September 21, 2006

Photog says 'E.T.' money an alien idea

Source: Lloyd Grove @ NY Daily News

Photog says 'E.T.' money an alien idea

Freelance photojournalist Larry Birkhead - who claims to be the father of Anna Nicole Smith's newborn daughter - yesterday insisted he's not trying to cash in on the tragedy that has befallen his ex-girlfriend.

Television insiders told Lowdown that the thirtysomething Birkhead - who met the young widow of octogenarian oil billionaire J. Howard Marshall when he photographed her at the 2004 Kentucky Derby - received thousands of dollars for on-camera interviews with the Paramount shows "Entertainment Tonight" and "The Insider."

But yesterday, Birkhead told Lowdown: "I did not get paid to do my interview." Birkhead hasn't given interviews elsewhere about the mysterious death of Anna Nicole's 20-year-old son, Daniel Smith, in her Bahamian maternity ward Sept. 10.

Yesterday he told Lowdown he has turned down major bucks from TV outlets around the globe. "I've been approached by people that I can't even understand the language they're speaking," Birkhead said over the phone from an undisclosed location. "I've been offered everything under the sun, but I haven't accepted any offers for anything. I don't have any plans to."

And while Internet users must pay to browse Anna Nicole's Web site, which also sells merchandise, Birkhead said: "There's nothing for sale on my Web site, there are no membership fees." Birkhead added: "I wouldn't even respond to you, but the story picked up legs that I was getting paid - and I wanted to set the record straight."

Birkhead said he picked the Paramount shows - which paid Anna Nicole's reps an estimated $250,000 for the right to broadcast snapshots of the Playboy model, Daniel and the baby, while In Touch Weekly forked over around $400,000 - because: "It was a large audience. It was a quick way to get the story out."

Asked if he had received a cut of the photo money, Birkhead said: "Absolutely not. I haven't even seen the baby."

On "E.T." Birkhead said that if he was allowed to see the baby, reportedly named Hannah, "I would hold her, kiss her and tell her, 'You know, Daddy loves you, and sorry I couldn't be there when you were born.'"

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