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Smith's First Interview Since Son's Death

Anna Nicole Smith sat down with "Entertainment Tonight" for her first TV interview since the death of her son, Daniel, in September.

"ET" reporter Mark Steines calls his exclusive interview, which begins airing Thursday, a "veritable roller-coaster of emotions."

On Tuesday, Smith was hospitalized with pneumonia at the same medical center in the Bahamas where her 20-year-old son, Daniel, died in September, an attorney for Smith told The Associated Press.

"She has a slight case of pneumonia," attorney Wayne Munroe told the AP. "We've had a sudden change of weather here due to a cold snap."

In his blog on the Web site of "Entertainment Tonight,", Steines says he traveled to the Bahamas, where he met Smith's new baby daughter, Dannielynn, and was introduced to Howard K. Stern, her lawyer, whom she now calls her husband. In a video excerpt of the interview on the Web site, Smith talks about her son's death and is heard sobbing, "I don't understand why God took him and didn't take me."



Smith: Stern Is My Baby's Father

Steines spoke about the interview on The Early Show with co-anchor Rene Syler.

He said he thinks Smith spoke out now because, "Simply, she can no longer remain silent. She had so much to say. She wanted to talk. She needed to talk. More importantly, she needed to be heard."

During the session, Smith asked, "Why are people hitting me when I'm down?"

Steines described Smith as "very, very fragile and emotional" in the wake of Daniel's death but added, "She's a fighter."

He said Smith calmly answered his question about the identity of Dannielynn's father by saying, "Without doubt, it is Howard," and that there's no need for a paternity test.

Steines also observed, "When you see the two of them (Smith and Stern) with (the baby), you can see that there's a tremendous amount lot of love and connection there."

Smith's ex-boyfriend, Larry Birkhead, claims he is Dannelynn's father and has filed suit in Los Angeles demanding that she be brought to California for a paternity test.



Steines has just returned from the Bahamas, where he was accompanied by ET executive producer Linda Bell Blue to Anna Nicole's "secluded compound." The mansion is reportedly worth $1 million.

Read Mark's Blog And Watch A Sneak Peek Of The Interview
Last week, authorities announced that they are investigating whether Smith legally obtained permanent residency in the Bahamas.

Steines says his interview with Smith was one of the most interesting experiences of his 15 years with the entertainment show, and that he learned "fear of constant paparazzi keeps Anna and her support team locked up, blinds drawn, and constantly aware that prying eyes are trying to snap photos."

He describes the gated Nassau house as quite deserted. "There is a pool no one uses, gardens no one visits and terraces no one stands on to take in the very warm night air. Anna and her baby live pretty much like prisoners inside this home, and we were actually some pretty welcome guests," he writes on his blog.

He said this interview with the former Playboy playmate was different from past interviews he'd done with her.

"She seemed calmer, sadder, a bit broken, yet she looked quite beautiful," he says. "She introduced me to her daughter, Dannielynn, and the man she calls her husband, Howard K. Stern. She was a very gracious host in the midst of some pretty dramatic times."

In the interview, Smith discusses her relationship with Stern. The pair exchanged vows on a catamaran in the Bahamas on Sept. 28. The vows were not legally binding.

2"She giggles like a schoolgirl when she talks about the first time she realized she was in love with Howard," Steines writes on his blog. "She beams like a mother when she holds little Dannielynn and says, 'Can you say "Mommy?" ' "

"If I didn't have Howard or my baby, I wouldn't be here," Smith says in the video excerpt of the interview available on the Web site.

When the talk turns to her son, Daniel, who died days after his sister's birth and was buried Oct. 19, Smith sobs.

"But it is when she utters the name of her son, Daniel, that Anna Nicole is no longer able to compose herself," Steines says. "She crumbles like a house of cards, tears pouring out of her eyes, her body shaking from the sobbing. This is not just a controversial, misunderstood woman; this is a mother who has lost a child."

The results of official toxicology tests and a police investigation into Daniel's death have not yet been released publicly.

Steines says he has "never seen the level of heartbreak I witnessed in the Bahamas" and that he left with a different opinion of the star.

Meanwhile, Smith's ex-boyfriend, Larry Birkhead, the photographer who claims he's the father of Dannielynn, saw the baby with dark hair in leaked segments of the "Entertainment Tonight" interview, his attorney Debra Opri told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Opri believes Smith may have dyed the infant's hair so that she looks more like Stern. Smith attorney Ron Rule told the AP that the allegation was ridiculous.

Birkhead filed suit earlier this month demanding that Smith bring Dannielynn to California for a paternity test. A hearing is set for Nov. 8.

Smith's interview will begin airing Thursday on "Entertainment Tonight."

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