Virgie Arthur Goes 'On the Record'

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," May 2, 2007.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Tonight, Anna Nicole Smith's mother, just back from the Bahamas in her knockdown drag-out fight Howard and Larry, Virgie Arthur goes "On the Record."


VAN SUSTEREN: So take me back to the phone call that when you found out that Vickie had died.

VIRGIE ARTHUR, ANNA NICOLE SMITH'S MOTHER: Well, actually, I saw it on TV. You know, my grandson died first. And we went through that. And then my daughter, I was watching the news and it came on TV. And my husband had been called and they told him and he rushed home and as it was coming on, he was coming through the front door because he had already heard it.

VAN SUSTEREN: So you just coincidentally watching the television and it flashes across?

ARTHUR: Yes. Yes, it did. Devastating. I knew it was coming.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why did you know it was coming?

ARTHUR: Well, you know, my grandson was taken and then you know, I told people — I tried to tell people — you know, please be careful. Vickie, please watch out, baby, what you are doing. Watch the people around you. Just be careful.

VAN SUSTEREN: She lived a pretty wild life those last couple of years.

ARTHUR: Yes, in fact the last 10 — I would say the last 10 years of her life was really rough on her.


ARTHUR: Drugs.

VAN SUSTEREN: When is the first time you knew that she was doing drugs or figured it out?

ARTHUR: Well, you know, she would — you know, every once in a while you could tell that she was doing something. But when Howard came in the picture and was a permanent part of her life, that's when you really, really could see that, and not just me but, you know, the media, at the music awards. People — you know, people saw it. It was out there for people to see.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you have a falling out with her? I mean, I know that there has been — there has been lots said about your relationship with her. Did you guys have a falling out?

ARTHUR: Drugs.

VAN SUSTEREN: Just — not just, I mean, it was over the drugs?

ARTHUR: Over the drugs, mm-hmm.

VAN SUSTEREN: And how did it show itself? I mean, does she call up that she was on drugs? Did you give her hell or I mean — or how...

ARTHUR: No. She called up — this is how I would always know she was messed up. She would call and she would say, "Momma, this is Vickie." That meant she was OK. But if she called and she would say, "Momma, this is Anna," then you knew she was messed up because she never ever called herself Anna to me when it was us. She never did.

VAN SUSTEREN: When is the first time about — and I know you don't do dates...

ARTHUR: Here we go with time.

VAN SUSTEREN: Here we go with dates. When was the first time you ever heard the name Howard K. Stern?

ARTHUR: Right after Howard Marshall died and she was fighting in the court battle. You know, trying to — I don't know, claim his money or claim what he told her — but he told her he would always take care of her. So that was the first time was that Howard Stern was one of the lawyers in that court proceeding.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did she have any particular infatuation with him? Or was it simply your recollection it was just a passing business relationship?

ARTHUR: Passing business relationship at first.

VAN SUSTEREN: And during the course of the time she was in California here, did you ever learn that the relationship changed if it ever did? Did she ever mention that, you know, I'm interested in Howard K. Stern more than as my lawyer?

ARTHUR: Oh, no. No. She was never — I don't believe she was ever interested in him as a quote, unquote, "lover." No.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did she ever call home and talk about him in any way, even, whether it was in good terms or derogatory terms?

ARTHUR: Derogatory. Do I have to say them?


VAN SUSTEREN: Give me the context.

ARTHUR: Flunky. Baggage boy.

VAN SUSTEREN: She would say that to you?


VAN SUSTEREN: And this was before the year 2000 do you think or is this after 2000?

ARTHUR: It was after Howard died. When he became one of her attorneys, he wasn't the main attorney on the case, but one of them.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you ever hear the name Larry Birkhead when she was living in California, before she was pregnant?


VAN SUSTEREN: Never heard his name?

ARTHUR: Never heard his name.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you ever hear any boyfriends that she might go out with or any men that she was going out with or anything like that?


VAN SUSTEREN: How did you hear that she was pregnant?

ARTHUR: Through the news media.

VAN SUSTEREN: She didn't call you and tell you?


VAN SUSTEREN: And it had deteriorated by that point between the two of you?


VAN SUSTEREN: Did you ever try to reach out to her or she tried to call you?

ARTHUR: She would call every three to four months, you know, just to say "Hi, mom."

VAN SUSTEREN: Going back to January of 2006, in the early days of her pregnancy, was that about when you read about it in the paper or was it in February, do you think that you heard about her pregnancy?

ARTHUR: I think it was a little later than that.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you have any contact with her in the first six months? Did she call you at all during her pregnancy?

ARTHUR: No, did not.

VAN SUSTEREN: In the first months, did you hear anything about Howard K. Stern or Larry Birkhead? Did those names ever surface?

ARTHUR: Oh yes, they were — the two of them. That's how I heard about the two of them. Well, I knew Howard before then. You know, I have never talked to Howard but two times?

VAN SUSTEREN: Just two times?

ARTHUR: Just two times.

VAN SUSTEREN: When were those two times?

ARTHUR: The first time was when after Daniel died — my grandson died. Some lady named Donna Hogan, who is Vickie's half sister from her other family that we do not know...

VAN SUSTEREN: Who has written a book.

ARTHUR: Who has written a book that is totally trash. He called on the phone and he said, you know, you need to tell your family to quit getting on the media. And I said, well, who — Howard, who are you talking about? He said, that Donna Hogan. I said, well, I'm here to tell you son that that's not my family. I don't know her. I ain't never met her. Don't want to know any of them.

You are going to will have to have Vickie call her father's side of the family and tell them. That's his side of the family, not mine. I said, I don't know her. And he said, well, she is really upset. I said, well, you know, there is nothing I can do about this woman. I don't know her.

VAN SUSTEREN: When was the second time you ever spoke talked to Howard?

ARTHUR: The second time, gosh, was when the judge said I could see the baby.

VAN SUSTEREN: The judge in the Bahamas?

ARTHUR: The judge in the Bahamas said I could see the baby. This is before Vickie was buried. In fact, it was the — we were fighting in the — you know, going to Florida to get her body. And the judge said I could see the baby. So Howard let me come in the house. And let me stand at the foot of my granddaughter's bed. I couldn't touch her. I couldn't pick her up.

VAN SUSTEREN: He said that?

ARTHUR: Yes. Yes, I went to put my hand on her. She was asleep on her stomach. And I went to put my hand on the back. And he said, "No, don't touch her." And I said, "Why?" He said, "Because of DNA." And I said, well, "Howard, I don't care about DNA. I know I am the grandmother. However, you and I both know you are not the father."

And he said, "Well, the judge said you could see her, he didn't say you could pick her up and hold her, touch her, talk to her. He said, so you just stand at the end of that bed and you just look at her, because that's all you are going to get to do. And you can do it for 15 minutes."

And I said, "Howard, that is — why are you being like that?" But, you know, the — it was in a room — it wasn't her room. It was in another room, you know, that wasn't set up like it should have been for a baby's room. And I just felt like there was a camera in there somewhere.

And there was a whole group of people in the living room of that house. So I felt like there was a camera in there. And He stood there the whole time with his hands like this right beside the bed so I couldn't get close to her. And I stood there for 15 minutes. And he said, "Virgie, if you will let Vickie be buried in the Bahamas, I will let you hold her for 15 minutes, like the judge said."

And I just looked at him and shook my head. So I stood at the end of her bed with my hands like this just watching her. And do you know what she did? She snorted. You know? And all the women in our family do that when we are sleeping, you know, we snort. And she snorted. And I looked over at my sister that was there with me and I laughed and I said, "Yes, she's mine."


VAN SUSTEREN: So what happened that all of a sudden it seemed that it was you and Larry versus Howard in Florida. You guys go off to Florida and suddenly it's Larry and Howard against you?

ARTHUR: I honestly don't know what happened.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is it because you filed for custody? Now I understand that you didn't know who the father was at first when you filed for custody with certainty. But once Larry was determined to be the father by DNA, did that change things?

ARTHUR: Yes, it did. Because right after he found out he — well, actually it was just before he found out that he was the father, him and Howard paired up.


ARTHUR: I wish I knew. I wish I knew. I have not a clue why.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why not — why did you pursue the custody at that point?

ARTHUR: Because I don't know what part Howard plays in this role. You know, if I had been the father and this man had treated me this way that kept my daughter from me, there is no way that he would have anything to do with my daughter, anything.

VAN SUSTEREN: But you like Larry?

ARTHUR: Yes, I like Larry.

VAN SUSTEREN: You don't like Howard?


VAN SUSTEREN: So now that Howard is out of the picture in terms of father and Larry is the father, why do you still have a custody action going on?

ARTHUR: I don't. I don't have a problem with Larry having the baby. I don't.

VAN SUSTEREN: So the June — there is a June 8th custody hearing?

ARTHUR: It is just a formality.

VAN SUSTEREN: So you are happy to have — Larry to have complete total custody?

ARTHUR: Yes. And that is not — you know, that is not what — I don't know where people get all of these notions from. I never wanted to raise my granddaughter. I would have if I had to. But that is not something I wanted to do. But I do want to have visitation with her. I do want her to know Vickie's family.

You know, she has two families. And it's going to take both families for her to grow up and understand her life. I mean, she is here without a mother. And, you know, let's talk about money. Let's just get that plumb off the page, OK? I do not care about the money. I don't want the money. You know, she has fought for 12 years for Howard Marshall's money. Four people are dead. That money is tainted. I have no — I do not — I am not in this for the money, I am not.

VAN SUSTEREN: Which of the four dead? Your daughter.

ARTHUR: Howard Marshall is dead. His son is dead, Pierce Marshall. My grandson is dead, Daniel Smith. And Vickie is dead. Four people are dead.

VAN SUSTEREN: That money is tainted?

ARTHUR: That money is tainted. I have no desire for that money. However, Larry is still young. And all I asked Larry to do was to have someone on his side of the family, like his father or his mother and myself, be overseers of her money. Not where we could write checks or we could do anything with the money, no. But before she could do anything with the money or he could do anything with the money, that, you know, something big like, you know, she wants a Porsche at 14, you know, it would have to go through his dad and me and we would say, no, at 14 you are not getting a Porsche, so no. But it wasn't...

VAN SUSTEREN: You don't think Larry would do that?

ARTHUR: Well, you know, you have a lot of influences in your life. You go through life — and that's what I'm saying, he is so young that he has a whole lot to learn — as we all do; I'm still learning. But he has a whole lot to learn. And would he be a good father? Yes, I think he will. All fathers have got to learn. I mean, this is his first child. So yes, do I think he will be a good father? Yes, I do. But money influences a lot of people.

VAN SUSTEREN: What's sort of interesting is that Anna Nicole — Vickie, for lack of better description, turned at one point against you.

ARTHUR: Mm-hmm.

VAN SUSTEREN: Turned against Larry. The baby is born. You and Larry then work together.


VAN SUSTEREN: And you are on the same page. Then Larry goes to the Bahamas and he is now with Howard and suddenly you are out.

ARTHUR: Yes. Do you know when he found out that he was the baby — Howard let him move in with him?

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you ever ask him about Howard?

ARTHUR: I asked him what the hold — I said, Larry, what does he have on you? And this is like my exact words. I said, Larry, what does he have on you, son? I said, I don't care what it is. I don't care if it's pictures, if it is a movie tape. I don't care what it is. I will stand with you against him.

I said, you know how I feel about Howard. I have two dead children and a granddaughter that this man has got a hold on. I said, I will stand with you. I don't care what it is. And we will stand together. And the next thing I know, he is over there with Howard.

VAN SUSTEREN: What does he say? What does Larry say in response when you say that to him?

ARTHUR: He just says, well, you know, "I just want my daughter." I said, and I want to you have your daughter. That's not what I'm asking. I'm just asking that you as a young man let your family help you. You know, let one side of your family and one side of her family, and it don't have to even be me, you know, it could be my son, or you know, uncle, aunt. It doesn't matter who it is. But somebody to oversee this baby's money so that when she gets older she will still have the money.

VAN SUSTEREN: Now let's talk about who got what money. Did you get any money from any news organization or media outlet since Daniel died?

ARTHUR: OK. Splash magazine. And all they do is sell pictures.


ARTHUR: You know. And this was way before Daniel died that they came to me and asked me, did I want to, you know, sell them some pictures, you know, of Daniel and Vickie and the family, and did I want to do a book? You know, and I thought well, you know, I might think about it. And that's all I told them, I might think about it. So I did give them some pictures.

VAN SUSTEREN: How much did you get?


VAN SUSTEREN: How much did you get?

ARTHUR: Oh, how much money?


ARTHUR: Five thousand dollars.

VAN SUSTEREN: How many pictures?

ARTHUR: Oh, I don't know, bunch, a bunch, you know, 50, 100, a bunch of pictures.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you give them to use for as long as they wanted or to just use them in one-time deal with them?

ARTHUR: No. They can use them for whatever.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. All right. So you got $5,000 from Splash for pictures. Any other money?

ARTHUR: No. That's all I have got.

VAN SUSTEREN: What about any relative of yours get any money?

ARTHUR: Relative?

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes. Like — I mean, it was like, you know, anyone who you — besides Anna Nicole — Vickie? Like did any family member cut any deal that you know of?

ARTHUR: Not that I know of, no.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. So there is no other money pouring into your family?


VAN SUSTEREN: How about your legal bills? Who is paying those?

ARTHUR: Well, I'm going to have to pay those.

VAN SUSTEREN: Nobody has made a promised to pay them?


VAN SUSTEREN: No lawyer has gotten paid?


VAN SUSTEREN: When you see Howard courtroom, what is it like?

ARTHUR: I wish I could tell you. It's very hard to know that I had a grandson. And this man was in the room with my grandson and he died. And I had a daughter, this man was in the same room with my daughter, and now she is dead. And people seem to forget that. You know, it's all about Dannielynn and Larry now.

But it's still not. You know? It's still about my grandson's death and my daughter's death. And I still yet have to go to an inquest back in the Bahamas for my grandson, to find out why he is dead. He is 20 years old. You know, there is no way this baby should be dead. My daughter wasn't but 39. She shouldn't be dead either.


VAN SUSTEREN: Coming up, what does Virgie Arthur have to say to Howard K. Stern tonight? It is rather blistering. We have more of our interview with Anna Nicole's mother in a moment.


VAN SUSTEREN: We sat down with Anna Nicole Smith's mother a few hours ago. Here is more of our talk with Virgie ARTHUR:


VAN SUSTEREN: What happened with the lawsuit against your lawyer? Howard K. Stern has filed a lawsuit. Any thoughts on that for calling — it was actually on our air, calling Howard a murderer?

ARTHUR: You know, he is a great attorney. And I think he can take whatever it is they throw at him. Because he is, in my book, the best attorney.

VAN SUSTEREN: You like him?

ARTHUR: Oh, I love him, yes. He is absolutely a dream.

VAN SUSTEREN: If I ran into Howard K. Stern in a grocery store, never knew him before, we were just talking to each other at the cashier, what would be my impression of him?

ARTHUR: He is dark.


ARTHUR: Dark. There is like a dark aura around him.

VAN SUSTEREN: When you were in court in Florida, Judge Seidlin, what did you think of him?

ARTHUR: A clown.


ARTHUR: Clown.

VAN SUSTEREN: Didn't like him or...



VAN SUSTEREN: Is that because he ruled against you or you didn't like him?

ARTHUR: Oh no, no. He just was — you know, the law states anybody 18 or older — I didn't see that I was going have a problem claiming her body. Because, when she first died, I went straight to the Bahamas because I was concerned for the welfare of my granddaughter. And I knew that's where she was.

And I went there trying to protect her. Because I knew then I could go, you know, to Vickie and get her body and get her buried. And I didn't foresee any of that. The circus that went on there, I did not foresee any of that. And that was in the United States.

Now, every person who doesn't have a will stating where they want to be buried, the court can now appoint an ad litem person for them to decide where they — the person — the ad litem can decide wherever they want to be buried. That — to me, that's totally ridiculous. Should be the family that buries them, not somebody else.

VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of the media, you say that you are portrayed as the bad person. A lot of people thought and Howard K. Stern thinks he was portrayed as the bad guy.

ARTHUR: No. He was a poor, pitiful guy who lost. Now, get this, he lost Daniel. He lost Vickie. And then he lost the baby. They were never his to begin with. They were never his. So what has he lost? He lost a meal ticket. You know, that's what they said when I said Vickie Lynn will be next.

You know, something has happened to my grandson and Vickie, you will be next. And everybody told me, no, don't worry about that. Because you know, that's their meal ticket. They are not going to get rid of the meal ticket. And I said, OK, you all, watch. I'm telling you all, watch.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you remember last conversation with Vickie?

ARTHUR: My last conversation, well, you know, she called me when Daniel died.

VAN SUSTEREN: And said what — that night or that day?

ARTHUR: No. It was probably three or four days later she called and she was real upset. She was crying and you know, she said, mom, he is gone, he is gone. But you could tell she was so messed up. She was so drugged up that she didn't make any sense, because I think one of her sentences was, but is he coming back. You know, he is coming back.

VAN SUSTEREN: She said that?


VAN SUSTEREN: But how many times, if you remember, between the time Daniel died and the time your daughter died did you have a conversation with someone associated with your daughter and say, can I talk to her, and find out she was asleep?

ARTHUR: How many times? Five or six times. Maybe more than that. But at least that many.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think it was odd she that was sleeping every time you called?

ARTHUR: Mm-hmm, yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you ever, you know, ask a question?

ARTHUR: I asked, how is she? She is doing better. She is resting.

VAN SUSTEREN: And always was with a woman, not with Howard?

ARTHUR: No, no.

VAN SUSTEREN: You have only talked to Howard twice?

ARTHUR: Twice.

VAN SUSTEREN: Any advice for Larry?

ARTHUR: Be a good dad, son. I know you will be. And, you know, I'm praying for you. And you have got a great family to help you. And do the best you can. Do the best you can.

VAN SUSTEREN: Any advice for Judge Seidlin?

ARTHUR: Get a life. You know, he came up to me at the end of the trial. And he hugged me and he said, I did — I just did the best I could. And he was over there crying. And I looked at him and I said, I want you to remember my face. Look at my face and remember me, because one day your daughter is going to need help, because that is all you talked up here is your 6-year-old daughter. I said, one day your daughter is going to need help, and I want you to remember my face. When you can't help her, I want you to remember my face. So look at me really good.

VAN SUSTEREN: Any advice for Howard K. Stern?

ARTHUR: Howard K. Stern. I'm not quitting, Howard. I'm still coming. I will never quit. You know, I heard that you said that I would get disinterested and I would just quit? Watch out, because I'm not quitting.


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