At 5 years old, Dannielynn Birkhead is beginning to ask some tough questions about the untimely death of her mother, Anna Nicole Smith.
Appearing on "Good Morning America" Monday, Dannielynn's father, Larry Birkhead, 39, recalled a recent visit to the Bahamas-- where Smith and her son Daniel are both buried-- and the heartbreaking moment when his young daughter started asking about her deceased mother.
"And, you know [Dannielynn] said [to me], "Why did mommy die?" Birkhead told "GMA" host Robin Roberts. "And I said 'You know, they, doctors couldn't fix her. But if you're good ... you'll get to see her someday.'"
Dannielynn was born Sept. 7, 2006, and her 20-year-old half brother, Daniel, died just three days later due to an accidental overdose of methadone with the antidepressants Lexapro and Zoloft. Her grieving mother's death followed less than a year later. Anna Nicole, 39, was found dead in a Florida hotel room on Feb. 8, 2007. Her death was also ruled an accidental overdose -- a mixture of nine prescription drugs.
Anna Nicole was best known as a Playboy model, a reality star and for marrying oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall a year before his death at the age of 90. The former Guess model spent years in court battling her husband's son E. Pierce Marshall for her claim of half her late husband's $1.6 billion estate.
It was her mother who dreamed of being a star, but fame was thrust upon young Dannielynn from the beginning, during a legal battle between Birkhead and Howard K. Stern, who was listed as the father on her birth certificate. A DNA test later proved Birkhead to be her father and he was able to take custody of the child.
The media circus surrounding the family has quieted in the past few years, and Birkhead says he's just trying to give his daughter some semblance of a stable life, though he admits sometimes they have to use disguises when they go out.
"I've always tried to make adjustments. We adjust to paparazzi," he told Roberts, adding that he "never knew it was going to be this hard," to raise a child as a single father.
According to Birkhead, Dannielynn, who is the spitting image of her mother, is "as well-adjusted as she can be," and shares her sense of adventure.
But with so much written about Anna Nicole's exploits, Birkhead said he isn't worried about his daughter learning about his mother's past.
"I hope that she understands that no one’s perfect and people have triumphs and people have tragedies," he explained, adding that he wants to make sure Dannielynn understands what happened to her mother, and wants to "make things a cautionary tale."
For more, click over to "Good Morning America."
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