I first ran into Anna Nicole back in ’92 or so, when she OD’d at the Peninsula Hotel. I was assigned to do the story, and I rushed over to interview what turned out to be some of the most valuable sources I’ve ever had. I got great quotes about how the paramedics nearly dislocated their shoulders trying to hoist her onto the gurney (she was a big girl), how she had drank about 8 "Sex on the Beach" shots and then got onto the vodka&vicodin regimen when she got back to her room.
She then accused her boyfriend, Daniel Christopher Ross, of trying to kill her by trying to force the pills down her throat. I managed to get her on the phone from Midway Medical Center, where she muzzily denied that anything was wrong with her, until I started reading her direct quotes from the police report. "Naaawwhhh! Thas’ nah whah Ah said!" she slurred, and then started trying to tell me some disjointed story about people trying to kill her until someone grabbed the phone from her hands and slammed it down.
A year or so later, she dumped Ross, and he immediately called because he was trying to flog the tell-all story about his wild nights will Anna Nicole all over town. He was wired-up and jumpy, chainsmoking and claiming Anna Nicole and he used to smoke crack, that crack was the only thing that would keep her thin, and that she would let her son (who was then about 8) play with her boobs in the bathtub. He basically trashed her, and told lurid tales about her sex life and how she used to eat gi-normous breakfasts of biscuits&gravy, half a dozen eggs, sausage, pancakes, etc., all topped off with booze and pills.
About a year after that, a shift character who claimed his gang name was "Sweet Pea" and who claimed to be her bodyguard/boyfriend/chauffer called up to tell all. He had nude pictures of Anna Nicole performing various acts. He claimed that she had been pregnant with his baby, and that he had a picture of her in the shower, naked and fried out of her head, sitting down and talking to the baby in her swollen stomach. Sweet Pea said that he was talking because her drug use was getting out of hand, and he feared for his baby’s life. And he also wanted $25,000 for the photos and the videotapes of group sex.
Next was the whole J. Howard Marshall brigade – all the cretins and golddiggers trying to come up with ways to chisel off a chunk of his fortune from either him or her.
Next came the authors of the book "Big Beautiful Doll," who were the photographers who claimed to have discovered Anna Nicole back in the day, and who had written a tell-all book about what she was really like before she got famous, back when she was working the drive-thru chicken window in rural Texas.
Then came a number of parties back in ’99, when a friend and I ran into Anna. The host of the party offered to introduce me to Anna, saying that he thought that we would get along. By this time, I was taking a hiatus from the reporting biz (well, more or less), but curiosity compelled me to go over and sit next to her. During a rather contentious conversation with my friend Steve, she put on a fake-Brooklyn mob guy tough voice and said "Yeah, you gots big balls, huh?" And then she reached over and grabbed his crotch. She then proceeded to get hammered and started calling me "Johnathan." I tried to tell her my name, but she insisted on calling me Johnathan. Finally, a girlfriend of hers intervened, explaining "She just broke up with her boyfriend Johnathan, who looks just like you." So I figured I might as well play along. "All right, yes, I’m Johnathan," I said. "Why haven’t you called me back?" she pouted, and then stuck her hand down my pants. The woman had a grip like a blacksmith, and would not let go until I stood up and made my escape.
There was always weird energy around her.
Finally, Mark Stuplin of E! was assigned to produce her reality-TV show. About two weeks into the show, he called and moaned, "I’m producing a train wreck!" The show debuted with huge ratings and a weekly re-hash on KROQ here in L.A., where fake-morning DJ Laqueesha said things like "I just want to run up and kiss Anna Nicole all over her body! She is so damn stupid! This is the greatest TV show ever about brain-damaged people that I have ever seen!"
I think that it is only a matter of time before someone puts 2 and 2 together and figures out that, like Marilyn and the Kennedy brothers, Anna Nicole and the Bush brothers had something going on. How long until we get the conspiracy theorists to come out and say that Jeb had her iced so that she wouldn’t blow the whistle on her affairs with the two Bush boys?