Anna Nicole and ‘New York’: A No-Love-Lost Story

We said yesterday that there was no particular New York connection to Anna Nicole Smith. But as it turns out, there is a New York connection. Savor, if you will, our August 22, 1994, cover (click on it for a larger version), which featured the then- already-former Playboy Playmate illustrating a Tad Friend analysis of the ascendant “White Trash Nation.” Miss Smith wasn’t pleased with the depiction, filing a $5 million defamation suit against the magazine in Los Angeles Superior Court that October. “She was told that she was being photographed to embody the ‘All-American- woman look’ and that they wanted glamour shots,” her lawyer told the Times then. The avec–Cheez Doodles pic, he charged, was a just-for-fun outtake and wasn’t supposed to be used.

I guess they just found the picture we chose unflattering,” then-editor Kurt Andersen replied at the time, Andersenianly. “We have no idea how this forms the basis for litigation, and we expect the courts will quickly agree.” No one still around the mag remembers what happened next. “I assume it went away,” says Andersen, now New York’s “Imperial City” columnist. News coverage suggests the matter was settled out of court the next August for an undisclosed sum.