A lawyer for Anna Nicole Smith’s mother said Tuesday that talks with the former Playboy Playmate’s ex-boyfriend have so far failed to produce a custody agreement concerning Smith’s infant daughter.
Attorney Debra Rose said Virgie Arthur is still trying to reach a deal with Larry Birkhead, the baby’s father, ahead of a hearing Friday on her petition for custody of 7-month-old Dannielynn, who could inherit a fortune from her mother’s estate.
“We’re still in negotiations. We’re still talking,” Rose said.
Smith gave birth to Dannielynn in September in a Bahamas hospital, days before her 20-year-old son, Daniel, died from a lethal combination of drugs at her bedside. Smith died in Florida in February at age 39, also from a lethal combination of drugs.
A DNA expert revealed earlier this month that Birkhead, a Los Angeles photographer, was Dannielynn’s father. Smith’s companion, Howard K. Stern, has said he supports the former boyfriend’s custody bid. It was unclear when a judge would rule on the issue.
Arthur says she’d like access to her granddaughter and believes an agreement with Birkhead is possible.
“She truly cares. She deeply cares,” Rose said. “Her faith in God leads her to believe that at the end of the day she will be in a position to assist with raising her granddaughter.”
The baby has been living in an oceanfront home with Stern, who was listed on the birth certificate as her father.
Legal wrangling continues over the estate of Smith’s late husband, Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II, who died in 1995. It remains unclear how much, if any, of the $500 million Marshall estate Dannielynn might inherit and whether her guardian would have access to the money.