Anna Nicole Smith was so distraught by the death of her son in the Bahamas that she had to be sedated and later suffered memory loss of the event, a lawyer for the celebrity said.
Authorities said the death was “suspicious” and criminal charges could be filed.
Ms Smith and one of her lawyers, Howard Stern, continued efforts to revive 20-year-old Daniel Wayne Smith after he had been proclaimed dead on Sunday morning by staff at Doctors Hospital in Nassau, lawyer Michael Scott said.
“Anna Nicole was so distraught at the loss of Daniel that she refused to leave his side and it was necessary to sedate her in order to check her out of the hospital,” Mr Stern said, reading from a prepared statement in his office.
Ms Smith left Doctors Hospital, where she gave birth to a girl on August 7, Mr Scott said. She later lost memory of Daniel’s death, he said.
“It was necessary for Howard to tell Anna again that Daniel had passed away,” Mr Scott added.
The chief inspector of the Bahamas coroner’s office yesterday called the death “suspicious” and a formal inquiry that could lead to criminal charges was scheduled for next month.
Anna Nicole Smith, a reality TV star and former Playboy model who went to the US Supreme Court this year to sue for an inheritance, moved to the Bahamas to avoid the media spotlight during her pregnancy, Mr Scott said.
“She wanted to give birth to her new baby in a peaceful environment,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Mr Scott said she was in seclusion in the Bahamas with family and friends. The identity of the newborn girl’s father has not been publicly disclosed.
Authorities said they believe they know what killed Mr Smith on Sunday, three days after his sister was born, but they were waiting for a toxicology report to confirm the findings.
A jury inquest, which will be open to the public, is scheduled to start on October 23, and Anna Nicole Smith will be required to attend, the coroner said.
“Whenever there is a suspicious death we would have an inquest to determine how the person died,” the coroner’s office said.
There were no reported signs of physical injury to Smith, who was seen helping make his 38-year-old mother comfortable before he died.
Anna Nicole Smith noticed him slumped in a chair on Sunday morning and called for help. Hospital staff unsuccessfully tried CPR and other measures to revive him.
Scott dismissed media reports that Anna Nicole Smith’s son had antidepressants or other drugs in his system.
“It’s sheer speculation. It’s irresponsible speculation, may I point out?” he said to reporters.
Reginald Ferguson, assistant commissioner of the Royal Bahamian Police Force, said that no drug paraphernalia or traces of illegal drugs were found on Daniel Smith, in the hospital room or near the room.
Mr Stern picked Smith up at the airport Saturday night and took him directly to the hospital in Nassau, Mr Scott said.
Daniel Smith was the son of Anna Nicole and Bill Smith, who married in 1985 and divorced two years later. Her son appeared with her on E! reality series The Anna Nicole Show.
Anna Nicole Smith married Texas oil tycoon J Howard Marshall II in 1994, when she was 26 and he was 89. He died the following year.
She then feuded with Mr Marshall’s son, Pierce Marshall, over her entitlement to the tycoon’s estate before he died in June at age 67.