The death of Anna Nicole Smith was an event that defined the end of an era. The celebrity queen of the 90s was dead, and so too was the era which she dominated and defined. She was the first ever celebrity who was "famous for being famous," and she opened the way for a whole new breed of celebrities, such as Kim Kardashian and many others. While Anna Nicole Smith was alive, she constantly dominated the headlines and she was someone that everyone loved to gossip about. She was surrounded by an entourage of questionable people, individuals who probably didn't have her best interests at heart. These people wanted a slice of her money and her fame, and at the end of Anna Nicole Smith's life she was utterly alone.
This really was a tragic death, and even though it was probably an overdose, her death was not without blame. You could say that she was slowly corrupted and destroyed by the entire entertainment industry. We've seen this happen before with women similar to Anna Nicole, such as Marilyn Monroe, who died under similar circumstances from a barbiturate overdose. This raises some important questions about who we as a society raise up on a pedestal to worship as a sex symbol. How healthy is this for both us and the woman we label as a sex symbol? One thing's for sure, Anna Nicole Smith's death was one of the most tragic celebrity deaths in history.
15 She Died Of An Accidental Overdose
Let's start with the obvious - Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental drug overdose. But even the most obvious facts regarding this disturbing death are no less tragic. Anna Nicole Smith died from a combination of 11 drugs in her system. Each of these drugs were taken in doses that would not have been lethal alone, but it was the combination of this deadly cocktail that made the effect lethal. She was found dead in room 607 of The Hard Rock Hotel in Florida. Her bodyguard tried to administer CPR, but he felt her slip away before the paramedics could arrive.
More specifically, her death was ruled to be primarily the result of chloral hydrate, a prescription drug that had become lethal after being combined with other legal drugs, such as Benadryl, Klonopin and Valium, to name but a few. This is a stark reminder of how dangerous and lethal prescription drugs can be.
14 She Had Built Up A Huge Tolerance To Drugs
Anna Nicole Smith's death was also the result of her increased tolerance to the drugs she was taking. Tragically, as she began to take more and more pills and other drugs to numb the pain, both physical and emotional, she had to take even more to feel the same effect. This phenomenon is well-known in drug abusers, and this downward spiral can quickly lead to drug addicts taking doses that are dangerous, just to feel something. This was what Anna Nicole Smith was struggling with, and it cost her her life.
Her bodyguard, Maurice Brighthaupt, also known as "Big Moe," can attest to the insane amounts of drugs Anna Nicole Smith was taking before her death. He revealed, "She once showed me a pot of 30 pills and she told me she had to take that four times a day." This is a truly tragic revelation. It was ruled an accidental suicide, but due to the sheer amount of drugs she was taking, it was only a matter of time, and she must've known what she was doing to herself, at some level.
13 Her Body Began Decomposing At A Fast Rate
After Anna Nicole Smith died, it was all over the news. Although most people had seen it coming, it was still a major shock, and her death immediately drew comparisons to people like Marilyn Monroe, who also died a very similar death of a barbiturate overdose. The world was once again robbed of a major sex symbol and one of the most talked about celebrities. She was no stranger to causing controversies, and even in death she was the most talked about celebrity back in the day.
But while people were talking about the circumstances of her death, Anna's body was quickly decomposing - at a faster rate than a normal body would. This was due to the sheer amount of drugs that were in her body. The amount of toxic substances in her bloodstream and her digestive tract was so much that her body quickly faded away and withered. This was made even worse by the fact that her burial was delayed for several days.
12 It Was A Closed Casket Funeral
This leads us to our next point - that the funeral was closed casket. This was a result of her body decomposing at a very fast rate, so much so that not even the most skilled embalmers could make her look presentable for her funeral. The decomposition rate was simply too high. Most of the time, closed casket funerals are reserved for those who have died of devastating injuries to the face or their entire body, such as a gunshot wound to the face or death from an explosion.
The fact that this was a closed casket funeral must have been pretty depressing for her close friends and family. Most people who go to funerals want a chance to say goodbye to their loved ones for the last time, and it's easier to "connect" if you can see the deceased's face. But with a closed casket, this is impossible, and this further adds to the tragic nature of Anna Nicole Smith's Death.
11 Most Of The Drugs That Killed Her Were From Howard K. Stern's Prescription
8 out of the 11 drugs found in Anna Nicole Smith's body at the time of her death were from Howard K. Stern's prescription, not her own. Out of the remaining 3 drugs, 2 were prescribed to Anna Nicole Smith's friends, meaning that she was only legally in possession of one prescription drug that she was taking at the time of her death. This allegation opens the door to all kinds of allegations about assisting her death, and even murder accusations. One has to ask, why did those close to Anna Nicole Smith supply her with these dangerous drugs?
But just who is Howard K. Stern? This man was Anna Nicole Smith's lawyer and one time lover. He's a very interesting fellow, and many conspiracy theories involving Anna Nicole Smith's death propose that Howard K. Stern was involved in some way. It's clear that he was supplying her with drugs, as everyone who was close to Anna was aware.
10 She Was In Florida To Take Her Daughter Sailing
Another tragic detail regarding Anna Nicole Smith's death involved her daughter. This girl, who is the only surviving child of Anna, is named Dannielynn. She was all Anna Nicole Smith had left to live for, especially following the death of her son. We'll get more into that later. But one of the real tragic details about Anna Nicole Smith's death was the fact that she was reported to be in Florida so she could take out a yacht and spend some quality time with her daughter on the ocean.
But in truth, Anna Nicole Smith was in no shape to care for her daughter at that time. She was so heavily self-medicating that taking care of her daughter was completely out of the question. Many people close to Anna, such as her bodyguard Big Moe, say that if it weren't for her daughter, she would have died just weeks after the death of her son.
9 It Happened Just A Year After Her Son Overdosed
That leads us to the next tragic detail about this woman's death. Her son, Daniel, died less than one year before Anna Nicole Smith's death. This was definitely the turning point in Anna's life, and after her son passed away she completely lost it and went off the rails completely. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to say that Anna Nicole Smith never really recovered from losing her son, and her drug use was a result of not being able to properly deal and accept her son's passing. She was even reported to have jumped into her son's coffin during his funeral, such was her unwillingness to accept his passing.
Daniel's death was eerily similar to her own. He died from a Methadone overdose which he had taken from his mother's stash. He slept next to her and died in his sleep. This must have been horrifying for Anna Nicole Smith to wake up to. You have to understand that this bond between mother and son was incredibly strong. Anna Nicole Smith had Daniel at such a young age that to outsiders they seemed more like brother and sister. They grew up together, and they loved each other immensely.
8 She Predicted Her Own Death
We've already mentioned Maurice "Big Moe" Brighthaupt, but there are many more insights into Anna Nicole Smith's death that this man can share. He was very close to his employer, more like a friend than an employee, and he observed some tragic things over the years. Probably the most disturbing thing he's shared with the world is what happened a few days before her death. According to Big Moe, she claimed that she heard her son calling her, and that she would soon be with him.
According to Big Moe, ''She told me, 'Daniel is calling me, he is all alone and he says he is scared. He says he wants his mother and I need to be with him. It is time for me to be with him'." Big Moe told her to "be strong," but obviously she was very disturbed at this point in time.
7 Her Drug Use Was Encouraged By Enablers
Big Moe has more to say about Anna Nicole Smith's passing. According to him, her dangerous drug-addicted lifestyle was encouraged by those around her, which Big Moe calls "enablers." Instead of trying to get her help and refusing to supply her with more drugs, those around her, especially Howard K. Stern, made sure she had a constant supply of prescription drugs.
According to Big Moe, "I tried my best to help her in her final days and get her medical attention but she refused it. She had a group of us around her and all we did was enable her behaviour. It took me ten years to realize it but I was an enabler. We enable these stars. We enable people that have power and we think they are bigger than life but we can't control mother nature. I still have dreams about that day and I am haunted by the moment I saw her slipping away."
6 She Was In A Bad Place During The Days Leading Up To Her Death
In the days leading up to her death, she was in the worst shape she's ever been, both emotionally and physically. She was a complete wreck. Her inability to deal with her son's passing had led her to a really dark place, and she tried to escape her dark existence with the use of numbing drugs. The drugs did end up taking her away from her misery, but they did so permanently.
Although she was already in a very bad place before her death, the three days which led to her passing were worse than anyone had seen before. The drugs were having a really bad effect on her, and she once passed out while lying on a pool raft, only to fall off and sink to the bottom of the pool. Luckily she was rescued, but then she developed pneumonia. Howard K. Stern refused to let her go to the hospital because of the paparazzi, and she was put in a bathtub full of freezing water to get rid of her fever. It worked, but she then had premonitions about her death, and claimed to be speaking to Daniel from beyond the grave. The rest is history.
5 Her Ex Says That She And Her Son Were Murdered
Now let's get into the strange conspiracy theories surrounding Anna Nicole Smith's death. To fully understand these claims, you have to understand what kind of financial position Anna Nicole Smith was in at the time. She married Howard J. Marshall, a man reportedly worth 1 billion dollars, when he was 89 years old. She said that it wasn't about the money, and that they really cared about each other.
Regardless, she was the subject of a lot of "gold digger" accusations. She had been dating Marshall for years before they married, and she reportedly didn't want to marry earlier because she wanted to have her own career and her own money before she married this wealthy man. By her own admission, this tactic backfired. After Marshall's death, she claimed that she was entitled to half his fortune, a claim that she was taken to court over by Marshall's eldest son and heir.
This is where it gets interesting. Mark Fetters, and ex-lover of Anna Nicole's claims that “She was murdered, and I hope someday charges can be brought." He also claims that Anna Nicole's mother, an ex sheriff, shares his views: “Virgie [Arthur] believes the same person is responsible for her grandson’s and her daughter’s deaths. Virgie was a sheriff and feels there’s no accident in this. I agree with Virgie. I think something is definitely wrong.” The claim that something is "definitely wrong" is one that can hardly be denied. The circumstances surrounding her death were very shady indeed.
Some would point their fingers at Howard K. Stern, a man who some said wanted Anna Nicole's money that he thought she would inherit from Howard J. Marshall. Stern had become Anna Nicole's domestic partner a short while prior to her death. He also claimed to be the father of her daughter, Danneilynn, which was proven to be false. With his connection to the family, he would have been in a prime position to gain access to all of that money. He was also present when Anna Nicole Smith's son died of a drug overdose, which was strange because Daniel never touched drugs. To make things even more shady, Howard J. Marshall's son and heir also died under strange circumstances.
4 The Hotel Did Some Shady Things To The Room Where She Died
The hotel in which Anna Nicole Smith died became famous for a while, and still is today. People often go to this hotel just to see the place where Anna Nicole lost her life. Some even prowl the hallways looking for Anna Nicole Smith's ghost. There have even been YouTube videos where amateur "ghost hunters" search the halls for Anna Nicole's ghost, which is supposed to be in the hotel.
The hotel owners themselves wanted nothing to do with the star's death, and took incredible measures to make sure that their hotel was "cleansed" of Anna's passing. They refurbished everything in the room, and changed the numbering system on that floor, so that no one would know which room she died in. They even reportedly made the strange choice to get a medicine man in to cleanse the room of any evil spirits. Some conspiracy theorists say that this was all part of an elaborate cover up, with the hotel using this excuse to get rid of evidence that pointed to Anna Nicole Smith's murder.
3 Lawsuits Continued After Her Death
One of the most tragic things about Anna Nicole Smith's death is the fact that even when she was gone, people were still arguing over who got her money, who won custody of her daughter, and where she was buried. The most prominent of these lawsuits was the battle for paternity of her last remaining child, Dannielynn. After Anna Nicole Smith's death, Howard K. Stern tried to assume full custody over her child. Larry Birkhead, a model and former lover of Anna Nicole Smith's, fought Howard K. Stern in court and won after he proved he was the real father with DNA testing. Due to the shady things Howard K. Stern was involved with and implicated in, this was probably a good thing.
Another court case that tore Anna's family apart after her death was about her burial. Various members of her family argued over where they were going to bury her, and the arguments took so long that Anna Nicole's body decomposed to the point where she had to have a closed casket funeral. There were even more legal battles, notably one which claimed Dannielynn was the heir to Howard J. Marshall's fortune, but the most tragic thing about all this is that even after Anna Nicole Smith's death, people were still arguing over her.
2 Those Closest To Her Tried To Cash In On Her Death
Not only were those closest to her bickering and arguing about Anna inside and out of a court of law, they were also blatantly trying to cash in on Anna Nicole's death. Many of these court cases were about what to do with her assets, and who got Anna's sizable fortune. This is so tragic because it furthers the idea that throughout Anna Nicole's life, people were just trying to manipulate her and squeeze every dollar possible out of her. It would seem that this was true even when she was a lifeless corpse.
It wasn't all about inheriting her assets though. Many people made millions off TV interviews following Anna's death, most notably Larry Birkhead, which he admitted to. Anna's bodyguard, Big Moe, also admitted under oath that he had cut deals with tabloids for interviews about the star's death. Her half-sister, Donna Hogan, even wrote a book about her life and death called Train Wreck, which tells you everything you need to know about how this so-called "loved one" thought about her family member.
1 Her Body Was Completely Destroyed By Drugs
Perhaps one of the most tragic things about the death of Anna Nicole Smith's death was the fact that at the time of her passing, drugs had completely destroyed her body. During the days leading up to her death, she could hardly stand, walk, drink or eat anything. She had basically become a zombie. She had no energy, and witnesses say that on the rare occasions she left the hotel, she was supported by Howard K. Stern as she walked out of the lobby. She was also reportedly incontinent to the point where she defecated in her own bed, although that might have happened after her death, which is a common occurrence.
The coroner determined that it was not only the drugs that killed her, it was also a number of health issues that had been getting steadily worse leading up to her death. She had abscesses on her buttocks from injecting various things like Human Growth Hormone and Vitamin B12, and these abscesses had become infected. She was also suffering from Enteritis, which is an inflammation of the small intestine caused by heavy drug use. Both the abscesses and the enteritis were found to be leading causes of her death, in combination with the accidental drug overdose.