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Anna Nicole Smith is said to have been “gender fluid” before the world had a term for the sexual identity.
Late model Anna died in 2007 of combined drug intoxication, and was famously married to oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II in 1994 when he was 89 and she was 26, but her friends have now come forward to talk of her other same-sex relationships.
Anna’s fashion designer friend Pol Atteu, 57, who made many dresses for her, told People about how his old friend was neither straight or gay: “I would say she was fluid. We just did not have a name for it back then.”
Another of her friends Ashley Wells Lewis added to the magazine about how she always wanted love: “She spent her life in pursuit of happily ever after.”
When Anna wed J. Howard it was her second marriage and his third.
But her friend Missy Byrum, who is featured in Netflix’s new documentary Anna Nicole Smith: You Don’t Know Me, told People they had an unofficial wedding.
She said about how they were in a secret lesbian relationship and got hitched “in the backyard by the pool” in 1993: “We became lovers, you know? And I mean real sober lovers – it was a conscious thing.
“She said that she loved me. We’d now been through some bad relationships, both of us, with men. We decided that we just didn’t need men.
“She gave me a set of wedding rings and we got married in the backyard by the pool with champagne.
“I wore the rings. She wanted me to have a baby with her. But I always knew it wasn’t ever going to work out. Because she was never, ever going to settle down with one person.”
Melissa added: “I was not (Anna’s) first female lover. But I knew it would not last. She needed more love than any one human being could give her.”
Melissa said her and Anna’s relationship ended over the model’s addiction to painkillers.
Anna had faced accusations she had married J. Howard to inherit his wealth after he died, which she consistently denied.
Melissa backed up her claim and said: “She really loved him. The way he took care of her and looked out for her – she cared about him a lot.
“She didn’t want people to think that she was after his money. (Her) aunt Kay and I both said, ‘If you love him, to heck with what people think!’”
J. Howard died in 1995 and Anna, whose first marriage was to cook Billy Wayne Smith when she was 17, did not marry again after his death.