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Anna Nicole Smith: The aftermath

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The sudden, shocking death of Anna Nicole Smith on Thursday has left a tangled web of questions. Initial autopsy results were inconclusive as to the cause of death. Now a bartender at the Hard Rock, where Anna was staying, offers a new clue.

Reportedly, the bartender says the model and reality star was pounding double shots hours before she died: “Her eyes were droopy. It looked like she was really drunk. She was slurring her speech. … She was wasted, out of her mind.”

The doctor who conducted the autopsy, however, told the Miami Herald, “There was no scent of alcohol in her stomach lining, no residue.” And though prescription drugs were found in Anna Nicole’s hotel room, the Florida county medical examiner says no pills were found in her stomach.

The mystery continues.

Alleged Dad Joins Anna’s Daughter

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(AP File Photo)  This photo of Anna Nicole Smith, her daughter, Dannielynn Hope, and Howard K. Stern was taken in the couple's Bahamas home during an Oct. 2006 interview with “Entertainment Tonight.” 

Howard K. Stern, the legal father of Anna Nicole’s daughter Dannielynn, flew back to the Bahamas to rejoin her — proclaiming, “This is the only piece of Anna I have left” — and to keep her from Anna’s estranged mother.

“Anna despised that woman,” Howard told an “ET” reporter. “As long as I have breath in my body, that woman will not see Dannielynn.”

Virgie Arthur, who has publicly expressed her wariness of Howard (eerily speculating in an October CNN interview, “If Howard Stern marries her and she ends up dead, then who does the money go [to]?”), had rushed to the Bahamas on Friday to care for her granddaughter. The New York Post reports that she has joined forces with Anna’s ex-boyfriend Larry Birkhead, who claims paternity of Dannielynn, to fight for custody.

“She has no right. She can’t take my baby. She can’t take Anna’s baby,” Howard countered.

No matter who ultimately gets Dannielynn, let’s hope she’s raised with love — and shielded from this ugliness.

Bizarre Baby Battle

The tug-of-war over Dannielynn’s paternity took a surprise twist when Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband, Prince Frederick von Anhalt, alleged that he could be the baby’s father. Now the real-life soap opera has gotten even stranger, with Anna’s estranged half-sister Donna Hogan claiming that Anna Nicole’s late husband, J. Howard Marshall III, also could have fathered the child.

According to the New York Daily News, in a draft of a proposed tell-all titled “Train Wreck,” Donna says Anna had the elderly billionaire’s sperm frozen: “I wouldn’t be shocked at all if it’s J. Howard’s [baby]. She saved his sperm after all, and that may be her trump card in her fight to get the old man’s estate.”

The book’s publisher claims the manuscript doesn’t contain the story.

What Went Wrong?

(AP Photo/Courtesy Mexia Independent School District) A 1985 yearbook photo shows Anna Nicole Smith (then known as Nikki Hart) during her sophmore year at Mexia High School in Texas, before her self-destructive lifestyle had taken hold.

Those close to Anna Nicole paint a picture of a troubled woman who had descended into a downward spiral.

Anna’s mother Virgie said in an ABC interview Friday she believed drugs caused her daughter’s death: “I tried to warn her about drugs and the people she hung around with. She didn’t listen. She was too drugged up. She was so wasted.”

In a CBS interview, former manager Eric Redding said the late starlet was “a very confused young lady from the beginning. Very childlike, almost like a kid, just like her son, Daniel. They did everything together. They were like brother and sister, to be honest, and very troubled for the last 16 years that I have known her.”

By all accounts, Daniel’s death was devastating for Anna.

A friend told the U.K.’s “News of the World” that two days before her death, Anna Nicole called and said, “I can’t go on — life is killing me. … I’ve given up.”

“I was really afraid for her. … She’d been self-destructing for years with all the drugs she was taking. She wanted to die,” the distraught friend said.

Though her life was too short, may Anna’s restless spirit finally be at peace.

Kitty Raymond is an entertainment writer who has a celebrity astrology blog at www.celebastroblogy.com

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