At nearly 6-years-old, Dannielynn Birkhead is beginning to ask some tough questions about the untimely death of her mother, Anna Nicole Smith. During last week’s appearance on Good Morning America, Dannielynn’s father, Larry Birkhead, 39, discussed a recent visit to the Bahamas – where Anna Nicole and her son Daniel are both buried – and the moment when his young daughter started asking about her deceased mother.
“[Dannielynn] said, “Why did mommy die?” Larry said. “And I said ‘You know, the doctors couldn’t fix her. But if you’re good … you’ll get to see her someday.’”
Dannielynn was thrust into the spotlight as a young infant due to a highly-publicized legal battle between Birkhead and Howard K. Stern, who was listed as the father on her birth certificate. A DNA test later proved Birkhead to be her father.
“I’ve always tried to make adjustments. We adjust to paparazzi,” Larry continued, adding that he “never knew it was going to be this hard,” to raise a child as a single father.
According to the proud papa, Dannielynn, who is the spitting image of her mother, is “as well-adjusted as she can be,” and shares her sense of adventure.
With so much written about Anna Nicole’s colorful past, Larry said he isn’t worried about his daughter learning the truth.
“I hope that she understands that no one’s perfect and people have triumphs and people have tragedies,” he said, adding that he wants to make sure Dannielynn understands what happened to her mother, and “make things a cautionary tale.”
And it sounds like Dannielynn wants a mother figure. The sweet girl is so keen to see her father married that there’s “not a week that goes by” where she doesn’t raise the subject.
“She says, you know, ‘Daddy, why don’t you go get married?’” he said. “I said, ‘Well, who do you want me to marry?’ And she replied, ’Well, why don’t you marry Lady Gaga?’ he said, laughing. “You know, I’m thinking, you know, down-home Kentucky girl and she’s thinking Lady Gaga. So maybe we’ll meet in the middle somewhere.”
He added: “She made a Mother’s Day card at school and I said, ‘Do you want to make it for your mom in, you know, heaven?’ And she said, ‘Yes.’ But then she brought it to me and she says, ‘You can have it and maybe you can give it to your new wife.”
Dannielynn was born Sept. 7, 2006. Just three days later, her 20-year-old half brother, Daniel, died due to an accidental overdose of methadone with the antidepressants Lexapro and Zoloft. Her grieving mother’s death followed less than a year later when Nicole, 39, was found dead in a Florida hotel room on Feb. 8, 2007. Her death was also ruled an accidental overdose, with a mixture of nine prescription drugs.
Anna Nicole, a Playboy model and reality TV star, married oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall a year before his death at the age of 90. The former Guess model spent years in court battling her husband’s son E. Pierce Marshall for her claim of half of her late husband’s $1.6 billion estate.