February 8, 2017 marked the 10th anniversary of Anna Nicole Smith‘s death at the age of 39. Six months before her death, in September 2006, Smith gave birth to Dannielynn Birkhead, her only surviving child. Smith’s mother, Virgie Arthur, claims that Dannielynn’s father, Larry Birkhead, hasn’t allowed her to see her granddaughter.
Birkhead appeared on ABC News’ 20/20 in February during a special about Dannielynn’s mother. Dannielynn is Smith’s only surviving child. Her son, Daniel Wayne Smith, whose father was Billy Wayne Smith, died in September 2006 at age 20. His death came three days after Dannielynn was born.
Smith became famous after appearing as Playboy Playmate of the Month in May 1992. Aside from her modeling career, she tried her hardest to break into movies, with roles in The Hudsucker Proxy and Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult, but only ended up making six movies in her career. From 2002 to 2004, she starred on The Anna Nicole Show, a reality TV series on E!.
Here’s a look at Dannielynn’s life and what her grandmother has to say.
1. Arthur Says She Was ‘Scared to Death’ That Dannielynn Will Be the Next Member of the Family to Die Young
To mark the 10th anniversary of her Smith’s death, The Daily Mail interviewed Arthur, who claims that Birkhead hasn’t allowed her to see her granddaughter. She also said she fears that Dannielynn will be the next member of the family to die young. After Smith died, she rushed to the Bahamas, where Dannielynn was born.
“I was scared to death that Dannielynn would be the next one that died. I was scared to death so I went to the Bahamas to see if there was any way I could stop it and it not happen to her,” she told the Daily Mail.
Arthur claims that she hasn’t seen her granddaughter since 2010.
“I want to be part of Dannielynn’s life. She is my daughter’s child and the only one left in that line of lives. Vickie’s daddy is dead, her husband is dead and her first husband is dead, his parents are dead. They have all passed away,” Arthur, who still refers to Smith by her birth name – Vickie Lynn Hogan – told the Daily Mail.
Arthur said that Dannielynn never got to know Smith’s family.
“She needs to know and one day, she will. One day, you will have problems with her and she’ll find where we’re at and she will come to find us to talk about her mother,” Arthur told the Daily Mail.
2. Birkhead Says There’s No Truth to Rumors of a Rift Between Him & Dannielynn’s Grandmother
Birkhead was interviewed by Inside Edition least week and said that the rumors of a rift between him and Arthur weren’t true.
“Anna’s mom has seen Dannielynn, and she’s seen her a few times,” Birkhead told the show. “I say that only because I want the story to stop.”
Although in that interview with Inside Edition, Birkhead claimed that Dannielynn is not one of the 10 richest children in America. “We saw a video on YouTube that she was one of the ten richest kids in America. Then she wanted to go to the mall. And I’m like, ‘No, it’s not that. Trust me, it’s not that,'” he said.
Dannielynn is now in fifth grade and is learning how to play the violin. She lives with Birkhead in Louisville, Kentucky.
In a new interview with 20/20, Birkhead said that his daughter is “fearless like her mom.”
“I could stand right next to my daughter and we could look like twins, and the first thing they’ll say is … ‘spitting image of the mother,'” Birkhead told 20/20.
3. She Has an Estimated Net Worth of $10 Million, but Doesn’t Have Access to J. Howard Marshall’s Estate
After a court battle that lasted nearly two decades, E! News reported in 2014 that a federal judge decided that Smith’s estate wouldn’t receive millions of dollars from the estate of J. Howard Marshall II‘s son.
During the last 14 months of his life, Marshall was married to Smith. He died in 1995 at age 90. She insisted that they never married for money, although she claimed she had the right to half of his $1.6 billion fortune. The legal battle went on far longer than Smith’s marriage to Marshall and even went to the Supreme Court.
As E! News reported, Birkhead hoped to get $44 million in sanctions, but a judge denied the request.
However, Celebrity Net Worth estimates that Dannielynn’s estimated net worth is still $10 million.
4. A DNA Test in 2007 Was 99.99 Percent Certain That Birkhead Is Dannielynn’s Father
Thanks to Smith’s complicated love life, Dannielynn sparked a parental dispute between four potential fathers after Smith’s death. Eventually, after a paternity test, celebrity photographer Birkhead was determined to be the father.
Smith was dating Birkhead while also involved with her lawyer Howard K. Stern. Mark Hatten, another former boyfriend, and Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband Frederic Prinz von Anhalt also claimed to be Dannielynn’s father. Stern was listed on her birth certificate as the father.
However, as CNN reported back in 2007, a paternity test was 99.99 percent certain that Birkhead was the father. Stern decided not to fight Birkhead for custody.
“My feelings for Dannielynn have not changed,” Stern said at the time. “I am not going to fight Larry Birkhead on custody. We’re going to do what we can to make sure that the best interests of Dannielynn are carried out. And I’m going to do whatever I can to make sure he gets sole custody.”
A Bahamanian court ruled that Birkhead has sole custody of Dannielynn. Stern had to pay $10,000 in court costs.
5. Months After Celebrating Her First Birthday, Dannielynn Had to Have Eye Surgery
In January 2008, just a few months after she turned one year old, Birkhead revealed that Dannielynn had strabismus, an eye condition, and had to undergo surgery. She had to wear a patch for a time because of the condition.
“I got her a little pirate doll to show her that people wear patches, and it’s okay and daddy wears a patch if he has to to show her it’s okay,” Birkhead told Entertainment Tonight in 2008. “I’ve been really aggressive with the patch as much as I can be. At first she was really open to it and it didn’t really bother her. Now, she’s gotten a little smart because she can pull it off, so it’s a little bit harder for me to patch her.”
Today, Dannielynn remains in the public eye. Each year, Birkhead takes her to the Kentucky Derby. She also made her modeling debut in 2012 for Guess.
In a Good Morning America interview in 2012, Birkhead sadly admitted that this might be the only connection she has to her mother.
“My goal for her is for her to be a child and just do what all kids do,” Birkhead said in 2012.