted to revitalize her film career with a leading role in Skyscraper in 1996. The low-budget, direct-to-video film offered Smith no more than "soft-core exploitation" and her movie career again stalled. In the late 1990s, Smith focused her acting career on television. She appeared on the variety series Sin City Spectacular in 1998. That same year, Smith appeared in the tell-all self-promoting film, Anna Nicole Smith: Exposed, which was based on several photo sessions during her Playboy career. She appeared as Donna, the friend of Veronica Chase played by Kirstie Alley, on the sitcom Veronica's Closet in 1999. Smith guest-starred as Myra Jacobs in a 1999 episode of the surreal series, Ally McBeal.In the early 2000s, Smith had very few acting roles. As a result of her rising popularity with tabloids and gossip columnists, Smith was given her own reality show on the E! cable network. The Anna Nicole Show premiered on August 4, 2002, achieving the highest cable rating ever issued for a reality show. Coincidentally, the day the series premiered was the seventh anniversary of the death of J. Howard Marshall. The series attempted to focus on the private life of Smith, her boyfriend/attorney Howard K. Stern, her son Daniel Wayne Smith, her assistant Kimberly "Kimmie" Walther, her miniature poodle Sugar Pie, her gay interior decorator Bobby Trendy, and her cousin from Texas, Shelly Cloud. Despite the popularity of the show amongst college students and pop culture fans, the show declined considerably in viewership at the end of its first season. It was, however, renewed for a second season, before being canceled on June 1, 2003, after two seasons and twenty-seven episodes. E! announced to the press that the series ended because of "creative differences" between the network and Smith, although she acknowledged the series ended because the network had lost interest in both her and the show. Smith returned to film acting in 2003 with the comedy film Wasabi Tuna. In the film, she played an over-the-top version of herself, whose miniature poodle Sugar Pie is stolen from her on Halloween by a team of drag queens dressed like her. Neither the film nor her performance drew positive reviews. In 2005, she briefly appeared as a spectator at a basketball game in Be Cool, starring John Travolta. In late 2005 she agreed to play Lucy in the self-produced independent parody film Illegal Aliens, alongside wrestler Joani "Chyna" Laurer. It attempted to parody several popular television shows from the 1970s and 1980s as well as several film franchises. It would be released direct-to-video on May 1, 2007, three months after her death. In November 2004, she appeared at the American Music Awards to introduce Kanye West and attracted attention because of her slurred speech and behavior. During her live appearance, she threw her arms up and exclaimed, "Like my body?” Smith murmured other comments and alluded to TrimSpa. The incident became comic material for presenters throughout the rest of the program. Her appearance was featured in the media the following day. Tabloids speculated that Smith was under the influence of pills or a controlled substance. Her representatives explained that she was in pain due to a series of grueling workouts. In March 2005, at the first MTV Australia Video Music Awards in Sydney's Luna Park, she spoofed Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction by pulling down her dress to reveal both breasts, each covered with the MTV logo. Smith was also featured in advertisements for the animal rights group PETA. Spoofing Marilyn Monroe's "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" segment in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, a 2004 ad states "Gentlemen prefer fur-free blondes.” Personal life Marriage to J. Howard Marshall While performing in October 1991 at Gigi's (a Houston strip club later renamed as "Pleasures"), Smith met 86-year old petroleum tycoon J. Howard Marshall, a billionaire as a result of his 16% ownership stake in Koch Industries. During their two-year affair that followed, he reportedly lavished expensive gifts on her and asked her to marry him several times. She divorced her husband Billy on February 3, 1993, in Houston. On June 27, 1994, 26-year-old Smith and 89-year-old Marshall were married in Houston. This resulted in a speculation that she married him for his money. She reportedly never lived with him, never had sex with him, or kissed him on the mouth more than ten times. Smith, however, maintained that she loved her husband, and age did not matter to her. Thirteen months after his marriage to Smith, on August 4, 1995, Marshall died in Houston at age 90. Inheritance court cases Even though Smith was not in the will of J. Howard Marshall, Smith claimed that, in return for marriage, J. Howard Marshall orally promised her half of his estate, which primarily consisted of a 16% interest in Koch Industries, then worth $1.6 billion. E. Pierce Marshall, a son of J. Howard Marshall, disputed the claim. Smith temporarily joined forces with J. Howard's other son, J. Howard Marshall III, whom the elder Howard had disowned after he tried to take control of Koch Industries. Howard III also claimed that J. Howard Marshall had verbally promised him a portion of the estate; like Smith, Howard III was also left out of J. Howard's will. In 1996, Smith filed for bankruptcy in California as a result of an $850,000 default judgment against her for the sexual harassment of a nanny that cared for her son.[27] Since any money potentially due to her from the Marshall estate was part of her potential assets, the bankruptcy court involved itself in the matter. In September 2000, a Los Angeles bankruptcy judge awarded Smith $449,754,134, the amount that the value of his interest in Koch Industries rose in value during their marriage. However, in July 2001, Houston judge Mike Wood affirmed the jury findings in the probate case by ruling that Smith was entitled to nothing. The judge ordered Smith to pay over $1 million to cover the legal costs and expenses of E. Pierce Marshall. The conflict between the Texas probate court and California bankruptcy court judgments forced the matter into the Federal judiciary of the United States. In March 2002, a federal judge vacated the California bankruptcy court's ruling and issued a new ruling but reduced the award to $88 million. However, on December 30, 2004, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the March 2002 decision, on the reasoning that the federal courts lacked jurisdiction to overrule this probate court decision. In September 2005, the Supreme Court of the United States decided to hear the appeal of that decision. The George W. Bush administration subsequently directed Paul Clement, the United States Solicitor General, to intercede on Smith's behalf out of an interest to expand federal court jurisdiction over state probate disputes. On May 1, 2006, the Supreme Court announced its decision, in which it unanimously decided in favor of Smith. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the opinion. The decision did not give Smith a portion of her husband's estate but affirmed her right to pursue a share of it in federal court. On June 20, 2006, E. Pierce Marshall died at age 67 from an infection. Following his death, his widow, Elaine Tettemer Marshall, pursued the case on behalf of his estate. The case was remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to adjudicate the remaining appellate issues not previously resolved. After Smith's death in 2007, the case continued on behalf of Smith's infant daughter, Dannielynn Birkhead. In March 2010, an appeals court upheld the verdict cutting out Smith from the estate. Following the decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, lawyers for the estate of Anna Nicole Smith requested the appeal be heard before the entire 9th circuit. However, on May 6, 2010, the appeal was denied. On September 28, 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to hear the case. On June 23, 2011, in the case of Stern v. Marshall, the Supreme Court issued a ruling against the estate of Anna Nicole Smith, holding that the California bankruptcy court ruling that gave her estate $475 million was decided without subject-matter jurisdiction. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed with the ruling of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that a bankruptcy court could not make a decision on an issue outside bankruptcy law. In 2011, Smith filed a motion in the United States district court to obtain $44 million in compensatory damages and to sanction the estate of E. Pierce Marshall. In August 2014, David O. Carter, a federal U.S. District Court Judge in Orange County, California, rejected these efforts. Addictions Smith was addicted to prescription medications. Psychiatrist Dr. Nathalie Maullin said she met Smith in April 2006 in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Maullin said Smith had a borderline personality disorder. After Smith's death, TMZ.com reported that Smith had been given a prescription for methadone under a false name while she was in her eighth month of pregnancy. The Medical Board of California launched a review into the matter; the prescribing doctor, Sandeep Kapoor, said his treatment was "sound and appropriate." Commitment ceremony with Stern On September 28, 2006, Smith and Howard K. Stern exchanged their vows and rings in an informal commitment ceremony aboard the 41-foot catamaran Margaritaville off the coast of the Bahamas. She wore a white dress and carried a bouquet of red roses, while he wore a black suit with white shirt. Although they pledged their love and made a commitment to be there for each other before a Baptist minister, no marriage certificate was issued and the ceremony was not legally binding. After the ceremony, they landed on the island of Sandy Cay where they had a party and celebrated with champagne and apple cider that had been brought over for the occasion by sailboat. Death and funeral On February 8, 2007, Smith was found dead in Room 607 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Tasma Brighthaupt, a friend of Smith who was a trained emergency nurse, performed CPR for 15 minutes until her husband, Maurice "Big Moe" Brighthaupt (Smith's friend and bodyguard) took over CPR. He had driven back to the hotel after being notified by his wife of Smith's condition. According to Seminole Police Chief Charlie Tiger, at 1:38 p.m. (EST) Maurice Brighthaupt, who was also a trained paramedic, called the hotel front desk from Smith's sixth-floor room. The front desk, in turn, called security, who then called 911. At 1:45 p.m. (EST) the bodyguard administered CPR until paramedics arrived. At 2:10 p.m. (EST), Smith was rushed to Memorial Regional Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival at 2:49 p.m. (EST) A phone call involving Seminole police and the local 911 operators was released to the public on February 13, 2007. The call said, "We need assistance to Room 607 at the Hard Rock. It's in reference to a white female. She's not breathing and not responsive...actually, it's Anna Nicole Smith.” A seven-week investigation was led by Broward County Medical Examiner and Forensic Pathologist Joshua Perper in combination with the Seminole police and several independent forensic pathologists and toxicologists. Perper announced that Smith died of "combined drug intoxication" with the sleeping medication chloral hydrate as the "major component." No illegal drugs were found in her system. The official report states that her death was not considered to be due to homicide, suicide, or natural causes. The full investigative report has been made public and can be found online. Additionally, an official copy of the autopsy report was publicly released on March 26, 2007, and can be found online. Her death was ultimately ruled an accidental drug overdose of the sedative chloral hydrate that became increasingly lethal when combined with other prescription drugs in her system, specifically four benzodiazepines: Klonopin (Clonazepam), Ativan (Lorazepam), Serax (Oxazepam), and Valium (Diazepam). Furthermore, she had taken Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) and Topamax (Topiramate), an anticonvulsant AMPA/Kainate antagonist, which likely contributed to the sedative effect of chloral hydrate and the benzodiazepines. Although the individual levels of any of the benzodiazepines in her system would not have been sufficient to cause death, their combination with a high dose of chloral hydrate led to her overdose. The autopsy report indicates that chloral hydrate was the "toxic/lethal" drug, but it is difficult to know whether chloral hydrate ingestion alone would have killed her, since Dr. Perper indicated (in the March 26 press conference) that she had built up a tolerance to the drug and took more than the average person. He indicated that she took about three tablespoons, whereas the normal dosage is between one and two teaspoons. Chloral hydrate, first synthesized in 1832, was the first depressant developed for the specific purpose of inducing sleep. The infamous "Mickey Finn" or "knockout drops" was a solution of alcohol and chloral hydrate that was popular in Victorian England and in that era's literature. When used properly, and without the introduction of alcohol or other depressants, chloral hydrate is effective in easing sleeplessness due to pain or insomnia. But according to Avis (1990), the effective dose and lethal dose of chloral hydrate are so close that the sedative should be considered dangerous. Today, the use of chloral hydrate has declined as other agents, including barbiturates and benzodiazepines, have largely replaced them. Despite rumors of methadone use due to its involvement in Smith's son's death, Dr. Perper only found methadone in her bile, indicating it could only have been ingested 2–3 days prior to her death and therefore was not a contributing factor. The autopsy report indicates that abscesses on her buttocks (presumably from prior injections of vitamin B12 in the form of cyanocobalamin, as well as human growth hormone), and viral enteritis were contributory causes of death. Tests for influenza A and B were negative. It was reported that 8 of the 11 drugs in Smith's system, including the chloral hydrate, were prescribed to Howard K. Stern, not Smith. Additionally, two of the prescriptions were written for Alex Katz and one was written for Smith's friend and psychiatrist, Dr. Khristine Elaine Eroshevich. Dr. Perper acknowledged that all 11 prescriptions were written by Dr. Eroshevich herself. Smith's funeral took place on March 2, 2007. Smith's last will and testament Smith's will was executed on July 30, 2007, in Los Angeles, California. Attorney Eric Lund prepared Smith's will. Smith named Daniel as the sole beneficiary of her estate, specifically excluded other children, and named Howard K. Stern executor of the estate. It indicated personal property valued at $10,000 and real property valued at $1.8 million (with a $1.1 million mortgage) at the time of death. A petition to probate Smith's will was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The petition to probate lists Larry Birkhead as a party with interest to Anna's estate. A six-foot-long (1.8 m) black granite monument was installed at Smith's grave in the Bahamas in February 2009. Links: The Book: https://amzn.to/2HrXUUS The Podcast on iTunes: https://apple.co/2HGtPQZ The podcast on Google Play: http://celebrityarchaeologypodcast.com/gpm The website: http://CelebrityArchaeology.com