Netflix's Anna Nicole Smith Documentary Hopes to Shift 'Society's Perspective' on the Late Icon

Netflix's Anna Nicole Smith Documentary Hopes to Shift 'Society's Perspective' on the Late Icon

After the success of Pamela Anderson’s recent documentary, Pamela: A Love Story, Netflix is doing a deep dive into another 1990s icon: Anna Nicole Smith. Her meteoric rise to fame and the just-as-fast downfall will be examined in Anna Nicole Smith: You Don’t Know Me coming to the streaming network on May 16. 

The first trailer was released, and director Ursula Macfarlane revealed to People that that the public was only given a “one-dimensional” look at Smith when she was alive. “It’s been 16 years since she has died and it was time to dig beneath the surface,” she explained. “Society’s perspective has shifted on women in the media spotlight who pursue fame — and we need to lift up female and female identifying survivors, instead of condemning them.” The documentary will share “never-before-seen footage, home movies, and interviews with key figures who have not spoken out until now,” according to the press release.

After skyrocketing to fame as a model for Guess, Smith became fodder for the tabloids after marrying 89-year-old billionaire J. Howard Marshall II in 1995 and subsequently fighting his estate after his death. She dealt with a drug addiction and the death of her son Daniel in 2006 just days after her second child, Dannielynn Birkhead, now 16, was born. The tragedies eventually led to her own death at the age of 39 after an accidental prescription drug overdose on Feb. 8, 2007.

“I hope that people will have more empathy for Anna Nicole after watching our film,” Macfarlane added. “She was human, she was complicated, but she was always, truly, unapologetically herself. A funny, smart and kind free spirit who lived her life to the fullest. She was a woman who lived for her children and wanted more than anything to be a good mother and ensure they were always taken care of.” With society and the media finally giving a hard look at how unfairly they treated women like Anderson, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, it’s time that Smith’s voice gets heard and her legacy is reinterpreted.

Before you go, click here to see all the celebrity women who have posed for Playboy.

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