Anna Nicole lover weighs legal move on "trashy" opera

Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:25pm EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The former boyfriend of Anna Nicole Smith on Thursday denounced a London opera about the dead Playboy model as trashy, and said her estate was considering legal options against the makers.

Larry Birkhead, the father of Smith's only surviving child Dannielynn, told Reuters that the Royal Opera House had never tried to contact the Anna Nicole estate about the show.

"Anna Nicole", described by the Royal Opera House as a "celebrity story of our times that includes extreme language, drug abuse and sexual content," opened in London on Thursday.

Smith, who died of a prescription drug overdose in 2007 at the age of 39, is played by Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek.

Photos of the production show Westbroek flaunting massive breasts and a blonde wig. One scene is said to depict Smith performing a sex act on a character in a wheelchair.

"That lady is no Anna Nicole," Birkhead said of the soprano. "We are looking at our legal options to see if they misused Anna's image and likeness. We are going to have the estate attorneys look at what can be done about it."

The estate of the former model and reality TV star controls the commercial use of her image. It is administered on behalf of her four-year-old daughter Dannielynn, who Birkhead is raising in Los Angeles

Birkhead said he had not seen the opera. But pictures and reports he had seen were upsetting.   Continued...

<p>Cast members take a curtain call after performing in the opening night of the opera based on the life of Anna Nicole Smith, at the Royal Opera House in central London, February 17, 2011. REUTERS/Andrew Winning</p>