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Complete Coverage of the Anna Nicole Smith Funeral
Aired March 2, 2007 - 23:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
A.J. HAMMER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT ANCHOR: Anna Nicole Smith buried in the Bahamas, but why she may not be there for long. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
SIBILA VARGAS, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT ANCHOR: And Anna Nicole remembered. Tonight, why she`s being compared to Rocky. I`m Sibila Vargas in Hollywood. TV`s most provocative entertainment news show starts right now.
HAMMER: On SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the Anna Nicole funeral frenzy. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is right there in the Bahamas for the bizarre, over the top ceremony.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If one were to write a Greek tragedy, one could not a script as sorrowful and as hurtful as this.
HAMMER: The surprises, who showed up, and why it could have been canceled at the very last minute. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the emotional and sometimes strange goodbye to Anna Nicole.
Also tonight, cashing in on Anna Nicole`s death. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates who is making money off this tragedy. Why it`s absolutely outrageous and will it stop any time soon. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT reveals the shocking secret of who is getting paid, even as Anna Nicole is laid to rest.
Welcome to the weekend. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
VARGAS: I`m Sibila Vargas in Hollywood. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you tonight that what happened today in the Bahamas will not soon be forgotten.
HAMMER: That`s right Sibila. Anna Nicole Smith was finally laid to rest today, more than three weeks after her shocking and sudden death. And in death, as in life, everything about her funeral was over the top. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is right there in the Bahamas throughout the hour. And we`re something some of the tough questions that need to be asked, including why are some people outrageously cashing in on this tragedy?
And quite frankly, let me tell you, it is disgusting. But first tonight, the funeral and the burial custom made for Anna Nicole.
HOWARD K. STERN, LAWYER FOR ANNA NICOLE SMITH: We come to Nassau in the Bahamas, a beautiful, lush setting that was chosen by Vickie Lynn Marshall, known as Anna Nicole Smith.
HAMMER (voice-over): After a life filled with glamour and tragedy, and a death marked by controversy and discord, Anna Nicole Smith is finally at rest, with TV coverage befitting a state funeral.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anna Nicole Smith, a woman who was famous for being famous, receiving an elaborate send-off here in Nassau.
HAMMER: And fan interest befitting a Hollywood premier. The funeral of Anna Nicole Smith was a solemn, but splashy, pink-colored affair that reminded everyone of the outlandish life she led.
JO PIAZZA, "NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": I think this is everything Anna Nicole Smith would have ever wanted. It is as over the top in death as she was in life.
HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has for you everything you wanted to know about Anna Nicole Smith`s funeral. Anna Nicole`s final journey began Friday morning, when her body was finally taken from the Florida medical examiner`s office. It spent three weeks there, deteriorating in legal limbo, while her self-proclaimed loved ones bickered in court over who should bury her and where.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This mother is a mother who deserves the right to bury the remains of her child.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Miss Smith`s intentions were that she would be buried with her son.
HAMMER: The trip to the Miami airport was a spectacle itself, broadcast live on TV. Anna Nicole`s body, in a motorcade, getting a police escort. It was then placed aboard a private plane for the short flight to the Bahamas. Meanwhile, at the Baptist church in Nassau, where the funeral was to take place, a media mob scene.
Onlookers, news reporters, police and cameramen, appropriately dressed in black, combined at the funeral sight to easily out number the 100 or so mourners estimated to have attended the service. Cheers greeted the arrivals of Anna Nicole`s companion Howard K. Stern, ex-boyfriend Larry Birkhead, who is fighting Stern over who fathered Dannielynn, and estranged mother Virgie Arthur, who fought unsuccessfully in court to bury Anna Nicole in Texas.
Even rock guitarist Slash showed up. Then the star herself arrived. Cries of "Anna, we love you" greeted the Hearst that carried Anna Nicole Smith`s body from the airport to the church.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have unfurled the red carpet.
HAMMER: A final stylish entrance for the starlet, as pall barriers carried Anna Nicole`s coffin along a red carpet. It was draped in pink, Anna Nicole`s favorite color.
RICHARD MILSTEIN, GUARDIAN OF ANNA NICOLE`S DAUGHTER: Today we share our grief with all of you, ladies and gentlemen here at the church, at the grave side and worldwide audience.
HAMMER: Richard Milstein, the court-appointed guardian for little Dannielynne, won the right to decide where to bury Anna Nicole. Wearing a pink tie in honor of Anna Nicole, he addressed the crowd before the funeral.
MILSTEIN: I`m asking all of you, the public, the media, all to write a final chapter to this great tragedy with me. I`m asking you to leave a legacy of decorum, dignity, peace and serenity for her only daughter, Dannielynne.
HAMMER: Inside the closed casket funeral, Stern reportedly delivered a passionate eulogy, saying, quote, "she controlled her life. Her opinions were her opinions, and her judgment wasn`t clouded by anything. She was wonderful and she was kind. To me, she was perfect."
And Stern settled some scores too, reportedly saying, quote, "it was wrong for people to portray Anna the way they did when she passed away, people who claim to be friends, her lawyer, and even the judge. If these people have decency or dignity, or any concern for Anna or Dannielynne, they wouldn`t have done it.
And ending with a message to his departed companion, Stern reportedly said, quote, "you and I, we know the truth. We lived it. And that`s all that matters. When my work is done, I promise you, I will come home to you again, both you and Daniel. I love you."
As news helicopters whizzed by overhead, Anna Nicole was brought to her final resting place here in this cemetery. As a green tent shielded mourners from the media glare, Anna Nicole was buried next to her son Daniel, who died mysteriously last year. Now mother and son rest together.
HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s coverage of the Anna Nicole Smith funeral continues now as we take you down to the Bahamas. With us tonight, in Nassau, "E News" correspondent Jason Kennedy. He`s been there all day. And Jason, at one point today I heard you say on the air that you have never seen a spectacle like this in your life. Were you just blowing away by the whole thing?
JASON KENNEDY, "E NEWS": A.J., first off, thanks for having me. I think spectacle was putting it lightly. I arrived at the church at about 5:00 a.m. and there were literally 50 or 60 Bohemians at the church that early. I mean, the thing wasn`t starting until 10:00 or 10:30. And then, as we got closer to the funeral time, I probably would say 300 or 400 tourists, Bohemians, not even to mention the media frenzy were there outside. It was pretty interesting.
HAMMER: And a lot of people said it at least had the magnitude -- I don`t think the pink lent itself to this -- but the magnitude of a state funeral or something just so much more grand than they ever would have expected for a woman, who a lot of people say was famous for just being famous.
KENNEDY: Exactly. I`ve never seen motorcades quite that long before in my life. The key players in this entire thing, Virgie Arthur, Howard K. Stern, Larry Birkhead, they literally, when they left their respective hotels here on the small island of Nassau, had 15 or 16 motorcycles literally taking them to this church. And then, when they went from the church to the cemetery, it was the exact same thing, hundreds of -- I think it was around 120, 130 people that attended the funeral. They all had limos. They all had Town Cars. And it was something I have never seen.
The Bohemians all knew about this. This is something that everybody was waiting for, playing out in the courts, and finally it happened today. So, to be there was pretty interesting. One more thing, A.J., I saw a remote control helicopter that someone was flying over the church during the funeral. They had placed a camera on it to get a camera angle. It was pretty insane.
HAMMER: I have to say, I`m not surprised at all to here that. So Jason, here we are. We are three weeks after Anna Nicole died. Finally, her coffin is getting there to be buried. And I`m curious to get your perspective, as somebody who was right there when the coffin shows up for the funeral. Was it actually an emotional moment with all of the bystanders, or was it kind of like people were there to watch the show that was going on, as they have been all along?
KENNEDY: It wasn`t very emotional in the very beginning. But, as I was saying earlier, the tourists and the Bohemians that were there, and the media, they were pretty quiet as the body arrived there. But there was this weird pause. People were filing into the church. But then the hearse was there with Anna`s body inside of it and nothing was happening. The pall bearers weren`t coming out of the church to take the body inside.
We found out later, that was because there was an appeal, a last- minute appeal by Virgie Arthur in a Bohemian court, that the judge quickly shot down. But, as the bystanders were there, it wasn`t like the media were yelling out questions, trying to get a sound bite here and there. It was more like people were sitting back and saying, finally this is taking place and we just kind of want to watch it.
And then, before the entire thing started Richard Milstein, the court- appointed attorney for young Dannielynne talked to the media. He said, please respect her. He talked about her life, that type of thing. They got under way about 30 minutes after schedule. I think the funeral started at about 11:05 eastern standard time.
HAMMER: Jason, I have about 30 seconds left. You mentioned that 11th hour appeal by Virgie Arthur that was shot down. So, despite the fact that at the last moment she was trying to keep this funeral from actually taking place, she still got up and delivered a eulogy. Knowing what we now know about how Anna despised her mother, didn`t this make the whole thing more surreal?
KENNEDY: It seems pretty surreal, to say the least. And I talked to some people that were actually inside. Virgie was the first person to speak. She talked about how Anna had made something of her life. Then Larry Birkhead spoke. And then Howard K. Stern delivered a eulogy, talking about how Anna was smart. He also later talked about Daniel Smith and his tragic death.
But to have Virgie in there, she sat on the far right-hand side of the church, away from Howard, who was in the front row, on the left-hand side, and Larry on the second row. Howard and Larry were talking, but not with Virgie. There was no correspondence going on between the two of them. Virgie did her own thing and went up there, talked about Anna, sat back down and went to the cemetery.
HAMMER: Well Jason, having been there yourself, you`ll have a story to tell for the rest of your life. "E News" correspondent Jason Kennedy in the Bahamas, I really appreciate you being with us tonight.
KENNEDY: Thanks for having me A.J.
VARGAS: Well now we want to hear from you. It`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day: Anna Nicole Smith saga, does the baby belong with Howard K. Stern? Go to CNN.com/SHOWBIZTONIGHT. Send us e-mail at SHOWBIZTONIGHT@CNN.com. And remember SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is the only entertainment news show that let`s you express your view on video. To send us a video e-mail, go to our website, CNN.com/SHOWBIZTONIGHT. Well A.J., Anna Nicole is buried in the Bahamas, but would you believe it if I told you that she may not stay there.
HAMMER: Honestly, I would believe pretty much anything at this point with the whole saga.
VARGAS: It`s just so incredibly insane, isn`t it? The battle over her body is not over. Next, why her current resting place may not be her final one. We`ve also got this --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If one were to write a Greek tragedy, one could not write a script as sorrowful and as hurtful as this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: There was lots of emotion today at Anna Nicole`s funeral. And some of the most heartfelt words came from someone who didn`t even know her.
VARGAS: And also tonight, cashing in on Anna Nicole`s death. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates who is making money off this tragedy. It`s absolutely outrageous. And will it stop any time soon?
VARGAS: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s continuing coverage of Anna Nicole Smith`s funeral. I`m Sibila Vargas in Hollywood. Today we were right there in the Bahamas for the over the top and at times bizarre ceremony. What a scene it was inside, where eulogies were given by Howard K. Stern, Smith`s attorney and partner, her ex-boyfriend, Larry Birkhead and Smith`s mother, Virgie Arthur.
HAMMER: And even just hours before the funeral, another bizarre twist almost put it on hold. With us tonight to talk about that and so much more, from New York, Ashleigh Banfield, host of Court TV`s "Hollywood Heat," and from Los Angeles, investigative journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell, also the author of the soon to be released book "Secrets Can Be Murder."
Ladies, pardon me for sounding like I am lacking compassion, but we mentioned the eulogy by Howard K. Stern. He sounded like one bitter guy when he delivered this eulogy. He was reportedly taking shots at all the players who were mounting the court challenges, keeping this burial from happening, basically saying that they had no decency or dignity.
Jane, is this not the height of hypocracy coming from Howard K. Stern?
JANE VELEZ MITCHELL, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: You know, I don`t know if my head is cynical enough, A.J., to consider all the possibilities. The more I follow this story, the more I think follow the money everywhere you turn. I mean, this was a private ceremony for family and friends, except that a major entertainment outlet got the exclusive, and has cameras inside and the whole world will eventually get to see it. So how private is that?
Who benefited from that deal? Did Howard K. Stern negotiate it? Was it done to benefit little Dannielynn in trust, who, by the way, was not at the funeral services today? Was Virgie Arthur cut out? Is that why she was so mad that she filed this 11th hour move to stop the funeral, literally stopping the procession in its tracks. It`s way over the top everywhere you turn.
HAMMER: And we should have seen this coming, because just hours before the funeral, yet another shocker, and another player to add to the cast of characters. Billy Smith, Anna Nicole`s ex-husband and the father of her dead son Daniel, all of a sudden saying he`s going to court to get Daniel`s body. Ashleigh, what the heck was all that about?
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, COURT TV ANCHOR: Well, it`s all about a petition. He has written this letter to the chief magistrate. The magistrate has acknowledged receipt and actually set a hearing for next week on Tuesday, in which we`ll probably find out something about this. But can I tell you a little inside story? One of our correspondents actually had a nice long conversation this morning with the chief magistrate about the chances of exhuming a body in the Bahamas. And the way it was characterized to our correspondent was, fat chance.
HAMMER: Good, good, we don`t want this to get any more complicated than it already is, when it seems that possibly things are getting settled. However, it`s not lost on me that -- and think about this for a second -- Anna Nicole Smith is now buried three weeks after her death, finally, right next to her son Daniel. He has been dead now for more than five months. In both cases, still no official cause of death.
Jane, I think that`s just nuts.
MITCHELL: It is crazy. And we have to remember that none of this is over. March 27th there will be a coroner`s inquest in the Bahamas. That`s like a mini trial into why Daniel died. We know that he was found with seven drugs in his system, including Methadone, anti-depressants and a sleeping pill. And then next week the toxicology reports are set to come out on Anna Nicole Smith. So we can expect bombshell after bombshell, and a lot more coming in about drugs and money, and at the center of it all, this little five and a half-month-old baby girl, and what`s going to happen to her. Who`s the father? Who`s going to get custody at the end of the day?
HAMMER: And as these bomb shells drop, I`m wondering if we can expect all the kumbaya we`ve seen going on to continue. Because we did see everyone at the funeral together today. Everyone was at the cemetery today. At least there was relative calm there. All the players probably catching their breath over the course of this weekend. And then, as you mentioned, it`s back on to battle over the baby. I`m guessing, Ashleigh, by next week it`s just going to be back to your battle stations everybody and just get uglier and uglier.
BANFIELD: I think so. And let me tell you one thing before I tell you about the big battle station, which is 474 million dollars. And that is the chief magistrate did happen to mention that the only person who may be exhuming Daniel`s body might be him in the inquest. So we`ll find out about that in a couple of weeks.
But back to that big story, the big battle station, while everyone is battling over baby Dannielynne, I just got off the phone with the attorney for the Marshalls. And I said what is going on with the big probate bankruptcy story, and the 474 million/88 million dollar battle. And he said, you know, the 9th circuit might actually rule tomorrow. They could rule tomorrow, next week, three months down the line. But basically what they`re waiting for is the petitioner. They`re waiting for whoever is representing Anna Nicole Smith now to come forward and say, I`m the one carrying out the fight. And he actually even said to me, it might even be the guardian ad litem of baby Dannielynne. So we may have a whole host of new players coming into the old story in Texas.
HAMMER: Twenty seconds, Jane. This is just going to get uglier, isn`t it?
MITCHELL: It is, and we cannot forget about this little girl. I wish I could have seen her today. There are so many questions about her health, given that we now purportedly have two videos of Anna Nicole Smith, seen late in her pregnancy, quite apparently intoxicated. And there are many experts who say that could have effected the little baby, and she might need medical care right now.
HAMMER: Got to wrap you there. Jane Velez Mitchell, Ashleigh Banfield, thanks, as always.
BANFIELD: Thanks, A.J.
HAMMER: Well Anna Nicole memories are pouring in from all over the world. Next, an emotional tribute that compares her to Rocky. We`ve also got this --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: During her lifetime, Anna Nicole Smith became a larger than life persona. Her stars shone in the highest of zenith.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VARGAS: Lots of emotion today at Anna Nicole`s funeral. And some of the most heartfelt words came from someone who didn`t even know her. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is right there with all the sights and sounds.
HAMMER: Also tonight, cashing in on Anna Nicole`s death. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates who is making money off this tragedy. Why it`s absolutely outrageous. And the question is, will it stop any time soon?
VARGAS: Well tonight Anna Nicole is being remembered by many all over the world, including TrimSpa, the weight loss product company she was a spokesman for. In a statement to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TrimSpa says, "Smith was perhaps the female Rocky of our generation. Rooting for the under dog, we wanted to see her endure 15 rounds and endure she did. Some have said that she had no talent, but few can contest that she took what god gave her and conditions in which she lived, and made the absolute best of it. For that, her friends and fans always adored her. She personified the American dream."
HAMMER: Well, no live cameras were allowed inside Anna Nicole`s private ceremony. So yesterday we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day, Anna Nicole Smith`s funeral; If televised would you watch. Well only 30 percent said yes; 70 percent of you saying no.
Among the e-mails we received, we heard from Sue in Texas. She writes, "I`ve watched everything about her for the last three weeks, and I certainly would like to see her funeral."
We also heard from Kathy in Indiana, who writes, "I didn`t watch Anna Nicole Smith while she was alive. Why would I want to watch her funeral?"
Cashing in on Anna Nicole`s death, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates just who is making money off this tragedy. Why it`s absolutely outrageous and will it stop any time soon.
VARGAS: And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is right there in the Bahamas for the over the top, outrageous funeral. But you won`t believe what happened just before Anna`s body got there. That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If one were to write a Greek tragedy, one could not write a script as sorrowful and as hurtful as this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAMMER: The tears were flowing today. Lots of emotion coming from Anna Nicole`s funeral in the Bahamas. Some of the most heartfelt words heard came from someone who didn`t even know her at all. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, of course, right there in the Bahamas tonight with all of the sights and sounds. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT for Friday night coming right back.
HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
VARGAS: I`m Sibila Vargas in Hollywood. This is TV`s most provocative entertainment news show.
HAMMER: Sibila, lots of questions are being raised over exactly who is making money and who is getting paid as Anna Nicole Smith finally laid to rest today. Coming up, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates just who is cashing in on this whole sordid affair.
VARGAS: It`s absolutely crazy.
And also, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT brings you the sights and sounds of the solemn ceremony in the Bahamas that had America glued to the TV today.
HAMMER: But first tonight, as we have been reporting, Anna Nicole Smith finally laid to rest today, more than three weeks after her shocking and sudden death. And her burial was jam-packed with all kinds of pomp and circumstance, fit for a queen. A president even.
SHOWBIZ TONIGHT now takes you back to the Bahamas. CNN correspondent Susan Candiotti has been covering this shocking story since the beginning. She joins me tonight from Nassau in the Bahamas.
Good to see you, Susan. And before we even get to what happened today in the Bahamas, just the process of getting Anna Nicole Smith`s body to the airport in Miami in the pre-dawn hours, through the empty streets, was quite a spectacle in itself, wasn`t it?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was. Before the sun even came up, not one, but two hearses arrived at the medical examiner`s office, where her remains had been kept stored - in storage for a few weeks now. One hearse presumably was to be a decoy, but finally her casket was loaded onto the hearse.
And then it took this incredible journey down Interstate 95, before the sun even came up. Quite a motorcade, with a lot of police cars, lights flashing, several motorcycle cops as well.
And you can imagine, if you were involved in that rush-hour traffic, looking over to see this. I think a few people figured it out because they were pointing and seemed to say, `Oh, this must be Anna Nicole Smith.`
Then finally, the motorcade arriving at the airport. They - because of security reasons, forced them to open the - the trunks of all these vehicles, including the hearse, to make sure that everything was on the up and up.
Why do they have all this security? Well, as police told us, they were concerned that possibly some paparazzi might try to interfere with her motorcade down to the airport.
HAMMER: Sounds like a state funeral to me.
And - and before the funeral today, of course everybody was predicting that it would be over the top, and we were hearing stories of what was supposed to take place.
Did it live up to that anticipation?
CANDIOTTI: Well, I can`t say that I recall having seen a red carpet, literally, rolled out at a funeral service. But her friends say they put a lot of planning into this, and they thought that this is what Anna wanted. There was a lot of pink everywhere. As a matter of fact, when her casket was brought out, we saw that it was draped in pink, with I would say ribbons and what appear to be feathers as part of a decoration as well.
And that went into the church. People were also inside the service, wearing pink and black ribbons in her honor. Pink flowers everywhere. Obviously, this was her favorite color.
HAMMER: And - and it`s not lost on me, Susan, that you`re wearing pink today. I`m - I`m assuming that`s just a coincidence there.
But - but, you know, we had all this legal wrangling that was going on leading up to the funeral. And even down to the very last minute, suddenly questions over whether or not it would actually happen, with Anna Nicole`s estranged mom, who wanted Anna Nicole buried in Texas, filing one last legal challenge, which was shot down.
Was there a sense at any point, Susan, that the thing would actually be called off?
CANDIOTTI: Well, certainly there was a delay for about a half an hour, and all sort of rumors started to fly as to what was going on. Virgie Arthur, Anna Nicole`s mother, was the last one to arrive at the funeral service.
We don`t know why precisely why. But we do know this: we spoke with her lawyer, who said he couldn`t explain it. But he did say that they are in the process of trying to decide what they can do to go to the Bahamian court to seek some legal redress, to see whether her daughter can be exhumed from the Bahamas and flown back to Texas, as she originally wanted.
HAMMER: And - and what we`re hearing, and - and as we were speaking about earlier on the program tonight, getting a body exhumed in the Bahamas a highly unlikely thing that would take place.
And the Bahamians.
CANDIOTTI: And A.J., if I could add.
HAMMER: Go ahead.
CANDIOTTI: It`s not even - it`s not only her mother. As a matter of fact, the father of Daniel, that`s Anna Nicole`s firstborn son - he has written a letter received by the chief justice here - we spoke with him this day. And this letter asks for a hearing to see about exhuming Daniel, and moving him back to Texas, where his father lives.
So this isn`t over yet. The judge told us that he might consider having a hearing about this sometime in the future, after the inquest into Daniel`s death, which happens later this month.
HAMMER: And - and the Bahamians, Susan, understandably calling this whole thing a tragedy. They say that she should have been left alone, it should have been a - a quiet affair, which obviously it wasn`t.
Here we have a country built on tourism. And now it seems to me - and I have about 30 seconds left - they do have a new tourist attraction on their hands, don`t they?
CANDIOTTI: Without a doubt.
Obviously, people have been stopped going by the home where she used to live, and where Dannielynn is now. And they will now presumably go to the cemetery. They looked at Daniel; now they`ll be looking at the both of them.
One - one thing struck me by - something a gentleman said after he left the church service today. He said, `Love me while I`m living, don`t fight me when I`m dead.`
CANDIOTTI: Perhaps that says a lot.
HAMMER: Well, I think the fighting will continue, unfortunately.
CNN correspondent Susan Candiotti in the Bahamas for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, I really appreciate you being with us.
VARGAS: Well, the ceremony and the burial were closed to the public, and the only public speech given about Anna Nicole didn`t come from neither her mother, Virgie Arthur, nor her companion, Howard K. Stern, nor her ex- boyfriend, Larry Birkhead.
Instead, it came from someone she never even met: Richard Milstein, the court-appointed advocate for her little baby, Dannielynn.
RICHARD MILSTEIN, ATTORNEY FOR ANNA NICOLE SMITH`S DAUGHTER: All over the world, families are laying their loved ones to rest in many different ways, in many different lands and in many different languages. But with - with one specific goal in mind: to provide respect, solemnity and a final resting place for their loved ones.
Today, we share our grief with all of you, ladies and gentlemen here at the church, at the graveside, and a worldwide audience. Today, we come to you to carry out the final and most sacred, solemn act in the life of any individual: to provide a final resting place. We come to Nassau in the Bahamas, a beautiful, lush setting, that was chosen by Vickie Lynn Marshall, known as Anna Nicole Smith.
This she chose as her final resting place. During her lifetime, Anna Nicole Smith became a larger-than-life persona. Her star shone in the highest of zenith. Her pictures flashed, and her face was seen throughout the world. She luxuriated in that press, in that media, in that publicity.
Unfortunately, in a time when life should have been reaching its highest peak for her, she was both received a blessing and a curse. She joyously gave birth to her only daughter, Dannielynn. And devastatingly, three days later, she lost her only son, Danny.
If one were to write a Greek tragedy, one could not write a script as sorrowful and as (INAUDIBLE). How horrific is it for a mother to have to bury a son under 21 years?
With all of the prop (ph) publicity, and all of the press of the past, Miss Smith sought seclusion, solace, here in the Bahamas, and decide - decided to bury her son in private, in a quiet area of the world and from the public, and away from the media, so that she could have time and solitude with him in the sun. How much more tragic - tragic is that today, that just five months later, we`re coming here to bury Anna Nicole Smith, the mother who grieved so grievously for her son.
I`m asking all of you - the public, the media, of all - to write a final chapter to this great tragedy with me. I`m asking you to leave a legacy of decorum, dignity and peace and solemnity for her only daughter, Dannielynn. Please respect the rights of privacy of all of us, and give us peaceful decorum, so that when Dannielynn can read the last chapter of her mother, she will know that the world gave her mother dignity and respect.
She is too young to remember today. And what she will rely upon is what all of you write and publish. Give us the kindness and consideration that you would give to a beloved family member of your own.
VARGAS: After Anna Nicole`s funeral, Richard Milstein told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT he felt pleased with how the burial played out.
In a note to us, he wrote, "My role as guardian ad litem on behalf of Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern is now complete. May Anna Nicole Smith and Daniel Smith rest in piece."
HAMMER: And now that the funeral and the burial has happened, we`ve been asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day": "Anna Nicole Smith Saga: Does the baby belong with Howard K. Stern?"
Please continue to vote at cnn.com/showbiztonight. Write to us if you have more to say, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We`ll read some of your e- mails on Monday.
And remember, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is the only entertainment news show where you can express your opinion on video. So send us a video e-mail. Just to go to the Web site, cnn.com/showbiztonight, for the details.
VARGAS: Well, A.J., you won`t believe who`s cashing in on Anna Nicole`s death. I mean, big bucks. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigates the money trail of this tragedy, and it`s unreal. But will it stop anytime soon?
HAMMER: And can you name Brad and Angelina`s kids? Of course, we have Maddox and we have Zahara and Shiloh. Oh, and - and before you go out and buy bibs for all the happy children, wait - there could be one more on the way.
VARGAS: Plus, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s continuing coverage of couples who are making their relationships work. Tonight, how Heidi Klum and her husband make their marriage seal-tight. It`s more than a kiss from a rose. Don`t get me started singing that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 1 - fade up, start your push, Don. Stand by, Sibila. Pre-set 7. Open her mike, dissolve L.A., go.
VARGAS: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s most provocative entertainment news show. I`m Sibila Vargas in Hollywood.
Anna Nicole Smith was laid to rest today. Her death three weeks ago was marked by unrest - the funeral as outlandish as the life she led, complete with media mayhem and a final grand entrance for the starlet.
HAMMER: Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you that the cashing in on Anna Nicole Smith`s life and death could truly become an industry unto itself. But is it right, or should we be disgusted about all of this?
With us tonight from Hollywood, celebrity journalist Pat Lalama.
In New York, David Caplan, the deputy New York bureau chief from "Star" magazine.
Thanks for being here, both of you.
PAT LALAMA, CELEBRITY JOURNALIST: Hi, A.J.
HAMMER: So Pat, even down to the last minute, people were cashing in today. A couple of examples of - of what was going on: the owners of the land where Anna Nicole`s funeral was happening were charging the press something like $5,000 per camera just to be on the property. I hear that people were selling refreshments at the cemetery.
This is a funeral for goodness sake. Is - is this not just plain outrageous?
LALAMA: You know, there`s a part of me that`s completely outraged by it, O.J. - A.J.
HAMMER: Oh boy. Going to pay for that.
LALAMA: How could I have done that to you? I know. You`re going to - I`ll never be on your show again.
A.J., look, here`s the - here`s the deal: let`s go back to the Scott Peterson case, where the city fathers discovered that they could make money by having all those satellite trucks pay for their spaces. Everybody is incredibly media savvy now. They know that they cash in.
And you want to know something? There`s a part of me that`s disgusted by it, but at the same time, I`m thinking, `Well, wait a minute. Maybe because of this savviness, people don`t want to give it away.` They`re saying, `Hey, I`m going to make some money just like everybody else.`
Does that make them necessarily bad? I don`t know. I`m a little bit torn.
HAMMER: Well, there are a lot of characters certainly playing for the cash in - in - in the course of this case. And already, potentially, getting paid.
You know, of course, we have Howard K. Stern. We`ve got his rival in the paternity battle, Larry Birkhead. We`ve got Anna Nicole`s mother, Virgie Arthur. Just about everyone except for J. Howard Marshall, Anna Nicole`s dead husband.
But - but David, who stands to make the most from this tragedy? Because I know somebody can really cash in.
DAVID CAPLAN, "STAR" MAGAZINE: I think Howard K. Stern, definitely. As we already knew, he was named the executor of the will. Whether or not it`s still valid is a bit of a question.
Plus, you know, I also heard last night, Virgie Arthur`s lawyers saying that there were seven insurance policies that were paid, and that Howard is in charge of those insurance policies, which is outrageous when I heard it.
So right now, it`s definitely Howard K. Stern. All these other people that are making bits and pieces, like the company that owns the land where the church was, like maybe some other players who are selling interviews to media outlets - that`s really small potatoes compared to what Howard K. Stern can get. (INAUDIBLE) millions and millions of dollars.
HAMMER: Well, you mention Virgie Arthur, and - and Pat, let`s talk about Virgie Arthur for a moment. Because let me take you back now to the court hearing over who is going to get to bury Anna Nicole. And in the course of that hearing, Virgie Arthur, the estranged mother of Anna Nicole, supposedly despised by Anna Nicole, being grilled on the stand, about whether she was getting paid by news agencies.
Now if you`re paying close attention, she never really answered the question.
HAMMER: There are unconfirmed.
LALAMA: I think she set up an air fare, or she (INAUDIBLE).
HAMMER: Well, there are unconfirmed reports that her expenses are now being paid in return for her allowing herself to be filmed for a possible documentary.
Now, Pat - I don`t know, I - I want to play devil`s advocate for a moment, because she is not a wealthy woman. So is there really anything wrong with her taking advantage of it? And as you were saying earlier - you know, maybe it just makes sense for her to do.
LALAMA: You know what? Here`s the thing, A.J. - look, she`s not - she`s not revealing Anna Nicole`s dire - secret diaries. She`s not talking about how many men she thinks Anna Nicole might have slept with, or whether she had any communicable diseases or whether she did anything horrible or criminal in her life. She`s simply saying, `I`m opening my heart, I`m opening my door.` You know, why not?
I mean, as a matter of fact, here`s the thing: if Howard K. Stern can capitalize off this, I say, mom should definitely capitalize. Because here`s a mom who, on one of the certificates - and I`m sorry, I don`t remember whether it was birth certificate of the child or death certificate of Anna - when it said, "your relationship," put, "executor of the estate," not "boyfriend," "longtime friend," "loved one" - you know? Put "executor."
And my understand - get this, A.J. - my understanding is he might be making as much as $4 million by allowing - I think it`s "Entertainment Tonight" - follow him around. I mean, that is - that is egregious.
So why shouldn`t the mother, who`s not saying any - and by the way, A.J., let`s remember, this was Anna Nicole`s side of the story, that she hated her mom. We don`t know - her mom likes to say, "I was very close to my daughter until Howard Stern got involved, and since she started taking drugs at a rate that I couldn`t stop."
And so naturally, Anna Nicole`s going to be very defensive about that. So remember, there`s two sides of the story. But so far, I don`t see Virgie doing anything that wrong.
HAMMER: Well, David, I - I`m curious to get your take on it, because obviously there are a lot of pictures and stories being sold. So - so, you know, as somebody who works for "Star" magazine, maybe you could give us some insight into the competition among the tabloids.
Is it - is it now getting to the point that, if people aren`t paying, they`re not going to get anything that can keep them competitive?
CAPLAN: Absolutely. I mean, the major players in this story, Virgie, Howard and Larry, are all trying to make deals with media outlets.
But I can tell you, the celebrity weeklies, the print media, is not involved in that. The bottom line is, it`s a lot of the entertainment TV shows and some of the networks, that they have the money and that they`re very eager to do this. And as well as some of the photo agencies - like with Virgie, she was involved she with an agent - agency called Splash News, which is a photo paparazzi agency.
And there`s rumor - you know, with Howard and "Entertainment Tonight," and of course, Larry Birkhead and NBC, because he`s all over Bravo network, MSNBC and other NBC properties. So it`s a little suspect.
But in this one I got to tell you, the weeklies like "Star" magazine - just, we`re not playing that game.
HAMMER: And then, of course, there are going to be the inevitable book after tell-all book that always happen in sensational cases like this. You mention O.J. before, unintentionally, Pat - you know, we had those going on for years.
Do you think that the interest will be sustained in this particular story for months and years ahead, Pat?
LALAMA: First, A.J., honest to goodness, I am so sorry. I would never wish that anyone.
HAMMER: Well, you got 25 seconds left, Pat.
LALAMA: OK, here`s the thing: I don`t think there`s enough about her life to sustain it, OK? I think there are still things about Marilyn we might be interested. I just think, God love her, there really wasn`t that much of a body of her work - just her body - that contributed. I think it`ll have a cutting-off point.
And, you know, just for the record, you know that picture of Britney with the umbrella? This gives you an idea of what people are paying. That cost $75,000, that video.
HAMMER: No kidding. Got to wrap you there. Celebrity journalist Pat Lalama in Hollywood; David Caplan, deputy New York bureau chief of "Star" magazine, thanks to you both.
LALAMA: Thanks, A.J.
VARGAS: Well, could it be? Is there another baby coming into the Angelina Jolie-Brad Pitt household? Coming up, it may start to look like a hockey team. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tells you if Maddox, Zahara and Shiloh may have a new playmate.
Plus, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s continuing coverage of couples who are making their relationships work. Tonight, what Heidi Klum for a marriage seal of approval.
HAMMER: Now, making it work in Hollywood and beyond. It`s SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s continuing coverage of couples who are making their relationships work.
And tonight, it`s all about making it last a long time. Singer Seal has been with Heidi Klum, model and host of "Project Runway," for five years now. And he told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson that while they are under the glare of the spotlight, their relationship is a model one because of one simple thing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAL, SINGER: Well, I think that - you know, we - we have a fundamental understanding, and that is respect. And, you know, it`s - it`s - it`s such a small word, but - but it means a great deal. And I think that, in - in order to maintain that degree of respect, that fundamental respect, you kind of have to stop looking at each other as each other`s spouse, and more as your best friend.
I mean, there are certain things that, you know, you may do to your - your spouse, or certain liberties you may take with your spouse that you wouldn`t really take with your best friend. And everybody, I wake up - you know, the first person I look for is - is my best friend. And I think that because we have that understanding, it helps to - to retain a degree of respect, which I think is - is essential for a healthy relationship.
HAMMER: And a healthy relationship it is. Heidi and Seal have three kids. One of their children is from Heidi`s previous marriage.
Heidi is always hard at work on season four of her reality show, "Project Runway."
VARGAS: And there could be one more baby expanding the Angelina Jolie-Brad Pitt brood. A top adoption official in Vietnam says Jolie has filed papers to adopt. The couple made a surprise visit to a Vietnamese orphanage over Thanksgiving. No word if it`s a girl or a boy.
They have three children: five-year-old Maddox, adopted from Cambodia; 2-year-old Zahara, adopted from Ethiopia; and Shiloh, who was born to the couple in May.
HAMMER: We`ve now arrived at the portion of the program where we take a look ahead at what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.
And this weekend, Anna Nicole Smith and Britney Spears. We`re going to be telling you about the disturbing connection between the two that`s raising some serious questions about what will happen to their children. We`re talking about the story that you haven`t heard before.
And then on Monday, Anna Nicole may have been laid to rest, but her estate, her money and the money she may have been entitled to, the paternity battles - all not put to rest. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on top of every angle on Monday.
And that`s it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
VARGAS: And I`m Sibila Vargas in Hollywood. Good night, everyone.
"GLENN BECK" is next, right after the latest headlines from CNN Headline News.