PASADENA, Calif – Anna Nicole Smith says she hopes her new E! reality show, The Anna Nicole Smith Show, wins her some long-overdue respect.
"People will see me and see that I have a little talent and start taking me seriously as an actress," Smith told reporters gathered here yesterday for the annual TV Critics press tour.
"My life is funny. There are things that happen to me all the time," she said. "And it just is funny."
Smith, wearing a long black gown with a plunging neckline and holding her beloved 4-year-old black toy poodle "Sugar Pie" in her lap, backed up producers' assertions that they won't pull any punches — no matter how humiliating.
In one promotional clip, Smith said she hasn't had sex for two years.
"That's just one of those things you say and wish you didn't," said Smith. "I said it. You can't take it back."
The Anna Nicole Show is set to debut Aug. 4 at 10 p.m. on E!, pairing Smith and her cast of pals with around-the-clock cameras shepherded by executive producer Jeff Shore.
From 1998 to this year, Shore was executive producer of the network's wildly popular E! True Hollywood Story. One of its most popular segments was an unflattering profile of Smith, the former Playboy Playmate of the Year.
Smith has made no secret of her hatred for that show. So what's the best medicine to heal these wounds?
Money, of course.
"We didn't know whether she was going to come in and tell us off and leave," E! executive vice president Mark Sonnenberg said about the network's first face-to-face pitch to Smith.
"She was honest and we were honest with her — in a 45-minute lunch, we realized we had a show there."
Sonnenberg bluntly said the success of MTV's The Osbournes played a major role in prompting E! to bet on Smith.
"When The Osbournes came out, it was a no brainer for us — let's put the cameras on her," Sonnenberg said.
Anna characters include her lawyer, Howard Stern (really!), 16-year-old son Daniel Smith and personal assistant Kim Walther.
Smith was a 26-year-old stripper when she married 89-year-old Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II. A federal judge ordered Marshall's son in March to pay Smith $88 million.