The prime suspect would be that guy, Howard Stern:
Sure, she was on diet pills and who knows what else, but Smith also had a brand new husband partner, her lawyer Howard K. Stern. Seems a bit odd that her and her son would both die within months of each other, and you know, there’s a lot of money at stake. The early guesses are saying it was likely a heart problem.
In addition, seemed like her mom realized that Howard might’ve been trying to make a power play:
In October 2006, Anna Nicole Smith’s mom, Virgie Arthur, told Nancy Grace on CNN Headline News that after the death of Anna’s son, Daniel, she was concerned that Howard K. Stern was the one in line to inherit Anna’s millions.
"If Howard Stern marries her and she ends up dead, then who does the money go [to]? Danny’s not there," Arthur said.
In addition, reports are surfacing that Howard Stern was being seriously considered in the investigation of Daniel Smith (Anna Nicole Smith’s son) untimely passing:
Anna Nicole Smith’s longtime attorney and partner Howard K Stern is fighting tabloid reports he was responsible for the death of the actress/model’s son Daniel last September (06).
The lawyer admits he was stunned by claims he was seen flushing Methadone down the toilet at the home he shared with Smith in The Bahamas shortly after his partner’s son was found dead in the hospital room where she delivered her baby daughter.
Daniel died of a lethal drug overdose.
Stern insists there are people who are out to set him up for murder, and he’s appalled by their "despicable" behaviour.
Did he do it? Did Anna know?
Oh, and then there’s all that money:
Smith’s daughter, now possibly in line for a massive inheritance, is being claimed by two fathers, attorney Howard K. Stern and entertainment writer Larry Birkhead.
Lastly (for now), there also this little tidbit:
Smith’s lawyer Howard K. Stern insists that before Birkhead started working for the model-actress, he had signed a confidentiality agreement with her that he would not talk to the media on the matter.
Birkhead, however, claims ignorance about signing any such agreement, though he contends that the potential financial penalty of appearing on TV news shows will be worth it if he wins the paternity battle.
"This is my child; it doesn’t matter what the penalty is… I’m just defending myself," Contactmusic quoted him as saying.
The "Agreement Not To Communicate With The Media" consent form was obtained by news show ‘Entertainment Tonight’ prior to Birkhead’s latest interview, telecast on Tuesday night.
It features Birkhead’s signature and initials and a handwritten addendum that states, "If I breach this agreement then I will pay a liquidated damages sum of ten million dollars, and any money received would revert back to Anna Nicole Smith as damages from any breach."
If Anna’s money all goes to Howard in the event of her death, then he gets an extra $10 million from his main rival for her money affections. Pretty Machiavellian, I must say, but I guess we’ll see as time goes by.
UPDATED: What are the legal ramifications of Anna Nicole’s death? Here’s one lawyer’s opinion:
This is assuming CA law controls which is really uncertain right now.
1. If Anna Died without a Will, then Everything Would Go to Her Daughter, UNLESS She and Howard K Stern Were Legally Married
2. If She and Howard K Stern Were Married, and There Was Not a Will, then One Half of the Estate Would Go to Howard and the Other Half to Her Daughter
Here are some possible issues-