Court won't block DNA test of Smith's daughter

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NASSAU, Bahamas -- A Bahamian court on Monday refused to block the release of DNA results that could reveal the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby daughter.

The challenge had been filed by Howard K. Stern, the lawyer-turned-partner of the former Playboy playmate who died Feb. 8 in Florida. Stern is listed on the birth certificate as the father of 6-month-old Dannielynn. The child's DNA was tested on March 21, but the results have not been revealed.

A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal said Stern had filed his challenge too late and should have raised his objections before the Supreme Court ordered the DNA testing in the paternity case filed by Larry Birkhead. Birkhead, Smith's ex-boyfriend, also claims to be Dannielynn's father.

Justice Emmanuel E. Osadebay noted that Stern himself had agreed to the DNA testing and waited until a week after the sample was taken to file the challenge.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hold a hearing in the paternity case on Tuesday, but lawyers and officials are prohibited by Bahamian legal rules from discussing the case, even to reveal the nature of the hearing.

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. Smith had been fighting the Texas oil tycoon's family over his estimated US$500 million fortune since his death in 1995.

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