Larry Birkhead opens up about life after Anna Nicole

Wed May 12, 2010 6:44pm EDT
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When Larry Birkhead took his 3 year-old daughter Dannielynn to the Kentucky Derby this year, it was life coming full circle because in 2004 he met the toddler's mother, Anna Nicole Smith, at the famous horse race.

Now, as he prepares to sell her memorabilia at an upcoming auction in Las Vegas, Birkhead hopes he can begin to put some of the past behind him and move forward with his life.

"When Anna first passed away, I had to take every single thing out of the house and put it away in storage," he told Reuters. "It was too hard emotionally for me to be around those memories."

At first, when Smith died in 2007 of an accidental drug overdose, Birkhead said he never thought he could sell her things, but as storage fees and his own home came to look like something of memorabilia museum, he decided to let go.

"I don't know that my daughter is going to need every single thing that was her mothers. Maybe it's right to share some of Anna's legacy with her fans."

The items will be sold by Julien's Auctions at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on June 26 in Las Vegas. Going under the hammer will be much of Smith's furniture, wardrobe, artwork and even a car.

What he refused to sell were two Kentucky Derby dresses she wore when they met -- he has since loaned them to the Kentucky Derby Museum -- photo albums, diaries and a Swarovski crystal encrusted gown Smith wore to mimic her idol, Marilyn Monroe.

"I kept that for my daughter because I know it was really special to Anna -- she would never part with it," said Birkhead. "I also kept Anna's jewelry because every little girl likes jewelry."   Continued...

<p>Larry Birkhead, former boyfriend of late actress Anna Nicole Smith, leaves the Los Angeles Superior Court in Los Angeles June 19, 2007. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>