NASSAU, Bahamas — Reality TV star Anna Nicole Smith buried her son Thursday in a ceremony punctuated by screams and cries, nearly six weeks after he mysteriously died while visiting her in the hospital where she had given birth to a daughter.
A gold-colored hearse brought Daniel Smith’s body to the cemetery, followed by three white limousines. The mahogany casket was whisked inside a large green tent for the service attended by about 20 people. Wailing and screaming was heard from inside the tent.
“My dearest son Daniel, you were my rock, you were the only one who could keep me solid,” read a program from the service. “Why God took you away from me now I do not understand.”
The 38-year-old former Playboy playmate, who gave birth to a daughter three days before her son died Sept. 10 at her hospital bedside, attended the service, said Loretta Butler-Turner, director of the funeral home hired by the family. Baptist Bishop Neil Ellis conducted the service, Butler-Turner said.
At least six police officers guarded the main entrance to the cemetery, barring everyone except for invited guests. Other officers in uniform and plain clothes stood outside the tent. A small crowd of onlookers gathered just outside the cemetery.
The casket left the funeral home in a van but was transferred en route to the hearse “to honor the wishes for privacy of the family,” Butler-Turner said.
Howard K. Stern, a longtime attorney for Smith who says he fathered the baby girl, Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern, was to deliver a tribute to Daniel at the service, according to the program.
Meanwhile, a lawyer for Larry Birkhead, a former boyfriend of Smith who claims he is the girl’s father, said she was traveling to Nassau to depose Smith and Stern on Monday. The attorney, Debra Opri, has filed a lawsuit on Birkhead’s behalf demanding that mother and daughter return to California for DNA paternity testing.
An attorney for Smith could not immediately be reached for comment.
Daniel Smith died after spending the night at the hospital with his mother and newborn half-sister. An American pathologist hired by Anna Nicole Smith has said he died from a lethal combination of methadone and two antidepressants.
Bahamas Chief Magistrate Roger Gomez said Thursday that police had not yet submitted a report on their investigation. Authorities will evaluate that report and the Bahamian pathologist’s conclusions to determine whether a jury inquest is necessary. Official toxicology results have not been publicly released.
Daniel Smith appeared several times on the E! reality series “The Anna Nicole Show.” He was the son of Anna Nicole and Bill Smith, who married in 1985 and divorced two years later.
Earlier this month, about 50 family and friends, including Bill Smith, gathered at a church in Mexia, Texas, to mourn Daniel’s death.
Anna Nicole married Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II in 1994, when she was 26 and he was 89. He died the following year and she has since been involved in legal disputes over the estate.
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