Smith's baby has a daddy at last
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published April 11, 2007
NASSAU, Bahamas - DNA tests prove it: Larry Birkhead is the father of Anna Nicole Smith's million-dollar baby.
"I told you so!" the late Playboy Playmate's former boyfriend said Tuesday upon emerging from a closed court hearing. He added: "My baby's going to be coming home pretty soon."
Birkhead, a 34-year-old California photographer, then hugged his rival, Howard K. Stern, who has been caring for baby Dannielynn since Smith's sudden death in February.
The hearing was a pivotal moment in the battle over who gets custody of the girl, who could inherit a fortune from the estate of Smith's late husband, J. Howard Marshall II. Although Birkhead is the father, Stern's name is on the birth certificate.
Stern, who was Smith's lawyer and later became her companion, said he wouldn't fight for custody, but a lawyer for Smith's mother, Virgie Arthur, indicated she might. The judge scheduled another custody hearing for Friday to discuss who will raise the girl.
The baby, whose full name is Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern, could inherit millions from Marshall's estate. Smith, a former model, had been fighting the Texas oil tycoon's family over his estimated $500-million fortune since his death in 1995.
Stern said he loved the baby despite the DNA results and would support Birkhead.
"I'm going to do whatever I can to make sure he gets sole custody," Stern said.
Birkhead had been fighting for custody of Dannielynn even before Smith's death.
"Nothing's been determined except parentage, and I'm the father," Birkhead said. "It's been a long road, and I'm just happy to have this behind me."
[Last modified April 11, 2007, 02:45:12]
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