Anna Nicole Smith died from an accidental drug overdose in February 2007 aged just 39 – leaving behind her infant daughter Dannielynn.
The blonde bombshell had endured a devastating few months leading up to her untimely death – welcoming her longed-for daughter on September 7 2006, before her only son Daniel tragically died aged 20 three days later in her hospital room from an accidental overdose of methadone and antidepressants.
In the wake of her son’s death, Smith further descended into a spiral of depression, mental illness and drug abuse, culminating in her passing away in a Hollywood, Florida hotel room with a cocktail of drugs in her system.
Her ex partner and father of her child, Larry Birkhead testified at her inquest in 2008 that Anna preferred Daniel take drugs when she was present rather than ‘running around experimenting with his friends – and had once given him an ecstasy pill.
Daniel also took a bottle of his mother’s methadone in April – with Birkhead saying he could not be sure if Daniel had taken it to prevent his mother using it.
A new documentary – Anna Nicole Smith: You Don’t Know Me – set for release on May 16 on Netflix – is set to explore the star’s rise to fame, family and untimely death through the eyes of the people closest to her.
Read on below for everything you need to know about Anna Nicole Smith’s cause of death:
Anna Nicole Smith died from an accidental drug overdose in February 2007 aged just 39 – leaving behind her infant daughter Dannielynn (pictured 2004)
RIP: The blonde bombshell has endured a devastating few months leading up to her untimely death – welcoming her longed-for daughter on September 7 2006, before her only son Daniel tragically died aged 20 three days later (pictured with Daniel in 2004)
LAST DAYS – FEBRUARY 5 – FEBRUARY 8 2007
Smith had nine prescription drugs in her system when she died, including methadone, valium diazepam and lorazepam and chloral hydrate.
Her security guard Maurice Brighthaupt alleged that he had seen her often slurp chloral hydrate – a strong sedative used in the short term treatment of insomnia – from a bottle.
At the time of her death she had a 105 degree fever, stomach flu and fever brought on by a pus-filled infection on her buttocks from repeated injection of other drugs.
A hotel employee testified that Smith had seemed ‘out of it’ as she leaned on boyfriend Howard K.Stern while checking in at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on February 5, 2007 – just three days before her death.
She was also accompanied by psychiatrist Dr. Khristine Eroshevich – who would later become embroiled in legal drama over prescribing drugs to Smith under a false name – she would ultimately be sentenced to a year of probation in 2015.
Baby Dannielynn had stayed behind in the Bahamas where Smith had been living after the death of her son.
Eroshevich said the model had the flu and asked for help getting a prescription – with a doctor sent to Smith’s room to treat her.
However the doctor was turned away by Stern due to fears over negative press coverage – which was reaching fever pitch due to Smith’s recent tragedies, birth of her daughter and ensuing paternity battle.
Fall of an icon: Smith had nine prescription drugs in her system when she died, including methadone, valium diazepam and lorazepam and chloral hydrate
Last love: A hotel employee testified that Smith had seemed ‘out of it’ as she leaned on boyfriend Howard K.Stern (pictured together) while checking in at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on February 5, 2007 – just three days before her death
RIP: Smith is pictured with her daughter Dannielynn (pictured together)
Smith was said to be so weak when she arrived at the hotel that she was drinking Pedialyte out of a baby bottle.
Her final days were spent semi-conscious under a comforter on a bed – before she was found lifeless by a family friend on February 8.
Her staff gave her CPR and dramatic footage was taken of her last moments as paramedics continued to work on her as they wheeled her to an ambulance.
She was pronounced dead in the hospital that afternoon.
She obtained 44 different medications before her death, many of them strong prescription medicines.
Smith’s death was ultimately ruled an accidental drug overdose of the sedative chloral hydrate that became increasingly toxic when combined with other prescription drugs in her system, specifically four benzodiazepines: Klonopin (clonazepam), Ativan (lorazepam), Serax (oxazepam) and Valium (diazepam).
Smith was buried wearing a beaded gown and tiara. She was laid to rest alongside Daniel.
ADDICTED TO PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION
Dr. Eroshevich and Anne Nicole’s lover and manager Stern were convicted in 2010 of two counts of conspiring to obtain prescriptions under a false name and acquitted of several other charges.
They were not charged with causing the death of the Playboy model.
The doctor allegedly wrote prescriptions for opiates, muscle relaxants and other drugs which were found in the Florida hotel room where Anne Nicole died.
Under the spotlight: Smith’s doctors found themselves in legal turmoil after her death for obtaining prescriptions under a false name (Smith above in 2000)
Down and out: Former doctor Sandeep Kapoor (left in 2009 booking photo, right in 2010 in court) was charged with illegally prescribing Smith with medication and while he lost his medical license he was acquited of criminal charges
However in 2011, Judge Robert Perry tossed out the convictions after the trial, saying it was not unusual in the celebrity world for fake names to be used to protect privacy.
An appeals court reversed his ruling leading to 2015’s resentencing.
This time, Judge Perry decided the doctor was guilty of only a misdemeanor conspiracy saying she had no criminal record and did not have ill intent. Felony charges against Stern would later be dismissed again.
Another of Smith’s doctors, Sandeep Kapoor found himself on trial in 2009 after being accused of contributing to Smith’s death by providing her with illegal prescriptions.
He had begun treating Smith around 2004, at which time he provided her with prescriptions for Valium and methadone.
Their relationship was professional until Smith invited Kapoor to attend a Gay Pride event with her in Los Angeles in 2005, which reportedly ended with a shirtless Kapoor nuzzling Smith at a West Hollywood gay bar.
Kapoor continued to treat Smith after that, prescribing her medication under the name Michelle Chase for ‘privacy reasons.’
He also said that Smith was particularly careful to not abuse any of her prescriptions during her 2006 pregnancy.
Close bond: Larry Birkhead, 50 was proven to be Dannielynn’s biological father via paternity test in 2007, with the photographer moving to Kentucky to raise his daughter away from the spotlight (pictured together in 2022)
‘She followed what she needed to follow, especially during her pregnancy. She had very strict guidelines on how to manage the medicine during the pregnancy, which she followed,’ said Kapoor.
Two years after Smith’s passing, Kapoor was charged with eight felonies including unlawfully prescribing controlled substances, obtaining fraudulent prescriptions and conspiring to furnish controlled substances.
Kapoor did lose his medical license but was ultimately acquitted by a jury.
Smith rose to fame as a nude model for Playboy then became a model for Guess. She later starred in her own E! reality series The Anna Nicole Show.
Anna, who was born Vickie Lynn Hogan, married 89-year-old oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II in 1994 after she met him while performing at a strip club.
Following Anne Nicole’s death Howard fought for custody of her daughter Dannielynn, believing he was the father however a paternity suit later found the child was fathered by part-time celebrity photographer Birkhead.