Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith

Anna Nicole Smith – Controversial to the grave

Controversy and Anna Nicole Smith were inseparable even in death as they were in life. Anna Nicole Smith shocked, amazed and disgusted her way into the limelight. She was a subject of much ridicule in her life time. And even her death has been made a spectacle and an ongoing joke.

Anna Nicole Smith’s tryst with fame occurred when she was chosen by Hugh Hefner to appear on the cover of the March 1992 issue of Playboy magazine. She later on went to be their playmate of the year 1993. Born Vickie Lynn Hogan, she first appeared in playboy magazine under the name of Vickie Smith. By the time she became playmate of the year she had settled on the name Anna Nicole Smith. During her playboy days she wanted to be the next Marilyn Monroe.

Her stint with playboy gave her some brief success in the modeling world. Her resemblance to Jayne Mansfield helped her in getting her a few modeling assignments. She was even able to replace Claudia Schiffer as the brand ambassador of Guess Jeans. Her provocative ad for the Swedish clothing company H&M caused quite a furor in the Scandinavian countries. Around the same time she sued New York magazine for using a raunchy picture of her as the cover for an issue titled ‘White Trash Nation’.

But what really shocked the world was her marriage to oil billionaire, J. Howard Marshall. The duo met at a Houston strip club and started having a relationship straight away. It was rumored that Marshall used to shower lavish gifts on the blonde. So what’s so scandalous about all this? Well there was the small fact that when they got married to each other in 1994 Marshall was 89 and Anna Nicole Smith 26!!! Though it was always gossiped that she married him for his money, Anna Nicole constantly denied it. Even though she reportedly never lived with him, she always claimed that she loved her husband dearly and that age never mattered to her.

Their marital bliss however lasted only thirteen months. It was terminated by the most likely of all possibilities – Marshall’s death. What then followed has been a legal battle for Marshall’s assets between Anna Nicole and the billionaire’s son E. Pierce Marshall. She claimed that Marshall promised her half his estate if she married him. It is another matter that she was left out of the billionaire’s will. The issue is yet to be resolved even after the death of both Pierce Marshall and Anna Nicole.

She was always a celebrity of barely any talent, with her main claim to fame being her surgically enhanced breasts. And her foray into movies was panned all over. Subsequently she started behaving very recklessly and also began to put on a lot of weight. All of this combined to make her the butt of many a joke at late night TV shows. But she came back slimmer and as host of her own reality show named ‘The Anna Nicole Show.’

In 2006, Anna Nicole announced that she is pregnant. This was followed by utter chaos as both her long time lawyer Howard K. Stern and her ex-boyfriend Larry Birkhead claimed fatherhood of the child. After her death there are even rumours that she used frozen sperm from Marshall to conceive the child. There are at least 3 other people including a former bodyguard who claims to have fathered the child. She gave birth to a baby girl whom she named Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern. She shifted residence to Bahamas supposedly to avoid any DNA tests on her child.

She however suffered a personal tragedy around the same time when her 20 year old son, Daniel Smith, died at her hospital room, while visiting his mother and sister. It was alleged that he died of drug overdose. He was buried in Bahamas almost six weeks after his death due to conflicts over his autopsy. Meanwhile Anna Nicole got married to Howard K. Stern just 18 days after her son’s death.

Her death too has been mired in controversy. She was found dead in a hotel in Florida by her bodyguard. It is widely believed that she died of a drug overdose although it is yet to be confirmed. What has followed since then has been a fiasco of a legal proceeding to ascertain a lot of issues. From where her final resting place should be to who will get custody of he child and subsequently her assets.

Anna Nicole Smith did not do anything great in her lifetime. She did not possess any great talent to talk about. Still she became famous internationally. At least she achieved in terms of scandal what her idol Marilyn Monroe did.

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