Before her tragic and premature death in 2007, Anna Nicole Smith was embroiled in a paternity lawsuit with her ex-boyfriend Larry Birkin for their daughter Dannielynn. Anna affirmed that Howard K. Stern was the father of the child but two months after her death, it was revealed that Birkhead was. So where is Larry Birkhead now?
The life of Smith (born Vickie Lynn Hogan) was examined in a Netflix documentary, Anna Nicole Smith: You Don’t Know Me, which was released on May 16, 2023. According to Netflix, the film offers a “humanizing examination of the life, death and secrets of Vickie Lynn Hogan—better known as model and actress Anna Nicole Smith. From her first appearance in Playboy in 1992, Anna Nicole’s dizzying ascent was the very essence of the American dream, brought to a tragic halt with her untimely passing in 2007.”
Where is Larry Birkhead now? Larry Birkhead lives a relatively quiet life with his daughter, Dannielynn, in Kentucky. Birkhead works as a photographer and real estate agent. Each year, however, Birkhead and his daughter appear at the Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby Gala in Louisville, the same party where Birkhead met Dannielynn’s mother.
Birkhead said he declined to participate in the Netflix documentary for a number of reasons, in a statement provided to ET. “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,” Birkhead said. “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.”
Birkhead and Smith dated on and off from August 2005 to February 2006. On September 7, 2006, Smith gave birth to Dannielynn, and on the child’s birth certificate, Smith’s live-in partner, Howard Stern, was listed as the father. “Anna and I have been in a relationship and we love each other, and it’s been going on for a very long time, and because of my relationship as her lawyer, we felt that it was best to keep everything hidden,” Stern told CNN’s Larry King Live at the time. Stern said he and Smith are confident he was the father, and “based on when the timing of when the baby was born, there really is no doubt in either of our minds.”
But Birkhead maintained that he was the girl’s father instead and he filed a lawsuit to establish paternity. At issue in a California court was who fathered the child, who could potentially inherit millions of dollars from Smith’s estate. However, Smith would not survive to find out who her baby’s real father was, as she was found unresponsive on February 8, 2007, and later declared dead of a drug overdose.
A police report found that a private nurse had asked a bodyguard to call 911 at about 1 pm and had started CPR. The private nurse Tasma Brighthaupt happened to be the wife of Smith’s bodyguard. The Seminole EMS was called at about 1:40 pm by a bodyguard and arrived six minutes later. The ambulance reached the hospital at 2:43 pm and Smith was pronounced dead shortly thereafter at the age of 39.
According to the New York Times, medical examiner Dr. Joshua A. Perper said he found traces of many drugs in Ms. Smith’s body. Those substances included muscle relaxants, pain relievers like methadone and several anti-anxiety medicines. Dr. Perper also reported that the primary drug was the potent sedative, chloral hydrate, after she experienced a 105-degree fever.
Howard iterated in court via Fox News reports that “she was my best friend, my lover, the mother of my daughter. She was everything to me, literally everything. My whole world.” He continued, “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.”
But in the aftermath of Smith’s death, Birkhead ordered a paternity test to identify him as the father of his five-month-old daughter. After a paternity test confirmed Birkhead was Dannielynn’s father, he announced: “I’m the father,” Larry said. “Thank you for your support. Thank you for the people who got me this far. Thank you very much. My baby’s gonna be coming home pretty soon. Things are moving quickly here, and we’ll see what happens.”
Birkhead and Stern were amicable once the results were announced and hugged outside the courtroom. “We’re gonna do what we can to make sure that the best interests of Dannielynn are carried out,” Howard said. “And I’m going to do whatever I can to make sure that he gets sole custody. Larry can come over to the house and spend as much time with [Dannielynn] as he wants to right now.”
Anna Nicole Smith: You Don’t Know Me is now available to stream on Netflix.
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