Rita Cosby,
Blonde Ambition: The Untold Story Behind Anna Nicole Smith's Death
(Grand Central, 2007)

Blonde Ambition is television journalist Rita Cosby's contribution to what is sure to be a genre of nonfiction about Anna Nicole Smith. Cosby was close to the Anna Nicole story, as a personal friend and confidante of Anna's mother Virgie Arthur, who invited the journalist to the funeral. Just eight months after Anna Nicole Smith's death, Blond Ambition was published (with 10 percent of the advances and royalties donated to the D.A.R.E. program).

Cosby pulls no punches in this slim volume, which is quick to point out inconsistencies and mysteries in the accounts of Anna Nicole's life and death. Her most shocking allegation is that lawyer/faux husband Howard K. Stern had a gay love affair with Larry Birkhead, the paparazzi ex-boyfriend who fathered baby Danniellyn.

More immediately believable assertions are that Anna Nicole's doctors were irresponsible in the management of her prescriptions and that individuals in the Anna Nicole inner circle are money-obsessed. Everyone has lawyers/agents/handlers striking deals with the news outlets and the legal system, the majority of which are kept under wraps.

Cosby concludes her expose with a carefully researched timeline of the verifiable events in the 24-hour period preceding Anna Nicole's death. Anna Nicole was clearly manipulated by a sea of sharks in life, and the feeding frenzy continues after her death -- for which one or more people in her inner circle may be responsible.

review by
Jessica Lux-Baumann

21 March 2009

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