I Was Anna Nicole's Lesbian Lover

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For servants, she hired her Aunt Elaine and Uncle Melvin. At all hours of the night, she would call for them -- and sometimes she wanted them to get drunk with her, but more often than not, she wanted food. Usually she craved something Elvis would have liked. Her favorite food was mashed potatoes and brown gravy, which she ate from the pot. She'd order pizza with everything, eat all the toppings, and leave Sandi the crust. Anna liked pickles and salt, fried bologna with cheese, and whole packages of biscuits. Her bedspread was covered with stains from Colossus burgers. After devouring one of these, she would crush the paper into a ball and say, "I gotta throw up now."

Her method of weight control was liposuction. Anna's faith in her sex appeal never wavered. In the same way a golfer might practice his swing, the model would throw off her shirt and strike a pose. She flopped her breasts down over the piano. She cradled them in her arms like fat chickens. As she lolled, topless, on a horse, Aunt Elaine snapped pictures, while Uncle Melvin held the reins and stared at the ground. Anna's breasts became larger and harder, the nipples moving from here to there. They were more pleasing to the eye than to the touch, said Sandi, but Anna felt she owed everything to her breasts, and everyone in the house was expected to pay their respects.

One evening in December 1993, Sandi and Anna were lying in bed when Anna rolled over and said, "Why don't you get my face tattooed on your back?" Okay, said Sandi. And she marched off to do it.

"How big is it?" Anna asked from New York.

Big, said Sandi; it took up the whole shoulder.

"Shoulder!" said Anna. "I wanted your whole back. Go do it again."

Sandi stood firm for once. The tattoo hurt. But Anna really wanted a human billboard, and she turned to her blood relations, who proved reliable. Aunt Kay had Anna tattooed on the back, and a niece got branded on the ankle.

Anna was thrilled. Tattoos were no asset for a model, but she couldn't help herself. On February 27, 1994, according to Sandi's diary, Anna, too, drove up to a small strip mall in Tomball and walked into Bubba's Skin Pin Studio. Sandi stood over Bubba as he worked his craft upon Anna Nicole's shaved pudendum. There, he recorded a symbol that might be mistaken for a dollar sign: an S with a line descending from the lower loop, forming the initials SP. Then, beside a likeness of two cherries, he slowly etched the words "Pawpaw's heart."

Sandi tried to satisfy Anna with foot rubs, but it was hard to compete with Pawpaw. Anna said no one was as good to her as the old man. After rolling him into a New York jeweler, she walked out looking $2 million better. Sandi recalls the Christmas that a truck came to the ranch from Neiman-Marcus ("Neiman-Markup," Anna called it) and Anna pointed to what she wanted as models displayed the merchandise.

As a suitor, Howard's drawback was that he wanted to visit. Sandi and Anna would be lolling in bed when the phone would ring, and the answering machine would pick up. "Precious?" came the rasp. "This is your man."

Anna would roll over then. Days would go by before she returned his calls. When the messages became more insistent ("If there's someone else, you need to tell me"), she'd pick up the telephone and pacify him with baby talk. Usually she could fend the old man off. Sometimes he could not be denied.

The driver would wheel Howard into the house; Anna would roll him into the bedroom. After what seemed like a long time, the door would open, and Anna would say with a sour face: "I don't want to talk about it. Get me a beer."

Coming and going, Howard and Sandi usually exchanged happy greetings. He thought she was merely Anna's friend and once even paid her way to Bali when he and Anna went on vacation there. Sandi, for her part, was never jealous of him. Anna had been rejecting his marriage proposals for years. It seemed to Sandi that Anna didn't take Howard's proposals seriously until he began getting sick.

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Randall Patterson