Over Valentine’s weekend, I came to a startling personal realization. My boyfriend fathered Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern, the infant daughter of recently deceased international famous person Anna Nicole Smith.
It’s not the undeniable resemblance that tipped me off. Sure, both my gentleman friend and Dannielynn are pasty and bald. But if that were the sole suspicion for paternity, half of New York City’s hipsters-in-hoodies qualify for baby daddy DNA tests … including Moby. No, my Columbo moment came when my boyfriend claimed almost complete ignorance on information that no sentient being could conceivably avoid. Among the facts of which he alleges no knowledge, my boyfriend:
- Claims he didn’t know Anna Nicole had a twenty-year-old son, Daniel, who died five months earlier from a toxic interaction of Methadone and antidepressants Lexapro and Zoloft. Or that Daniel’s passing occurred at his mother’s hospital bedside following the birth of his sister.
- Publicly confuses Anna Nicole’s lawyer/dog sitter Howard K. Stern with radio “shock jock” Howard Stern, openly questioning the King of All Media’s decision to get engaged so soon after his alleged lover’s death.
- Expresses no opinion about Anna Nicole’s TrimSpa-related massive weight loss, and alleges to be previously unaware of her notable weight gain.
- Professes no knowledge of Anna Nicole’s litigation for the multibillion-dollar estate of her late husband J. Howard Marshall II and the posthumous quagmire it left behind.
- Seems not entirely clear on who Anna Nicole Smith was or why she was famous … though in fairness, who isn’t a little cloudy on the ladder?
Little does my boyfriend know, when you’ve logged over 738 hours of A&E “Law & Order” marathons, you’re not easily fooled. Obviously he’s playing dumb about Anna Nicole. Why else is he ignoring Anna Nicole news, and yammering on and on about Iraq, the graphic realism of “Children of Men” and that asteroid speeding toward Earth? And he’s doing it for one of two reasons. Reason One: It’s just too painful for him to talk about, and he’s showing proper respect — you know, for the dead. Number B: He’s biding his time, waiting until the storm clears and he can stake his claim on that billion-dollar baby.
Consider the facts. Aside from Anna Nicole’s former purple-haired personal assistant Kim Walther, my boyfriend is the only person in the continental United States and surrounding territories not to have commented publicly on the former model’s death. Unlike you, me, and everyone we know, he has yet to share his feelings about the late Anna Nicole with “Entertainment Tonight,” “Insider” or even “Extra!” Further, my boyfriend is the only male in the Western Hemisphere not to have claimed paternity. (Just ask Google!) Something’s just not right.
Dead celebrity code of conductLook. Everyone knows there’s a way you’re supposed to act when a celebrity dies. As Americans, we should accept our responsibilities and behave accordingly.
If you’ve had even the most passing acquaintance with the celebrity corpse, you do like former pro wrestler Chyna Doll, and go on “Larry King Live” or whatever so everyone knows that you were the noted dead person’s very best friend. Further, you totally saw this coming and were powerless to stop it because leaching hangers-on kept your now-deceased BFF totally isolated. Also, since you were privy to the departed’s deepest emotions, thoughts and desires, you know what she would have wanted, and whatever is going on, this sure isn’t it.
If you worked for the renowned deceased, you can still go on the TV, just like Anna Nicole’s bodyguard. You totally get to cry on a variety of entertainment news programs and tell the world how sad you are about her death, what a beautiful person she was and that as you administered CPR, your lips were the last to touch those of the sexy dead person.
If you happened to be somehow related to the eminent expired, so much the better. Even if you’re estranged and haven’t spoken for years, some news agency will gladly pay your “expenses” to speak ill of the dead on national television. Example: With her daughter’s body barely through rigor, Anna Nicole’s mother tearfully told the world of her daughter’s poor parenting skills, substance abuse and other assorted character flaws.
What if, by some small chance, you aren’t related to or acquainted with the dead celebrity? Well, you don’t need to be a professional newscaster or bitter blogger to participate in the round-the-clock grieving process. If you have only a passing knowledge of the noteworthy deceased, use this opportunity to become her biggest fan, obsessing on every facet of her existence and gaining your own modicum of fame by sharing your newfound knowledge with various media outlets. Or, if you’re crunched for time, simply use the death as a means to share your personal values and belief system with others thusly:
- “Marriage is about love and commitment, not hooking up with some old rich dude.“
- “Fat people shouldn’t dress like that.”
- “I would never have a baby while using methadone.”
Then there’s good ol’ schadenfreude, which goes a little something like this: “You were rich and glamorous. But now you’re dead. And that makes me feel better about my own miserable life.”
Baby mama dramaIf Anna Nicole’s untimely death has taught us anything, it’s this: Celebrity tragedy is a race to the bottom and we all have to log our time. Yet my boyfriend has yet to express a preference over Anna Nicole’s final burial site or what she should wear to the funeral.
To make matters worse, my boyfriend hasn’t once made any grossly inaccurate parallels between Anna Nicole and Marilyn Monroe. In fact he’s done nothing to recall her as something more or less than who she was — a beautiful, barely-functioning woman, destined to remain frozen in time, remembered only by the generation who bestowed her dubious glory.
Truth be told, I’m kind of afraid my boyfriend is still in love with Anna Nicole. What else could explain his exaggerated sense of decorum, his unwillingness to speak inappropriately of the dead? What other reason could there be behind his hesitance to jump the on the paternity line behind Anna Nicole’s alleged paramours Howard K. Stern, photographer Larry Birkhead, Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband “Prince” Frederic von Anhalt, hired help Alexander Denk, prison inmate Mark Hatten and J. Howard Marshall II’s frozen sperm?
Then again, maybe my boyfriend is keeping quiet on account of an unwillingness to get in trouble with his with his current girlfriend (me). Unlike Zsa Zsa, baby mama drama is not “cool” with me. Yet I sort of hope my boyfriend is the baby daddy — for Dannielynn’s sake. He may be a broke-ass Brooklyn artist, but compared with all those bloodsuckers currently staking claim, that poor kid could do a whole lot worse.
New York-based writer Helen A.S. Popkin thinks ya’ll are just nasty.