Larry Birkhead: Dannielynn Asked “Why Did Mommy Die?”

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.


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  1. This article says that Dannielynn is the spitting image of Nicole. Are you kidding me? She looks NOTHING like Nicole. She is the spitting image of her father. Just look at their faces. I don’t even think Nicole is a real blond and she has dark eyes but just the facial features is nothing like her. I don’t know what pictures they’re looking at.

  2. So precious, It’s too bad Nicole had to die. Anyone would be proud of this little girl. So glad that Larry is taking such great care of her. She looks happy and healthy. Good job Larry.

  3. i wish you were alive anna you would be so proud of that little girl,you would dress her up in so many pretty things,you would spoil her so much,and you would have a good man by your side with larry,i no the two of you would end up together,im so sorry thing ended up the way they did,you were a very beautiful woman i wish i looked half as good as you did..we will always remember you as long as we see dannielynn.

  4. Another personal, intimate situation that should NOT be shared with the public. This little girl doesn’t need her coping with her mother’s death critiqued by the world. Sheesh… he takes such pains to stay out of the public eye with her most of the time. Go back to that!

  5. I’m not sure that this isn’t one of those cases where the kid is better off with mom not around. Sad to say, but she’s going to end up with a pretty normal childhood instead of spending it watching mommy’s erratic behavior and seeing her passed out from too many prescription drugs. Anna Nicole may have been a sweet person, but she was incredibly damaged.

  6. I’ve always thought there was something bizarre about this guy. Everyone else just swoons over him because he wanted his kid and to be a daddy and there are no stories about him being a junkie wreck. I watch him on TV and read his interviews and he just gives me the creeps.

    He needs to stop pimping his kid out every chance he gets.

  7. It was such a sad situation when her Mom passed away. It surely could have been avoided completely if Anna had gotten help long ago. This little baby girl was brought into this world and will never get to know her Mom ever. I am so happy that Larry has stepped up to the plate and has tried enormously to keep her out of the spotlight and he has certainly done a great job at it. I am sure she is and will be a well adjusted little girl and young woman if Larry has anything to do with it. Kudos to you Larry! She is a little sweetheart and she looks just like you too!

  8. Larry is kidding himself if he doesn’t think that dannielynn would be going to a preschool in the Bahamas now if anna didn’t die

  9. Doesn’t anyone else think it’s odd that he say “But if you’re good … you’ll get to see her someday”?!

    • Yes! I think parents sometimes don’t think about the message they are sending, it just comes out. He may have good intentions, but what it sounds like to me is “if you’re not good, you’ll never see your mom”. ack.

  10. As long as this lil girl is adjusting well, being taken care of, happy and allowed to live out a normal childhood, lets stop bashing her mother, her father ect… her mother has met and/or will meet her judge, her father Larry, seems to be doing a good job as a single parent. Are we the public truly concerned for Dannielynn’s wellbeing? If we are, let’s try to speak positive so we the public do not contribute to this little mind being damaged with such public negative comments on her parents. I speak as a divorced parent of 2 grown adult children, who never heard negative comments from either parent about the other as they were growing up in divorced homes. As this is no different from the negative comments from public. Dannielynn will know what she needs to know soon enough, we dont need to add to her heart ache as she hears and reads one day. Just Saying!

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