Tragedy Strikes Reality TV Star

WOW! I am not a fan of former “Playboy” Playmate Anna Nicole Smith, but like her I am a mother and hearing about the tragedy she suffered yesterday makes my heart ache for her, despite what I may think of her career choices.

According to Smith’s official website, her 20-year-old son Daniel died suddenly in the Bahamas yesterday—three days after she gave birth to a baby girl.

The actual statement posted on Smith’s website reads:

“On Sept. 7 Anna Nicole gave birth to a healthy 6 lb., 9 oz. baby girl. Her son Daniel was in the Bahamas with her to share in the joy of his baby sister when he passed away suddenly on the morning of September 10th. We have yet to learn the cause of death but do not believe that drugs or alcohol were a factor. Anna Nicole is absolutely devastated by the loss of her son. He was her pride and joy and an amazing human being. Please do not make any press inquiries at this time so that Anna Nicole can grieve in peace.”

Can you imagine giving birth to a child, celebrating the joy and excitement that comes with such a blessing, only to suffer the utter devastation of losing another child? I can’t. I remember seeing images of Daniel on the news when Smith was embroiled (actually, she still is) in the legal wranglings in her pursuit of claiming her stake in the will of her late husband, Texas billionaire J. Marshall Howard. I also know Daniel often appeared on his mother’s E! cable channel reality program “The Anna Nicole Show.” I always wondered how he handled growing up in such an unusual environment, with a mother who obviously wouldn’t be categorized as a “typical” mother.

Regardless of the lifestyle she chose to live, it seemed as though Anna Nicole truly loved her son. She was a single parent, he was her only child, it would stand to reason that the two shared a unique bond… and now he is gone… within hours of her giving birth to a baby girl… cruel irony. What an emotional roller coaster she must be riding. My heart goes out to her.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.