Virgie Arthur, Anna Nicole Smith's mother, said today in an exlusive internview on "Good Morning America" that Smith's death may have been a result of drug use.
"I think she had too many drugs," Arthur told "GMA" anchor Robin Robert, "just like Danny." This was an apparent reference to Smith's 20-year-old son Daniel, who died suddenly in the Bahamas last year.
Arthur has said in interviews that she believes that Daniel's death was not an accident.
A 28-year veteran of Texas law enforcement, Arthur has been very frank about her disappointment in Anna Nicole because of her use of drugs and her "hanging out with the wrong crowd."
"And I tried to warn her about drugs and the people that she hung around with," Arthur said. "She wouldn't listen."
The cause of the 39-year-old model's death is under investigation, according to police. An autopsy will be performed today.
Mother and Daughter Estranged
Arthur has also said that the father of her granddaughter, Dannielyn Hope, is not Smith's attorney Howard K. Stern, as both Smith and Stern claim, but Smith's ex-boyfriend, Larry Birkhead.
Birkhead is waging a legal challenge, saying he is Dannielyn's father. A hearing on the case is planned for today in Los Angeles.
Five-month-old Dannielyn is reportedly in the Bahamas.
Smith and her mother were somewhat estranged. Arthur said that the last time she saw her daughter was in a television interview.
"But she was too drugged up," Arthur said. "She was so wasted."
Arthur said that she tried to help her daughter but couldn't get close because the people around Smith kept family away.
"The people she was around wouldn't let, you know, let us get close to her or talk to her," Arthur said. "She should be alive to raise her daughter."
Arthur made several public appeals to her daughter on television shows like "The Keith Ablow Show" and "The Nancy Grace Show" this fall.
"Vicky Lynn, you know I love you, always have," Arthur said on "Nancy Grace," using Anna Nicole's birth name. "And be very careful about who you hang around with because you may be next."
Proud of Smith's Accomplishments
Despite their strained relationship, Arthur said she was proud of her daughter.
"She had come so far, made a big name for herself," Arthur said.
But she admitted that Smith's claim of a poor, country-girl background was somewhat exaggerated.
"Well, she didn't come from a small town, as she said she did," Arthur said. "I asked her, 'you were born in Houston, middle-class family. Why do you tell that story?'"
Smith said that a "rags to riches" story was much more interesting to the media, Arthur said.
Arthur remembered her daughter saying, "'if my name is out there in the news, good or bad, it doesn't matter... good or bad, I make money so I'm going to do whatever it takes.'"
"And she did. She was savvy," Arthur said.
Worried About Granddaughter
While authorities investigate the cause of Smith's death, Arthur said she's hoping to be with her granddaughter.
"I'm going to go over there and see what I can do to help her, because she's the last of the two. I have a dead grandson, I have a dead daughter, and I have a granddaughter that I'm really worried about," she said.
Arthur said she wants Dannielyn to be with her father, "whichever one that is," but that she wants to be involved in her granddaughter's life.
She is also worried that the custody battle over Smith's daughter could get ugly because she may or may not be the legal heir to a huge fortune.
Smith was involved in a legal battle with the family of former husband J. Howard Marshall over the oil tycoon's $88 million estate.
"May I ask everybody to pray for the health and safety of my granddaughter," Arthur said.
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