NASSAU, BAHAMAS—Former stripper turned Playboy Playmate turned reality-TV star Anna Nicole Smith has overcome her longtime struggle with obesity, at last reaching her target weight of 125 pounds, sources said Monday.
"Anna's been through a lot," said Florida Circuit Court Judge Larry Seidlin, who became visibly emotional as he spoke to reporters. "But I think it's fair to say that she hasn't been this happy in years."
Forensics reports reveal that Smith's miraculous weight loss began on Feb. 8, when she was discovered unconscious in her Hollywood, FL hotel room. She then proceeded to shed the baby weight she had gained during her recent pregnancy, even as her numerous legal woes and the controversy surrounding her 6-month-old daughter Dannielynn's paternity thrust Smith into the public eye more than ever before.
"The last several weeks have been particularly rough for Anna, but thankfully she's turned a corner," said attorney Richard Millstein, the legally appointed guardian for Dannielynn. "At least some good has come out of this sad and sordid tale."
Several sources close to Smith confirmed that she did have some work done in the intervening weeks, losing a significant amount of weight after doctors removed several pounds of her internal organs for toxicity tests. Others credit the loss to aggressive calorie cutting.
Broward County Chief Medical Examiner Joshua Perper said Smith "slowly and steadily" shed the excess pounds before closing in on her goal in the past week.
"Those last 20 pounds were the hardest," Perper said. "But God bless her, she did it. Finally, after all that struggle, she's in a good place."
Some weight-loss experts, however, see Smith's achievement as less than inspirational, claiming that such drastic crash dieting can cause the body to lose dangerous amounts of water and muscle mass.
"She can't be healthy," Miami-based dietitian Pam Archer said. "From what I understand, her current appearance is, frankly, frightening. Even though she's reached her target, her weight is continuing to drop at an alarming pace. Pretty soon she'll be nothing but skin and bones."
Despite such criticism, Krista Barth, attorney for Smith's common-law husband Howard K. Stern, defended Smith. "While we don't claim to be entirely pleased with the outcome of the events of the past several weeks, if nothing else, she finally lost the weight, and nobody, not even an appeals court, can take that away from her," Barth said. "Anna Nicole deserves full credit for finally getting what she always wanted."
Smith is currently celebrating her new slimmed-down status in the Bahamas, where she is expected to remain indefinitely.