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Manuel Balce Ceneta  /  AP File
Anna Nicole Smith and her then-attorney (now boyfriend) Howard K. Stern arrive Feb. 28 at the U.S. Supreme Court. The two used a less formal location for their would-be nuptials.
updated 9/29/2006 3:27:51 PM ET 2006-09-29T19:27:51

Reality TV star Anna Nicole Smith exchanged vows with boyfriend Howard K. Stern on a boat near Nassau but there was no formal marriage and the ceremony is “not legally binding,” her attorney said Friday.

Attorney Michael Scott said the couple exchanged vows aboard a catamaran Thursday.

The ceremony took place 18 days after Smith’s 20-year-old son Daniel Smith died as he was visiting her in a Nassau hospital, where she had given birth Sept. 7 to a girl.

Stern says he is the father of Smith’s baby. He has worked as an attorney for the 38-year-old former Playboy playmate and was in the hospital room when Daniel Smith died.

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The couple “exchanged vows before God” but did not obtain a marriage license, Scott told The Associated Press.

“It was not a formal, legal arrangement,” Scott said.

Trimspa, the diet products company that has employed Smith as a spokeswoman, said in a statement that the couple boarded the vessel at 3 a.m. EDT Thursday. They were joined by close friends and their daughter.

“In search of solitude, they set out on a clandestine sail to recapture simple pleasures ... And then a good thing happened to the couple,” the company said. “During the sail, Anna Nicole Smith and Howard K. Stern made a commitment before God to be there for one another, to be each other’s strength during this difficult time, now and always.”

Alex Goen, Trimspa’s chief executive officer, added: “Anna and Howard intend to be formally, officially married when the time is right.”

Cyril Wecht, a forensic pathologist hired by Smith, said her son died from a lethal combination of two antidepressants and methadone.

Authorities in the Bahamas were awaiting their own toxicology results and a police report on Daniel Smith’s death to determine whether a jury inquest is necessary. A Nassau funeral home has been holding the body while awaiting instructions on burial arrangements.

Anna Nicole Smith has been married twice.

She married Bill Smith in 1985, giving birth to Daniel before divorcing two years later.

She wed Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II in 1994, when she was 26 and he was 89. He died the following year. She has since been involved in legal disputes over the estate.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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