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Anna Nicole Smith's Lover Raises Their Daughter Alone after Fighting for Custody & Proving She Is His Kid

Junie Sihlangu
Jul 22, 2022
02:20 P.M.
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Anna Nicole Smith had a newborn baby girl and was set to marry Howard K. Stern when she suddenly passed away. Her fiancé was in for the shock of his life when another man came out of the woodwork to claim Smith's child.

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Former Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith passed away suddenly on February 8, 2007, at age 39, in Florida. The star, who rose to fame by modeling for Guess jeans, was found unresponsive in her hotel room close to Hard Rock Hotel & Casino before being rushed to hospital.

Anna, who was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital, stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel with her partner, Howard K. Stern. According to Seminole's police chief, Charlie Tiger, the hospital told them that the star died at 2:49 p.m.

Howard Stern and Anna Nicole Smith at the World Music Awards on September 15, 2004, in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Source: Getty Images

Howard Stern and Anna Nicole Smith at the World Music Awards on September 15, 2004, in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Source: Getty Images

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Howard, who'd exchanged vows with Anna on September 28, 2006, in a commitment ceremony, was left "devastated" by her death and couldn't speak. The model hadn't been doing well, suffering from flu and cold symptoms, days before her passing.

Anna had been on vacation in Florida after checking in at the beginning of the week, with plans to leave on Friday. The hotel's public relations and advertising manager, Julianne Carelli, the star was a "frequent guest."

Anna Nicole Smith as the maid of honor for Penny and Joseph Genovese as they renewed their wedding vows, on July 21, 2005, in Hollywood, Florida. | Source: Getty Images

Anna Nicole Smith as the maid of honor for Penny and Joseph Genovese as they renewed their wedding vows, on July 21, 2005, in Hollywood, Florida. | Source: Getty Images

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She filmed a TrimSpa video and celebrated her last birthday at the hotel. According to a witness, Anna appeared a "little woozy" and couldn't walk straight when she arrived, but Howard helped to hold her up.

On Thursday, the source saw Anna's bodyguard rushing into the building and an elevator. A few minutes later, the witness saw Howard running "frantically" out of the elevator to the front desk.

Daniel and Anna Nicole Smith during "G-Phoria - The Award Show 4 Gamers" in Los Angeles, California, on  July 31, 2004. | Source: Getty Images

Daniel and Anna Nicole Smith during "G-Phoria - The Award Show 4 Gamers" in Los Angeles, California, on July 31, 2004. | Source: Getty Images

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Anna's daughter, Dannielynn Hope, was only 5-months-old when her mother died. She was born in the Bahamas and named after the model's first son, Daniel Wayne Smith. Speaking to "Good Morning America" in January 2011, Howard described his late partner as such:

"She was my best friend, my lover, the mother of my daughter, everything to me, I mean literally everything, my whole world."

Concerning her daughter, on September 26, 2006, Anna publicly alleged that Howard was Dannielynn's father. The star's lawyer and confidante was named the little girl's father on her birth certificate.

HOW DANNIELYNN DISCOVERED WHO HER REAL FATHER WAS

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After Anna's death, the question about whether Howard was Dannielynn's father came up. The attorney insisted that he and the late model were "confident" that he was the father because of when the little girl was born, adding:

"There really is no doubt in either of our minds."

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However, another man, photographer Larry Birkhead, came out claiming Dannielynn was his child! The entertainment reporter alleged that Anna had told him he was the little girl's biological father and had proof!

Anna's former boyfriend claimed he'd joined the late reality star at all her doctor's appointments while she was pregnant until they had a "minor disagreement." The photographer fought for the child and even asked Howard for paternity tests.

Larry and Dannielynn Birkhead at the launch celebration party for The Simpson's Ride on May 17, 2008, in Universal City, California. | Source: Getty Images

Larry and Dannielynn Birkhead at the launch celebration party for The Simpson's Ride on May 17, 2008, in Universal City, California. | Source: Getty Images

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In January 2015, Fox News revealed that Larry had once filed a lawsuit demanding Anna and baby Dannielynn return to California for paternity testing before the model died. The filing occurred while Anna was still mourning the death of Daniel, her adult son.

In April 2007, after Larry and Howard battled it out, the former was identified as the 7-month-old girl's father. A court in the Bahamas was able to get DNA tests done that proved who the child's biological father was.

LARRY RAISED ANNA'S CHILD AS A SINGLE PARENT

Larry and Dannielynn Birkhead on ABC's "20/20" on January 19, 2013. | Source: Getty Images

Larry and Dannielynn Birkhead on ABC's "20/20" on January 19, 2013. | Source: Getty Images

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In May 2007, Larry arrived with his and Anna's child in Kentucky from the Bahamas. He told reporters that he was looking forward to introducing his daughter to his family and shared how good it felt to be home.

The photographer said he would show Dannielynn off to his Louisville family, relax, and play around. A week before their arrival in Kentucky, a Bahamas judge authorized Larry to take his daughter out of the country.

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Ann's ex-boyfriend also received a new birth certificate in the Bahamas that listed him as the little girl's father. Howard's name was removed from the official documents after caring for Dannielynn in the Bahamas home he shared with her late mother.

In September 2017, the photographer shared with Entertainment Tonight how he was coping with raising Anna's daughter as a single parent. Larry said he and Dannielynn went out to a swim party, and he felt out of place because there were a bunch of mothers.

Dannielynn and Larry Birkhead during the 137th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 7, 2011, in Louisville, Kentucky. | Source: Getty Images

Dannielynn and Larry Birkhead during the 137th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 7, 2011, in Louisville, Kentucky. | Source: Getty Images

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He thought he couldn't cope because the women were sitting and gossiping. His daughter came up to him and took his foot, slid it against the woman's one who was next to him, and demanded they got to know one another!

Larry thought it was cute when his daughter tried to get him out of the house to dates and such. Anna's ex also shared how Dannielynn didn't ask many questions about her late mother because people were always talking about the star.

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However, he'd had some awkward moments, like explaining why her Wikipedia page said her last name was "Stern" when she was a baby. Luckily, the little girl accepted that she missed her mother the older she got.

It didn't mean she was's craving a motherly figure, though, as she would cling to her female teachers. Larry said his daughter clung to her girlfriend's mothers and would ask them if they'd adopt her or be her honorary mom.

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The photographer recalled a day when Dannielynn's friend's fish had died, and the little girl consoled her, mentioning that the pet was with Anna. The little girl said her mother would take care of the fish.

Larry couldn't help but be proud of how his daughter dealt with not having a mother. He described her as a "good kid" whom he could laugh with and have great times while she wore him out.

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The late model's ex also recalled when he and Dannielynn were on a roller coaster at an amusement park doing 200-foot drops while he held her. The little girl scolded him for holding her after asking him not to!

Larry realized he had to let her go so she could become her person because he was only able to do this much. He couldn't help but marvel at how she sometimes handled things.

DANNIELYNN'S LIFE IN 2022

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In January 2020, Larry was interviewed by People Now, where he shared about his growing daughter. He hilariously revealed that she gave him "a lot of attitude" and would refuse to wear certain clothes or to go to school!

Larry [Birkhead] noted how most of the year, Dannielynn [Birkhead] sat around the house with no makeup and in sweat pants like any other teenager.

Dannielynn was acting like a typical teenager, leaving her bed unmade and insisting she'd already done her homework! Larry explained that they were like everyone else, and with the documentary, "Hopelessly In Love," he wished to give fans insight into their lives while honoring Anna's memory.

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Anna Nicole Smith signs autographs at Grand Central Station on April 7, 2005, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Anna Nicole Smith signs autographs at Grand Central Station on April 7, 2005, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

The single parent shared that a typical day in their lives included him having his daughter's friends over. The photographer was the designated driver taking Dannielynn and company to places like amusement parks.

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He said she was fun and fearless like her late mother. In May 2022, Anna's daughter was 15, with her father boasting on Instagram about her looking like the late model's "twin."

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Larry noted how most of the year, Dannielynn sat around the house with no makeup and in sweat pants like any other teenager. However, she had one day where she'd fix herself up, with him noticing:

"She's kind of like her mom. She's a chameleon."

Anna Nicole Smith at the World Music Awards on September 15, 2004, in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Source: Getty Images

Anna Nicole Smith at the World Music Awards on September 15, 2004, in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Source: Getty Images

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The photographer added, "She looks like her mom, you know, especially with makeup, obviously." Before adding, "But she really, you know, kind of struck me as because she doesn't wear makeup a lot."

In February 2022, Larry shared a throwback Instagram photo of him and Anna cuddling. He said he still remembered her because she was one of a kind as she struggled for acceptance and love.

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He noted how when she found either one; life seemed to sabotage things for the late model. Larry remembered his ex's soul, heart, and beauty, adding: "Your love is alive still to this day, in the form of a truly one-of-a-kind teenager with her Mom's smile, beauty, and courage."

He concluded his post by sharing his and Dannielynn's love for Anna. In several Instagram photos, it was clear how the teenager was the spitting image of her late mother.

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