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CNN Larry King Live

The Funeral of Anna Nicole Smith

Aired March 02, 2007 - 21:00   ET


RICHARD MILSTEIN, GUARDIAN AD LITEM FOR DANNIELYNN SMITH: If one were to write a Greek tragedy, one could not write a script as sorrowful as this.


LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, Anna Nicole Smith is finally buried in the Bahamas today, next to her blvd son Daniel, after three weeks of legal drama that continued even today, as her mom delayed the funeral with a last minute legal move and then still showed up.

And the father of Anna's dead son wants Daniel exhumed and brought to Texas. Now, firsthand details on Anna Nicole's final farewell from her long time friends who were there, inside the church and at the graveside burial, including the friend and designer who created her burial dress and rhinestone studded casket cover.

Plus, Anna Nicole's nanny taking care of baby Dannielynn during the paternity battle that's still being fought.

All next on LARRY KING LIVE.

In what seems like forever, Anna Nicole Smith has been finally been laid to rest.

Joining us all in Nassau, the Bahamas, Patrick Simpson, the close personal friend of Anna. He has been helping Howard K. Stern in the aftermath of Anna Nicole's death, including coordinating today's funeral arrangements.

Pol Atteu is Anna Nicole's close friend and personal designer. He created the pink cover for her coffin and the dress in which she was laid to rest.

He and Patrick, better way, are life partners.

And their daughter is Shelby Simpson. Anna Nicole was a mother for her, by the way, and she sang at Daniel's funeral.

Patrick, what was it like?

PATRICK SIMPSON, ANNA NICOLE'S CLOSE PERSONAL FRIEND: There was an absolutely touching -- touching event. It was a true Anna Nicole style in every way, shape and form, larger than life. People came out on the street and cheered as the cars drove by. It was just -- it was beautiful.

KING: Pol, would you describe what you designed?

POL ATTEU, ANNA NICOLE'S CLOSE FRIEND, DESIGNED HER BURIAL DRESS & COFFIN COVER: When it came to the casket cover, Larry, it was a last minute thing. I flew back to L.A. just to be able to do that. I had a few hours between when I had to catch a flight again. I picked up our daughter and -- because she wanted to be present at the burial.

And put what I thought inspired me and what I knew of what Anna Nicole stood for, which was elegance, glamour and just beauty. And her favorite color, of course, being pink.

KING: Shelby, what was it like...

P. SIMPSON: Everything was pink.

KING: Shelby Simpson, what was it like for you today?

SHELBY SIMPSON, PATRICK SIMPSON'S DAUGHTER: It was hectic. It was a lot to do with.

KING: Were you asked to sing today, Shelby?

S. SIMPSON: No, because I -- well, they originally wanted me to possibly sing, but I didn't think I'd be able to stay composed enough to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) it out.

ATTEU: It was very trying for her, Larry, when she sang for Daniel. And we weren't sure if we were able to kind of do the same thing again. Under the circumstances, it not being such immediate family altogether versus all of the commotion that was going on with the custody battle and bringing the body here and everything else, we thought that it's probably not going to be appropriate for her to be able to do so.

P. SIMPSON: There were too many tears. I just don't think there was any way she could have gotten through a song.

KING: Yes.

P. SIMPSON: I think I've cried more than ever today.

KING: Patrick, were there any thoughts about an open casket?

P. SIMPSON: No. I think that we all just wanted to remember Anna, the most beautiful, larger than life person that she was. And we didn't need to see her in -- in the casket.

ATTEU: But I know...

P. SIMPSON: We knew she was going to be beautiful.

ATTEU: But we all know, Larry, that she was beautiful. And they told us that she looked peaceful, she looked amazingly beautiful with her gown, with her tiara and Howard Marshall beside her, knowing that she was going there to be with Daniel.

KING: What was it like, Patrick, inside the church?

P. SIMPSON: It was beautiful. There were flowers everywhere. It was so elegant. It was -- lots of pink, but very, very elegant. There wasn't a dry eye in -- in the church. I cried from the moment I got in the car and from the moment -- I mean I have -- I still haven't stopped crying. I think everybody cried.

The singers were wonderful. The preacher was wonderful. Howard's eulogy was amazing.

ATTEU: It was to the point and very truthful and very honest, from the heart.

P. SIMPSON: You know, it's like...

KING: Paul, what would...

P. SIMPSON: ... we all said Anna always did it her way and she did it her way today, too.

KING: Paul, would you describe, briefly, the dress?

ATTEU: The dress I made her was reminiscent of her -- the dress I put together for her wedding. And, you know, Larry, that she was going to be getting married, as well.

So it was hand beaded French Alonson lace with re-embroidered gold trimming with seed pony (ph) Swarovski crystals all over.

KING: We have an e-mail question from...

ATTEU: So it was quite the fairy tale (ph).

KING: We have an e-mail question from Linda in Burnaby, British Columbia: "It's been reported that Anna Nicole didn't want a tombstone on Daniel's grave. Is there going to be a marker for her grave? And, if so, can you describe it, Patrick?"

P. SIMPSON: Yes, I believe there is going to be a beautiful pink headstone with a picture of her and Daniel. I believe Howard said it was going to be the picture, the black and white shot where she's reaching up for Daniel, which was her favorite photo of her and Daniel together. And it was just -- it's beautiful.

KING: Shelby, how close were you and Anna?

S. SIMPSON: Well, she was like a mother to me, because I don't actually have a mom. I have two dads.

KING: Yes.


S. SIMPSON: And a lot of the experiences that Anna has gone through in her life with her own family and other things, like school and stuff she's dealt with -- and I could relate to her and she could relate to me.

KING: How old are you, Shelby?

S. SIMPSON: Fifteen.

KING: Well, this is very -- would you call this a very sad day, Paul?

ATTEU: It's still a very sad day. It's going to be sad for a very, very long time. And the only thing I can say is we're going to have to keep her memory alive, keep her in our hearts and make sure that we're there for Dannielynn, as we have been throughout this entire ordeal...

KING: Yes.

ATTEU: ... never forgetting to make sure that we fed her, make sure that she got her rest, make sure she was on her schedule, make sure that she wasn't disturbed or missed her burping times, because she actually likes them.

KING: Thank you all very much.

ATTEU: So, we have to be there for her.

KING: Patrick Simpson, Pol Atteu and Shelby Simpson.

We'll be right back with more coverage of today's events.

Coming up, a rare comment from Dannielynn's court guardian today near the site of the funeral.

Don't go away.



MILSTEIN: With all the publicity and all of the press of the past, Miss. Smith sought seclusion, solace here in the Bahamas and decided to bury her son in private, in a quiet area of the world and from the public and away from the media, so that she could have time and solitude with him in the sun.


KING: We're back.

Opening this segment with Carlos Diaz, the correspondent for "Extra."

He will return later. Most of the media shut out today from the funeral service.

What was it like outside?

CARLOS DIAZ, "EXTRA" CORRESPONDENT: Outside the funeral service was -- it was surreal to see Larry Birkhead show up basically with Howard K. Stern on his bumper. Larry Birkhead came out and the crowd cheered him outside of the church.

Howard K. Stern, there were boos, but there were also cheers. He got the loudest response. And then the bad part about Virgie Arthur -- can you imagine this -- being the mother of Anna Nicole Smith and being booed at your daughter's funeral.

And a lot of people here in the Bahamas are not too pleased with Virgie Arthur because she didn't want Anna Nicole Smith buried here in the Bahamas.

KING: The court-appointed advocate for Dannielynn, Attorney Richard Milstein, made a statement prior to the funeral.

Let's listen.


MILSTEIN: During her lifetime, Anna Nicole Smith became a larger than life persona. Her stars shone in the highest of zenith. Her pictures flashed and her face was seen throughout the world. She luxuriated in that press, in that media and that publicity.

Unfortunately, in a time when life should have been reaching its highest peak for her, she both received a blessing and a curse. She joyously gave birth to her only daughter, Dannielynn. And devastatingly, three days later, she lost her only son, Danny.


KING: Carlos, was the crowd about as expected in size?

DIAZ: No, not at all. The crowd inside was anywhere between 80 to 120 people. I think there were more media people there than there were crowd inside the church.

They were expecting around 300 people inside the church, 100 from each party involved -- Howard K. Stern, Larry Birkhead and Virgie Arthur. And I would estimate around 100 people inside the church.

KING: How about outside?

DIAZ: Outside -- there were a lot of people outside, you know, from the Bahamas, from tour -- there were tourists outside, as well. As I said, there were a lot of media outside. And you heard Richard Milstein speak there. Once, again, I think that Larry Seidlin, the judge in this case, made the right decision because the proceedings today really went off without a hitch because Richard Milstein was in control the entire time. KING: Yes.

Carlos, we'll see you back here later.

Don't go away.

Joining us now also in Nassau, Alex Coen, the CEO of TrimSpa, which used Anna Nicole Smith as his celebrity spokesperson, a friend of Anna and her son Daniel and Howard K. Stern. And his lovely wife, Monique.

What was it like today, Monique?

MONIQUE COEN, ANNA NICOLE'S FRIEND: It was beautiful. I mean it was heart-wrenching, but yet it was peaceful in the fact that you knew that she would rest with her son Daniel.

KING: What was the atmosphere like, Alex, during the service inside the church?

ALEX COEN, TRIMSPA CEO: Well, I mean it was a beautiful ceremony, no question about it. It was a little frustrating in the beginning because, as I think the world knows, the hearse got held up and Anna's mother ended up coming to the service a little bit late.

But once the service got start, it was really a beautiful service.

I just wanted to make one point. The guardian only allowed each one of the three parties to have 50 people each. And Howard clearly had a lot more people he wanted to bring. Larry Birkhead was really a gentleman, and he allowed Howard to have 45 of his tickets. And Virgie was allowed to have 50 and I think she probably had something like 20.

It should have probably been a little bit of a grander ceremony...

KING: Yes.

A. COEN: ... with more people, but unfortunately there was those requirements put in place.

KING: Monique, what was the graveside service like?

M. COEN: So emotional. I mean seeing her being laid in the ground and then releasing the doves. And one of the doves ended up back on her casket. It was just -- it was just very emotional, very sad, an end to -- an end to a glorious woman with a tragic ending.

KING: Alex, how do you think she's going to be remembered?

A. COEN: You know, she was an incredible entertainer. She knew how to get people's attention. I think it's a rags to riches story. It's a person that dealt with tremendous adversity and found the seed of equal or greater benefit in every single adversity and preserved through very, very difficult times.

If you just took a look at this latest court proceeding, trying to get buried there next to Daniel and imagine how simple that seemed to be, and she had to deal with one after the other after the other.

It's a person that endured, a person that had a lot of guts, a person that really inspired, I think, other people to be able to do some of things that they didn't think they could do themselves.

KING: Monique, any sense of closure or do you think with the paternity battle, this will never end?

M. COEN: I think there's a sense of closure. I think with Howard and Larry, there definitely is a sense of closure. It's the third party that may not be.

KING: Yes.

A. COEN: Yes, I think, Larry, I think that Howard and Larry are working together like gentlemen and I think that there is going to be an end to this thing relatively soon. It's probably not exactly what the media wants. I mean it's a great story. But they both really handled themselves incredibly professionally...

M. COEN: What...

A. COEN: Afterward, there was a reception. Howard and Larry, they talked to each other, they were friendly toward each other.

KING: Yes, all right...

A. COEN: It was real nice to see.

KING: Alex Coen...

M. COEN: I think everybody wants...

KING: ... and Monique Coen.

M. COHEN: Sorry.

KING: I'm sorry.

M. COHEN: I think everybody wants the best...

KING: Quickly, Monique.

M. COHEN: I think everybody wants the best for Dannielynn. And I think everyone agrees.

KING: Thank you both very much.

M. COHEN: Thank you.

KING: Still ahead, some other friends of Anna's talk about today's service and what they found so touching when we come back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Joining us now from Nassau in the Bahamas is Theresa Laramore, a friend of Anna Nicole's, helped her adjust to life there.

Wes Irwin, Anna Nicole's neighbor in Los Angeles, there for the funeral.

And Scott Rogers, Anna Nicole's long time friend and adviser.

Theresa, what was it like for you today?

THERESA LARAMORE, ANNA NICOLE'S BAHAMAS FRIEND: To be honest, it was sad. My best friend, Anna Nicole Smith, you know, I'm still in denial. I don't know if she is dead.

KING: Wes Irwin, you're her friend from Los Angeles, right?

Did you fly out there for the funeral yesterday? When did you get in?

WES IRWIN, ANNA NICOLE'S L.A. NEIGHBOR: I got in a couple of days ago, Larry. And I am her neighbor.

KING: What was she like as a neighbor?

IRWIN: She was wonderful. She was as passionate as she was about her -- her working and giving back to folks. She was very compassionate. She was very generous. And she was a wonderful neighbor, as well as a wonderful mom.

KING: Scott Rogers, how did you come to know Anna Nicole?

SCOTT ROGERS, ANNA NICOLE'S LONG TIME FRIEND & ADVISER: I've worked with Anna for some time. And just like many individuals that come into her life, when you work with her professionally, almost immediately you start to develop a personal friendship with her because she just liked doing business and liked handling her life that way.

She loved working with regular individuals, the regular Joe, so to speak.

KING: You were an adviser in what capacity?

ROGERS: Financial. Banking.

KING: Theresa, were you -- was it emotional for you today?

LARAMORE: Very much so. Very much so.

KING: How would you describe it?

LARAMORE: Well, just to see, you know, persons there who really loved her, to see the amount of Bahamian persons who came out and supported Anna Nicole Smith. She was such a loving, caring person. For those who did not know her, I can say Anna was humble, loving and she loved it here in the Bahamas.

KING: Wes, was there anything circus like about it at all? Or was it in good keeping?

IRWIN: Well, in, unfortunately, the delay caused -- caused just a little bit of, I guess, we were disheartened about that. But once everybody was seated, we moved on and it became a semi-normal funeral.

She was bigger than life, as you know, Larry...

KING: Yes.

IRWIN: ... and even in her death she was bigger than life.

So I was just happy to be a part of that.

KING: Scott, what will -- what was something about Anna Nicole that people didn't know?

ROGERS: There was so much people didn't know. I think a lot of people understand that her fans were probably one of the most important things to her, but I don't think they understood just how much she really loved them. She never left anybody without giving them an autograph. She always gave people hugs and kisses. She just had a way about her where she just had so much love.

She loved her family. Daniel was her life. She did everything she could for him, protected him to the very end. And that was just something she just -- because she held herself responsible because she felt just that, you know, she was his guide through life. And he was -- she was just so phenomenal at that and I just wish people understood that more. She just really had this tremendous heart that -- that, if anything, that's just what hurt her most than -- more than anything else.

KING: Theresa, why did she like the Bahamas so much?

LARAMORE: Well, she said that the people here were different. The people here are kind. The people here are humble, loving. And all she wanted was love. And I think she found that herein the Bahamas.

KING: Was she planning to live there permanently?

LARAMORE: She sure did.

KING: Wes, was she going to give up her Los Angeles residence, to your knowledge?

IRWIN: To my knowledge, I -- it was my belief that she was going to keep the house. But there was talk that she might get rid of it, as well. So I don't know.

KING: Was there a little tragedy about her, Scott, other than the death? Was there something sad about Anna Nicole? ROGERS: Yes. She -- I don't think people understood just how much it pained her that people would ridicule her and -- and make fun of her. I don't think people understood just how deeply that upset her, because I remember her talking about it.

Why are people saying these mean things about me?

This isn't -- I've never said anything mean about them. I didn't say anything about them.

Make no mistake about it, she would fight back. But she never started a fight and she was just very loving in nature. And I don't think people understood just how much the jokes, the overweight jokes and just little things like that just -- just really hurt her and devastated her in many ways. She overcame it, but it hurt her a lot.

KING: Do you think she did overcome it?

Maybe she overcame it by dying.

ROGERS: Perhaps. But I know that she would fight the good fight for her kids. So no matter what, I don't believe that she would ever -- dying, she would ever feel as a way out for her, because she...

KING: Yes.

ROGERS: ... her children were the most important thing to her.

KING: Thank you all very much.

When we come back, how's Dannielynn doing?

We'll find out from the woman who's been tending to Anna's little angel since her mom's untimely death, when we come back.


MILSTEIN: Today, we share our grief with all of you, ladies and gentlemen here at the church, at the graveside and worldwide audience. Today, we come to you to carry out the final and most sacred solemn act in the life of any individual -- to provide a final resting place. We come to Nassau in the Bahamas, a beautiful, lush setting that was chosen by Vickie Lynn Marshall, known as Anna Nicole Smith.


KING: Joining us now in Nassau is Gerlene Gibson.

She's been taking care of Anna Nicole's baby daughter, Dannielynn. Her son Shane is the former Bahamian immigration minister.

What were your thoughts about today's funeral, Gerlene?

GERLENE GIBSON: I didn't hear that.

KING: What did you think of today's funeral?

We are obviously having some blackout problem with Gerlene. We will try to correct that. But with us now, he will be with us later, as well, is Harvey Levin, the managing editor of Again, you sometimes can have problems when you go into a foreign country.

Harvey, the managing editor is an attorney as well. What about this daughter, is she going to be a very wealthy young lady?

HARVEY LEVIN, TMZ.COM: I think she's going to have some money, Larry. I think ultimately this case with Marshall is going tosettle. I think there's too much at stake to risk going to trial and losing everything, and usually what happens is there is a settlement. And she could stand to be very, very rich.

KING: What do you make of this sudden friendship, apparent friendship between Larry and Howard?

LEVIN: There's a settlement in the offing. No doubt about it. I told you a few days ago that we are hearing that Howard has all but conceded that Larry is the father and that they are talking about financial arrangements, what kind of presence Howard K. Stern will have in terms of a trust in the estate.

But if you look at it I mean, Larry and Howard were at the party after the funeral today. Howard allowed Larry to put a picture that Larry had taken of Anna beside the casket where she kind of looked like Marilyn Monroe. So there's a union there.

KING: Who will get the baby?

LEVIN: Larry Birkhead, I have virtually no doubt about it. I think it's all but a done deal. They are trying to reach a settlement and I think that settlement is going to come before the court hearing before the end of the month.

KING: So they might do this without ever doing a DNA?

LEVIN: Well ...

KING: They're going to have to eventually because it may not be either one of them.

LEVIN: True. I think there will be a DNA test but I think they know. I think they know.

KING: You do?

LEVIN: I really do. Howard let Larry see the baby. He spent time with the baby. And this was not in the offing a month ago. So these two have been talking for over a week now.

KING: Explain to me something, Harvey, and I'm asked this all the time. I was in New York and Washington this week. I'm asked -- I was asked at the White House, why is this such a huge story?

LEVIN: Because it's a soap opera. I mean, that was why O.J. Simpson was so big.

KING: Yeah , but that was a murder.

LEVIN: Right but look what you have here ...

KING: And O.J. was a major figure on the American sports scene, and icon.

LEVIN: But she was a major figure, too. Not necessarily because of what she did, but she was part of pop culture. She was Andy Warholesque. And you had love, you have betrayal, you had sex, you had a lot of the things that kind of make people relate. And this really in some ways fires on all cylinders.

KING: I understand Gerlene Gibson is now available. Can you hear us OK, Gerlene?

GIBSON: Yes, I can.

KING: How is the baby doing?

GIBSON: She is doing great.

KING: How would you -- is she a good baby? Does she sleep nights?

GIBSON: She sleeps just about all night. After her bath around 4:00, 5:00 in the afternoon, she would sleep just about until 4:00, 4:30, 5:00, sometimes up to 7:00 the following morning.

KING: It was quite a thing for her to entrust you with taking care of her baby. How well did you get along with Anna?

GIBSON: Very, very well. Very well. I find her to be ...

KING: What did you like about her?

GIBSON: She was just easygoing. She was quite understanding. Everything about her, as far as I'm concerned, was just the way I would like somebody to be with me.

KING: What was it like today? Were you at the gravesite? You weren't there today, right?

GIBSON: No, I was not at the gravesite.

KING: Because you had to be with the baby, I would guess, right?

GIBSON: I was at the church. Someone else was with her until I get back.

KING: Would you like to, let's say, this all works out and as long as she stays in the Bahamas, would you like to continue being the nanny?

GIBSON: If they would like for me to be, I would take the responsibility of being her nanny and her grammy as long as possible.

KING: Thank you very much, Gerlene. How is your son Shane doing, by the way? He resigned his position as immigration minister. Is he OK?

GIBSON: Yes, he's doing fine. He's coping with it quite well.

KING: Well, he got -- thank you, Gerlene. He had a rough shot, didn't he?

LEVIN: Rough shot and maybe it's still not over. There was a lot of fallout from that.

KING: Still going on.

LEVIN: Yeah, I mean, there were a lot of questions about that relationship was. And he is saying it was nothing but professional and friendly but people are asking questions.

KING: Would you say this whole thing is bizarre in a sense, is that a correct world? The whole thing?

LEVIN: Bizarre, crazy. I mean it's crazy. And it's kind of the way -- it reminds me of when we talked about Michael Jackson before during the trial, you almost have to suspend reality. Because the life he lived was so weird that you -- you would hear stories and you would think that can't be true but in his world it was. The same with hers.

KING: Are people still paying for stuff to the tabloid?

LEVIN: Look, I'm not going to say anything, but "E.T." was in there today. Who gets an exclusive on a funeral?

KING: They were in the funeral home?

LEVIN: Yeah, yeah.

KING: So they must have paid for that.

LEVIN: Well, I don't know ...

KING: But who do you pay? Dannielynn, right?

LEVIN: All I'm saying is, I can tell you I have heard lots and lots of stories and not just one organization, but lots of stories about money changing hands here.

KING: Thanks, Harvey. He will be back with us later, Harvey Levin. Always great to have him with us.

Still more on today's funeral for a true American beauty. When we come back, some friends of Anna Nicole share their favorite members of the troubled Texas beauty. And later your response to last night's text message about the funeral guest list. Don't go away.


RICHARD MILSTEIN, GUARDIAN AD LITEM FOR DANNIELYNN SMITH: I'm asking you to leave a legacy of decorum, dignity and peace and solemnity for her only daughter, Dannielynn. Please respect the rights of privacy of all of us and give us peaceful decorum so that when Dannielynn can finally read the last chapter of her mother, she will know that the world gave her mother dignity and respect.

She's too young to remember today, and what she will rely upon is what all of you write and publish. Give us the kindness and consideration that you would give to a beloved family member of your own.


KING: Welcome back. Joining us from Nassau is Charles Pope, a longtime friend of Anna Nicole. He knew her from the days she lived in Los Angeles. Denise James, a friend of Anna Nicole Smith's.

Her husband, actor John James, is one of the executive producers of Anna Nicole's final film "Illegal Aliens." Denise was called to testify at the Florida hearing over who should have custody of Anna Nicole's remains. Charles, what was the service like in your opinion?

CHARLES POPE, ANNA NICOLE'S FRIEND: Larry, the service today was very classy and elegant. It was a beautiful service. Anna would have been very, very proud. Many supporters. I was very impressed with the service. It was done quite well.

KING: Denise, what did you think?

DENISE JAMES, ANNA NICOLE'S FRIEND: Larry, all I could think of is if I could be sent to heaven that way, I would be very proud. It seemed, I tell you, my favorite color is pink, ask my husband. It seemed like a wedding. It seemed like a rebirth for some reason, and maybe that's because she's going to see Daniel.

But the minister, the singing, Joe Nichols (ph), I was a fan before but I tell you, he touched so many hearts. It was just beautiful.

KING: Sandy Serrano is also with us, Anna Nicole's friend and hairstylist. What was it like for you today, sandy?

SANDY SERRANO, ANNA NICOLE'S FRIEND: Really emotional. I don't usually go to funerals at all, but I knew that I had to come to this one. She was really important to me.

KING: How long did you know her?

SERRANO: Probably about two and a half years, three years.

KING: Sandy, would you say today's service was classy?

SERRANO: I think so, yes.

KING: Charles, what was it like at the gravesite?

POPE: At the gravesite it was beautiful. They released doves. It was very emotional. It was a nice final farewell to Anna, and something I will never forget as long as I live. It was beautiful.

KING: Denise, what do you remember most about her?

JAMES: About Anna?

KING: Yep.

JAMES: First thing that comes to mind is her little girl attitude. It seems like she's the pearl and we were the oyster shell, all of her friends. Somehow she sucked us into her love. And she asked you to do one thing and you do it. She's not the little, dumb blonde people think she is. She is smart - is, I talk about her present but she was smart, intelligent, no one bossed her around. You know, she used to point her finger at my husband and tell him to put the toilet seat down.

"John, go and put that toilet seat down." So you just do as she told. You just melt every time you go near her. She had a soul and now it's with Daniel.

KING: Sandy, what was she like as a client?

SERRANO: I used to go over to her house, and, yes, she was a little picky. But I loved that about her. She knew what she wanted. And she was really fun. Because she liked to put fun colors in her hair. And if she want able to put as many fun colors in her hair as she wanted to, because the media would she was crazy, or whatever, she would have me or her other friends do that which she couldn't do.

KING: Did she change styles a lot?

SERRANO: Not a lot. She had to stick to the blonde. She always wished she could do a little crazier sometimes but everybody talked bad about her if she did something just a little bit different. So she pretty much just stuck to the blonde. Maybe a little bit of pink here and there. But ...

KING: How did you get to know her, Charles?

POPE: I met her through a friend about a decade ago, and we became very close friends. I really enjoyed our friendship. She's a very great person.

KING: Thank you all very much.

Charles Pope, Denise James and Sandy Serrano from the funeral site, Nassau in the Bahamas. Let's check in with Anderson Cooper. He will host AC 360 at the top of the hour. I did an Anderson today ...


KING: I flew across the country. I did a lot. Got on a plane. What's up tonight?

COOPER: Larry, tonight on 360, the box of bones that could rock a faith. Claiming they found the remains of Jesus. How strong is their evidence really? We are covering all the angles, the controversy, the facts and the mystery of the man millions of people call their savior.

Plus a 360 special. Most Americans call themselves Christian, but what does that mean, especially today? We look at the very different forms of Christianity and see where you fit in. We will also have the latest on the bus crash in Atlanta that took the lives of six people, including four college baseball players. We will hear from a survivor and go to the scene of the crash to see how the bus could have toppled onto the highway. All that and more, Larry, ahead on 360.

KING: Incredible story, that bus crash.


KING: Still to come -- by the way, Anderson Cooper, 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific. AC 360. Still to come - tonight how Anna's friends say history will remember the bigger-than-life blonde. Stick around.


KING: We are back. Denise James, the close friend of Anna Nicole remains with us, and we are joined by Troy Shook, the longtime friend of Anna Nicole Smith. She worked as her makeup artist. And J.J. Barrett, a longtime friend of Nicole's from California. Troy, how did you come to know Anna?

TROY SHOOK, ANNA NICOLE'S FRIEND: It's kind of an odd story. I came to know Anna -- She had fired her makeup artist from her show and I was called in. I had a broken foot and was in a cast. She had injured herself rolling skating and her knee was also in a cast.

I went in to do her makeup. And I told here, I said, we are going to get you out of the blue eye shadow. And she was doing the blue eye shadow. And so we kind of started working on creating a new look and image for Anna. And we got to chatting.

We also came to realize that we shared the same birthday, and -- November 28. And a friendship just developed. She was the kindest, most generous, greatest woman I have ever met. Loved children so much. I was so thrilled when she became pregnant and had Dannielynn. It was just -- I know a very happy moment for her.

KING: J.J. Barrett, how did you come to know her?

J.J. BARRETT, ANNA NICOLE'S FRIEND: Well, actually, she was my very, very first celebrity client as a hair colorist. And then pretty much I just phased that part of my life out and just became one of her best friends.

KING: What was the - J.J., what was the funeral like for you?

BARRETT: I -- I really thought that I was a tough cookie, but I already helped her bury Daniel, and then seeing someone that I thought was entirely invincible get buried, I -- words cannot really describe it.

KING: Yeah.

BARRETT: No one is ever going to know how gorgeous she was. No one is ever going to know the true Anna. There's all of this horrible stuff that ...

SHOOK: That isn't true.

BARRETT: So not true. No one will know what a fantastic mother she was, how much that ...

SHOOK: Actually, how intelligent, really, Anna was, as she may not have been the best at like book smarts but she didn't get to where she was to being stupid, that's for sure. Someone doesn't get to where they are being ...

BARRETT: Larry, you know her. She was not dumb.

KING: She was not dumb.

Denise, was there a big difference between the public and private Anna?

JAMES: Oh, definitely. The cameras roll and Anna's on. You will see the little girl. You will see the glamour push (ph). You will see the faces. And then the cameras are off and sometimes she will keep it going but most of the time, it's this little girl.

I saw her with my family in August of last year. And she was very pregnant and very, you know, waiting for the baby to be born. She was a totally different person in September when we went back, John and I, to see her. Her soul had gone. Even though she was going with Dannielynn, staying strong. She didn't want to swap out she said. She didn't want to swap Daniel for Dannielynn. I said that's not what is happening. I helped her get over a lot of things but she just never recovered.

KING: No. Thank you all very much.

Coming up in our final segment, we will check in with our celebrity journalist. Harvey Levin returns as did Carlos Diaz, predicting what next week's Anna Nicole headline will have to say. And we will reveal the results of our text message poll on Anna Nicole's funeral. Don't go away.


KING: Last night our text voting question of the night was, should Anna Nicole's funeral be open to the public? The results, 52 percent yes, 48 percent no. Pretty close vote. Surprised at that, Harvey?

LEVIN: No, no.

KING: We have an e-mail question for you guys, Harvey Levin and Carlos Diaz. "Is it known who paid for the over the top funeral and did the United States government or the state of Florida pay for the body to be flown to the Bahamas?"

Do you know, Carlos?

CARLOS DIAZ, "EXTRA" CORRESPONDENT: That's more of a Harvey Levin question on that one.

LEVIN: I think it's a Carlos Diaz question.

KING: OK, who knows? Carlos, we will try you. What do you guess?

DIAZ: OK, well, as far as the over-the-top funeral, Richard Milstein was in charge of the funeral so you have to wonder, did all three parties chip in or was it in fact something that happened through the state? If Richard Milstein is in charge of the funeral, is he in charge of charging everyone for the funeral as well? It wasn't Howard K. Stern's funeral. It was Richard Milstein's funeral.

KING: Harvey, did "E.T." pay for the rights to shoes the funeral?

LEVIN: Don't know. "E.T." was on your show saying ...

KING: They don't pay.

LEVIN: ... they don't pay. But I can just tell what you the game is in this town, and the game is that video brings big bucks and this was a big event.

DIAZ: And I can add to that. I went to the church yesterday and tried to have our crew from "Extra" go into the church yesterday afternoon. And someone who identified himself as an employee of the area said we were not allowed in. That "Entertainment Tonight" had made a sizable contribution to the church. I'm just telling you what happened at the scene.

KING: Another e-mail from Stacie, Ft. Knox, Kentucky. "Is it true that Anna Nicole had seven life insurance policies that named her son as the primary beneficiary and Howard Stern as the secondary one?"


LEVIN: That is floating around right now, Larry. And people have been talking about this. We are in the process of trying to verify it. And we are actually trying to see if we can get copies of whatever life insurance policies there are. I think if they really do exist, we are going to know in the next couple of days.

KING: We are going to have the autopsy announced supposedly next week. Carlos, expect any surprises?

DIAZ: I talked to Dr. Joshua Perper when I was in Florida, and he said we were all going to be very surprised at the outcome to the toxicology report. I said well, what do you mean by that? He said, that would ruin the surprise, now, wouldn't it? He said we are going to be very surprised from the outcome from the toxicology reports and it could be a number of things. We have been hearing so many different things from pneumonia to lupus to a number of different things. So we have to wait until next week, until he makes that announcement.

LEVIN: I agree with Carlos. Dr. Perper has been very coy about this but if this were a simple as methadone, which is out there right now, that she was taking methadone, if it were as simple as that, I don't think he would be saying that. I think it's got to be something other than drugs. Otherwise why not say the obvious.

KING: Does methadone kill you, overdose?

LEVIN: An overdose could or a combination of methadone and other drugs, which is exactly what killed Daniel.

KING: Carlos, how long does this -- how many more legs does this story have?

DIAZ: This story has several layers. You have next week is the toxicology report. And the week after that on March 14, you have them having a hearing down here in the Bahamas as to who really owns the house. Then on March 16 you have everyone talking about paternity. And then after that you have the inquest into how Daniel died.

This story could go on and on and on both here in the Bahamas, in Florida and in California.

LEVIN: And you have the fortune that is not resolved yet on who gets what and whether this little baby is going to be, you know, a millionaire in the hundreds of millions.

KING: What do you make of the father of Daniel getting involved now, Billy Smith? He wants to be heard. He wants to move Daniel's -- exhume the body.

LEVIN: Exhume the body and move it to Texas. That's the unseemly part of this story. I don't want to make judgments about people, but -- maybe I do. Maybe I really do. In this case it just seems really odd to me somebody would disrupt it the way he's trying to do. I also think Virgie is not going away very easily. I really don't.

My sense is just based on what she's done, that this woman is going to resurface when it comes to the estate. Maybe resurface when it comes to the custody. I don't think we have seen the last of her.

KING: Carlos, what do you make of that?

DIAZ: I completely agree. A huge shift that happened when we were in Florida, Virgie Arthur and Larry Birkhead were just best of buddies. They were hugging in the courtroom. And Howard K. Stern was the odd man out. Today, it was Howard K. Stern and Larry Birkhead, just two feet away from each other. They were talking during the procession. They were very, very friendly with each other and Virgie Arthur was the odd person out. I agree completely with Harvey. She's not going away any time soon. This is a fight she will keep fighting for months and years to come.

KING: And do you agree the general thinking is that Larry will be the father and take that baby?

LEVIN: Absolutely. And I think the issue is where is Larry going to live? Is he going to live in Los Angeles? Is he going to move elsewhere trying to get away? But I think he's getting this baby, Larry.

KING: Thank you all very much as usual. We will have you on, I suspect. Rather quickly.

Carlos Diaz of "Extra" and Harvey Levin, the managing editor of

Over the weekend we're going to repeat that show of last night with Bob Woodruff, the injured ABC newsman who has miraculous come back to the fore.

We now turn our attention back to New York. Anderson Cooper and AC 360. Anderson?