Lawyer wants Stern to provide DNA
EmptyA lawyer for one of three men claiming to be the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby asked a judge Tuesday to order the late Playboy model's partner, Howard K. Stern, to come to California and provide a DNA sample.
Attorney Debra Opri, who represents Smith's former boyfriend Larry Birkhead, said after a closed hearing that she wants the DNA to determine if Stern is the baby's father. His name is on the little girl's birth certificate.
"Put up or shut up, that's what we're asking for," Opri said outside court.
Superior Court Judge Robert Schnider refused to make Stern a part of the paternity court action but said he would review the matter in two weeks after he considers the law more closely, Opri said.
Stern was living with Smith at the time of her death. He and the baby, Dannielynn, reside in the Bahamas.
Opri said Birkhead needs a paternity ruling from California to strengthen his case for claiming paternity of the child in the Bahamas.
"Without it, we have a weak argument," she said.
Ron Rale, a lawyer who had represented Smith, argued against the DNA request, saying Stern's name is already on the birth certificate as the father.
"Howard Stern doesn't have to go to Larry Birkhead for anything," Rale said.
Schnider originally asserted jurisdiction in the paternity suit in California because Smith had connections in Los Angeles and Birkhead claimed the baby was conceived in California.
The hearings have been closed, and no documents have been released to the public. Information on developments has been provided by lawyers.
Birkhead sued Smith to force a paternity test soon after she gave birth in the Bahamas on Sept. 7. Schnider ruled in Birkhead's favor Dec. 21, Opri said. Rale has said the judge wanted the testing done by Feb. 21.
But the case was left in limbo when Smith, 39, died of unknown causes Feb. 8 after collapsing at a Florida hotel.
A court in the Bahamas is dealing with custody issues involving the child. A judge has barred Stern from taking the girl out of that country until a custody ruling is made.
Birkhead attended the hearing in Los Angeles and said he was confident he would be declared the father.
"I've been putting a nursery together, so I'm smiling. I'm in a good mood," Birkhead said outside court.
Meeting the child in the Bahamas, where Smith was buried, "was one of the greatest things in my life," he said. "That was my delivery room just to get to meet her."
Birkhead said he has made no agreement with Stern about the child.
"My daughter is not for sale," he said.
Frederic von Anhalt, the husband of actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, also says he may be the father.
Smith married Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II in 1994 when he was 89 and she was 26. The reality TV star and Playboy playmate had been fighting his family over his estimated $500 million fortune since his death in 1995.