Anna Nicole Smith's untimely death has made for some strange bedfellows, and her own estranged parents might be the next to pair up.
Smith's father, Donald Hogan, told E! News in an exclusive interview that he is considering working with Smith's mother, Virgie Arthur, to file a wrongful death suit against their daughter's lawyerly companion, Howard K. Stern.
Hogan and Arthur, who has largely disappeared from the radar since losing her fight for custody of granddaughter Dannielynn, separated when Smith was 9 months old.
"I would urge Virgie also to think about this—this wrongful death," Hogan, 61, says. "And personally, I don't care if we get a dime out of it. Not one dime."
The point would be to stick it to Stern, whom he "totally" blames for Smith's death.
"I was asked awhile back, 'Do you hate Howard Stern?' " Hogan says. "I don't hate him—but I dislike him more than anyone I have ever disliked, and I have my own personal views and opinions on things about him that I'm not going to say.
"But I blame him totally for her death...Nobody put a gun to her head, but somebody sure brought a lot of drugs home and, instead of bringing drugs to someone, even if she had a fit about it, I'd tell her to tell someone else to get it for you."
Smith died of an accidental prescription drug overdose on Feb. 8, 2007, in Hollywood, Fla. Investigators found 11 prescriptions in the hotel room where she had been staying, none of them made out to the onetime Playboy Playmate. Eight were in Stern's name.
Stern was charged March 12 with felony conspiracy to acquire drugs and furnishing Smith with illegal prescriptions.
"The television, tabloid and Internet trial of Mr. Stern in the court of public opinion has been based on sensational lies, speculation, rumor and gossip," his attorney, Krista Barth, said last month. "Unfortunately, it appears that criminal charges have now been brought by the State of California based on this same type of misinformation."
Two of Smith's former doctors have also been charged.
Hogan, speaking from his home in Oakhurst, Texas, calls Stern's recent arrest "two years too late."
"I think he made a lot of bad decisions in his life, and I think it is fixin' to come back and haunt him," Hogan says.
As for his own family ties, Hogan, a retired carpenter and Vietnam veteran, said he hopes to be put in touch with 2-year-old Dannielynn, and that perhaps speaking out about Smith will help him make a connection.
Calling the child's father, Larry Birkhead, "a good kid," Hogan said he would like to meet his granddaughter some day.
Hogan hadn't spoken to Smith for years before she died; the two had a falling out a few years after an emotional reunion in 1993. And as is often the case when things are left unsaid, he has some regrets.
"If I could have done anything that I wanted to do, if I could talk her into anything," Hogan said, "it would be to go to Betty Ford or something."
(Originally published April 2, 2009, at 6:45 a.m. PT)
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