By Paul Gable
Myrtle Beach’s very own Reality TV show ‘Welcome to Myrtle Manor’ received some unexpected notoriety in the last few days when three of the cast members were arrested in a 48 hour period.
Amanda Adams was arrested for DUI Friday morning followed by the Sunday morning arrests of Lindsay Colbert for DUI and Taylor Burt for Criminal Sexual Conduct with a minor.
The show’s ratings have reportedly been tanking in the last several weeks prompting some to speculate that these run-ins with the law are publicity stunts. However, it’s hard to see DUI and criminal sexual conduct with a minor as publicity stunts.
If attention getting publicity is what the show needs to rebound with viewers, why not bring in the Anna Nicole Smith connection?
After all, cast member Gina Thompson Shelley (the hairdresser) has close ties with the Smith saga that played out after Smith died in a room at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Seminole, FL in February 2007.
A house in the Bahamas owned by Shelley’s father, Gaither “Ben” Thompson, was reportedly Smith’s legal residence at the time of her death. Thompson admitted to having an affair with Smith, beginning in 2005 when Smith was staying at his home in Myrtle Beach.
The admission came during testimony he provided as a material witness on Smith’s drug taking habits. Shelley, Thompson, Shelley’s brother Gaither Thompson, Jr. and Shelley’s husband Ford Shelley all were subpoenaed to testify as material witnesses in a drug conspiracy trial in Los Angeles. Smith’s former doctor and lawyer were the defendants and were ultimately found guilty.
After Smith died, Thompson and Shelley’s husband Ford Shelley removed computers, a hard drive, videocassettes and papers from the Bahamas home and brought them back to Myrtle Beach. These items were ultimately turned over to Horry County Sheriff Philip Thompson who released them to Seminole, FL Police in response to a court order.
The infamous You Tube “clown video” of Smith was reportedly recorded in the home of Ford and Gina Shelley with Gina Shelley being the one painting Smith’s face with lipstick.
The ties between Smith, Shelley and Shelley’s family are a well-known matter of public record. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that, had Smith lived, she may have been included in some episodes of the show.
The name Anna Nicole Smith tied in any way to ‘Welcome to Myrtle Manor’ would bring much more publicity than several unknown cast members being arrested.