Anna Nicole Smith's daughter, Dannielynn Birkhead, questioned her father, Larry Birkhead, about the absence of her mother.
On Monday's "Good Morning America," Birkhead revealed that 5-year-old Dannielynn asks about not only her mother, but her half-brother Danny.
"You know, she said, 'Why did mommy die?'" explained Birkhead while on "GMA."
"And I said, 'You know, they, doctors couldn't fix her. But if you're good … you'll get to see her someday.'"
Dannielynn was named after her half-brother and Smith's late son, Daniel Smith, who died in 2006. She is the only daughter of the former model and bears a strong resemblance to her mother, who died in 2007 just months after Dannielynn was born. Smith died at 39 of an accidental drug overdose at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
Continuing to describe his life raising Dannielynn, Birkhead noted his focus on giving his daughter a stable, balanced life.
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"I've always tried to make adjustments," said the 39-year-old. "We adjust to paparazzi."
He added that he "never never knew it was going to be this hard" to be a single father, but that it is also fun.
"I enjoy every day and every day is an adventure," said Birkhead. You wish you had a couple more hours in each day."
After her birth in the Bahamas, Dannielynn's birth certificate recorded the father as businessman and Smith's attorney, Howard K. Stern. The birth was surrounded by controversy as disputes over her paternity ensued. Birkhead, Smith's ex-boyfriend, steadfastly insisted he was the father, and DNA tests in April 2007 finally established that he was indeed Dannielynn's biological father.
When "GMA" host Robin Roberts asked Birkead about what Dannielynn may learn about her mother when she is older, he said, "I hope that she understands that no one's perfect and people have triumphs and people have tragedies. And her mom really … soldiered on and she came from thing and she, you know, lived her dream."
Smith had a public battle with prescription drugs, and while starring in "The Anna Nicole Smith Show," the former Playboy model gained an eccentric image.
"But I also want to make things a cautionary tale," added Birkhead of Smith's life. "And give her the tools that she needs to where she has the opportunities that her mother and Anna's son Daniel, you know, won't have."
Dannielynn recently attended the Kentucky Derby alongside her father, creating a media frenzy. Hundreds of internet users commented on the young girl's beauty and resemblance to her mother. Birkhead said he was unprepared for the public's response to Dannielynn.
"You know, it's weird when your child is five years old and trending … There's all these big stars that came and the next thing you know Dannielynn's picture is all over the place," he said.
Birkhead concluded the interview stating that he wants to keep Smith's image alive in a positive way for his daughter.
"She could light up a room," recounted Birkhead of Smith. "And how her daughter's taken her place and she's lighting up every room that she goes into, trust me. I feel it every day."