Playboy founder and babe magnet Hugh Hefner is the one person in Anna Nicole Smith’s life who hasn’t talked about her tragic death…until now.

“We live in a tabloid world these days, and to become part of that seemed inappropriate,” Hefner said about his silent mourning.

In his first sit-down interview since Anna’s death, Hugh Hefner, the man who launched Smith into superstardom as Playmate of the Year in 1993, shared his personal heartache about losing the blonde bombshell.

“She was magic in front of the camera,” he said.

As for the ongoing court-ordered DNA testing to determine who the father of Baby Dannielynn truly is, Hefner believes Larry Birkhead is the daddy of Anna’s daughter.

“Just a gut feeling,” Hugh confessed.

Hef also said he was shocked but not surprised by Anna’s drug fueled death, dubbing her “a tragedy waiting to happen.”

Hugh was stunned, however, by an odd phone call he received from Anna’s family with a strange request regarding the burial plot Hef owns next to Anna’s idol, Marilyn Monroe.

“The sister asked if it was possible for her to be buried there, which I thought was out of the blue,” Hef admitted.

Now, Hefner is honoring his famous friend with a special tribute in Playboy magazine’s May issue, on Playboy TV and the magazine’s website.

“She was a most unusual model. Big in every sense of the word; big in life, but also big physically,” he said.

And just like her idol, Anna’s fame has grown even bigger since her death.

“Wherever she is, I think she is in tabloid heaven,” Hugh promised.

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