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Saga of Anna Nicole Smith veers into strange 'he said/he said' paternity battle

Saga of Anna Nicole Smith veers into strange 'he said/he said' paternity battle

A paternity battle is brewing over model and reality star Anna Nicole Smith's new baby, with two men both claiming to be the father of the girl.
Smith's lawyer and boyfriend, Howard K. Stern, says he is the father of Dannie Lynn Hope, born Sept. 7. Smith and Stern have exchanged non-legal vows and say they plan to officially tie the knot.
But Smith's ex-boyfriend, photographer Larry Birkhead, says he is the father and has filed a lawsuit demanding that she and the baby return to California for DNA testing. He also wants the baby tested for drugs.
Smith was served with court papers Monday in the Bahamas, Birkhead's attorney, Debra Opri, told The Associated Press.
Two fathers seeking paternity is extremely unusual, experts said.
"Generally, the guy doesn't want to step forward because he's going to end up paying child support," said California-based divorce attorney Connolly Oyler. "And many paternity suits filed by women are out of disappointment that, `He told me he loved me and we went to bed, and I'm pregnant. He ran.'
"Those are the typical situations ... It's usually a one-on-one situation. Very seldom (do) you have a multiple."
The 38-year-old former Playboy playmate and celebrity widow went to the Bahamas to give birth to Dannie. Three days after Dannie was born, her 20-year-old son, Daniel Smith, died of an accidental lethal combination of methadone and two antidepressants, according to a private autopsy.
Eighteen days after that, Smith and Stern exchanged vows on a catamaran near Nassau but there was no formal marriage. People magazine bought photos of the event and will feature them in its next issue, according to Smith's attorney, Michael Scott.
Oyler said if DNA testing confirms Birkhead to be the "bio-dad," or biological father, then he can get visitation rights and perhaps even joint custody. He also could get "a huge amount for child support," based on a formula that compares incomes.
Opri said that Birkhead "truly wants to be involved in that child's life. This is his first child and he does not want to lose that child. And that's why we're doing all this."
Smith could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Stern's cell phone mailbox was full.
Cyril Wecht, the forensic pathologist who conducted the private autopsy on Daniel Smith, said Tuesday that his toxicology tests also detected trace amounts of a third antidepressant, Amitryptiline. But he said that did not affect his conclusion that Daniel died accidentally from the interaction of methadone, Zoloft and Lexapro in his system. Smith had a prescription for Lexapro; his mother and her attorneys were trying to determine how he obtained the other drugs.
Smith has been married twice. In 1985 she wed Bill Smith, her co-worker at a Texas restaurant, and gave birth to Daniel before divorcing two years later. And in 1994, she married Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II, when she was 26 and he was 89. He died the following year. She has since been embroiled in a legal dispute over his multimillion dollar estate.
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Associated Press writers Jessica Robertson in Nassau, Bahamas and Michael Melia in San Juan, Puerto Rico contributed to this story.
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On the Net:
http://www.annanicole.com/
http://www.larrybirkhead.net/


Updated : 2021-04-19 06:02 GMT+08:00