Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Anna Nicole’s Lawyer: I Am the Father of Her Baby!

Howard K. Stern, Anna Nicole Smith’s longtime lawyer, said Tuesday that he's the "proud father" of her baby girl, who was born three days before her son Daniel passed away unexpectedly in the Bahamas. "It's been very rough," Stern told CNN’s Larry King Live on Tuesday. "She said that she didn't want to trade out children, meaning she didn't want one to be born and another to die."

  Daniel, 20, died suddenly on September 10 while visiting his mother in the maternity ward of the Doctor’s Hospital in the Bahamas. Stern, who was in Anna Nicole’s hospital room the night Daniel passed away, told host Larry King they had named their daughter Dannie Lynn Hope. Stern's daughter with Anna Nicole is "the one thing that is really keeping her going," he said. "And through it all, even with all the pain, she has been a great mom, a very attentive mom." The lawyer was a common presence on Anna Nicole’s reality show, where he also served as her confidant and friend.

  “Anna and I have been in a relationship and we love each other and it’s been going on for a very long time." Stern explained, "Because of my relationship as her lawyer, we felt that it was best to keep everything hidden.” Stern told King that he and Anna Nicole Smith planned to stay in the Bahamas long term, so they could escape the media, start a new life and give their daughter a chance to live a normal life.

  When King asked if Stern planned to marry Anna Nicole, he answered, "I've loved her for quite some time and hopefully the feeling's mutual. At some point, we will. Right now we have to somehow get through what we're going through." Photojournalist Larry Birkhead sent a statement to CNN countering Stern’s paternity claim, saying, "I've been told by Anna Nicole Smith that I'm the father of her newborn child. I have proof of it…I am requesting that a DNA test take place in the United States."

  ”Does it give you concern that there might be a shot that the DNA might exclude you?” King asked Stern after reading Birkhead’s statement. “Or is there no doubt that you're the father?” ”I think based on the timing of it, that there shouldn't be a doubt,” Stern replied. As for the mysterious circumstances behind Daniel’s death, authorities have ruled out suicide or foul play, and they are awaiting toxicology results to determine the cause of death. "We're still waiting to find out what the cause is," Stern said. "We also now have an indication that there may have been other prescriptive medication in his system."


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