Return to Transcripts main page
CNN Larry King Live
The Death of Anna Nicole Smith
Aired February 08, 2007 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, Anna Nicole Smith dead at 39, after being found unconscious and unresponsive in her Florida hotel room.
Cause of death unknown -- a sudden shocking end to a turbulent life lived in the tabloids and touched by tragedy.
We'll get all the latest with Anna Nicole's family and friends.
Plus, what happens now to her baby daughter, Dannielynn?
We'll hear from the attorney for one of the men who says he's the father, next on LARRY KING LIVE.
It's been a sad day.
We begin on the phone exclusively with Donna Hogan.
Donna is Anna Nicole's sister.
How, Donna, did you get the news today?
DONNA HOGAN, ANNA NICOLE SMITH'S SISTER: Actually, I was tracked down by the media force and told. So that was really bad.
KING: Can you say you were totally shocked?
HOGAN: Yes and no. I mean yes, of course -- it's still shocking. It still has not hit me that this is really happening. But -- but not really shocked because of her lifestyle and everything. I mean, you know, I mean it's just something you don't wish to happen, but, you know, in the back of your mind you're knowing some day it might.
KING: Are you surmising then it was drug related?
HOGAN: That would be my first guess.
KING: When was the last time you talked with your sister?
HOGAN: Oh, god, you mean face-to-face or through the media?
HOGAN: Yes. It's -- it's been like 10 years. KING: Well, what caused this...
HOGAN: It's been a long time.
KING: I know you have a book coming out called "Train Wreck"...
KING: ... which is about your sister. It's a critical book, I guess.
Has that changed your mind? Are you going to add a chapter now because of this?
HOGAN: Well, I'm sure this absolutely puts, you know -- no. No, I'm not going to change it. I mean it was delay coming out. It's not like it was, you know, all negativity about it, you know? And it's about me and her and how our relationship was and how her life was.
KING: But Anna epitomized the small town girl from Texas who makes it to the big time.
Was there any, frankly, Donna, jealously?
HOGAN: Of jealously, between me and her?
HOGAN: No, not really. No. No. No, I mean there was no jealousy on toward that. I think at the beginning she was jealous because I had a daughter, you know, and that's what stirred up between us at the beginning.
KING: You mean just because you had a child and she didn't?
HOGAN: I had a little girl that -- that, of course, she, you know, she always wanted a little girl and finally at the end she did. And I -- it's so hard for me to talk about right now. It's just (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
KING: I understand.
When did the split start to occur? Was it as teenagers? What's the age difference?
HOGAN: I'm sorry, what was that?
KING: The age difference between the two of you?
HOGAN: Four years apart. She's four years older.
KING: She's four years older.
So did the rift begin when you were teenagers, later, when?
HOGAN: No, it was later. Later. Actually, she started separating herself between us whenever Howard died and Eve Pierce Marshall and her were battling Nat (ph) for the money. She was like -- she didn't want any family members to come in between her and the money she was battling for.
KING: So things were pretty bitter then?
HOGAN: Yes, it -- well, it wasn't bitter. It's just I think she was afraid that we would cause her the millions of dollars that she was fighting for.
KING: Did you know Daniel well, her son?
HOGAN: Well, I mean, like I said, it's been over 10 years, you know? And -- and so we missed the teen years and him being a young man. So I missed out on a lot of that. And that's why with Dannielynn, you know, I'm going to make sure that doesn't happen.
KING: Yes, what are you going to do?
All right, you've got a niece now.
HOGAN: Absolutely. It...
KING: She doesn't have a mother.
What are you going to do?
HOGAN: It's awful. Well, for one thing, I'm going to make sure Howard K. Stern does not raise her. I do not believe he is the father and I don't believe that he's capable of raising her.
KING: So are you going to go to court over this?
HOGAN: I'm hoping, you know, that we find the father. I'm hoping that Larry Birkhead gets a chance to prove if he's the father or not. And if he is, then I'll stand beside him on that. And if not, then -- then, yes, we need to step in.
KING: All right, what do you have against Mr. Stern?
HOGAN: Oh, don't even get me started on that man. I just -- I -- I don't have really good feelings about him right now and I'm trying -- I just want to control that right now because, first of all, I have two family members that have died in his life just recently. And it's like he just stood by and let it happen, you know?
That's the way I...
KING: You mean you partially...
HOGAN: I'm just really upset over this right now.
KING: ... you partially hold him responsible for both Anna Nicole and Danny?
HOGAN: I don't hold him completely responsible for it. Of course not. But I think if he loved them, he should have done something a little much -- more better. You know, he should have made sure something -- that just didn't happen.
KING: Well, how would you describe, Donna, your emotions tonight?
You've had this split, you've had this rift, you've been critical, you've been torn apart but your sister -- your sister died?
HOGAN: Exactly. It's -- it's like I said, it's just -- it's still not real to me. When I heard it at first that she collapsed and they didn't know, you know, and everything. And I thought oh, gosh, this is just going to be another media thing, you know? She's going to be OK and everything.
And I'm telling you right now, just my heart's beating fast and I'm just very upset. It's not real to me and right now my only focus right now is, is where is my niece at and who's taking care of her?
KING: Will you...
KING: Will you attend the funeral if they have one?
KING: What other family members are there?
There's you and who else?
HOGAN: There is her mother, Virgie, who, of course she's made it known that she didn't want her around until recently. But -- and her Aunt Elaine and Uncle Melvin. There's just very, kind, dear family members that really, really love them and, you know, and it's unfortunate that they didn't get to be in her life either so...
KING: A couple of more things, Donna.
In the days, the early days, when you got along...
KING: ... teens, let's say, what kind of kid was she?
HOGAN: Actually, she was in her early 20s when we got back and -- and she was just getting into the limelight and stuff. And I don't know, she was very lovable and caring and she was just completely different than the Anna Nicole that people saw years later.
KING: She was funny, too.
HOGAN: She was funny.
KING: Yes. HOGAN: She was funny. She was beautiful, of course. She's always been beautiful. She would always light up a room. She just -- she's just really, really going to be missed.
KING: Were you friendly when she was Playmate of the Year, Donna?
KING: When she was Playmate of the Year, were you friendly?
HOGAN: Yes. Yes. She was -- she was great. I was -- I was going to go to the Playmate and the party with her and -- but I was in another state and our dad and our brother went and everything. And I was going to go with her. And I saw her afterward and she was just -- just -- I don't know. She was just great.
KING: Thank you for giving us this time.
This wasn't easy.
We appreciate it, Donna.
HOGAN: Oh, thank you.
KING: Donna Hogan, Anna Nicole's sister.
A statement from "Playboy" founder Hugh Hefner: "I am very saddened to learn about Anna Nicole's passing. She was a dear friend who meant a great deal to the "Playboy" family and to me personally. My thoughts and prayers are with her friends and loved ones during this difficult time."
Throughout our hour tonight, we'll be looking back at some of the Anna Nicole appearances here on LARRY KING LIVE.
As we go to break, Anna Nicole, 2002, explaining her name change from Vickie Lynn.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "LARRY KING LIVE," MAY, 2002)
KING: The world knows her as Anna Nicole Smith.
That's not your given name, though, write?
Vickie Lynn Marshall is your -- is your -- that's the birth certificate, right?
NICOLE SMITH: No, that's my married name, actually.
KING: Oh, that's right.
Was Vickie Lynn your real name?
NICOLE SMITH: Vickie Lynn Hogan is my birth certificate name.
KING: Who changed it to Anna Nicole Smith?
NICOLE SMITH: That's my other married name. That's my first married name.
KING: Your first husband was named Smith...
NICOLE SMITH: Right.
KING: ... and your second husband was named Marshall?
NICOLE SMITH: Right.
KING: Where did Anna Nicole come from?
NICOLE SMITH: Anna Nicole came from Guess Jeans. Paul Marciano and me and one of his friends, we were coming up with a stage name and that's where that came from.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Joining us now on the phone is Debra Opri, the attorney for Larry Birkhead, who claims to be the father of Anna Nicole's daughter, Danielle Lynn Hope.
In Hollywood, Florida is John Zarrella, our famed CNN correspondent.
Also in Hollywood, Florida is Carlos Garcia, who witnessed the body being brought to the hospital.
Before we check in with Debra, in recent interviews on this program, let's watch both Howard Stern and Larry Birkhead claiming to be this baby's father.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "LARRY KING LIVE," SEPTEMBER 28, 2006)
KING: Is there no doubt that you're the father?
HOWARD K. STERN: I think based on the timing of it that there shouldn't be a doubt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "LARRY KING LIVE," JANUARY 28, 2006)
KING: Does she know you're the father?
LARRY BIRKHEAD: Sure.
KING: All right. Are you planning to be father and mother to this child? I mean are you discussing what our baby is going to be like? Did you know it was a girl?
BIRKHEAD: Yes. Yes, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: All right, Debra Opri on the phone. You're the attorney for Larry Birkhead.
First, how do you react to this news?
DEBRA OPRI, ATTORNEY FOR LARRY BIRKHEAD: We are devastated, Larry.
Larry Birkhead has been inconsolable today and much of the day was spent with him. And he has lost the mother of his child and he has lost the woman he loved very much.
KING: He was in love with her?
OPRI: He loved her very much, yes.
KING: Is he going to continue the battle for fatherhood of the child?
He is going to do what he needs to do.
There are reports out there that Larry Birkhead is going in on an emergency order tomorrow to take custody. That is not correct. Larry Birkhead is required by the DNA doctors we secured to take the test. They notified us that we had to take samples within 48 hours of her death and that we had to get a court order immediately. And on the instructions of the experts, we had to move in for a DNA order tomorrow morning.
OPRI: And we'll be going in for that.
KING: So her DNA will be taken tomorrow or you need the order issued?
OPRI: We need to order. We asked Ron Rail to stipulate to it. He refused and he went out and had a press conference, which I believe was in terribly poor taste. And the bottom line is I want the public to be aware of -- lawyers have their marching orders, too.
Larry has to do what the doctors say and I have to do what the doctors say. And if the doctors say go to get a court order, we will.
But Larry has had a very, very rough day and now all of us -- all of us have to show, you know, we have to show the compassion this woman was entitled to.
She had a -- a rough life. She had many troubles and she died too young. And Larry is so grief stricken -- he is so grief stricken and he -- he just -- his prayers are with her.
KING: John Zarrella, what's the mood down there in Hollywood?
Where is -- where is the body now?
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the body now has been taken to the Broward County Medical Examiner's office, the coroner's office. And some time tomorrow -- we don't have a time yet -- they will begin the autopsy on Anna Nicole Smith.
We may, Larry, have some preliminary findings by late in the day. No guarantee of that. A piece of news just coming into us, that CNN, you know, was told by police over at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino that they have finished with the room. They have cleared the room, Larry, and that, in fact, any evidence gathered in the hotel room where she was found has been removed.
So that's the latest -- Larry.
KING: And we also have this story just given to us by Debra Opri that she's going to seek an order tomorrow morning to take DNA from Anna Nicole Smith, to try to prove that Larry is the father.
What do you make of that?
ZARRELLA: I don't know how that works, Larry, the with autopsy going on and how that will all take place. I imagine that there is going to be some medical issues and perhaps some legal issues that will certainly arise from this. But I would suspect that -- they certainly can do it. Whether it will come post -- after the autopsy or prior to the beginning of the autopsy, I don't know how that will go down.
KING: Carlos Garcia, you witnessed the body being brought to the hospital.
Where were you, Carlos?
CARLOS GARCIA, WITNESSED SMITH'S BODY BEING BROUGHT TO HOSPITAL: I was standing right behind me, a few steps, while the ambulance was coming in. I didn't know it was Nicole -- Anna Nicole Smith. But I noticed that there were a lot of security, cops, and a lot of personnel from the hospital standing there awaiting for that ambulance.
When I saw it approach, I saw this only one man with a camera. He was the only one that was out here. And I still didn't know it was her, but I figured it was someone famous. And he was the only one taking films of her while in the ambulance.
As they opened the ambulance, I saw the young lady with curls -- with her blond hair and -- but as they brought her out, they covered her up. So I don't know if they covered her because she was gone or they covered her just to not expose her to anyone that was outside.
KING: But you saw the blond hair?
KING: Who later told you who it was?
GARCIA: Well, what happened, when I went back inside -- because my brother is inside. They were operating on him. So when I went inside and I sat in the waiting room, I saw the news. And then they said Anna Nicole Smith was brought into Memorial. And I said oh, I guess it was her.
Then I came back down and that's when I started seeing the media.
Thank you, Carlos.
Debra, will it be involved if you get the court order? Will it be after the autopsy or before or how do they do it?
OPRI: Well, if they're going to do the autopsy early tomorrow morning, I guess we'll have to get in line and wait our turn, unfortunately. But it is our desire to put this matter to rest once and for all, and to determine who has the biological right to that little child, because she is of the utmost concern right now.
KING: You're not kidding.
OPRI: And we want Anna's soul to rest in peace. I hope she's finally found the peace she wanted so badly.
KING: Thanks, Debra.
Debra Opri, John Zarrella, Carlos Garcia.
As we go to break, another clip from Anna Nicole's 2002 appearance here at this desk.
She talked about how she got her big break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "LARRY KING LIVE," MAY, 2002)
KING: You had a tough background, didn't you?
NICOLE SMITH: Uh...
KING: You were raised in a -- your parents divorced shortly after you were born. You never went beyond the eighth grade. It was a tough childhood.
NICOLE SMITH: Well, I had a time, a tough time.
KING: In Texas?
NICOLE SMITH: In Texas.
KING: How were you discovered? How did Guess Jeans find you?
NICOLE SMITH: There was an ad in the paper for "Playboy's" Playmates and I went to the ad and took some pictures and "Playboy" called me and flew me to Los Angeles. And I was on the March cover of 1992.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "LARRY KING LIVE," MAY 2002)
KING: Is Marilyn Monroe your idol?
NICOLE SMITH: Yes, she is.
NICOLE SMITH: I don't know, I just feel a connection there with her. I just, I don't know. I just love her.
KING: You feel the sadness of her life, too?
NICOLE SMITH: Yes, I do. I just -- I just completely feel what she went through.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
KING: Joining us now in Syracuse, New York is Penny Genovese. Anna was the maid of honor at her wedding.
In New York is John James, a close friend of Anna, co-produced her latest movie, visited her in the Bahamas several times.
Joanie Laurer is here with us in L.A. She's also known as "China." She starred with Anna Nicole in her last movie, "Illegal Aliens," which goes into release on DVD at the end of the month.
And in New York is Monique Goen, the close friend of Anna and wife of TrimSpa's CEO. Her husband has been on this program quite a few times.
Penny, how -- how did you learn of your friend's death?
PENNY GENOVESE, SMITH'S FRIEND: Well, my brother-in-law called me. At first I thought it was a joke -- not a very funny one. And I went right on the computer right away and that verified it.
KING: She was maid of honor at your wedding.
How far does the -- how far back does the friendship go?
GENOVESE: Well, that was the first time I actually had met her. I was one of the finalists in a TrimSpa weight loss challenge and I had contacted somebody through TrimSpa to see if I could renew my vows, if they could set me up with somebody in Florida, where I was going to be going, and, you know, just like a priest or a minister or somebody.
And they ended up flying her in to stand in as my maid of honor.
GENOVESE: She took time out of her personal life to do that, which just goes to show what kind of a person she was.
KING: Did you become friendly with her after?
GENOVESE: Yes. I'm getting goose bumps just thinking about it. Yes. It was just -- I still can't -- I'm numb. I still can't believe it.
KING: John James, close friend, co-produced her movie, visited her in the Bahamas.
How did you learn about it?
JOHN JAMES, CLOSE FRIEND, CO-PRODUCED HER LATEST MOVIE: The media called me on my cell phone this afternoon.
KING: Well, it goes without saying it was a total shock?
JAMES: I thought they were -- I just couldn't believe it. I still can't. I feel like the floor has been pulled out from under me.
KING: When was the last time you saw her?
JAMES: The last time I saw her was shortly after Daniel's death in the Bahamas. And I spoke to her about 10 days ago.
KING: When you spoke to her, did she seem in -- based on just the conversation -- in fairly good health?
JAMES: I can't -- she -- I don't know about her health, but I asked her -- she was in Florida and -- there for either a wrestling match or something.
And I said, "Well, did you have a good time, pumpkin?"
And she said, "No, I didn't. I couldn't leave the hotel room. So I just stayed here in the hotel room by myself while everybody else had fun."
So I was trying to cheer her up. And you could see that she was just feeling, you know, just this pressure from the outside world.
KING: Despondent, would you say?
JAMES: No. I just -- well, yes, I guess. I don't know. Just confused.
KING: China, you're having a rough time with this.
JOANIE LAURER, COSTARRED WITH SMITH IN HER LATEST MOVIE, "ILLEGAL ALIENS": I totally saw that coming. I feel that...
KING: You saw it coming?
LAURER: Well, from my perspective.
LAURER: Meaning, I mean, I just -- everybody's so sad now, trying to -- this little woman has been ridiculed from a joke. People have taken advantage of her, you know.
You start to go why -- why are you doing this, you know?
I've had those feelings -- last night, I got in a huge fight with my friends -- I thought were friends. I keep going back and...
KING: Over what?
LAURER: ... you know, you never know who's your friend and...
KING: A fight over what?
LAURER: I just...
KING: It was a...
LAURER: ... it's hard for people to relate that when you're dealing with public scrutiny nonstop, the -- you know, everybody is watching you, everybody is looking at you, and everything is usually toward the negative. And she's done, you know, reality shows and I've done -- I've done them, too. And I've been involved in last night and...
KING: So you feel she got a raw deal?
LAURER: I feel that.
LAURER: I feel when they talk about -- when she talks about her feelings, that they're the same exact as mine.
KING: Monique Goen in New York, a close friend of Anna, wife of TrimSpa CEO.
How is your husband taking this, Monique?
MONIQUE GOEN, SMITH'S CLOSE FRIEND, WIFE OF TRIMSPA CEO ALEX GOEN: He's devastated. He is on a business trip in Spain and he's getting flown in to come as soon as possible. But he's totally devastated.
KING: Do you buy what China is saying that... GOEN: Not at all...
KING: ... I mean the ways Anna -- you don't agree?
GOEN: Not at all, Larry. I just was in the Bahamas visiting with Anna three weeks ago -- myself, John James. We're close friends of Anna. And when I asked her about Joanie Laurer, her name, China, if she was friends with her, she said not at all. And it seems to me that China keeps putting everything back on her and trying to put himself in the limelight.
But the pure fact is we loved her as a family member. We never, you know, we were always there for her, whether through thick and thin. And for people to all of a sudden come out of the woodwork like they know so much about her is just -- it's actually funny to me.
KING: But does she have a point when she says that people made fun of Anna Nicole...
GOEN: Yes. I mean people made fun...
KING: ... they didn't treat her well enough?
GOEN: ... of her. People made fun of her and they loved her. It was love and hate with Anna. I mean she had so many fans and she loved her fans. She was -- but, you know, it was a love and hate thing.
But Anna was in her -- she just had a big heart...
LAURER: That's making me very angry.
KING: Well, you'll get a chance to answer that anger...
GOEN: She just had a big heart.
KING: ... because Monique will remain, Joanie will be returning.
When we come back, we're going to talk to Dr. Cyril Wecht, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Eric Brunstad, the Marshall family attorney, her former husband.
And then we'll come back with this panel and others. And China will get a chance to respond.
We're discussing the passing of Anna Nicole Smith.
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "LARRY KING LIVE," MAY 2002)
KING: She's a living soap opera how, Howard?
STERN: She really is. She's just, you know, everything in her life, the small issues get compounded...
NICOLE SMITH: It's like every...
STERN: ... into big issues.
KING: Things happen to her?
STERN: Oh, yes.
NICOLE SMITH: ... every single day something happens to me. It's true.
Do you think there's sort of like a cloud...
NICOLE SMITH: Yes.
KING: ... that hangs over you?
NICOLE SMITH: A dark one.
KING: A dark one?
NICOLE SMITH: A very -- yes.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
KING: Our panel will return. But now we welcome from Pittsburgh Dr. Cyril Wecht, the world-renowned forensic pathologist, performed the autopsy -- autopsy on Anna's son Daniel; in Atlanta, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the CNN medical correspondent and certified medical investigator; and we'll talk later in Hartford, Connecticut with Eric Brunstad. He's the Marshall family attorney.
All right, Dr. Wecht, you performed the autopsy on Daniel. Daniel died of what?
DR. CYRIL WECHT, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Combined drug toxicity, Larry, methadone and two anti-depressants.
KING: What will happen tomorrow -- without being too medical -- with the body of Anna Nicole Smith? What will happen tomorrow morning?
WECHT: A complete postmortem examination, the collection of body fluids and tissues for toxicological analyses, pieces of organs will be taken to be submitted for preparation of microscopic slides. They'll be examined then next week. Toxicological analyses will be reported, some perhaps as early as the beginning of next week. Others will take longer. The pathologist may find something dramatic tomorrow, such as a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot to the lungs. She did have a C-section some months ago. Some of these blood clots emanate in the pelvic region, especially if the uterus is enlarged. She could have had a fulminant pneumonia... she could have had a viral... KING: When do we hear the full story?
WECHT: The full story I predict you will not know until -- one to two weeks. Probably if it goes into toxicological analyses, I predict you won't be told the final story until at the earliest, the end of next week.
KING: If they get a court order to get DNA, will that be simple, taking some hair?
WECHT: That's very simple. That's nothing. That's just -- well, no, you wouldn't bother with hair then. That's for mitochondrial DNA. You want tissue, bone marrow, whatever. So that's a simple thing. Yes, no problem at all.
KING: So Dr. Gupta, Sanjay Gupta, you wouldn't expect much of a story tomorrow, would you?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: No, unless there was something just extremely out of the ordinary, unless she had some significant problem with the heart that was a genetic problem maybe and for the first time it declared itself today. That's why she died. Or, as Dr. Wecht mentioned, these blood clots can be very serious, Larry. I know you've talked about these before. If they find the blood clot in her lungs tomorrow, they might talk about that. But I think it might be at least a little bit of time before we hear anything more definitive. And keep in mind we might not hear anything definitive. The final answer may be, "We're not absolutely sure."
KING: With her life the way it was, most assume some kind of drug problem. Would that be found quickly if that were the cause?
GUPTA: Well it depends in part on what it was. Typically that happens in this sort of situation, as Dr. Wecht mentioned, you take all the blood samples that give you an indication of what substances were in her body and her blood at the time of her death. And some of these things are pretty easily screened for you. You get results back fairly quickly. Some will take a little bit longer. Sometimes they want to double check things, you know, to have a couple of results that confirm the first findings. But, yes, within a few days you get that back as well, Larry.
KING: Dr. Wecht, when you did the autopsy of Daniel, did you meet with Anna Nicole?
WECHT: Very fleetingly. She had just come back from the hospital, the C-section, and she was quite distraught, obviously, the death of her son. I was at the house. I spent some time there meeting with Howard Stern and the attorneys and just a very casual passing with her.
And subsequently, Larry, in the past few months, I've had frequent contacts by phone, e-mail and letter with Mr. Stern and with the attorneys. I anticipated and still do expect possibly to be testifying in the inquest. I think, by the way, that they'll probably still proceed with that inquest, despite by Anna Nicole's death. KING: Into Daniel's death, you mean?
WECHT: I beg your pardon, into Daniel's death. Anna Nicole's death will not be a factor for them to consider.
KING: Eric Brunstad, the Marshall family attorney, before I ask you a question, Eric, when Anna Nicole was on our show in that 2002 interview, we asked her about her marriage to your -- to J. Howard Marshall.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Would you say you loved him?
ANNA NICOLE SMITH, DECEASED: I loved him very much.
KING: Without being in love, right? I mean, you weren't physically...
SMITH: I wasn't physically, "Oh, my God, you hot, hot body," you know, like that. It was just -- I loved him for so much of what he did for me and my son. I mean, I just loved him -- I've never had love like that before. No one has ever loved me and done things for me and respected me and didn't care about what people said about me. I mean, he truly loved me. And I loved him for it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Eric what is the state of the estate now with regard -- now that we have this death?
ERIC BRUNSTAD, ATTY. FOR FAMILY OF SMITH'S LATE HUSBAND J. HOWARD MARSHALL: Well, the case remains pending in the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco. J. Howard's estate, those proceedings were terminated long ago in the Texas Probate proceedings. What we have pending in the federal court in California is her various claims.
KING: And now that would be on behalf of the daughter?
BRUNSTAD: I assume so. This is a big tragedy. This came as a big shock to everybody. And the Marshall family extends its deepest condolences to Anna Nicole Smith and her family.
KING: Are you taking the opposite view that the family -- the Nicole Smith family is not entitled to money?
BRUNSTAD: Well, our view always has been in the litigation is that J. Howard gave her about $8 million worth of property and that's what he intended to give her. And that's what he wrote about in his estate plan. And the Marshall family has only been interested in making sure that J. Howard's wishes were fulfilled. J. Howard loved her. And he provided for her with that about $8 million that he gave her. But he was clear that that's all he intended to give her. And so the Marshall family has been prying to honor J. Howard's wishes.
KING: Thank you. Thank you, Eric, for clearing that up.
Sanjay Gupta, do you expect a clear verdict or you can't predict it?
GUPTA: I think so. I think that within a couple of weeks there's going to be some answer as to what happened here. Whether it was a toxicology overdose type situation or whether it was something that she had a primary problem with her heart.
Remember, she -- there's also this question of a fever that she's been having, flu-like symptoms. Sometimes people can get an infection of the lining of the heart, as well. That can cause some problems. She had this nurse with her, Larry. Had she been sick for a few days? I don't know. I think some of those details will get cleared up.
KING: Thank you, Dr. Cyril Wecht, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Eric Brunstad. Back with the former Chyna of pro wrestling and the rest of our panel of Anna Nicole's friends and colleagues.
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: I grew up poor. I had no money. My family was poor. There's things I wanted to do and couldn't. I was an abused wife. Just -- there's tons of things that I couldn't even mention. And for me to come up and to have all of this fame and fortune, it's just -- it is a Cinderella story to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: The death of Anna Nicole Smith, that's the No. 1 story around the world tonight. Our panel returns, and we're joined by Larry Sutton, the editor of "People" magazine. Larry is in New York. How did you learn of this, Larry?
LARRY SUTTON, EDITOR, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Just like a lot of the rest of America, watching cable television. They broke the news first. And once we heard that what was going on down in Florida, we immediately dispatched our reporters down there, and we're updating our Web site on people.com with the latest every minute.
KING: "People" comes out, when, Friday?
SUTTON: We went to the printing press Tuesday night, and unfortunately this happened after that. So we're getting the news out on our Web site and we'll have a full story next week in the following week's issue.
KING: You covered her a lot.
SUTTON: I covered her a lot. Yes, I went to a lot of press conferences. I wouldn't say -- I wouldn't call myself close to her at all, but enough to say that what you saw when you saw Anna Nicole Smith was -- she wasn't putting on an act. She was someone who spoke maybe a little softly, a little slowly. She had a great sense of humor, and she was fully aware of what she had to do to sell herself as a personality.
The thing that strikes me most about her is she knew what she wanted. She wanted to become a model, she wanted to become someone who was famous, partly for being famous, but also she liked to work. She liked to do modeling work.
KING: Journalistically, Larry, why was she a story?
SUTTON: She was a -- well, she is a story now because anytime anyone who is a celebrity who dies, at such a young age, that's a story. People want to know what happened.
KING: I don't mean now. I mean...
SUTTON: Before then, why was she a story? Because of her background. She came from nothing, really. She made something of herself. The unusual circumstances of her marriage to a man much, much older than her and much, much wealthier than her. Her subsequent posing for "Playboy." She has had a really wild life there, and people are interested in things like that.
KING: China, you want to respond to what Monique said, that you were not a friend of Anna Nicole's, and that they take umbrage that you go around saying you were.
LAURER: I'm shocked, because that wasn't the point. The point was I didn't speak to Anna a whole lot afterwards because -- I tried to, but she wouldn't return -- she didn't want to.
KING: Didn't want to be a friend of yours?
LAURER: I don't think it's that she didn't want to be a friend of mine, I think it is just that you want to be alone. You know, it is -- you kind of don't want to go out or -- she asked me many times, come over to the -- to go over and hang out at the pool with her. And then at those times, I didn't want to go out.
First of all, I think it's so extremely rude what that woman just said, because this is not about me getting publicity. I get my own, and that's exactly what I was talking about.
LAURER: ... get some TrimSpa, exactly what I'm talking about.
KING: Monique, is that what you think she's looking for, Monique?
GOEN: Well, when I was at Daniel's -- and my husband was at Daniel's funeral, I asked her, why isn't there any family members? What about your friends? And I remember China being on your show when Daniel just died. And as far as I'm concerned, taking some low shots about -- right away she went to all these allegations, like she knew all this stuff about Anna. But yet when I talked to Anna, she said that she kind of was like a stalker and she would call her and Anna didn't want to return her calls. So for someone to make claims like they know something about someone when they haven't even spoken to them for a while, I just...
LAURER: Well, why is this about me and (inaudible)?
KING: Just for credentials, that's all. But we'll get off that now. We want to go back to Anna Nicole.
KING: John James, would she have gone on to bigger things?
JAMES: Yes. I do. I think that her work in this movie -- she was making fun of herself, she was trying to -- she said to me, I want to do -- I want to do a monster movie. I want to do an alien movie. You know, she was looking at -- she came to -- Howard and her came to us back in 2005. They were looking for something to do, something to reinvigorate her career. And it just seems that after the Supreme Court announced that they would hear her case in September of 2005, it has just been a whirlwind with Anna, and it has just been one thing after another. And it has just been amazing this past year, what we have gone through with her.
And I think that what we're talking about here tonight is I know Anna because of being able to work with her on this movie, and my relationship with her as a business partner in this movie -- she invested in it, and as an actress -- and I became very, very close with her. The way she dealt with my kids, my family, when she was on the set, she was there for the fans, she never turned anybody down who wanted an autograph. And...
KING: Let me get -- hold it right there, John. I got to get a break and then we'll come back with lots more. Maybe we'll include a phone call or two if you want to get in.
Speaking of getting in, let's get in with Anderson Cooper. He will host "AC 360" at the top of the hour. He's in New Orleans tonight. Anderson, what's up?
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, Larry, we have come to New Orleans because a murder wave has gripped this city. Nearly brought about a lot of concern about the future of this city. Twenty murders so far this year, 20 murders. It's the highest murder rate in the country. We're going to take you through a 24-hour cycle and show you how the criminals, the cops and the citizens here are all fighting for this city.
We'll also be following the sudden and tragic death, as you are, of Anna Nicole Smith and talk to some of her friends who knew her best, and with our Jeffrey Toobin about where millions of dollars she might be fighting for might end up now, plus what happens to her newborn baby. All that and more, Larry, at the top of the hour.
KING: That's Anderson Cooper at 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific, and we'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We'll pull the camera back a little. Stand up and let's see how you look. Let's pull the camera back a little.
SMITH: All right.
KING: Not bad. You're going to do a walk?
Are you all done -- are you all done losing?
SMITH: I'm very done losing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Everyone assumes that someone like you, who looks like you, is never alone.
SMITH: Are you kidding me?
KING: Never without...
SMITH: I have been alone since my husband died.
KING: Never without suitors, never without men chasing?
SMITH: I stay in my home. So, I mean, I don't go out.
KING: You don't date?
SMITH: I don't date. It's hard to date when you're at home. Because nobody knows you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Penny Genovese, she was maid of honor at your wedding. Do you have a lot of pictures?
GENOVESE: I have a lot of great pictures. I have a lot of great memories. And she changed my life along with many other people. Many other people. About two years ago, I was about 120 pounds heavier.
GENOVESE: Yes. And I saw her commercial, and she inspired me. Yes, she changed my whole entire life. I mean, I have memories I'll never forget. She's an amazing person. And you know, the tabloids were so negative. Never focused on, you know, like she had said in the interview, they never focussed on where she came, and you know, she made a name for herself. She made Anna Nicole.
KING: Was "People" rough on her, Larry?
SUTTON: Rough on her? We reported when she had her troubles. But we also reported, you know, the big moments in her life, when she was one of America's great models. When she had that reality show that was just going gangbusters, we did some very nice stories on her.
KING: John James, there were some reports that the movie may be pulled now. Any truth to that?
JAMES: We -- well, we were going to have a test screening this weekend, Saturday night, first one, public audience. Obviously, that's canceled. Right now we're just shocked. And just going to have to wait and see. We're not going to do anything right now.
KING: Any truth, Monique, about a class action lawsuit about deceptive practices against your company that also included Anna Nicole?
GOEN: You know, Larry, I don't know the legal parts of it. I'm just the wife. And I just know Anna as our dear friend. We miss her. We love her. As far as her, you know, I'm not even thinking about her part as a spokesperson. I'm just thinking about trying to get beyond just losing a loved one.
KING: How important was she for your company?
GOEN: Well, I mean, Anna speaks volumes. But I can't think beyond just the tragic loss of her. And right now I'm not even thinking about the company, to be quite honest.
KING: Bad break, China, if they pull the movie for a while. You're in the movie.
LAURER: The whole thing is a bad break. That's true, yes. It was very -- it was supposed to be a very exciting time. And, you know, this is not about -- you know, I'm trying to give insight of how maybe I think that Anna felt. And it is hard. It is things like the movie, which makes it sad, is that things like the movie, I was out promoting the movie when I heard this. And it was so sad because this is such an exciting thing.
KING: Would have been important for her.
LAURER: It would have been important for her, because it -- it makes you feel good when you're feeling lonely or when you have those feelings, and you accomplish something and get through it, and it's done and people believe in you and they get you through that. And I was there with her and it's hard. It is just hard. Makes you feel good when you finally get there.
KING: As we go to break, more from one of Anna Nicole's LARRY KING LIVE appearances. In this clip, she talks about dealing with addiction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: There were reports that you were addicted, you were in rehab.
SMITH: Right. True. But they say I was in there for drugs. I was in there for painkillers.
KING: You took what -- you got addicted to prescription painkillers?
SMITH: I got addicted to pain pills and also alcohol, when my husband was dying and when he died.
KING: Where were you treated?
SMITH: I called and put my own self into Betty Ford. And got my own self well. But, no, did I get any pity from anyone? No.
KING: Did Betty Ford work, those 28 days?
SMITH: It worked. They got me off everything. It was hard. I hated it. I'll never go back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back. Larry Sutton, was Howard Stern good or bad for Anna Nicole?
SUTTON: Well, in some ways, I think good. He sort of set her life on a new path, got her straightened out as far as her helping her with her business career, with the TrimSpa folks. Overall, I think he was a good influence.
KING: And John James, what do you make of the other boyfriend, Larry?
JAMES: I can't really comment on that.
KING: You think he has a case?
JAMES: I don't know. I can't comment on that. I don't know.
KING: Larry, when you play -- when you're -- you're obviously in publication already for tomorrow, so you're going to be a week late. You have to look for what, different angles?
SUTTON: Oh, absolutely different angles. We'll find out things that -- already we have gotten some details about where her child is at the moment, who is taking care of her. Some of this will become news within the next day or two and you'll read it on our Web site. Some of the details we'll be collecting you won't find out until the following week. And there will be so much more information over the next few days that we'll be gathering. So you'll have a great story next week.
KING: Monique, have you learned anything at all about a funeral, where? GOEN: No. When we tried to contact Howard, he was just so devastated. Actually, I'm in the process of trying to contact her bodyguard Mo and maybe I'll be able to talk to him. But right now, it is just trying to get in contact with people that can't actually speak on the phone because they're just so devastated.
KING: China, have you tried to reach anyone?
LAURER: I just -- I just found out.
KING: I know. But have you tried to reach anyone connected with her that you may know or be friends with?
LAURER: Actually, I was -- I was called -- I was called by another producer. And it was weird, because I was getting ready to go do some promotion...
KING: No, I mean, have you called anyone...
LAURER: I have not called...
KING: That's all I asked. I didn't ask who called you, I asked...
LAURER: I have not called.
KING: ... who you may have called.
Penny, would you -- if we learn of a funeral, would you go?
GENOVESE: Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, through all this, I just hope that her memory lives on with her daughter, you know, she'd live for her daughter. She was all about her, so this whole thing, whatever happens with her, that they continue on with her name, and she knows all about her mother and where she came and where she ended up as far as making something for herself.
KING: Larry, this story will have a lot of legs, won't it?
SUTTON: Oh, absolutely. You know, again, anytime a young, glamorous, beautiful person dies from causes that you really couldn't foresee that well, that's a big story. People want to read her life story from start to finish now.
KING: Thank you, all, very much. We'll be doing lots of it around the clock on CNN.
Let's head down to New Orleans. An incredible story about the murder rate in New Orleans, with Anderson Cooper and "360" -- Anderson.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.voxant.com