Larry Birkhead talks about life in Louisville with Dannielynn

Published: Nov. 20, 2013 at 2:22 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 4, 2014 at 4:21 AM EST
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Larry Birkhead and his daughter Dannielynn
Larry Birkhead and his daughter Dannielynn
Dannielynn and her new puppy
Dannielynn and her new puppy

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Dannielynn Birkhead was at the center of Hollywood controversy almost from the moment she was born.

Anna Nicole Smith's daughter is set to inherit a huge amount of money, but for now she is living a simple life with her father, Larry Birkhead, in Louisville.

From the moment you enter their Prospect home it's clear Larry's life is all about his 7-year-old daughter and honoring the memory of her mother, Anna Nicole.

Behind glass doors in the theatre is a gold dress Anna Nicole wore next to a picture of her wearing it.

"I can't believe all the twists and turns my life has taken, since I met Anna here in Kentucky," Larry said.

Larry was a freelance photographer when he met the Playboy model and reality television star at the Barnstable Brown Party. Then at Churchill Downs Derby Day they met again.

"She grabs me and kisses me, in the middle of four reality show cameras," Larry remembered.

Shortly after, Larry left his hometown of Louisville for Los Angeles where he dated Anna Nicole for two years.

Dannielynn was just five months old when her mother died of a toxic drug combination. A dramatic custody battle followed; a paternity test proved Larry was the father.

"I fought so hard to be a father. And have my daughter," Larry said.

In the fall of 2012 Larry brought Dannielynn home to Louisville to be closer to his mother who was sick.

"I always envisioned if I had kids to bring them up in Louisville," Larry said. "And so to have Dannielynn here is kind of special."

The world saw Dannielynn in a recent Guess clothing ad, just like her mother. And the pictures of Dannielynn with Larry on Derby Day were plastered in magazines. Those outfits are now on display at the Derby Museum.

But for the most part, their lives are quiet.

Larry is a hands on Dad. He does not have a nanny, but gets help from family members who live with him. He drops her off and picks her up from the public school she attends.

He also works hard to fill in on "Mothers Day" events, since Anna Nicole can't be there.

"She does ask quite a few questions. Some days they are difficult for me. And some days they are difficult for her to hear the answers," Larry said.

Dannielynn has offered her dad some suggestions for a girlfriend. Women she sees on television, since that's where she sees her own mother.

"At one point she was trying to hook me up with Lady Gaga," Larry said. "I said no, I've had too much gaga in my life. I want some down home, nice Kentucky country girl, or whatever."

Dannielynn's purple bedroom is filled with pictures of her parents, even a painting Anna Nicole created when she was pregnant.

Dannielynn is set to inherit $49 million from her mother's estate, but her big reward now is a new puppy – a gift from Dad for good behavior at school.

Larry joked Dannielynn promised to clean up after the dog.

It looks like a sweet life, for a little girl, who continues to fascinate so many.

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