The Entertainment Critic Book Review, By James Myers
BLONDE AMBITION: THE UNTOLD STORY BEHIND ANNA NICOLE SMITH'S DEATH
By Rita Cosby
Published by Grand Central Publishing, a Division of the Hachette Book Group USA
Publication Date: September 2007
EMMY AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST
HOST OF THE TOP RATED SHOW RITA COSBY: LIVE & DIRECT ON MSNBC
HOST ON FOX NEWS LIVE AND THE BIG STORY WEEKEND
INTERVIEWS INCLUDE YASSER ARAFAT, SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC, AMERICAN POW THOMAS HAMIL, POPE JOHN PAUL II, TIMOTHY MCVEIGH, MICHEAL JACKSON, DAVID BERKOWITZ, DR. JACK KEVORKIAN
Four Star Rating ****
"Realizing that this is a controversial book, I must remember what my old journalism professor Dr. Lee Dudek taught me years ago. He said that journalism is not a passive business. A reporter's job is to question the answers and actions, especially when intent and motivations may be hidden or unclear, and demand a voice.
My hope is that this book will serve to "connect the dots," provide solid facts in this captivating case, and finally 'break the dam of fiction' regarding what happened to
Anna Nicole Smith and what she wanted for her precious little girl.
I also hope Anna's story will serve as a lesson to us all to be mindful of our friends, careful about our physical well-being, and supportive of those around us who need to conquer their addictions before those addictions consume and, sadly, conquer them."
Shocking, stunning, captivating. Rita Cosby's new book, Blonde Ambition is unsettling in many respects. Rita is like the female version of Walter Cronkite or David Brinkley of our generation. An Emmy-Award winning journalist that has appeared on two major networks, interviewing and reporting on the central historical figures of our time has written this earth shaking book. A credentialed newsperson who has written a new book about a popular figure, who mostly graced the covers of gossip magazines of questionable value. Why would Rita Cosby write a book about the untimely deaths of Anna Nicole and her son Daniel? She tells us in her acknowledgement. She acts as the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves any longer, with the hope that inquiry and investigations to take place in the future will bring the truth to light. Rita had agreed to donate 10% of her advances and royalties for the book to D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education).
I have to admit that I was more than a little skeptical. Some of the revelations in this book were so disturbing that the Today Show cancelled its interview with Rita and if you saw how limited O'Reilly's interview was with Rita when the book first came out, you got the feeling that some of the big boys did not want to discuss the material contained in the book. Check out my interview with Rita and draw you own conclusions. I found that she had investigated, documented, and thoroughly researched her facts. She very patiently answered every question that I asked her, and I asked some difficult questions. What is there about this book that has made it too hot to handle? Why should you read it?
Among the alleged statements of fact made in the book that are first time disclosures:
· On Monday, February 5th, Anna was given a shot which later the corner would contribute to her death. It is not clear whether she injected this into herself, or if Howard K. Stern did it or her psychiatrist, Dr. Khristine Eroshevich.
· On the day Anna died, February 8th, 2007, neither Stern nor Dr Eroshevich was present when she died. Howard had gone to finalize the purchase of a boat; the doctor had gone home on Wednesday, February 7th, despite Anna's begging her to stay;
· Dr Khris had prescribed medicine to Anna, that was listed as prescribed for Howard K. Stern and delivered in the Bahamas to a 3rd party-stranger, and then delivered to hotel where Anna was staying for her use. It was observed by many in the book that Stern would administer or give Anna all of her medications from what is referred to as a goody bag.
· On the day Anna died, Stern was not present when she was discovered in an incoherent state. He had left to purchase a boat. He arrived at that appointment 1 hour early. When he was told of Anna's plight and that he'd have to come back, his response was "Oh, ok." His tone was described as a monotone, unemotional response. Most of the phone calls he made that day were related to business.
· There was a tremendous delay in contacting 911 to respond to Anna's plight. Emergency services were called at about 1:38 pm. Anna was discovered in a comatose state about 12:44 pm.
· When Stern arrives at the hotel room at 1:51 pm, he's described as fidgety, waiving his arms about and screaming. He did not go initially to the hospital with Anna. He made numerous phone calls at this point in time, most related to business, including to Entertainment Tonight.
· In the summer of 2006 Daniel Smith, Anna's son, met with a private investigator, requesting that he investigate Howard K. Stern and the people that surrounded his mother in the Bahamas. According to investigator Jack Harding, Stern was giving his mother drugs and had given him drugs, that Stern was keep her from Daniel and that Daniel was deathly afraid of Stern. Daniel felt Stern had made Anna a prisoner, and Daniel wanted her out of there. A month later, Daniel was dead. The business card of Jack Harding was found, still on his person.
· On September 10th, 2006, Daniel Smith died in a hospital room where his mother had just given birth to a baby girl just two days before. Daniel was discovered dead and subsequently pronounced dead around 10:05 am, when attempts to resuscitate him had failed. Stern supposedly took pictures of Anna holding her dead son that he sold to Entertainment Tonight for $600,000.00. Before the police could investigate the scene, Stern removed the goody bag, which allegedly contained an assortment of drugs he doled out to Anna on an as needed basis. There were also 2 pills found in the bed where Stern had slept. These pills were discovered by a nurse, taken by police and analyzed. On Larry King, Stern stated that Daniel had spend sometime sleeping in his bed, but nurses on duty that night reported that Daniel was in a chair or the bed with his mother. The pills were determined to be Methadone, a narcotic and Carisoprodol, a muscle relaxant. Both pills were part of prescriptions written for Anna. Howard later two pills found in Daniel's pockets and flushed them down the toilet. Stern told the coroner on the Bahamas, that there was no way drugs played a role in Daniel's death. It was later determined that 2 drugs Daniel was prescribed Lexapro and Zoloft inn combination with the Methadone caused Daniel's death.
· Afterwards, Anna on occasion accused Stern of killing Daniel.
· Chloral Hydrate was prescribed for Anna. Over the last 5 months of her life, a total of 1800 pills. A normal dosage is about 500 mg/day. Anna was taking 5,000 mg/day for the last 37 days of her life. This drug is a sleeping medication that depresses the central nervous system, called knock out drops or a Mickey Finn, this same drug was felt to claim the life of Marilyn Monroe. It was felt that the combination of the drugs she took, plus the Chloral Hydrate caused her death. It was felt that an infection had started from the injection she was given, and simple hospital treatment would have saved her life, prior to the ingestion of the chloral hydrate.
· Anna was taking medication, like Speed, from Trim Spa that caused her to loose weight.
· The book alleges that Stern was stealing money from Anna and sending the money to his parents and to offshore accounts
· Larry Birkhead was considered to be just a sperm donor for Anna
· The will that named Stern as executor appears to have been altered
· Larry Birkhead and Stern may have cut a deal giving Stern the house in the Bahamas and Birkhead the baby. A deal was cut despite the fact that Birkhead was represented by counsel, and it appeared that he was going to be awarded the child by virtue of his succeeding in the paternity test.
· Birkhead and Stern had a homosexual encounter
· Both men agreed to exploit the baby and Anna to make millions of dollars
I don't know the truth or falsity of the allegations Rita makes in her book. But she does offer some compelling arguments that this was more than an accidental overdose complicated by the incredible misfortune of a son's death. The truth will someday be known to all, but I suspect that in the end, Rita Cosby's book will be just what she intended it to be; a voice for those who can no longer speak for themselves.