It’s been quite a while since Anna Nicole Smith’s name was last mentioned in the news, but once again, the former Playboy centerfold and reality TV show star is front and center, thanks to a lawsuit filed by her mother in Harris County.
On Tuesday, Virgie Arthur, a retired police officer living in Montgomery County, sued Howard K. Stern, Smith’s longtime attorney and companion, CBS Studios Inc. and KPRC Houston for defamation and conspiracy to defame.
According to the lawsuit, Arthur alleges that in the months preceding Smith’s death Stern isolated Smith, whose real name is Vickie Lynn Marshall, from her family and controlled Smith by “providing her with prescription drugs, with some prescriptions obtained illegally in the name of defendant Stern and other persons, but intended for Ms. Marshall.”
After Smith’s son, Daniel Smith, died a drug-related death in September 2006, Arthur became greatly concerned about the safety of her daughter, but Stern prevented Arthur from “communicating with Ms. Marshall through normal channels,” it states in the lawsuit. So, Arthur reached out to her daughter through the media to warn her to be cautious about the people surrounding her.
In retaliation, it states in the lawsuit, Stern arranged for the TV program Entertainment Tonight, produced and distributed by CBS Studios, to interview Smith. Arthur alleges that Stern conspired with Smith and CBS to defame Arthur during the interview, in which Arthur was accused of being “complicit in alleged physical and sexual abuse” of Smith as a child.
Arthur claims that CBS aired portions of the interview in November 2006 and that KPRC then aired additional portions of the interview three months later. Arthur alleges that the “production to the public had a distinctly defamatory tenor.”
Arthur denies the allegations aired in the interview and in the lawsuit claims that, “the truth is that (Arthur) loved and cared about Ms. Marshall and never harmed Ms. Marshall or knowingly allowed harm to come to Ms. Marshall.” – Chris Vogel