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Interview With Larry Birkhead

Aired June 12, 2007 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Larry Birkhead, father of Anna Nicole Smith's daughter, Dannielynn. His first live prime time interview since he won the custody fight the whole world was watching.

LARRY BIRKHEAD: I told you so.


KING: Plus, exclusive new video of the proud father with one of the world's most famous babies.

Larry Birkhead opens up about loving and losing Anna Nicole, about his battle over Howard K. Stern over Dannielynn's paternity and what he'll tell his daughter about all of that when she grows up.


KING: This is her?

BIRKHEAD: A princess.


KING: Larry Birkhead is here and you may get to meet Dannielynn herself, next on LARRY KING LIVE.

It's great to welcome him to LARRY KING LIVE.

He was last here in January.

Larry Birkhead, was it was all worth it?

BIRKHEAD: Oh, it was more than worth it. I mean, unfortunately, you know, things happened that you wish wouldn't have happened, and the loss of people that you loved and cared about. But the, you know, the fight for my daughter, it just felt instinct. It was worth it.

KING: Is your life approaching normalcy yet?

BIRKHEAD: Oh, I don't know if there is anything about my life that's normal right now. It's -- it seems to be -- some days I don't know what day of the week it is. It just -- it's spinning around me so fast and there are so many people around me and things that are required of me on a daily basis. It's just -- I'm my own, you know, assistant, manager and publicist, whatever, you know? It's...

KING: Are you working?

BIRKHEAD: I am working. I'm...

KING: You're a photographer, right?

BIRKHEAD: I'm a photographer and a reporter and -- although the stories and the photos that I took were celebrity driven, now the tables have turned and I go out with the camera and they'll take pictures of me. So it kind of puts me in an awkward position.

KING: Are you a paparazzi?

BIRKHEAD: I'm not -- well, no. I don't -- I don't hide in trees. I never hide in trees. You'll never see me outside your house. But, you know, I go -- you know, I do tours, behind the scenes stuff and things like that.

KING: A LARRY KING LIVE crew recently spent time with Larry and his daughter Dannielynn.

Take a look.




Yes! Yes!


KING: What's it like -- what's it like being a dad?

BIRKHEAD: Oh, it's -- it's one of the most -- it's the greatest feelings. It's, you know, it's like magic. You wake up every morning and you rush in and you can't wait until she wakes up. And sometimes I would kind of cheat and take a couple of peeks. And when I hear her cry and those first sounds, I just take off running and can't wait to spend every minute I can with her.

KING: What was the moment when you got her, got her? I mean if she was yours, yours?

BIRKHEAD: It's kind of like, you know, when you -- when you had to struggle and fight, if you will, all of this time and everything builds up, it's kind of like someone just said here, now take her, you know? And you feel like you're just like kind of pushed out of the nest and you like hold her (ph).

So it's great. And it's -- it's trial and error. And it's -- it's a lot of hours, but it's a lot of fun.

KING: Did you always know she was yours?

BIRKHEAD: Always. I always knew it. And, you know, I always maintained that. And, you know, I wasn't about to make a fool of myself, you know, in court and television. But, you know -- and I just felt like, honestly, that it was just doing what you're supposed to do as a father. And my instinct was just to take off and do whatever I had to do to get her back or get her. And, fortunately, along the way there was a lot of pain and heart ache and very little celebration until the very end. And, you know...

KING: Is it all done now? I mean she's yours -- are all legal roads, that area, done?

BIRKHEAD: Well, I think that -- well, I don't think none of -- none of my legal roads will be, you know, over anytime soon.

KING: But vis-a-vis the baby?

BIRKHEAD: I think that is scheduled to go back to the Bahamas, because I'm still under -- in a custody battle with Verjee Arthur, Anna Nicole's mother, who was challenging me for custody in the Bahamas and guardianship and some other things. I don't -- I get confused. I just go to the courthouse and they say, you know, this person is fighting you, just show up here.

KING: But you have to go back on that?

BIRKHEAD: I have to go back. We were supposed to be in court on, I believe it was June the 9th or 8th. And the judge had an illness so they had to researched it. So that should be back on the books probably in July.

KING: Does that cause you some nervousness?

BIRKHEAD: No, because...

KING: I mean anything can happen in court.

BIRKHEAD: Not really, because she's already been told by a higher court that this kind of was a waste of time. And, you know, if she wants to be a grandmother, I've told her before this before all. Of course, she held me in the Bahamas for a long time with my daughter. We were just basically on the island. I couldn't take her.

I said to Verjee, "If you want to see her, be a grandmother, you know, bring the cookies over and whatever, come over, call."

And I welcomed her. A after that, when Howard was out of the picture, saying he was the father, and they proved that that -- that I was the father, basically she kept me in the same battle that she had with him. And it was like now we're in the same, you know, war.

KING: What do you think her point is?

BIRKHEAD: It's hard to say, really. I mean most -- you know, I would think that -- at first I thought maybe she just wants to be a grandmother, you know? I knew Anna had differences with her and I heard a lot of the back story. I'm the kind of person, I like to give people a chance. But when someone's sitting there and fighting you in court, you really don't -- you kind of look at maybe their colors are different than what you thought, you know?

KING: Did you know her when you were with Anna?

BIRKHEAD: No. I never met her. And the first couple of times I met her she was very nice and she -- I spoke to her on the phone recently. And I thought that this would come to an end, but -- and maybe it will. And maybe there just needs to be something.

But, you know, I'm the father and nobody should have the right to take my child that I fought so hard to know away from me.

KING: Where were you when Anna Nicole died?

BIRKHEAD: In a dentist chair with half of my mouth numb. And I just remember looking up at the screen. They have these TVs in each area.

KING: Was that here in L.A. Or?

BIRKHEAD: It was here in L.A. And it was right on the heels of, I think there was supposed to be some kind of decision on where the DNA tests would come down, if she was going to do it in the States. And I looked up on the screen and it said, "Anna Nicole collapses."

And I thought, she's pulling a fast one on me. She doesn't want to do the DNA test, you know? And I really thought that. And I wanted to think, I think, more than I really believed it. And as things progressed, the day went on and it just -- it was a lot of shock and just disbelief.

And I got a call, you know, from -- my phone was going crazy in the dentist chair, so I knew something was wrong. And people who -- you know, I think I got a call from someone who said she's not going to make it. She's not going to make it. And I kept saying, you know, no. You know, she has to come back and...

KING: Did you love her, love her until the end, even though you were apart at the end?

BIRKHEAD: Yes. I mean there was -- I just thought this was like a -- just one of our little, you know, arguments, you know, where, you know, one day you get up, you argue and it blows over, you know?

KING: I was there when the two of you met.

BIRKHEAD: You were.

KING: At the Barnstable's party on the eve of the Kentucky Derby.

BIRKHEAD: It was a great night. And I have a lot of memories of that night. And, you know, we just went back to the Kentucky Derby again, which was -- and the Barnstable's party. It was different, but it -- it was kind of full circle for me, you know? And a part of, I guess, the healing process, and just to reflect on memories.

KING: Did you know her son well?

BIRKHEAD: Really well, because I, you know, I lived with Anna for some of the time that we dated. And he was just a great kid. He just always loved video games. He loved going on the road with his mom and spending time with, you know, her.

KING: The death of her, the death of the boy, does that give you health concerns about Dannielynn?

BIRKHEAD: No, because, you know, I know them -- Daniel and Anna's people and I know kind of the situations. And I think that -- you know, and I've had -- Dannielynn's been to the doctor. She's hit all of her developmental milestones. She's above height for her age and her weight's on target. And the doctor has said she's a very great baby and I couldn't ask for a better baby.

KING: There's more to come with the man who went from celebrity photographer to photograph celebrity -- Larry Birkhead.

Don't go away.


BIRKHEAD: I hate to be the one that told you this, but I told you so. My baby's going to be coming home pretty soon.





KING: Hello.

You know what?

The throes of the voice (ph).



KING: Here's daddy.

BIRKHEAD: I think you got a hug.

KING: There's nothing like it, right?

BIRKHEAD: Yes, that's right.

KING: Fatherhood -- nothing beats it.

BIRKHEAD: Nothing beats it.

KING: Whatever second is a distant second.


KING: A little while after she was born, Anna's attorney and companion, Howard K. Stern, came on this show and claimed he was the baby's father.

I think I'm hearing a voice in my ear.

Talking about hearing that claim, how did you feel when he said, "I'm the father?"

BIRKHEAD: Well, you know like I said earlier, I've always known that I was the father and...

KING: So how did you feel that night, though, you see him saying I'm the father?

BIRKHEAD: Well, I had two reactions. One is I was like, you know, a little bit shocked. But then halfway through the show, I left and went out to a par -- a Janet Jackson album release party, because I knew, I was so confident that I knew that I, you know, that I was the father. It was like OK, you know, what's next, you know?

KING: Do you think he thought he was the father?

BIRKHEAD: A tough question. You know, hopefully when someone says something they believe it. But, you know, I don't really...

KING: Why do you think he fought so hard?

BIRKHEAD: You know, I think with that, I would say you have to look at his relationship with Anna, in whatever capacity it was and the longevity of it, and...

KING: Because you knew them when you were with her, right?

BIRKHEAD: And I think the thing that puzzled a lot of people was that no one knew who I was and no one knew that I was dating her. So l had to actually go in reverse and prove I had a relationship with someone, which is a kind awkward position to be in. And it's like I really wasn't jumping up to say, hey, you know, I'm Anna Nicole's boyfriend and, you know, this is my girlfriend. Very few people.

But it really wasn't important to me to do that. And I would -- the most important thing was the time that we spent together and, you know, the memories and the things you'll never forget and just all the glitz and everything that really wasn't...

KING: Now, a lot's been said about Howard now. To what degree do you -- and the relationship you have with him.

Will you tell us what it is?

BIRKHEAD: At first it was really awkward and -- because, you know, someone who's maintaining they're the father of the baby that you know and believe is yours and -- but we were actually put together, in a sense, in Florida at the Florida hearings with Judge Seidlin. And we all had to -- I see you're laughing.

We all had to work together to actually -- they put us, you know, three votes for the funeral. And it happened where Verjee kind of dropped out because her attorneys didn't agree, so it was kind of me and Howard put together to agree on flowers, to everything.

KING: So where do you stand with him now with him?

BIRKHEAD: You know, we're getting along because, you know, you have to think about it, also, you know, Howard -- for all things Anna, you know, you had to go to Howard. Things that I needed to know right now and things that -- that just, things around the house, things -- a contract if someone is using a photo that they shouldn't, you know, who's better to know than Howard what was negotiated?

And usually he can recall that within a matter of seconds.

KING: Does he represent you in any way now?

BIRKHEAD: No way. No way.

KING: So you're not legally connected?

BIRKHEAD: No, there's no connection to that. I'm not, you know, like I speak for myself. I make my own decisions.

KING: Will he get any -- if there is a financial outcome to this, will he get some of what your daughter might get?

BIRKHEAD: No. He's waived all of his fees as an executor of the estate.

KING: He has? So he's out of the picture?

BIRKHEAD: He's out of the picture. And...

KING: Do you talk?

BIRKHEAD: We talk. And -- and I needed something the other day, a question about a contract of Anna's. And I asked him and he was nice and polite and he's helpful.

KING: So you get along?

BIRKHEAD: We get along. And we haven't always, you know, gotten along. But, you know, I'm not going to sit around forever and just be an angry person. And -- it's not going to get me anywhere. It's not going to help my daughter, so.

KING: We have an e-mail from Kim in Millersville, Pennsylvania: "Does Howard Stern get to see Dannielynn?"

BIRKHEAD: You know, I said back in Florida, at the trial there, anyone that had good intentions I was going to allow to see Dannielynn. And that still stands today. And he's welcome to see. I know people might think that's weird, you know, with what we've been through. But I just, you know, I just try to be trusting and nice and maybe I'm too trusting and nice. And not to say that he's, you know -- the essence (ph) we've gotten along has done anything. But I just want to, you know, I want Dannielynn to have a loving environment. And he was, regardless of our differences, a big part of Anna's life. And I think Anna would have wanted that. So I'm just trying to...

KING: And he loved her.

BIRKHEAD: He loved her. And I'm trying to carry out, you know, Anna's wishes.

KING: And he loved Anna Nicole too, didn't he?


KING: So he loved the daughter and the mother?

BIRKHEAD: He asked about her. He called -- he writes e-mails and calls and asks about how the daughter is doing and Dannielynn and, you know, so.

KING: An unusual situation.

BIRKHEAD: It's very unusual. And a lot of people don't get it. But -- and it's really not to get. It just -- it's...

KING: It's what it is.

BIRKHEAD: It's what it is and it's people trying to do the right thing for a little baby.

KING: Later in the show, Dannielynn's first live in studio interview.

And up next, a progress report on the lawsuit that Larry's former lawyer has filed against him and the countersuit he filed in response.

It never goes away.

We'll be back.




KING: Is there no doubt that you're the father?

HOWARD K. STERN: I think based on the timing of it that there shouldn't be a doubt.

KING: So you are the father?

STERN: Yes, sir.



BIRKHEAD: Nothing's really determined except parentage. And I'm the father. And it's been a long road. And I'm just happy to, you know, have this behind me and just to be able to start a life with my daughter.


KING: We're back with Larry Birkhead.

All right, what's the story between you and Debra Opri, your former lawyer, who has been on this a number of times, sometimes not in connection with you?

We have a copy of her lawsuit against you, a commitment of your recent (ph) -- what happened?

BIRKHEAD: You know, I don't know. It's kind of like one of those Freddy Krueger movies when you try to get rid of somebody and they keep coming back. I don't k. I just -- I've -- we terminated. I terminated her relationship -- the attorney/client relationship way back a couple of months ago. And it just like, it seems like she -- every time I turn around, she's going on a show saying this or that or I'm -- long back shortly (ph) before I terminated her, or around that time, she went on shows and said I was asked her to do unethical things, she was divulging confidential information about me and my case.

And I just kind of got to a point where I, you know, I'd ask as a client for certain amount of respect. And I didn't -- I wasn't pleased with what I was getting. So I basically, you know, said, you know, I'm going in a different direction. I went to the Bahamas. The court there -- after I, you know, terminated Ms. Opri, they ruled that there was going to be a DNA test and I came home with my baby and that should have been the end of that. But now we're fighting over...

KING: What?

BIRKHEAD: I guess fees. Disputes over, you know, contracts.

KING: Did she charge you $620,000?

BIRKHEAD: It was -- it's, I think, $620,000 and some change. But -- and a lot of that...

KING: Was that an hourly rate?

BIRKHEAD: Well, there was an hourly rate in there, but there was dinners. There was, you know, dinners I didn't go to -- thousands of dollars of dinners and laundry and airfares for family and people -- and people that she represented were doing things at no charges, including herself.

Then she hit me with the bill and then it was a dispute because she said sign this. You've got -- in the state of California, you must sign this anyway, even though I'm doing this for free and the publicity. And then it was -- she went on this long, you know, string of media appearances and she said things like Howard and Anna were dying the baby's hair dark and things that were just so off the wall. And I, you know, I just -- I couldn't reel her in. And so basically, you know, I...

KING: She was a loose cannon, are you saying?

BIRKHEAD: Well, I mean, on this show I got in trouble because her hair was in her face and it was going to mess up her audition tape for a television show because I sat too close to you and she sat too close this way. So...

KING: You're kidding?

BIRKHEAD: No. And that's -- and it's like -- it became more -- I mean if you book her, she will come. And it's like it became too much of a -- it was -- when I hire someone to help me, I hire them to relieve my stress. And it put too much stress on me. And I just said I can't do this anymore, so.

KING: When you got that bill, were you shocked?

BIRKHEAD: I think -- I was shocked. You know, it was just a bunch of -- well, I was shocked because it was at variance -- after I terminated her, it was the amount that she discussed from free to no it wasn't free I'm saying now, to this is what it is today. It almost quadrupled or tripled after the fact that I got rid of her.

KING: She said to me that Howard K. Stern was the one that broke up the relationship.

BIRKHEAD: Well, that was another thing that -- she went out on the air right after -- actually, the day before -- the day I told her that she was going to be fired. I told her I wasn't going to say anything about why she was fired, I just wanted to, you know, sever up the ties. And she went out and immediately started making appearances saying that Howard had some kind of influence and like was waving a magic wand and saying all this crazy stuff that you don't say as an attorney about a client, regardless if it's true or not.

And my thought is on that is if you're an attorney and you're hired, you know, you don't divulge information like that.

KING: So, in retrospect, what make of all of that?

BIRKHEAD: With her?

KING: Yes. BIRKHEAD: You know, honestly, as a person, off the bat, she was -- she was nice. And she was -- she was a character. She's a character for, I think, a character for television. But, you know -- and I'm not saying she didn't do anything. I'm just saying it was -- I was from -- like I was saying earlier, I felt like the Johnny Cash song, "I've been everywhere, man." I've been to the Bahamas, to California, to Florida, back and forth. And it's like, you know, you feel like a rock star on tour and you're just kind of like...

KING: Who represents you now?

BIRKHEAD: Well in California, I think I have -- I have estate attorneys. I have attorneys for to fight my attorneys. I have attorneys in the Bahamas and I have attorneys in Florida. So, really, I'm covered, probably, in every city.

KING: Are you involved at all in the quest for money from the estate of Anna Nicole's late husband?

BIRKHEAD: I'm not involved in that. But as the father for Dannielynn, you know, I would...

KING: There are lawyers representing Dannielynn?

BIRKHEAD: There are lawyers representing Dannielynn -- and Anna's estate will carry on. And I don't know exactly how that's going to play out and that's never been my focus. And I started fighting for my daughter long before the chain of events that would even put me in this position to even discuss this.

KING: It could be a legal nightmare, huh?

BIRKHEAD: Well, it has been. And look who -- look who, there's nobody remaining on both sides, you know? So...

KING: We have another e-mail from Ann, Richmond, Virginia: "Given that Anna and Howard had a spiritual commitment ceremony, apparently were planning a legal marriage, do you consider Howard to be Dannielynn's stepfather? And would you be disrespecting Anna's wishes if he weren't part of her -- your daughter's life?"

BIRKHEAD: The answer is I don't consider him a stepfather. And I do think that Anna would want Howard to be, you know, a part of Dannielynn's life. And I'm going to respect everything, unless someone shows me otherwise.

KING: Another e-mail from Danny L. In Refugio, Texas: "How do you plan to deal with Anna Nicole's estranged family members, who may want to see Dannielynn for -- or use her for publicity?"

BIRKHEAD: Well, I've given, you know, people a chance to visit. I've -- and I don't know, it's tough. You know, how do you -- how do you go from letting someone visit the baby that you don't even know and giving them a chance to two days later -- or a few days later -- showing up in the courtroom and fighting those people. And then say, OK, now you're done fighting me, you lost that, but come over and see the baby. You know, I just don't know how I feel about that. And --

KING: Well, it's weird.

BIRKHEAD: It's weird. It's very weird. It's weird to be a grandparent and a relative to be fighting. I have parents. They're not in a court fighting me. There's -- they're supportive. They've been to my home. They help and they call and check on the baby. And they do everything they can. But it's -- so it's a little bit -- it's a different situation.

KING: You're happy, though ?

BIRKHEAD: I'm really happy.

KING: Coming up in our second half hour, how do you tell a little girl Anna Nicole Smith was her mother?

Also ahead, a phone call or two.

And a CNN first -- a video question from a couple of viewers.

Don't go away.


BIRKHEAD: One, two, buckle my shoe. Three, four, shut the door. Five, six, pick up sticks.


KING: We're back. Regis Philbin and Matt Lauer, both tomorrow night. Angelina Jolie on Thursday and Al Pacino on Friday. How are we doing so far?

Our guest is Larry Birkhead. You mentioned Judge Seidlin -- I'm sorry, Birkhead. I don't know where I got Hartford. You mentioned Larry Seidlin earlier. What did you make of him, our judge in Florida?

BIRKHEAD: That was another character, you know, and that was a character fit for television. But you know I think he actually had a good -- he had a good vision of what he thought should happen in this case. And he thought that he saw unity from the beginning. He actually wanted to order the DNA test. You could almost see him wanting to write the order for it but I don't think he had the authority to.

But I thought a lot of it was unnecessary because I was there and I really didn't have a purpose there. And I was actually volunteered to come there. And then it turned into some big circus and all of these different players and personalities. And it was kind of crazy.

KING: You liked him, though?

BIRKHEAD: I liked him and he liked me. You know personality- wise, we got along. And when you're in the hot seat up there on the witness stand, it's not too bad when a judge likes you.

KING: How did you react when he cried?

BIRKHEAD: I was a little taken back by it. You never see a judge cry like that unless it's in a movie or something, but it was different. But you know I think there was a part of him that was genuine that he wanted some kind of resolution.

KING: Before we ask you about how you will deal with her late mother, let's watch a little of the judge in that performance, watch.


JUDGE LARRY SEIDLIN, FLORIDA: I appreciate your diplomacy and your sensitivity. And I find you to be a forthright witness. I'm impressed by his testimony. I want her buried with her son in the Bahamas. I want them to be together. And I hope to God you guys give the kid the right shot.


KING: How do you tell Dannielynn the story of her mother?

BIRKHEAD: You know...

KING: And her big brother?

BIRKHEAD: And her brother. It's a hard story. It's going to take a lot of thought so it's not mapped in my head and I have a little time to deal with it. But I want her to know that her mother -- I mean, there's a lot great things about her mother.

You know in that trial in Florida that you just played, a lot of nasty things came out. A lot of things that really didn't even pertain to where a body should be buried and those are things that my daughter will have the capability of going back in this information age that they were in looking up. So I just want her to know the positive things, that she helped people, she helped charities and she was a fun-loving person and so was her brother. So it's going to be difficult.

KING: Was she misunderstood?

BIRKHEAD: Very misunderstood. It was -- I think people see Anna Nicole and they think diamonds and dripping in this and the glitz and the glamour. And honestly, she was basically just a great, down- to-earth person who wanted to have fun and just liked the simple things, watching the scary movies. You know she didn't always have to have diamonds. I'd bring her little things here and there. I mean I did buy her some diamonds but probably not the kind that she was used to. But I tried my best and...

KING: Did you like her right away?


KING: You two hit it off right away.

BIRKHEAD: You know I think the first year I met her; she was shooting her show when I met her at the Kentucky Derby. And she came bang the next year, the second year in a row, same place, same time and totally different attitude. She had lost all of the weight and you know I thought she was great before. And I thought she was -- when she got off of the elevator when I saw her come back, I was like wow. It was -- and she was a totally different person in my eyes because she was just more outgoing and sparks flew I think.

KING: How do you react to being a tabloid target yourself?

BIRKHEAD: At first...

KING: I'm hearing stories about you all over.

BIRKHEAD: Yes. At first, it kind of bothered me but then I kind of laughed at it because, you know, one magazine you're doing, this dating this person, or home-wrecking. And you've got machine guns that you're guarding your baby with on one end. It's so out of control. At first it was kind of interesting to kind of flip and see it but now I just turn it all off.

KING: Take offense to any of it?

BIRKHEAD: Some of it's offensive. But you know what, anybody that knows me knows the truth about -- and they know that all of that stuff is not truthful. And I just -- I try to be a good person. I try to just devote all of my attention and energy away from that stuff and to my daughter. And you know unfortunately, I'm -- or should I say fortunately, I have my baby. And she's teething but I'm dealing with a lot of people about things, themselves.

KING: Well put. How about security and Dannielynn?

BIRKHEAD: She's got lots of security.

KING: Because that's a cause for concern either by a whacko or a...

BIRKHEAD: But she's well taken of care of. That's one of the early things that I investigated and kind of signed up for. And we're well protected and she's good. She's got it covered. All of the bases covered on that end.

KING: The Florida battle over the custody and the remains, and we're going through all of that, where they would be buried. What was that like for you?

BIRKHEAD: It was tough because, you know, I really still hadn't had a chance to grieve. And I'm throwing these platforms and these places with these cameras. And it's kind of like people yelling out your name and it's almost like they're yelling like you're a rock star or something. But you're there to try to bury a -- you know to make sure someone has a proper burial. And you really don't even know what you're there for. And it turns into something crazy. KING: When you were on this show in January, I asked about the possibility that Dannielynn could become a very wealthy little girl depending on litigation over the estate of Anna Nicole's late husband Howard Marshall and here's what you said.



KING: Your daughter could be very wealthy.

BIRKHEAD: Well, you know, to be honest with you, Larry, I've never said this on television before but I kind of hope she doesn't get the money. Not because I don't feel that she deserves it or -- that's a whole show for a different day, but if money makes people do the things that she's doing now by taking my daughter, she's also in a home that she doesn't know in the Bahamas, you know if she wants -- if that's what money makes you do, then I don't want any part of it.


KING: Do you still feel the same way?

BIRKHEAD: See, that's a perfect example of what my daughter will see. And when you're in this kind of war, if you will, you say things and you have to look back and that's one of the clips that I'm probably not the most proudest, you know, of. But I was referring to the fact that her mom was doing things to keep me from, you know, my daughter. But I didn't want -- if that's what was driving this whole thing and I didn't really want a part of it.

KING: You shouldn't be ashamed of that. That's what it was then.

BIRKHEAD: Well, you know, I want my daughter to have everything that she's entitled to. It doesn't mean that I'm going to fight people and I'm not going to sit in a courtroom for 12 years or more and, you know, die or pass away myself battling for any kind of -- that's not my arena. And whatever comes to her is hers and it's my job to protect her.

KING: Is she Dannielynn Birkhead?

BIRKHEAD: She's Dannielynn Hope Marshall-Birkhead. And people don't understand that and they were like, what, why is she named...

KING: Break it down for me.

BIRKHEAD: Well, Marshall -- Dannielynn is her original name that Anna picked out and it was Anna Rose and after Daniel passed she named in honor of Daniel, Dannielynn. And Daniel called his mother Momma Lynn. So it was a combination of his name and nickname.

KING: Right.

BIRKHEAD: Hope, the middle name. Marshall was actually Anna's married name.

KING: Right.

BIRKHEAD: And so -- but on the birth certificate it was listed as a middle name. So my petition was to change the last name on the birth certificate. And also, I feel that I wanted her to have as much that she didn't have anymore of her mother, a piece of her mother's name or anything that she -- I felt it was kind of disrespectful.

KING: But it ends in Birkhead?

BIRKHEAD: It ends in Birkhead.

KING: Don't miss Dannielynn's debut on live TV right here on this set a little later. More with Larry when we come back.


KING: If you'd like to see more great video of Dannielynn, we've got it in an exclusive web extra. Just go to to find it.

By the way, we've also just launched a new feature on LARRY KING LIVE that puts you in the picture literally. You can see yourself asking questions to our guests. Just submit your question via cell phone or web cam. We call it I-Ask. That's "I" as in Internet. To send us a question, just go to and click on "Send us a Video E-Mail." And maybe the whole world will see you tomorrow night asking a question to Regis Philbin and Matt Lauer.

But tonight we officially unveil our I-Ask feature with a question from two viewers for Larry Birkhead. Here it is.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There he is. Hey, Larry, I'm here with my nephew Jason and we're wondering if Dannielynn has any little cousins that she plays with?

BIRKHEAD: She has lots of cousins and she's been busy, one busy girl. And she's just -- she's been busy. She has a hectic -- a more hectic schedule than I am. She's at, you know, toys. She playing with -- she's had outings to Chuck E. Cheese, pools.

KING: So give me your family set-up and you have...

BIRKHEAD: I have nieces and nephews, and my brother's and sister's kids. And there's lots of them. And we're just one big group. And they wouldn't kind of let me get in a word edgewise with her.

KING: You have a twin brother, right?

BIRKHEAD: Twin brother.

KING: Knoxville, Tennessee for Larry Birkhead, hello.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, thanks for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With all the news and media coverage of the fights and arguments between Larry and Anna Nicole, I mean it's obvious that she didn't want him to be part of Dannielynn's life. Can he maybe explain to us why he didn't honor and respect Anna's last wishes and let her just be with Howard Stern?

BIRKHEAD: Well, I think the answer to that is that no father just says OK because someone wants or doesn't want. And I'm not really -- you know the public saw and heard that's what she wanted. But behind the scenes what people didn't understand is there was still communication, positive communication not all of the time. There was some negative that went back and forth. And that's the kind of -- we didn't have the perfect relationship. But we had -- there was ongoing communication all the way up until the time she died. And I do believe that Anna would have come around.

And as far as, you know, her wanting to be with somebody else, that doesn't change my role as a father, you know, that's my child.

KING: What was she angry with you about, do you think?

BIRKHEAD: I think, honestly, a couple of things. I think some people were telling her certain thing and you know, he might take your child, whatever it might be or...

KING: Like take her away from her?

BIRKHEAD: Possibly. And/or it could have been -- you know Anna Nicole was the type of person, she had such a close relationship with Daniel, that part of her, I think, also saw that, you know, she didn't -- she was always in control of her situation. And if there's another parent in there, she didn't have that with Daniel. She was a single parent and she raised him. And I think that kind of scared her in a way as much as she desired the family unit. I think she was almost scared of the same thing that she wanted.

KING: Do you think Mr. Stern might have had something to do with it?

BIRKHEAD: I think there's a lot of people around Anna that tell her things and some good, some bad advice. And I don't know how to answer that. And the thing about it is...

KING: Because you don't know.

BIRKHEAD: You know I don't know what any one person told her. But I know that she loved me and I loved her. We have lots of evidence of that.

KING: You knew. You do.

Larry Birkhead's our guest. Back with more in a moment.

Back with more with Larry right after this.


KING: We're back with Larry Birkhead. Ken Birkheart was a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals and sometimes baseball infiltrates my brain.

Omaha, Nebraska, hello.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, I like your shirt tonight, Larry.

KING: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For Larry Birkhead, I wanted to ask if he knew if Anna Nicole was trying to get pregnant either with him or Howard K. Stern, and if she was on any type of fertility program. And/or if they were trying to get pregnant, how long did they try?

BIRKHEAD: Anna did -- we did try once before. It was unsuccessful about a year previous before Dannielynn's birth. And she wasn't really on fertility drugs but it's something that she always wanted another child and something that we always talked about. And it was really -- she has these -- you know a hope chest for years of wanting a little baby girl. And it was kind of her wish granted.

KING: We still don't know the cause of Daniel's death, right? There's still an inquest?

BIRKHEAD: An inquest. It gets delayed, delayed and delayed.

KING: Did you think Anna Nicole had a problem with drugs?

BIRKHEAD: You know I -- there's a big misconception out there that Anna Nicole was around there doing heroin and all these different drugs. You know a lot of people just say drugs, drugs. I mean they were prescription drugs. They were doctors giving them. She didn't sometimes take them as she was supposed to. And sometimes they were a mechanism for stress and to deal with the daily struggles that she has that king of have now been passed to me. But I knew of some things they I didn't particularly like but we talked about them. And...

KING: Was she an addict?

BIRKHEAD: I don't know if I would use the word addict. I guess -- you know there were things that she depended on to help her with. But she also had -- people, you know; don't really know she had seizures. And some of those drugs that I mentioned that helped her with her seizures. And in combination with some other drugs, they had some different effects. But you know it wasn't like she got up every day and said, you know, "I've got to have some pills." I mean she was vibrant and she loved life. So it's all still puzzling to me.

KING: Would you have married her? BIRKHEAD: I would have. I mean she asked me a couple times; once, when the first couple of months that we dated. And I said no because at that point it would have been for the wrong reasons, you know, not knowing her and not really, you know -- I wanted to make sure it was for the right reasons.

And then we had this thing back in mother's day when she was about four, five months pregnant where I'd given her a ring. And I didn't call it a wedding ring. She wanted a 10 carat and I was kind of downscaling it to a 4 carat. But you know, she was on Tiffany' and I was kind of going to, you know, or something, you know, something a little bit less money.

But, no, I think that things would have worked out and things -- and we could have gotten this argument past us things that were really kind of trivial in the beginning and in the end, that things would have been different. And I think that it probably would have been more of a fairy tale ending than this tragic ending.

KING: Well, Sunday is Father's Day.

BIRKHEAD: It's my first Father's Day. It's going to be fun. I don't know what I'm doing yet. I guess I'm just going to be a dad but it's going to be a special day because I -- I think it's going to be important. I have a great dad and we always spend that day. But this is kind of a day for me and...

KING: It is. You close with your father?

BIRKHEAD: Sure am.

KING: We'll take a break, and when we come back, the star of the proceedings will join us in the final segment, two Larries and a baby. It sounds like a movie. Don't miss it.


KING: We are in our remaining moments of this special edition of LARRY KING LIVE. And coming down the hallway from our Green Room to join us, here comes our guest of the night, Larry Birkhead and the world famous Dannielynn.

By the way, let me get her up close. One of the prettiest little girls you will ever see, gorgeous eyes. And in my opinion, she looks a great deal like her mother. I knew Anna Nicole quite well. She appeared on this show a number of times. I have a painting of hers in my home. And here she comes. She has the eyes of my wife.

BIRKHEAD: Here she is.

KING: Not a bad way to go. And there she is, look at her. Here is Dannielynn. Can we get a good close -- there she is. Look at that face. Now she does look like her mother, right?

BIRKHEAD: She does.

KING: Would you agree?

BIRKHEAD: I see -- you know a lot of people say she looks like me. And a lot of people say she has my eyes and different features.

KING: Well, it's a combination.


KING: Do you know that you're a famous little baby?

BIRKHEAD: Not yet. Hopefully, she doesn't have to know that.

KING: How good -- you have good help, nannies and...

BIRKHEAD: I do have a nanny that helps me and she's great. And I just...

KING: She's how old?

BIRKHEAD: She's 9 months. She just turned 9 months a couple of days ago.

KING: Crawling yet?

BIRKHEAD: She's pulling herself. I think she's going to walk before she crawls.

KING: Don't grab the mike.

BIRKHEAD: Don't grab the microphone.

KING: She grabbed the mike. OK, well, just hold it. Can we sit her on the table? Let's do that.

BIRKHEAD: Here you go, sweetie.

KING: Here you go. Dannielynn, come here, be a star. OK, now, just clip that on your jacket and -- this -- Dannielynn, this is called show business.

BIRKHEAD: Show business, live TV.

KING: This is a first for you. We'll save this tape for you, Dannielynn. And some day when you're older and making your Broadway debut -- would you mind if she was in show business?

BIRKHEAD: No, I don't know. I want her to do whatever she wants to do and I'll support her. But I just want her to -- well, she wants your microphone now. That's a famous microphone.

KING: Would you like to marry and have other children?

BIRKHEAD: You know some day. But I just -- I can't think about anything except this one right now. She keeps me so busy.

KING: Are you dating yet?

BIRKHEAD: She's my only date. Toy stores, anywhere she wants to go, I take her.

KING: Do they follow you around?

BIRKHEAD: They do.

KING: Paparazzi, they do?

BIRKHEAD: You know they've been pretty kind with me. And it just...

KING: I think they respect you as a fellow photographer...

BIRKHEAD: They do.

KING: ...of the fraternity. It's really...

BIRKHEAD: Do you want to dance?

KING: ...sad that Anna didn't get to see this.


KING: Whoa! I mean, that is pretty.

Larry, I thank you very much.

BIRKHEAD: Thank you very much.

KING: Thanks for a wonderful hour.

BIRKHEAD: Thank you. Say bye-bye.

KING: And Dannielynn...

BIRKHEAD: Bye-bye. Bye-bye.

KING: ...thank you, baby.

Last night our text vote question of the night: "Do you think Dannielynn will eventually inherit the millions of dollars that Anna Nicole was fighting for?" This will make you feel good, Larry. Seventy-one percent said, yes, 29 percent said no.

Tomorrow's guest, Regis Philbin, so our question is, should Regis sing on this show tomorrow night? Text vote from your cell phone to CNN TV, which is 26688. Text King A for yes, King B for no.

And Regis, you are not allowed to vote.

And Matt Lauer will also be here. Two kings of morning television, Regis Philbin and Matt Lauer. Angelina Jolie on Thursday, Al Pacino Friday.

Right now let's swing things over to New York City. John King stands by to host "AC360."


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