Anna Nicole Smith’s Autopsy Report: Her Cause of Death Revealed

anna nicole smith autopsy

Getty Model Anna Nicole Smith arrives at G-Phoria - The Award Show 4 Gamers held on July 31, 2004 at the Shrine Auditorium, in Los Angeles, California.

Anna Nicole Smith died from an accidental drug overdose just a few months after the death of her son, Daniel Smith, and the birth of her daughter, Dannielynn Birkhead. Anna Nicole Smith was 39 years old when she was found dead in a Florida hotel, her full autopsy report says.

The autopsy revealed details about the circumstances of her death. You can read the report in full here.

Fourteen years later, Dannielynn Birkhead and her dad, Larry Birkhead, are taking a journey through Anna Nicole Smith’s life on an encore episode of ABC 20/20. It airs at 9 p.m. Eastern time Friday, August 13, 2021.

Here’s what you need to know:

Anna Nicole Smith’s Autopsy Notes She Was Struggling With Depression After Giving Birth to a Daughter & Losing Her Son 3 Days Apart

Anna Nicole Smith gave birth to her daughter, Dannielynn Birkhead, in September 2006 and just three days later, her son, Daniel Smith, died. The autopsy report makes note of the tragic loss of her son, and said she was suffering from depression after the stress from both events.

“Depression following recent delivery of term infant and recent death of adult son (September 2006),” the report says.

Smith, whose real name was Vickie Lynn Marshall, died at a hotel in Florida in 2007. The autopsy was completed by the office of the Broward County Medical Examiner on February 9, 2007.

“This was a small-town girl who went to the Supreme Court twice, a Playboy Bunny, a Guess model, an actress, that came from the sticks of Mexia in Texas,” said Larry Birkhead on ABC 20/20. “You couldn’t make this up, and it happened. She lived it. She lived fast and she lived big.”

“She inspired a lot of people,” he added. “I think she changed a lot of lives. That’s why I think, to this day, there’s still a fascination about Anna Nicole, and I think there will be for a long time.”

Smith Died From Acute Combined Drug Intoxication, Abscesses & Viral Enteritis

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Smith was sick from a viral infection when she died, her autopsy report shows. Viral enteritis is a gastrointestinal infection caused by a virus that can cause fever, nausea, vommitting, diarrhea and other stomach problems, according to Healthline. It usually clears up on its own in a few days. Anna Nicole Smith also had abscesses when she died, which may have been caused by drug injection, the report says.

“A recent, hemorrhagic needle tract extends into the abscess wall from the skin surface,” the autopsy report said.

The autopsy report described both the abscesses and viral enteritis as contributing factors to her death. The autopsy report noted there was no evidence of trauma, but noted she had light bruising on both of her shoulders.

Larry Birkhead spoke about Anna Nicole Smith’s legacy in his interview with 20/20, and said he wants her to be remembered for her life, not for how she died. He said that Anna Nicole Smith had happy moments with her daughter before she died.

“When we talk about Anna Nicole, there were a lot of happy moments for her,” Larry said in the special. “There were a lot of highs before there were a lot of lows.”

He said she was a loving woman adored by her fans and by her family.

“Anna should be remembered as this larger than life figure that was really a caring, giving person,” he said on the show. “A beautiful lady who loved her fans and loved her family.”

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