Bahamas Court To Rule In Anna Nicole Smith Paternity Case - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Bahamas Court To Rule In Anna Nicole Smith Paternity Case

Howard K. Stern Arrives Howard K. Stern Arrives

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) - One of the biggest remaining questions
surrounding Anna Nicole Smith - the identity of the father of her
baby - may soon be resolved.

Smith's former boyfriend, Larry Birkhead, and her
lawyer-turned-partner, Howard K. Stern, were expected to attend a
closed session later Tuesday in the custody fight over the girl,
Dannielynn, who could inherit a fortune in the wake of her mother's
February death.

A DNA specialist who analyzed a sample taken from the child on
March 21 was also expected to attend the meeting, said James
Neavitt, an attorney for Stern.

If the results show that Birkhead is the father, Stern will
relinquish custody of the girl to him and the two men would
"cooperate in transitioning the child," he told The Associated
Press.

"I think they have some understanding about how they're going
to deal with it," Neavitt said by phone from his office in Los
Angeles.

Stern, whose name is on the birth certificate and has said he
believes he is the father, will not give up custody if the DNA
shows someone other than Birkhead is the father, the lawyer said.
The hearing is closed to the media and public.

Birkhead, a Los Angeles photographer, also claims to be the
father and began seeking custody before the reality TV star
collapsed and died in a Florida hotel on Feb. 8.

Smith's mother, Virgie Arthur, is also seeking custody of the
baby, who was born in the Bahamas in September.

Other lawyers involved have declined to comment, citing Bahamian
legal rules that prohibit attorneys from discussing the closed
proceedings.

The baby, whose full name is Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern,
could inherit millions from the estate of Smith's late husband, J.
Howard Marshall II. The former model had been fighting the Texas
oil tycoon's family over his estimated $500 million fortune since
his death in 1995.

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