Larry Birkhead is striving to give Dannielynn, his 10-year-old daughter with the late Anna Nicole Smith, as normal a childhood as possible.
On Monday, 43-year-old Birkhead opened up about raising Dannielynn as a single father in a new interview. Dannielynn turned 10 years old on Sept. 7, and was only five months old when Smith died in February 2007 after accidentally overdosing on prescription drugs.
“People call me all the time and say, ‘Can she be in a movie, can she model?'” Birkhead tells Today‘s Natalie Morales about his adorable daughter. “She didn’t care about it, so I’d say, ‘No, she’s not interested.’ She’s just a regular kid. She’s into technology now, and she’s into games and these YouTube videos.”
“I’m not the best dad, I have my faults, but I do the best I can with what the situation is,” Birkhead adds. “We make the best of it, and I think Dannielynn’s best days are still to come. She’s got such a bright future in front of her, and I try every day to keep a little bit of the memory alive of her mom.”
Birkhead admits he still gets emotional at times when he thinks about Smith, who died at just 39 years old.
“There’s things left unanswered, things that I didn’t get to say to her, and it’s tough when you go to school and you’re filling out the forms,” he shares. “It gets me every year. And you have to put ‘deceased’ on her mom’s information.”
“There’s days that if I stop and think about it, and you ask me about it, you will see a tear, but every other minute of the day you will see a smile,” he continues. “That’s just how it goes.”
Birkhead, who moved his daughter to his home state of Kentucky to avoid the tabloid spotlight, likes to think Smith would approve of the parenting he’s done so far. Dannielynn recently had a typical 10th birthday celebration at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, and largely avoids public events except for their annual father-daughter trek to the Kentucky Derby. The event is sentimental given that Birkhead and Smith initially met in May 2004 at a Kentucky Derby party.
“Other that I don’t dress her in pink every day, I think [Smith] would probably think I’m doing a pretty good job,'” he says.
He also wouldn’t change a thing about his difficult past. Birkhead obtained full custody of Dannielynn in April 2007 after taking a DNA test proving his paternity, though four other men claimed to be her father at birth.
“You look back on it and I’m a better person and a stronger person because of the stuff that I went through,” Birkhead says. “I look back 10 years, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”