The Celebrity Therapist

The Celebrity Therapist

Anna Nicole Smith: The Price of Fame

ansBy Sherry Gaba and Whitney Ashton

 Mary Harron’s “The Anna Nicole Story” biopic premiered on Sunday to record ratings and mixed reviews on the Lifetime Movie Network. Known for wanting to be “the next Marilyn Monroe,” the former Guess girl turned reality TV personality died of an accidental drug overdose in 2007.

Smith’s time as a reality star on E!’s “The Anna Nicole Show” fueled rumors that the star had a substance abuse problem. The show was abruptly canceled after two seasons. In the Lifetime film, Smith (Agnes Bruckner) pops champagne and pills simultaneously. Her peers casually supplied the goods she needed to perform what some would describe as “a circus act.”


In 2006, the model and actress gave birth to her second child, a baby girl named Danielynn Hope Marshall Stern. Tragically, three days after the birth, Smith’s 20-year-old son Daniel was found dead of a drug overdose in her hospital room.

Less than six months later, Smith, 39, was found dead in her Florida hotel room. Although investigators found no illegal drugs in her suite, they did find several prescription drugs, including methadone, Provigil, Xanax and fentanyl according to the New York Daily News.

Methadone is a powerful pain killer, and can remain in one’s system for up to 59 hours – making overdose a high risk. According to media reports, Smith was seen drinking heavily in the hotel bar hours before her death. The cocktail of painkillers, antidepressants and alcohol was a recipe for disaster… a deadly combination.


Unfortunately, celebrity overdose is not new in popular culture. Many musicians and actors have died untimely deaths from addiction and many more will die in the continuing drug and alcohol epidemic.

As a LCSW, psychotherapist, author and life coach, I have worked with countless celebrities who have had to face the same demons that Smith fell prey to. Staying sober for celebrities versus the average person may be an even tougher battle. These stars are fighting an uphill battle when drugs and alcohol are the norm – but it is not impossible. Sobriety is a life altering decision. It will take effort, work and the ability to recognize a dangerous situation before it is too late.

For more information about the death of Anna Nicole visit:


Sherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life, Love & Recovery Coach is featured Celebrity Rehab  on  VH1. Sherry is the author of “The Law of Sobriety” which uses the law  of  attraction to  recover from any addiction. Please  download your free E book “Filling The Empty  Heart” and your “Are You a  Love Addict Quiz?” at Contact Sherry for  webinars, teleseminars,  coaching packages and speaking engagements. Listen  to Sherry on “A Moment of Change with  Sherry Gaba” on CBS Radio Take  Sherry’s quiz for a free eBook Filling the  Empty Heart: 5 Keys to  Transforming Love Addiction.


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