Dannielynn was just five months old when her mother Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental drug overdose.
It’s been nearly 10 years since model Anna Nicole Smith died, leaving behind her five-month-old daughter Dannielynn. In the years since her mother’s tragic death Dannielynn has been living quietly with her father Larry Birkhead in Kentucky, but the memory of Anna Nicole is still being kept very much alive for her daughter.
Larry Birkhead and daughter Dannielynn, pictured in 2013
Speaking on the ‘Today’ show, just days after Dannielynn celebrated her 10th birthday, Birkhead opened up about raising his daughter as a single parent. “I'm not the best dad, I have my faults, but I do the best I can with what the situation is,'' he said.
"We make the best of it, and I think Dannielynn's best days are still to come. She's got such a bright future in front of her, and I try every day to keep a little bit of the memory alive of her mom.”
Smith died in in February 2007 after accidentally overdosing on prescription drugs and Birkhead says he still struggles to deal with the model’s passing. "There's things left unanswered, things that I didn't get to say to her, and it's tough when you go to school and you're filling out the forms,'' he said.
"It gets me every year. And you have to put 'deceased' on her mom's information. There's days that if I stop and think about it, and you ask me about it, you will see a tear, but every other minute of the day you will see a smile. That's just how it goes.”
After Smith’s death Birkhead was involved in a high profile case over the paternity of Dannielynn, after four other men claimed they could be her father. "You look back on it and I'm a better person and a stronger person because of the stuff that I went through,'' Birkhead said of the paternity case. "I look back ten years, I wouldn't have it any other way.”
Birkhead now raises his daughter in a small Kentucky town, away from the spotlight, but still honouring the memory of her late mother. "I made a conscious decision a long time ago to move to Kentucky,'' he said. "I do that on purpose because it takes away the chase, it takes away the curiosity, it takes away the false stories.”
The 43-year-old added that he believes Smith would be happy that he’s managed to give Dannielynn a normal childhood. "Other that I don't dress her in pink every day, I think she'd would probably think I'm doing a pretty good job,'' he said.