Anna Nicole Smith’s deadly drug struggle revisited in Lifetime biopic


Anna Nicole Smith’s wild and unbelievable life story will be revisited tonight with the Lifetime move Anna Nicole, directed by American Psycho director Mary Harron. It’s based mostly on facts that emerged from Anna Nicole’s Supreme Court case detailed in a New York Magazine article called “Paw Paw and Lady Love.”

The Playboy Playmate’s life was driven by a thirst for attention, fame, money, and anything else that could get her high: food, sex, pills, alcohol.

When she died February 8, 2007 there were nine different drugs found in her system, including an the extremely powerful sleep medication chloral hydrate. She was also suffering from an infection on her butt (believed to be from an injection site,) and had developed an intestinal virus and blood infection. During court testimony for a 2010 drug conspiracy trial that investigated her lawyer Howard K. Stern and two doctors, Anna Nicole’s nanny Nadine Alexie and her daughter’s father Larry Birkhead testified about the extent of her drug use during her last months. Nadine said Anna Nicole had tried to kill herself twice using the chloral hydrate medication, and that at one point she counted 18 different medications Anna was taking, including multiple sedatives and opiates. According to Birkhead, among the drugs she was taking were Methadone, Klonopin, Topamax, Ambien and Vicodin. Her toloerance to these drugs was extremely high, but she would insist to Birkhead that she needed them because she was in pain.

The real pain she was trying to mask was probably emotional. She had just given birth to her daughter Danielynn and lost her 20-year-old son Daniel from a drug overdose all in the same day, which must have been immeasurable pain. She also may have been suffering from mental illness. During the trail Dr. Nathalie Maullin, a psychiatrist who treated Anna Nicole in 2006 when she was pregnant and brought into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center withdrawing from Xanax and Methadone testified that she thought Anna Nicole had “a borderline personality disorder” and a prescription pill addiction.

“My thoughts were these were very hard core medications to be giving for the kind of pain she was demonstrating,” said Maullin. “She was on medication that seemed like overkill for the type of pain she was in.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, here’s the definition of borderline personality disorder:

With borderline personality disorder, you may have a severely distorted self-image and feel worthless and fundamentally flawed. Anger, impulsiveness and frequent mood swings may push others away, even though you may desire to have loving and lasting relationships.

Symptoms of borderline personality disorder include:

Impulsive and risky behavior, such as risky driving, unsafe sex, gambling sprees or illegal drug use
Awareness of destructive behavior, including self-injury, but sometimes feeling unable to change it
Wide mood swings
Short but intense episodes of anxiety or depression
Inappropriate anger and antagonistic behavior, sometimes escalating into physical fights
Difficulty controlling emotions or impulses
Suicidal behavior
Feeling misunderstood, neglected, alone, empty or hopeless
Fear of being alone
Feelings of self-hate and self-loathing

Anna Nicole airs tonight at 8 EST on Lifetime.

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