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PAULA ZAHN NOW
Anna Nicole Smith Dies at Age 39
Aired February 8, 2007 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: And good evening, everybody. Glad to have you with us tonight.
Out into the open: America's fixation on celebrity, on tragedy, on sex, money, tabloid headlines, and death.
In tonight's special hour: What could have killed Anna Nicole Smith? We're going to look at her physical and mental health. I will even talk with a man who dated her.
Plus: How much was she worth? Who gets the money? And what happens to the baby girl who is suddenly without a mother? And where is that baby girl tonight?
Anna Nicole Smith lived both the American dream and the American nightmare. About five hours ago, we learned that her life is over. She was only 39 years old.
Our coverage of this developing story starts with Susan Candiotti at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, Florida, where Smith was staying.
What do we know about how long she was at the hotel and anything about how she was discovered today?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Paula, she checked into the hotel with Howard Stern about Monday.
And she also had with them a bodyguard, as well as a nurse. Her infant daughter was not with the party. There were six people altogether that arrived here on Monday.
At precisely 1:38 this afternoon, we are told by the police that a nurse traveling with her discovered Anna Nicole Smith's body in her hotel room, described as a -- a double-bedroom suite on the sixth floor of the hotel here.
We don't know whether Anna Nicole Smith was alone in the room prior to that or what her activities were. In any case, evidently, the nurse at that time didn't call 911. We don't know why.
Instead, she called the front office of the hotel, who, in turn, we are told, called security, who, in turn, sent someone, a security officer, to the hotel room. They saw what was going on, and then they, we are told, called 911.
About seven minutes transpired between the time she was discovered and when police were notified. It is unclear why the nurse didn't give CPR at that time. We do know that the bodyguard did.
Of course, paramedics arrived on the scene. And then she was transferred to a nearby hospital, Hollywood Regional Memorial Center. She was rushed in there.
We do have some accounts, Paula, from people who were here on the scene who understood police to say that she was not alive when she left the hotel here.
In any case, they did work on her, worked on her at the hospital. And, at 2:49 -- that was about an hour after police were initially notified -- she was pronounced dead at the hospital, and police were notified -- Paula.
ZAHN: Susan, you talked about this private nurse who was on duty. And I know there aren't a lot of details on this. But has anybody told you tonight why that nurse was on duty in the first place?
CANDIOTTI: We wish we knew more about that. We have been talking to some people who have known Anna Nicole Smith. And they don't know why she was traveling with a nurse.
We don't know whether this is a local nurse, someone who had been working with her in the Bahamas, where she has, obviously, been living and spending a lot of time lately. And we don't know what this woman's credentials are.
I can tell you that I have spoken with a number of nurses, private-duty nurses and the like, who have questions in their mind as to what procedure this nurse followed.
Naturally, police are talking to her. They're talking to the bodyguard. But it does raise questions as to the order in which this woman made -- took whatever action she took. Why didn't she immediately start at -- call 911 first, then start the CPR?
One man that I spoke with here at the hotel tonight told me that, when he was speaking with investigators here on the scene, he heard them say that the nurse panicked -- back to you, Paula.
ZAHN: And -- and, once again, Susan, just this timeline. You said it took seven minutes from the time that the nurse first called the front office, they called security, and someone got to the room. And then 911 was called?
CANDIOTTI: And that's when police were notified, seven minutes after this nurse called the front office. That's right.
ZAHN: All right, Susan -- so many unanswered questions. Thanks so much for trying to clear up some of the confusion tonight.
Anna Nicole Smith was rushed to a hospital in Hollywood, Florida, where witnesses saw the ambulance arrive.
John Zarrella is there tonight. Any late information from hospital officials there?
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN MIAMI BUREAU CHIEF: No, Paula, no real late information here from hospital officials.
In fact, they're not talking at all here, at the request of Anna Nicole Smith's family -- all calls being referred to the attorneys.
But we did have an opportunity -- when she arrived here, we had the opportunity to talk to several eyewitnesses, who said that she got here -- or the ambulance arrived here -- shortly after 2:00 p.m.
And I talked to one of those witnesses earlier this evening in "THE SITUATION ROOM."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was -- she was uncovered from, like, here. Her face was uncovered. And they were -- they were put -- doing, I guess, CPR or something on her chest. And, then -- then, they covered her as they were pulling her out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZARRELLA: The opinion is, by many of the people we saw here, that she was, in fact, already deceased, Paula, by the time that she arrived here in the ambulance -- Paula.
ZAHN: We understand an autopsy is set for tomorrow. Any more information on that?
ZARRELLA: No, that's correct.
What we understand is that the medical examiner has come here to the hospital, and recovered the body, and taken Anna Nicole Smith's body to the coroner's office. The autopsy will be performed tomorrow. Don't know the exact time yet, and not really clear yet on what, if any, results we might get tomorrow. Perhaps some preliminary results will come out tomorrow, but certainly not the results of any complete autopsy -- Paula.
ZAHN: And, finally, John, are you aware if any family members made it on the hospital today?
ZARRELLA: Well, we understood, briefly -- although not confirmed -- that Howard K. -- Howard -- Howard K. Stern was either here with -- with her when they brought her here, or at least at the hotel with her. But no one else, that we know of, was here at the hospital with her when she was brought out of the ambulance -- Paula.
ZAHN: John Zarrella, thanks for that late update.
Just last September, Anna Nicole Smith lost her 20-year-old son, Daniel. And that happened just days after she had given birth to her daughter, Dannielynn.
In addition to any physical problems, could emotional turmoil have played a role in Anna Nicole's death?
Chief medical correspondent and certified medical investigator Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us now.
Doctor, let's talk a little bit about what we have heard from Anna Nicole Smith's attorney. He said he had spoken with her a little bit earlier in the week, that she had flu symptoms, that she had a fever. We also know that she had been hospitalized last fall with pneumonia.
Try to put the pieces of this puzzle together for us tonight.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Paula, these are all clues, and certainly important ones, as you start to figure out what may have caused her death.
When you think about a relatively young person who has a sudden collapse, sudden death, like this, I -- I certainly think you have to think about heart problems sort of being at the top of the list.
What exactly would cause those heart problems, whether it would some sort of infection of the heart lining, or maybe some genetic problem related to the heart, or whether it was, you know, medications that somehow caused the heart to fail, we don't know.
But you really have to think about heart problems. You have also got to think about lung problems, overdose. You have to think about all these sorts of things, the things that you brought up regarding, you know, this pneumonia. She also had a fever last night, we're being told. Could that -- could those have been sort of indicators or hints of some serious infection?
She had this nurse traveling with her as well. There's lots of clues here, Paula, lots of speculation as well. But I think these are exactly the issues the medical examiners are going to be thinking about as they're -- as they're examining the body and -- and trying to piece it all together.
ZAHN: Let's talk a little bit about the weight loss, the yo-yo thing that she had been through over the last several years, at one point losing over 70 pounds.
What kind of strain can that put on the heart?
GUPTA: Yes. You know, it's interesting.
ZAHN: And -- and wouldn't that be something you would notice right away, and -- and not here, almost three, four years later?
GUPTA: Well, interesting. Maybe not. It's interesting.
You're right. It was in October of 2003 that she became a spokesperson for TrimSpa. We have done some homework on this today, Paula. TrimSpa, at that time, ephedra was not banned. So, ephedra, a substance that a lot of people have heard about, a weight-loss supplement, was related to some heart problems, including hypertension, possibly strokes, even heart damage. That's why, eventually, it was banned, and is banned now.
So, it's something that, you know, people really have to think about. Even if she wasn't taken the ephedra containing TrimSpa, the other substances had similar-type side effects as the ephedra. And, sometimes, the impact of that can show up later on.
So, for example, if you sort of damage the heart as a result of taking some of these things, it may be later on when you actually suffer some of the repercussions. So, it's certainly something to keep in mind.
Also, just the -- the sort of back-and-forth with the weight loss; 140 pounds was what she weighed when she was a Playboy Playmate in 1992 -- 224 pounds. And, then, as you said, she lost 70 pounds over eight months. Sometimes, that can have an impact on the liver. Sometimes, it can have impact on the kidneys as well.
So, certainly, again, these are clues, I think, that the M.E. is probably going to be looking at.
ZAHN: And, of course, just very quickly, in closing, there have been reports over the years of her abuse of alcohol, and perhaps drugs as well. That's something you have got to put into the equation, too, here, right?
You -- you -- you absolutely -- I think something that's probably already been done is, probably, blood was taken at the time. And that will -- they will do what's called a tox screen, looking for all substances that were both in her blood and in her system at the time of her death.
ZAHN: Dr. -- Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks.
GUPTA: Thank you.
ZAHN: We appreciate it.
GUPTA: Any time.
ZAHN: One side of Anna Nicole Smith's life was a long series of brutal legal battles. There was her fight for a share of the $1.6 billion estate of the 89-year-old oil barren she married in 1994. He died a year into their marriage. And her fight with his family over the money even ended up in the Supreme Court, but, still, at this hour, isn't settled.
And, then, there is her nearly 6-month-old baby girl, Dannielynn Hope. There is a court battle over who is the child's father, Smith's lawyer and companion, Howard K. Stern, or Smith's former boyfriend Larry Birkhead.
Senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin joins me now to see where all of this will lead. His head is spinning tonight.
Let's talk a little bit about her estate and -- and the status of that. We don't know whether she had a will or not, do we?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Right.
I mean, that -- and that's the first important question to ask, both about who will have custody of Dannielynn, the baby, and who will have her money. Does she have a will? You know, most people in their 30s don't have wills. And, given that she seems to have led kind of a disorderly life, it would seem to me unlikely that she had a will.
And, if she didn't, that's when things get really complicated.
ZAHN: Well, talk about complications. You have got this ongoing paternity suit by Larry Birkhead, who is trying to prove that he's the father of this child. What happens now, as a result of Anna Nicole Smith's death?
TOOBIN: Well, the first thing you have to find out is: Is she really -- was she really married? Because she and Howard K. Stern, who is not the radio broadcaster, have -- have said at times that they were -- they were -- they were married. But...
ZAHN: We saw pictures, a grand celebration...
But -- but whether -- but whether they actually got married under the laws of the Bahamas is -- is -- as, I understand it, an open question.
And whether they're married could have an enormous impact on how her estate is divided up. And, of course, as you point out, the issue of paternity of the baby, that's going to have to be determined in a medical way. And that will have a huge impact.
ZAHN: And we know tonight that Birkhead's attorney has said that his client has ordered an emergency order for custody...
TOOBIN: Right. What...
ZAHN: ... of the child.
And what was so peculiar, I mean, one of many things that was peculiar about this, is that Larry Birkhead, the former boyfriend, he was urging a DNA test from the beginning. And both Anna Nicole Smith and, you know, Howard -- Howard Stern said they didn't -- they didn't want it. But, given -- given all that is at stake here, it seems like a DNA test is inevitably going to be done.
ZAHN: Let's turn back to the 12-year battle over her late husband's $1.5 billion fortune, which ended up at the Supreme Court.
(CROSSTALK) ZAHN: She never got a dime...
TOOBIN: She never...
ZAHN: ... right?
TOOBIN: She never got a dime.
ZAHN: But the settlement was for $88 million?
TOOBIN: Well, it wasn't -- it wasn't a settlement. The award that she got...
ZAHN: Award -- excuse me.
TOOBIN: ... was $88 million. That's the status quo.
But that's now on appeal. The question is, who continues that lawsuit? And that goes back to the question of the will. If a party to a lawsuit dies, that interest in the lawsuit is part of their estate. That goes to the heirs. Who is her heirs? We don't know.
We don't -- if she has a will, she may have designated them. If she's married, her husband may be an heir. Certainly, the -- the baby, Dannielynn, is an heir. But a 4-month-old, you know, can't represent any legal interests.
So, some guardian will have to be appointed. A court will have to sort out who the guardian is, what kind of power the guardian will have, how much money the guardian can spend. I mean, it's just incredibly complicated, and will certainly take years to resolve.
ZAHN: Can you remember a -- a woman that so many were fighting over in life, and now so many people fighting over in death?
TOOBIN: It's really...
ZAHN: What a mess.
TOOBIN: ... kind of pitiful, yes.
ZAHN: Yes, it is. It's very sad.
ZAHN: Jeffrey Toobin, thanks.
Anna Nicole Smith's whole life has been one heck of a roller- coaster ride -- coming up next, a little bit of that ride, from the pages of "Playboy," to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Plus: a man who dated her; and the eerie and intentional similarities between Anna Nicole Smith and another blonde bombshell, Marilyn Monroe.
We will be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. JOSHUA PERPER, BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA, CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER: We are a society in which celebrities, when they die, their death raises a great deal of public interest, and -- and the media is interested, and the public is interested.
And we fully understand that. And we can make sure that our job is going to be done is total, that there are not going to be questions left.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this the most...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: That was the chief medical examiner for Broward County, Florida, where the autopsy on Smith's body will be performed tomorrow.
Anna Nicole Smith's death today, at the age of 39, is the final act of a life filled with the unexpected, even the unimaginable. Tonight, we're taking a close look at Smith's story.
Entertainment correspondent Sibila Vargas takes us through the life of a woman who went from struggling single mom to millionaire heiress and tabloid icon.
SIBILA VARGAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Anna Nicole Smith's improbable journey took her from small-town Texas to the heights of celebrity.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anna?
VARGAS: From the pages of "Playboy" magazine to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, it was a life story with more drama than any screenwriter could have ever dreamt up.
Smith first came to public attention in her early 20s as a Playboy model.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MAY 1993)
ANNA NICOLE SMITH, ENTERTAINER/MODEL: To have all this fame and fortune, it's just -- it is a Cinderella story, to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VARGAS: By that time, she was already a divorcee and the mother of a son, Daniel.
A contract as a Guess jeans model brought her further attention.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE NAKED GUN 33 1/3: THE FINAL INSULT) SMITH: What are you doing?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VARGAS: She also appeared in a handful of movies, including "The Naked Gun 33 1/3."
Her voluptuous figure and sparkling smile also brought her the attention of billionaire Texas oil man J. Howard Marshall. They married in 1994, when Smith was 26, and Marshall was 89.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: I want to tell my husband, J. Howard Marshall, that I love him very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VARGAS: Fourteen months later, he was dead.
A court battle ensued between Smith and Marshall's son, Pierce, over the $1.6 billion estate. In 2000, Smith was granted $449 million from the estate, but that judgment was later overturned. The case eventually went before the U.S. Supreme Court, which referred the matter to a lower court.
The case remained unsettled at the time of her death. The legal battle drained her bank account, prompting Smith to file for bankruptcy in 1999.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: Don't touch me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VARGAS: Smith's fortunes later improved with the debut of a reality show on the E! network.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE ANNA NICOLE SHOW")
SMITH: OK. So, we're all going to get a small pizza.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VARGAS: Her unorthodox behavior and reputation for disarming candor turned her into a TV star, with four million viewers catching the show's premiere.
Smith's battle with her weight was documented on the show. She later became a spokeswoman for the diet pill TrimSpa, showing off her slimmed-down figure on billboards.
TrimSpa and Smith were sued last week in Los Angeles Superior Court by plaintiffs who claim the product's marketing was false or misleading. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come this way.
VARGAS: The last year of Smith's life was full of legal drama and personal turmoil.
On September 7, 2006, she gave birth in the Bahamas to a daughter, Dannielynn. But, three days later, her 20-year-old son, Daniel, died mysteriously while visiting Smith in her hospital room. A pathologist later ruled he died as a result of a lethal mix of antidepressants and methadone.
With Smith mourning the loss of her son, at the question of who had fathered her newborn quickly became a legal issue. Smith and her lawyer and companion Howard K. Stern announced he was the father. But Smith's former boyfriend, Larry Birkhead, also claimed paternity.
At the time of her death, Smith was under court order to have her baby tested to determine the father's identity. With Smith now gone, that question of who fathered the baby and who might inherit any money from the Marshall estate only becomes more complex.
Sibila Vargas, CNN, Los Angeles.
ZAHN: And Sibila will join us in a minute or two.
First, though, let's bring in "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" host A.J. Hammer from Headline Prime.
Always good to see.
A.J. HAMMER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: You too, Paula.
ZAHN: Why was the public so fascinated with Anna Nicole Smith?
HAMMER: Well, for a lot of reasons.
But she was a beautiful woman. There's no question about it. She truly fit that bombshell description. But she was also a highly dysfunctional person. This is a woman who successfully took those 15 minutes of fame that began with the "Playboy" magazine spreads in the early 1990s, and turned it into 15 years.
And -- and, really, what I have been saying quite a bit is, despite the fact -- you know, Sibila mentioned, she had the Guess jeans campaign. She had the TrimSpa campaign. But she really was famous for the sake of being famous.
HAMMER: A lot of people today have been really struggling to say, well, why -- why was she famous? And she was a personality.
And, as we know, in this media age, sometimes, that's all it takes. And -- and she sort of was train-wreck TV. ZAHN: We, Sibila, were talking a little bit earlier on how she was considered by some to be the next Marilyn Monroe. And she certainly capitalized on the similarity in images. But there are some very sad parallels in both of their stories, too, isn't there?
I mean, you know, these two women sort of epitomized what Hollywood can do for a person. I mean, you can go as -- you know, as the sky. But it always seemed that there was a sadness about the both of them.
I mean, let's start with just the humble beginnings. I mean, they both come from poverty. They made it very big. But, you know, there was questions in Marilyn Monroe's life, as -- people that abused her when she was a child.
And, with Anna Nicole, Anna Nicole didn't even know who her dad was. So, that was very sad right there, just to begin, right off the bat. And, then, there were the early marriages. They both got married at a very young age. They ended up divorcing shortly afterwards.
Anna Nicole Smith, in her case, there was allegations of abuse. So, you know, even there, there was a sadness, a tragedy to it. They both changed their names. Of course, Norma Jean Mortenson came to be known as Marilyn Monroe. And Vickie Lynn Hogan came to be known as Anna Nicole Smith.
There are similarities and -- and also in -- in just the way they kind of came to fame, the fact that they both posed for "Playboy," and it was that pinup that -- that Marilyn Monroe, Norma Jean in that pinup, that made her skyrocket.
And the same happened with Anna Nicole Smith. She was -- she was discovered soon -- after Hugh Hefner discovered her in "Playboy," it was Paul Marciano, who was the chief executive of Guess magazine -- or Guess -- Guess jeans, which gave her her first big break.
And that's the first time I had ever seen her, was in these ads. And I saw the similarities, and how beautiful this woman was. And, then, after that, I mean, it's just -- you know, it was -- just history in the making. I mean, we have known so much about Anna and -- and -- and her life and her tragedy.
ZAHN: Of course, the -- the tragedy of Anna Nicole Smith's life compounded by the horrendous death of her son where, who happen to die in the same hospital room where he had come to visit his mom after she had given birth to this beautiful baby girl.
HAMMER: Yes, just...
ZAHN: And you could see in the interviews that she did since her son's death that she had been absolutely devastated by that loss. HAMMER: Oh, she was spiraling.
And -- and, of -- and, of course, she would. You know, I -- I remember, Paula, when she first broke the news of her pregnancy, the way she did it was on her Web site. She has this fan Web site, and she started to do -- to do a video Weblog where she would tape-record little appearances of herself and put them out there for everybody to see on the Internet.
And she talked about the fact that she was pregnant. Everybody started to follow that story. She moved down to the Bahamas to escape the media scrutiny, and she gives birth to Dannielynn on September 7.
Daniel, her son -- and -- not just her son, but her best friend, her confidant, and, really, the -- the man...
ZAHN: And business adviser at one point.
HAMMER: Well, the -- the man who has been in her life longer than any other man, more consistently than any other man -- they were so, so close. Three days after the birth of Dannielynn, he dies in that very hospital room -- and, obviously, just a devastating thing. And we saw that unfold and manifest in many ways.
ZAHN: And we're going to see that -- that spiraling down that you talked about, at least emotionally, with an except of an interview, one of the last ones, I think, we -- we saw her do before her death -- that coming up a little bit later on tonight.
Sibila, thank you, and A.J. as well.
Joining me now, someone who once dated Smith, Edward Lozzi, a publicist in Beverly Hills, California.
Thank you so much for being with us.
How did you meet Anna Nicole Smith?
EDWARD LOZZI, DATED ANNA NICOLE SMITH: Hi, Paula.
I -- I met Anna Nicole Smith years ago, when she was with Guess jeans with the Marcianos. But it was just a casual thing at -- at a -- at an event.
I really got to know her when she was a guest at Night of the 100 Stars Oscar party in Beverly Hills, which we do the press for. And it's Norby Walters, the agent's party.
And she was his guest. And she joined us three different times. And, on of them, I got to know her pretty well, and saw the incredible paparazzi surge that went flying at her early -- this was earlier on. This was back in the late '90s.
And she was just -- just a funny, funny girl, sense of humor that just would blow you away. She was nothing like she's perceived. She was dumb like a fox, if you know what I mean. She -- a lot of that was a -- was an act. She was very sharp and witty, with a lot of one- liners. And she gave us a thrill and all the press a thrill when she came and did the red carpets. And...
ZAHN: She seemed to have a lot of trouble over the years with alcohol and -- and, reportedly, drugs. Were you ever with her during one of those periods?
LOZZI: Well, meeting her at the Night of the 100 Stars, I -- I had the strength to ask her out on a date. I didn't think she would say yes.
LOZZI: And -- and we went out for dinner. And we went out a couple of times.
And the biggest problem I had with her is, she kept calling her son, or checking on baby-sitters and doing all of that about the son. She was always rational. She was in her thin, you know -- there was nothing more incredibly gorgeous. She was our Marilyn Monroe for our generation.
And like -- you know, kissing her was like kissing Marilyn Monroe. They have the same mouth. If you ever notice, if you look, you see photographs of her teeth and her lip structure, it -- they're just like Marilyn. It's just -- it's uncanny.
ZAHN: So, you commented...
LOZZI: But, no, there wasn't anything with the...
ZAHN: ... then on her being a very responsible mother. And, during the time you knew her, she -- she didn't seem to have a problem with any kind of substance abuse?
LOZZI: No, I got -- during that period of time, she was in rehab. And she was -- you know, she was cleansing out. She lost -- dropped a lot of weight. This was before she gained the big poundage, OK?
And, then -- then, she's -- then, she went back down, of course, with -- you know, in the -- in this last three years. But she's -- roller-coaster ride. And a lot of physicians and doctors will say that may have a lot to do with what happened.
But I think the tremendous amount of grief that she suffered with her son -- you know, grief can kill you. And I think it may have a lot to do with that. I mean, she just was a -- just -- just a really funny girl, because she could be also, you know, cantankerous and crabby and demanding. But I think that's what society threw on her.
ZAHN: Well, they certainly followed her every move. We really appreciate your joining us tonight, Edward Lozzi.
LOZZI: Glad to be here. Thanks, Paula.
ZAHN: Thank you.
The past couple of months were tumultuous and, as we have been talking about tonight, tragic for Anna Nicole Smith.
Coming up: her mental anguish. I will be joined by a psychiatrist who has talked with her family.
Also, the glitz and glamour of life on the front pages -- astonishing stories from the editor of "In Touch" magazine.
We will be right back.
ZAHN: And welcome back to our special coverage of the death of Anna Nicole Smith. My next guest is a psychiatrist who met with her relatives after the death of her son and he says they saw her change dramatically over the years. Dr. Keith Ablow of the "Dr. Keith Ablow Show" joins us now. Welcome back.
DR. KEITH ABLOW, PSYCHIATRIST: Thanks for having me.
ZAHN: Unfortunately under these circumstances. We saw an awful lot of erratic behavior by Anna Nicole Smith over the years. But I was stunned by one of the last interviews we saw her do just from late November. Let's watch it together and tell us what you read into what she's saying here. Let's watch now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNA NICOLE SMITH: We didn't do anything for Thanksgiving. How could I? He said, ma, this is -- every year Thanksgiving, mom, are you going to make candied yams and my mushrooms? I didn't hear that this year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: That was really difficult to watch. You could feel her pain.
ABLOW: Very difficult. You know what, this is someone who doesn't have -- if you thought of her as whether she has five ounces of blood to give over the loss of a child. She's anemic already in terms of her emotional reserves. This is somebody who didn't have a lot in the way of nurturance from a father or anything.
ZAHN: .. knew her father, yeah.
ABLOW: This is somebody who's mother on my show expressed the fact that if she had found her daughter under age with alcohol or marijuana as a cop, as a police officer, she would have arrested her and put her in jail, very strict rules. You don't get a warm fuzzy feeling there. And then you see her lurching from one relationship to another, looking for some kind of ballast, some kind of love, to convince herself that she's a worthwhile person. I'm not sure she ever found it.
ZAHN: You had the opportunity to talk with a couple members of her family after the loss of her son, Daniel. What did they have to say about her mental state and her physical state at that point?
ABLOW: Well, they were deeply concerned about her. They expressed incredible anxiety. They felt that she was using substances again. They felt that no good would come of this, that she was in danger. They didn't express any confidence in her partner in life at that point.
ZAHN: The partner in life is the one that she reportedly was married to, maybe.
ZAHN: Not sure in a legal sense, Howard K. Stern.
ABLOW: Howard K. Stern.
ZAHN: What didn't they trust about him or like about him?
ABLOW: They felt that he was manipulative and they also didn't feel that he was the father of her child. So what they said was they wanted her to come home and to be the old girl they knew. But you know what, I'm not sure they ever really knew that girl or that she ever felt at home. Can people die of a broken heart? All I can tell you is, I've worked with mothers who have lost their children. Particularly I've worked with mothers who've lost their sons.
ZAHN: And this is a mother who, as we said, spent more time with her son than any other relationship in her life. They were really close.
ABLOW: And she didn't have a lot else. And in the best of circumstances with mothers who have a lot of psychological reserves, in many other involved relationships, it can take a lifetime, if ever, to come to terms with the loss of a child. I don't think she had the emotional reserves to do that. I don't think that she had a foundation from which to sustain that kind of emotional injury.
ZAHN: We should make it clear an autopsy will be done tomorrow so no one is really too sure how she died. Reports of people saying she had spiked a fever, she had a private nurse on duty. all of that a big mystery tonight but it is so sad no matter how you look at this.
ABLOW: Terribly sad.
ZAHN: Dr. Ablow, thank you.
ABLOW: My pleasure.
ZAHN: Anna Nicole Smith was front page for years. Coming up next, a man who put her there over and over, again the editor of "In Touch" magazine. Also, Smith's memorable appearances on "Larry King Live," a revealing inside look from Larry himself. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Do you know why you put on weight? Do you know why yourself?
SMITH: Yes, I do
KING: Was it due to depression?
SMITH: It was the depression from reliving the trials from my husband, twice. That's why I got fat twice and nobody understands that. Nobody cares because they think I'm a gold digger. And it's not true. I love my husband and I had to relive that over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: A life filled with challenges and then of course today the sudden death of Anna Nicole Smith. That's our focus tonight. She died today after being found unconscious in a hotel room in Hollywood, Florida. She was just 39 years old. Joining me now, the editor of "In Touch" magazine. Tom O'Neil, thanks for joining us tonight Tom.
TOM O'NEIL, EDITOR, "IN TOUCH" MAGAZINE: Good to be here, Paula.
ZAHN: You have covered them all. Give us a sense of the kind of draw Anna Nicole Smith had over the years.
O'NEIL: She was, I think, the every woman in America. I think there was this strong identity and connection she had with the average American girl who almost had the money, who almost had the dream. She came from a little Texas town. She never became famous as a strong film star. Look at her movies, "Naked gun 33 1/3." She had genuine love with Howard Marshall, this billionaire, who by the way left audio tapes about how much he adored her. So there was no mystery that this was a real marriage. She even postponed the marriage all the way up until she had a certain amount of success so that she wouldn't be called a gold digger. I think the great tragedy today is that was still unresolved upon her own death.
ZAHN: That sounds like that fight could go on forever. It's not even clear if she had a will. The paternity of her daughter is being challenged. Talk a little bit about the kind of money she commanded for still pictures, for any video anybody could capture of her in an unguarded moment. She certainly performed off camera and on, didn't she?
O'NEIL: Yeah but she was always on camera though Paula. You can't draw a dollar sum to say that there was some secret sex tape with her because she was always a train wreck coming down the red carpet or even on stage. I remember one American music award, she was out there, just incoherent, so babbling people were shocked that they would let her out on stage in that condition. The only exclusive photos that were ever really worth anything were published by "In Touch" magazine. She gave us the pictures of her and the daughter and the last pictures of her and with the both of them and Daniel together in the hospital room. I don't really know what we paid for them but I was very touched that she felt this connection with "In Touch" that she made that arrangement. Part of it was her love of the magazine.
ZAHN: Talk to me a little bit about that incoherency, because that is something that can really alienate fans over a period of time, but that in many ways, almost seemed to make her more popular, especially on the Internet. People wanted to see those moments.
O'NEIL: Yes. And anybody who ever saw her E-Entertainment reality series will never forget how incoherent she always was. That's why this -- these autopsy reports that will come back now will be - because we're all waiting on those. Remember, methadone was found in the blood of her son. On March 27th, there will be an inquest in the Bahamas to determine whether or not it was a drug- related death. There were also of course antidepressants found in his system. Remember what Larry Birkhead, the ex-boyfriend is claiming, that the child, the little girl was born a methadone addict. That's his allegation and that's why he said he (INAUDIBLE) that girl away. So the allegation of course all goes back to mama and drugs and this incoherence. She was always swaying and babbling and she tossed it off and giggled it off. But part of the tragedy of this women who looked so great, inside was such a mess.
ZAHN: Tom O'Neil, thanks for sharing some of your memories of her with us tonight.
O'NEIL: Thanks a lot, Paula.
ZAHN: Coming up in just a minute, someone who has been asking Anna Nicole Smith some personal questions for years. That would be Larry King. And he joins me next. And a little bit later on, from Smith's own web site, to eBay auctions. The Internet keeps up with the breaking news with astonishing speed. We'll show you.
ZAHN: Welcome back to our special coverage of the death of Anna Nicole Smith. It has been about six hours since we learned about the death of Anna Nicole and ever since then, there has been nonstop activity all over the web. Let's check in with Internet reporter Jacki Schechner who joins us now to show us how much action there is out there. Jacki.
JACKI SCHECHNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi Paula. There is a lot of action online. EBay, the online auction site, no surprise that Anna Nicole Smith memorabilia is now selling like hot cakes. You can see, for example, a mint condition of a "Playboy" centerfold cover that she did. You can see right now it's listed at close to $500. There's headlines like this screaming, Anna Nicole Smith dead. Buy this, mint, hot. We did a little search of Anna Nicole and that brought up more than 1100 items right now, again, everything from "Playboy" covers, this only starting bid about $100 to a signed bobble head doll of hers, is priced again close to $500. The pricing really varies.
The very first thing we found that went online almost immediately after the news broke of her passing was a DVD of a movie she's in. This was actually put online from someone in Australia, that starting bid at just one cent. The most expensive thing we've managed to find on eBay so far is a domain name collection. What does that mean? Web addresses and this is priced at $150,000. My expert opinion tells you that's a little overpriced at this point especially if you take a look at some of the names. They're not really an excellent collection of names. You'd think that annanicolesmith.com would be the most obvious one. But they're trying to sell it for $150,000.
Another popular online portal today wikipedia.com, which is an online encyclopedia that anyone can get in and edit and when somebody notable passes away, people swarm to this site. It is truly updated almost immediately. We spoke to Jimmy Wales, the founder of the site and he says this not a surprise to him. This happens all the time. So what they do in response to this is they lock it down. They say it's about a recently deceased person and then they put a lock on it so that people can't get into it and not only post profanities and inappropriate comments which people often do because they frankly just think it's funny, but they don't want any speculation on the site. They want to keep it as honest and true to fact as possible. They'll open it back up in a couple of days. Paula.
ZAHN: What was it with Anna Nicole Smith's own site today? Was it up and running?
SCHECKNER: No. It was hard to get on that. We did some web traffic searches and basically people were hunting for news like crazy online. A hundred of the top news portals ended up with 4.5 million hits per minute. Her website went down. This is what it looked like. You can find archive pages online and if you scroll through it, it's very pink and pretty, very much like her personality. And if you go to it now, this is exactly what it looks like. We didn't make this up. It's just a white screen, Anna Nicole Smith, her date of birth and her date of passing. Paula.
ZAHN: Jacki Schechner. It's hard to believe there's that much action out there that quickly.
SCHECKNER: Very fast.
ZAHN: It shows you what a magnet she was for attention. Thanks.
Time now to shift our focus to biz break. The Dow lost 29 points today. The Nasdaq and the S&P were both down by almost two points. The number of workers applying for unemployment benefits increased by more than 300,000 last week, but analysts say that is in line with expectations.
Kodak says it will slash 3,000 more jobs this year, a total of 30,000 over three years as the company shifts from film to digital imaging. It cuts its workforce nearly in half.
Coming up next, Larry King's memories of Anna Nicole Smith. She's been on his show many times and has had some pretty outrageous conversations with him. What they reveal about her when we come back.
ZAHN: Over the years, Anna Nicole Smith has been a frequent guest on "Larry King Live" and he has some incredible memories of those visits. Larry is taking time out from getting ready for his own special hour to talk with now. Larry, thank you so much for dropping by. You probably more than anybody as an interviewer were exposed to the many different lives of Anna Nicole Smith. Did you ever know which Anna Nicole Smith was going to show up?
KING: You didn't. When Anna Nicole Smith was booked and I guess we've had her on seven or eight times, you didn't know who was going to come through the door, a skinny, beautiful Anna Nicole Smith, an overweight Anna Nicole Smith, a little tipsy Anna Nicole Smith, a delightfully funny Anna Nicole Smith, a very sad Anna Nicole Smith. She was so many people wrapped into one. One riotous night we had, was split screen. I was in LA. She was in New York and she may have been on something because she was just whacked and her answers were hysterical. And the following Saturday night, "Saturday Night Live" did it. And instead of parodying it, they had someone playing me, Drew Barrymore played her and they did the exact words we used. They didn't change anything. They used my questions and her answers as the skit, which you don't often see because a parody usually parodies something.
KING: But we're going to do a whole hour on it tonight. We have an exclusive, Donna Hogan, Anna Nicole's sister will be with us tonight leading off the show.
ZAHN: There are so many questions surrounding her death tonight. You're going to report on some of this too, Larry, just talking about how the autopsy is going to be done tomorrow. But clearly when you look at one of the last interviews she did, she seemed to be in one of those incoherent moods on "Entertainment Tonight." Have family members told you just how concerned they were about her mental and physical state after the loss of her son?
KING: I'll learn more tonight. I have not spoken with any family member other than the Howard Stern who said he married her right after he spoke with us, the day after her son died and announced that he was the father of the little girl. But I haven't spoken to him since then. I don't know. We'll find out from the sister and others tonight about what she was going through. Are there any guesses? Well, you can't guess about what she died of.
ZAHN: No, but there are reports by two attorneys now, including the man who claims to be her husband. We're never sure if that was legally sanctioned or not, saying that she had spiked a fever and of course she had a private nurse on duty. A lot of questions being asked about why it took seven minutes from the time apparently the nurse discovered her. I don't know if she was lifeless at that point or passed out to the time that police were actually notified. 9-1-1 wasn't even called immediately. So the nurse called the front desk. They called security. And it took seven minutes for the police to be notified. So no one really knows.
KING: Did you -- did the world know that she had gone from the Bahamas to Florida?
ZAHN: Yes, they did and apparently with quite a large contingent. I think one of our reporters said at the top of the hour said seven or eight, at least seven people were traveling with her. So that --
KING: You know, Paula, if this were fiction it would not be believed.
ZAHN: No, you got that right. Boy, the woman certainly had a lot of challenges and made a lot of her life given every curveball she was thrown. Larry, thanks.
KING: Thanks, Paula.
ZAHN: We're going to take a short break. We'll be right back.
ZAHN: (AUDIO GAP) Here's Randi Kaye.
There is a large number, close to two million seniors living in public housing in the United States and they are the most neglected group of people.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE) Bratos (ph) has taken on their cause through her Miami-based MIA Consulting. Her company runs assisted living programs as part of public housing in 17 states. This path began in the 1990s as she worked on senior issues for the state of Florida. Bratos discovered that for many low- income seniors who needed extra help, there was often only one option, a nursing home.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nursing homes have their place, but nursing homes are places for people who are sick. Your life is controlled. They tell you when to get up, when to go to sleep, when to eat, what to eat. You're in a room with five, six people. And that was the only option.
KAYE: So Bratos left state government after devising a new approach. Her buildings feature individual apartments with additional care as needed and the goal is to get others who manage public housing to follow this model.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Their mentality has been, we provide a roof. What happens under that roof is not our business. We are public housing administrator and convincing them that, yes, those individuals living under your roof on your responsibility. It has been overcome in some ways, but not entirely.
KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
ZAHN: And that wraps it up for all of us here tonight. Thanks so much for being with us. CNN's coverage of the death of Anna Nicole Smith will continue as "Larry King Live" gets under way at the top of the hour. Again, thanks so much for joining us tonight. We'll be back same time, same place tomorrow. Good night.
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