Anna Nicole Smith's young daughter is set for a bumper payday after a U.S. judge ruled the six year old is entitled to sanctions from the estate of the late model's billionaire former husband, J. Howard Marshall. The oil tycoon was married to Smith for a year when he died in 1995 and the busty blonde fought his son and other family members for a large cut of his fortune up until her passing from an accidental drug overdose in 2007.
Lawyers for her estate kept up the legal fight, but they were dealt a bitter blow in 2011 when a Supreme Court Chief Justice in Washington, D.C. overturned a prior ruling to give the tragic beauty's family $475 million (£306.5 million).
The case returned to court this week (begs27May13), and there was good news for Smith's relatives - U.S. District Judge David O. Carter found that Marshall's estate representatives had used unsavoury tactics to hide crucial documents from Smith's lawyers during the lengthy legal battle, and ordered the executors to pay sanctions to the model's daughter, Dannielynn.
Phil Boesch, lawyer of Smith's estate, tells Forbes.com, "This is a complete vindication of Anna Nicole's rights, and a total condemnation of what was done to her. We are confident that the amount Anna's estate and daughter Dannielynn will finally be awarded will be fair and substantial."
Reports suggest the child - Smith's son with her lover Larry Birkhead - could receive as much as $49 million (£31.6 million).
Ironically, Smith's romance with the oil tycoon will be detailed in a new TV movie, Anna Nicole, which will air in America in June (13).
Dannielynn recently shot a series of adverts for the kids collection of Guess, the same clothing firm that launched the busty blonde's career 20 years ago, and images from the campaign were released this week (begs26Nov12).
The pictures led gossips to worry the tot will end up like her troubled mother if she follows in the same career path, but now Birkhead has assured fans Dannielynn, who was just five months old when Anne Nicole died of an accidental overdose in 2007, is just trying to forge a posthumous relationship with the parent she never got to know.
He tells U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America, "Dannielynn has always looked up to her mum's image and said that her mum's an angel, and I think this is kind of Dannielynn's way of paying tribute to her mum in her own special way. To see her mum's picture next to hers as a Guess girl and say, 'Hey, I was a Guess kids girl and my mum was a Guess girl' - that might be her only connection with her mum."
And her dad insists the modelling stint was just a one-time gig: "My goal for her is to be a child and just do what all kids do."
The busty blonde beauty was selected to replace supermodel Claudia Schiffer as the face of Guess two decades ago, and now her little girl with ex Larry Birkhead, Dannielynn, has been chosen to front the firm's kids Spring 2013 campaign.
In one of the ads, the six year old can be seen wearing a denim skirt, yellow belt, and fedora while flashing a smile on a beach, and in a second picture she is photographed leaning against a piece of driftwood as she looks out onto the ocean.
And company creative director Paul Marciano insists Dannielynn is a natural, just like her mum, who died of an accidental overdose in 2007.
He tells UsMagazine.com, "Dannielynn has the same playful spirit that her mother had on a set. She is a second-generation Guess girl, which makes this campaign a first for us."
It's always hard for anyone to lose a member of their family, but when it happens to a child, it's especially devastating. That's a fact Larry Birkhead is becoming painstakingly familiar with now that his 5-year-old daughter, Dannielynn Birkhead, is beginning to ask some tough questions about the death of her famous mother, Anna Nicole Smith.
While making a guest appearance on Good Morning America on Monday, Birkhead, 39, recalled a heartbreaking moment between him and his daughter during a recent visit to Smith's burial plot in Barbados. "[Dannielynn] said [to me], 'Why did mommy die?'" Birkhead told GMA host Robin Roberts. "And I said 'You know, the doctors couldn't fix her. But if you're good... you'll get to see her someday.'"
It's a difficult moment for any parent to deal with, but one that is probably inevitable in cases like these thanks to so much media speculation. For those of you who don't remember, Smith — who was best known as a Playboy model and reality star — was found dead in a Florida hotel room on Feb. 8, 2007 after an accidental overdose involving a mixture of nine different prescription drugs.
And though Smith certainly had her fair share of highs and lows throughout the course of her life, Birkhead isn't all that worried about Dannielynn learning about her mother's tragic past. In fact, he hopes it proves to be a helpful learning experience. "I hope that she understands that no one’s perfect and people have triumphs and people have tragedies," he explained, adding that he wants to make sure Dannielynn understands what happened to her mother, and wants to "make things a cautionary tale."
There's An Anna Nicole Smith Musical
Smith Case to Be Reexamined
Jackie Hatten claimed she and Smith walked in on Stern and one-time love rival Larry Birkhead during a romantic clinch and the incident was reported in Rita Cosby's book, Blonde Ambition: The Untold Story Behind Anna Nicole Smith's Death.
Stern sued both Hatten and Cosby for defamation.
He settled with the author several years ago and now his case against Hatten has been settled too, according to TMZ.com.
The terms of the agreement are confidential.
Ironically, Stern and Birkhead are now friends after battling over custody of Smith's daughter Dannielynn following the actress/model's death in 2007.
Von Anhalt was photographed leaving a Beverly Hills fertility clinic in California on Wednesday (13Apr11), and he admits he is considering becoming a father.
He tells TMZ.com, "It was always my wife's dream for us to have a child... and even though we won't be using any of her eggs, she would be thrilled to know I'm going through with this.
"I am so excited!! I hope Zsa Zsa is going to hang around for awhile. I want her to see and hold the baby's hand. She will be a mother again at 95!! It was her wish to have a boy."
Gabor, who was treated after she coughed up blood at her home last month (Mar11), has been in and out of hospital since she fell and broke her hip last summer (10).
Von Anhalt was among the potential fathers fighting for custody of Anna Nicole Smith's baby daughter Dannielynn following the actress/model's death in 2007. He claimed the little girl could be his.
DNA tests eventually confirmed photographer Larry Birkhead was the child's biological father.
The production is currently onstage at the Royal Opera House in London and the late star's former boyfriend, Larry Birkhead, has revealed lawyers are drawing up legal documents.
He claims the producers never contacted Anna's estate bosses or him about the opera, which he calls a "sleazy tabloid".
Birkhead tells TMZ.com, "If they (producers) are not careful, they'll get more than diet pills in the mail."
The new opera features an explicit scene in which the star performs oral sex on her late wheelchair-bound husband, 80-year-old oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall.
Composer Richard Thomas has previously defended his decision to create the show, insisting Smith's tragic life was "endlessly fascinating and perfect" for the stage.
The photographer gave a candid interview on U.S. breakfast programme Good Morning America on Monday (30Aug10), opening up about being a single parent to three-year-old Danielynn.
He revealed: "Until I got my daughter back, I worried every single day. But once I got her back and took her to the doctors and took her to all these different specialists to make sure everything is OK, they all assured me, 'Your daughter's healthy, she's happy...' I got lucky."
Birkhead also spoke candidly about being a witness in the ongoing trial of Howard K. Stern - Smith's former boyfriend and lawyer - and two doctors who are accused of illegally supplying Smith with drugs that led to her 2007 overdose death.
He previously faced off with Stern in a 2007 paternity case, which proved Birkhead to be Danielynn's father. But now he's stepped to the defense of his former love rival, calling the charges against Stern "unfair".
He explains: "Howard's being held, in my opinion, to the same standards as the doctors, almost as if he prescribed the medications."
Now, Birkhead says he's trying to move past the scandal, and focus on raising a healthy little girl. But the dad admits he'll struggle to explain Smith's tragic legacy to the youngster, and he's scared she'll be bullied about her mum.
He says, "I do worry that kids in school might say something .. and some of those things could be cruel at times.
"I just hope that I get the opportunity to explain some of the things before she gets to the point to where people come and tell her. There's so many (things) that I have to worry about telling her. She's running but I'm still taking baby steps."
Stern is on trial in California, along with two doctors, and has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiring to provide strong prescription pills to the tragic model, who passed away in 2007 after suffering an accidental overdose.
Larry Birkhead, who fathered a daughter with Smith, took the stand on Friday (20Aug10) and broke down in tears as he claimed she suffered seizures because of the medications she was taking and would even fall asleep during meal times.
Stern's defence attorney Steve Sadow cross-examined Birkhead on Monday (23Aug10) and he showed the court a video of Smith in which she denied allegations she had been under the influence of drugs during an appearance at the 2004 American Music Awards, which raised concerns about her slurred speech.
The video was filmed with Birkhead four days after the awards show and Smith is seen telling the camera, "People thought I was drunk, on drugs, losing it. I'm not losing it, America. I'm fine, happy."
The judge overseeing the case urged the jurors to take note of Smith's behaviour on tape and not her words, according to the Associated Press.
The photographer, who is the father of Smith's daughter Dannielynn, resumed testifying in the drug conspiracy trial of doctors Khristine Eroshevich and Sandeep Kapoor and Smith’s former boyfriend and lawyer Howard K. Stern and told the court in Los Angeles that the actress/model often suffered seizures after taking drugs.
Birkhead also revealed Anna Nicole would fall asleep during meals because of the numerous prescription medications she was taking.
The doctors and Stern are accused of prescribing to an addict, as well as conspiring to provide excessive opiates and sedatives to Smith. All three have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to provide excessive drugs to the star.
Birkhead, who once battled Stern for custody of Dannielynn and has recently become the lawyer's friend, said he saw Stern give Smith medicine when she didn’t feel well, and testified he knew the attorney was picking up prescriptions for her.
And when he hid a powerful painkiller from his then-girlfriend, Stern called him and asked where it was.
But Anna Nicole always insisted she was not an addict, despite the large amounts of drugs she took for a number of ailments.
Birkhead revealed, "She would say, 'I’m in pain. I’m not a drug addict... I have a high tolerance because I’m in pain.'"
The three-week-old trial continues.