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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Smith’s mother: ‘She was so wasted’

Virgie Arthur, mother of Anna Nicole Smith, was interviewed by ABC's
Carrie Melago New York Daily News

NEW YORK – Anna Nicole Smith’s final days were a booze-fueled frenzy that ended in a hotel room so stocked with meds that it resembled a “pharmacist’s shop,” according to reports.

While an autopsy performed Friday could not immediately determine what killed Smith, witnesses who saw the troubled woman in the days before her death say she was partying and falling-down drunk.

A bouncer at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, where Smith later died, said the former Playboy centerfold was drinking into the early morning on Tuesday.

“I saw two guys walking her out. She was pretty much all trashed. She was messed up. She couldn’t walk on her own. … Her bouncer was on one side and her lawyer friend on the other,” the bouncer said.

Just hours before she died, Smith was back at the Hard Rock’s 24-hour Center Bar in the middle of the casino floor.

A bartender named Mike told the Daily News that Smith was tossing back double shots.

“Her eyes were droopy. It looked like she was really, really drunk. She was slurring her speech. She looked plastered,” he said.

Mike said fans surrounded Smith that night, snapping pictures of her as she laughed and downed drinks.

“She talked to a few people, but she was mostly concentrating on the drinking,” he said. “She was wasted out of her mind, but that’s the Anna Nicole me and my friends have grown to know.”

Smith’s hard-partying ways appeared to extend into her posh suite on the sixth floor of the hotel.

A source told Star magazine that entering the room was like “walking into a pharmacist’s shop.” Outfitted with a canopy bed, tall plants and leopard-print hangers, the room was filled with prescription medication including Xanax, Provigil, Vicodin and “a … lot of methadone,” Star reported.

During a press conference Friday, Seminole Police Chief Charlie Tiger confirmed that the hotel room contained “no illegal drugs, only prescription medicine” but would not reveal the types of drugs or to whom they were prescribed.

According to Dr. Joshua Perper, the Broward County medical examiner, the autopsy was able to exclude as the cause of death any physical injury, blunt-force trauma or asphyxia – meaning she didn’t choke to death on her own vomit, though Smith did have a bruise on her back from a fall.

“This is clearly a sudden, unexpected and unexplained death,” he said, describing his work as having to solve a “medical puzzle.”

Smith had suffered from a stomach flu in the days before she died, Perper said, and did have “subtle” abnormalities in her heart and intestines that will need to be examined microscopically.

While she had no “intact” pills in her stomach, toxicology tests will need to be completed, lasting three to five weeks, Perper said.

Virgie Arthur, Smith’s mother, said on “Good Morning America” that she believes her daughter’s death was the result of drug use.

“And I tried to warn her about drugs and the people that she hung around with,” Arthur said. “She wouldn’t listen. … She was too drugged up. By the last interview I saw of her, she was so wasted.”

At the same time, a judge in Los Angeles ordered that the model’s body be preserved for at least 10 days for a possible DNA test related to a paternity dispute. The ruling could interfere with plans for a funeral.

Three men have said they could be the father of Smith’s infant daughter, Dannielynn.

Normally, there is no need for DNA testing on the mother in a paternity case. But one of the men who are claiming to be the baby’s father asked for genetic material from Smith to guard against a possible baby switch.

The paternity decision could determine the child’s inheritance. At her death, Smith was waging a years-long court battle over the estate of her late husband, J. Howard Marshall II, who died in 1995 at age 90. A federal court in California awarded Smith $474 million, but that was later overturned.