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tv   Nightline  ABC  August 14, 2021 12:37am-1:06am PDT

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♪ ♪ this is "nightline." >> tonight, anna nicole smith. >> anna, one more time! >> behind the sex, fame, and prescription drugs, her heartbreaking loss took a devastating turn. now the interview with a former lover. >> next thing i know i've got my bags packed and i'm moving in with her. >> her daughter's journey on a path to learn more about a mother she never knew. plus uncovering the stories hint the tragic beauty. from playboy to guests and defending her high-profile marriage, to being in a pa tearty suit. >> my life is like a living soap opera. then break it.
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save 50% on the new sleep number 360 limited edition smart bed. plus, 0% interest for 36 months. ends monday. ♪ thanks for joining us. the world knew anna nicole smith as a larger-than-life sex symbol gracing the covers of "playboy" and fashion campaigns. now the side that few has ever seen with her daughter on a search to understand the storied life of a parent she never knew. >> i think she wanted somebody that she could raise at her own,
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and maybe get back what she didn't have. >> that's something she longed for, something she wanted. >> jamie lynn came, and that was her dream. >> reporter: but only five months later, anna nicole was dead. >> she left behind a man who loved her and a daughter she never got to see grow up. >> i have to paint a picture for danni lynn of who her mom was. we are headed to mexia, texas. i want to go back to anna's beginnings and kind of see where anna got her start. >> anna nicole and i were best friends. oh my goodness, you are your mommy. you look just like her. anna nicole smith's birth name was vicki lynn hogan. she lived in houston but she did have problems in houston. >> she was in an abusive situation. she was sexually abused and physically abused. that's what she told me.
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and that's what she would cry about. i wasn't there, but i believe her. sent to may hey yeah to live with her aunt and cousins. >> crispy's fried chicken. >> this is crispy's. so i was working here. and she would come in every day. >> she gets pretty sweet on the guy who runs the fry-o-later, whose name is billy smith. not much longer, billy smith marries vicki and makes her vicki smith. >> then she had her son when she was 18. >> i thought, well, if i have a baby, i'll never be lonely again. and i had my son. and i'm not lonely. and i love him. and he's great and wonderful. >> vicki leaves her husband and decides to move back to houston. >> so what she does is walk into a gentleman's club and asks if
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she can get a job. >> the day that i went on to dance the first time, i -- i ran out because i was so horrified and so ashamed of myself. but when i was driving to work, i looked down and saw all this money in my -- and i was like, wow. >> the irony is that when she started out, anna nicole was in her own words flat-chested. >> so she begins saving money. and now begins to engage in a series of breast augmentation procedures. >> believe it or not, as good as she was at dancing, she never felt comfortable with it. >> so it's 1991 and vicki's been dancing four years when an unlikely figure is wheeled in the front door. he is jay howard marshall ii. >> yale educated, works in the roosevelt administration on oil
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projects, and eventually becomes associated with the famous koch brothers. turns him into a billionaire. >> he got a little twinkle in his eyes and he asked me to dance for him. and i did. he was very funny. very brilliant. very smart. he had so many stories. i an -- jgt man. he was just really amazing. >> they would phone call every day and talk to each other. they were so cute on the phone. she would call him sweetheart and all that. they needed each other in more of a sense than people understood. >> so within a week of meeting vicki, marshall proposes marriage. she says no. >> so at the time, even while she's engaged in this kind of elaborate courtship with jay howard marshall ii, she has a boyfriend. he takes a few pictures of her and sends them to a photographer, manager, scout for "playboy." >> she came in. i was quite taken. she looked like an amazon woman
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to me. anna nicole smith was the sweetest girl you would ever want to meet. sent them off. the very next day "playboy" called and said this girl is going to be a playmate. >> appears on the cover of "playboy" in march of 1992. it is a life-changing event because paul marciano, who runs guess jeans, sees her photos. he thinks vicki needs a new name. together they come up with anna nicole smith. >> that first day shooting for guess makes anna nicole smith a worldwide star. >> people have a perception that she was this dumb blond. she wasn't, not at all. she could do anything that she wanted to do. >> reporter: what she decides to do, after four years of turning down his proposals, is to marry jay howard marshall. >> and she loved this man. she would sit close to him with her legs on the couch over him, and he would laugh.
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about six months after they got married, mr. marshall got very sick. >> reporter: enter son pierce, who had been given power of attorney. marshall's caregiver, betty morgan, becomes his guardian. >> then anna finds herself cut off financially. at one point she's only permitted to see her husband for 30 minutes a visit. the family said that was because of the doctors' instructions. but she was heartbroken. >> when your husband's got his arms around, going like this, "please come with me." >> reporter: 14 months after their wedding, jay howard marshall died. >> massive fortune, estimates up to $1.6 billion. however, he leaves nothing in his will to his wife, anna nicole smith, or her son, daniel. >> reporter: turns out pierce is the main beneficiary. so anna nicole sues pierce in
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texas for a share of the estate. >> in this journal entry anna writes, me and daniel have no money to live on because of the press, i'm get nothing work. >> reporter: on top of her career problems she's also having problems with her implants. >> she's got migraines, stomach problems, breast implants causing back pains, she's got seizures. she's taking methadone for klonopin for those sures, a lot of medication. >> reporter: and not much money coming in. anna nicole claims bankruptcy. >> the california federal bankruptcy judge finds pierce was conspiring with his lawyer and his accountant to cheat anna out of her portion of the inheritan inheritance. >> los angeles federal court awarded smith almost $450 million of her husband, jay howard marshall's estate. >> she still wants to do battle with his son in a different court in texas. and she could lose it all. >> you're saying being called a gold digger was your worst fear,
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and you did everything to make sure that would not happen? >> right. >> ask instead, what happened? >> it happened. >> they didn't for once consider maybe this was an interesting notion of two people who they're making a transaction here, are both lonely and find each other's company not only enjoyable, but have a modicum of love for one another. >> this is a pretty incredible story from beginning to end, isn't it? >> it sure is. >> and it's your life. >> my life is like a living soap opera. >> reporter: a jury in houston says former "playboy" playmate anna nicole smith is not sbil entitled to one red cent. litigationmeanmenn keep working to t s. >> reporter: shees oraree me she's ever made. >> quit following me! >> reporter: she says yes to a reality show.
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♪ eeny, meeny, miny, moe -- >> here comes anna nicole smith into this brave new world of celebrity reality television. >> that's my son, isn't he cute? >> the ratings started to plummet so the show was canceled before the third season got under way. as she makes her way back on the scene, she meets the next man in her life, larry birkhead. >> the next time i encountered anna, my hometown in kentucky as a photographer at the kentucky derby. next thing i know, i've got my bags packed, on the way to anna nicole's house, moving in with
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her. anna lived in the house with her son daniel, assistant kim, attorney howard k. stern. he was kind of her publicist. he was kind of her agent. he was kind of the go-to person for anna nicole. >> did you see evidence of drug use and alcohol use? did she have a problem? >> i saw -- i saw a lot of things i didn't like. never once in my relationship with anna did i see her do any kind of illegal drug. i will say she sometimes did not take the medication as she was prescribed the medication. the night before the american music awards was the first time i eaw he a seure. >> i honored to be on the next performer's new video. >> anna nicole smith's wild need at the american music awards. >> in the midst of all this strange and bad press comes the announcement that her longtime court battle for her elderly
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husband's estate is going to the supreme court. there was no end to her court battles. she was in litigation continuously for 11 years. >> it was affecting her tremendously. ruining her mental health and her physical health. >> she always she wanted a little girl. i remember laying in bed, she had this big, glowing smile on. she brings out the pregnancy test and she shows me that she's pregnant. and i was being a little bit vocal about medication she was taking, making sure that everything was done right. >> she actually told me that she was pregnant and that larry was the father. i don't know how it got to where it got. >> she was told that he was only after her money, which is a laugh, and that he was a nobody. >> she started changing her
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tone. "you're not the father, leave me alone." and then the next thing i know, she's gone. she's taken off to the bahamas. >> september 7, 2006, that's the day she gives birth to her daughter. and at her side is howard k. stern. >> daniel flies down to meet up with his mom and baby sister. in the hospital room. >> on the night of september 9th, daniel sleeps over in her hospital room in the bahamas. it's unimaginable turn of events. >> the body of smith's 20-year-old son, daniel submit, was found just three days after anna nicole gave birth to a baby girl in the bahamas. >> how can you die in a hospital bed? with nobody noticing? >> it broke her heart. when he died. and i think that was the final
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straw for anna nicole. >> to help her through her grief, anna's friend, dr. christine eroshevich, flies down to the bahamas. she happens to be a psychiatrist who has the authority to write prescriptions. and she writes a lot of prescriptions. >> dr. ar arosevich writes a ne prescription. >> anna's drug of cicis dre. anu h bote a . but there's kind of a bright spot. >> anna had a whole support group, and that worked out very
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well. >> she stops talking about wanting to die, starts thinking about the future. >> howard finds a boat for them to buy in florida, so he and anna go to pick it up. before she leaves the bahamas, anna gets a shot of hgh and b-12 on her left side. she's been doing this for a while to maintain her weight. >> by the time she gets to the hotel, she's starting to feel really sick. she has a fever of 105. >> 105 fever for an adult is deadly. everyone in the entourage, they're all telling her she should go to the hospital. and anna says no, she's not going to the hospital. and here's the thing. they actually listen to her. >> the fact that someone didn't take her to the hospital was really no surprise to me because she was scared the press would find out she was there, then it would turn into some big headline. she didn't want any of that. >> i walked over, and i realized that she wasn't breathing.
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>> hi, this is seminole police. she's not breathing and she's not responsive. she's actually anna nicole smith. >> howard is calling dr. eroshevich, who confirms anna was on ten different medications. all which of eroshevich prescribed. and some were not written in anna's name. meanwhile, the paramedics are still working on anna. >> and i could feel her energy giving me a hug. and then she was gone. >> at 2:49 this afternoon, we were advised by hospital personnel that anna nicole smith had died. >> she had nine drugs in her system at therapeutic levels. she also had a stomach bug and an abscess from where she got the shot of b-12 and hgh. >> it also showed a diagnosis of hashimo hashimoto's disease. that's an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid.
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>> all the things she's been struggling with all her life had a diagnosis, but she'd never received it in life. >> in 2009, howard k. stern and dr. eroshevich were charged and convicted of two counts of conspiracy to obtain drugs for anna nicole smith under false names. in 2011, a judge found that they were only trying to protect anna's privacy and dismissed the two convictions against stern. >> what happened today was vindication for both me and for anna. >> as for dr. eroshevich, the judge dismissed one of the charges against her and reduced the other to a misdemeanor for obtaining one vicodin prescription under a false name. >> anna leaves behind an estate worth almost $700,000, which danni lynn will get. howard k. stern is the executor.
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>> i told you so. [ cheers and applause ] >> this -- this is, you know -- what's left of anna. you know, danni lynn, she has a big heart like her mom had, and i think that she could appreciate these things. >> you know what this even is? this is stuff that i've had for you for a long time. want to see it? all right, okay, cool. this was a blonddy t-shirt. we went on a date. who's that cool guy? >> please stop.
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i already told you before, please stop. >> this. there you are with your mommy. that has pictures of your uncle sam. anna got to live her dream. she wanted to be a star. she wanted to be a mother. and danni lynn is her legacy. that's what lives on from anna. >> we'll be back. cteria in your home never stops . that's why microban 24 doesn't just sanitize and stop. microban 24 keeps killing bacteria for 24 hours. spray on hard surfaces to kill 99% of viruses and bacteria initially, including the covid-19 virus. once dry microban forms a shield that keeps killing bacteria for 24 hours ... ...touch after touch. microban 24. touch after touch, it doesn't give up. some people have joint pain, plus have high blood pressure. they may not be able to take just anything for pain. that's why doctors recommend tylenol®.
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and that's "nightline" for tonight. you can watch all of our full episodes on hulu. we'll see you same time next week. thanks for staying up with us. have a great weekend. good night, america.

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