After looking deeper into pop culture icons like Pamela Anderson and Britney Spears, Netflix is delving into the life of Anna Nicole Smith, a prominent figure in pop culture, in their latest documentary film titled You Don’t Know Me. This docu-film sheds light on Smith’s personal life and her journey to stardom, uncovering the true nature of the woman behind the celebrity facade. Prior to her untimely death at the age of 39 from an accidental drug overdose in 2007, Smith was known as Vickie Lynn Hogan, her birth name.
The film explores significant milestones in Smith’s life, including her highly publicised legal battle over the estate of her second husband, J. Howard Marshall, who passed away at the age of 90, just a year into their marriage. It also delves into her relationships with her son Daniel, who tragically died of an accidental drug overdose at the age of 20 in 2006, and her daughter Dannielynn, who is currently 16 years old.
Throughout the documentary, viewers are presented with a multitude of revelations as Smith’s close friends provide intimate insights into her true personality and demeanour beyond her public image.
Smith married an elderly billionaire in the ‘90s
In the documentary, Melissa “Missy” Byrum, a friend of Anna Nicole Smith, provided valuable insights into Smith’s early life. Byrum and Smith forged their friendship when the latter left her hometown of Mexia and ventured to Los Angeles, where they both found employment at a strip club.
Byrum revealed that their bond extended beyond friendship, as they shared an intimate relationship for several years. During this period, Smith’s love life was characterised by a whirlwind of experiences. It was during one of these phases that the Playboy model encountered J. Howard Marshall, who would later become her second husband.
Byrum recounted that despite the close connection between Smith and Marshall and his repeated marriage proposals, Smith declined each one. She was determined to establish her own identity and feared that marrying Marshall prematurely would subject her to being perceived as a “gold digger.”
Nevertheless, Smith and Marshall eventually exchanged vows in 1994. However, their union was short-lived, as Marshall’s passing at the age of 90 triggered a protracted legal dispute over his vast estate. The contentious legal battle revolved around whether Smith should receive any portion of Marshall’s wealth.
The death of her son Daniel impacted her adversely
Maurice “Big Moe” Brighthaupt, Smith’s former bodyguard, shared in the documentary the profound impact of Daniel’s death on her and how it devastated her emotionally. He revealed that Smith blamed herself for the accidental overdose that took her son’s life and expressed thoughts of not wanting to continue living.
The bodyguard explained that he would show Smith her baby daughter, Dannielynn, to encourage her that the newborn was the reason the model should keep living.
Smith’s drug addiction started after she got plastic surgery
Smith’s friend Missy alleged that the former believed chest implants would help her launch a modelling career, but became dependent on painkillers like Valium, Xanax, Lortabs, Vicodin, and Klonopin after the procedure during her recovery period.
According to this friend their romantic relationship ended as Smith transformed into an “egotistical monster” and a severe drug addict. Missy stated that Smith constantly consumed drugs and felt powerless to stop her, as the model had developed a significant drug habit that seemed unstoppable.
Smith was offered to star alongside Jim Carrey in The Mask
In the documentary, there was a scene featuring Anna Nicole Smith on a phone call discussing her interest in two films, namely The Mask and Naked Gun 33⅓, with an unidentified person. She specifically mentions the 1994 comedy film and highlights the presence of the talented actor Jim Carrey. Although Smith expressed her admiration for The Mask and believed that taking on the role would showcase her acting abilities, she turned down the offer for the lead female role due to what she perceived as a humiliatingly low payment offer of $50,000.
Subsequently, the role in question was given to Cameron Diaz, who was relatively unknown at that time. Meanwhile, Smith went on to appear in the third instalment of the Naked Gun franchise.
She had a troubled relationship with her father
After achieving fame as a Playboy model, Anna Nicole Smith re-established contact with her father and brother, Donnie Hogan. She enlisted the help of a private investigator to locate her estranged father and succeeded in reuniting with him.
According to Smith’s friend Byrum, she had held an idealised image of her father for many years. However, their reunion took a distressing turn when he allegedly attempted to sexually assault her at a Playboy party. When questioned about this incident in the documentary, Smith’s brother acknowledged the possibility of their father’s capability but stated that he was present with them for most of the time, leaving uncertainty about whether the event had occurred. However, he did not entirely dismiss the story.