Anna Nicole Smith supports a formal inquest to determine how her 20-year-old son died while visiting her in the hospital, an attorney for the former Playboy playmate and reality TV star said Thursday.
“She fully wants this process to take place and she wishes the public to not jump to conclusions and to wait for the conclusion of the proceedings,” said Michael Scott, one of Smith’s attorneys.
Her son Daniel Wayne Smith died Sunday, three days after she gave birth to a daughter in the Bahamas.
A jury inquest is scheduled to begin on Oct. 23. Witnesses including Smith, hospital staff and others who saw her son the night of his death were expected to be summoned.
Smith was unable to grant interviews, Scott said.
“She’s resting. She’s obviously devastated,” he said. “It’s going to take a long time to heal. She’s in seclusion and she wants some privacy.”
A toxicology report on Daniel Smith was expected to be completed by Friday. Officials said the results of the autopsy and toxicology tests would be kept secret until the inquest.
Death has been termed ‘suspicious’
The Bahamas coroner’s office has termed the death “suspicious.” The term, however, meant the cause was not immediately apparent and did not necessarily imply foul play, coroner Linda P. Virgill told reporters Thursday.
If the inquest, which will be open to the public, determines a crime was committed, the case would be sent to the attorney general’s office for possible prosecution.
Once the toxicology report is completed, Virgill said Smith’s remains will be transferred to a funeral home hired by the family to send them home to California.
Police believe Daniel Smith arrived in the Bahamas on Saturday night and went directly to Doctors Hospital in Nassau, the private facility where his half-sister was born two days earlier. He spent the night in a room with his mother and her attorney, Howard K. Stern.
When police arrived, they found Daniel Smith on a bed in his mother’s room. Anna Nicole Smith, Stern, several doctors and other health professionals were in the room when police arrived, said Reginald Ferguson, assistant commissioner for the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
“There was nothing unusual noticed about the condition of the room,” Ferguson said at a press conference in police headquarters on Thursday afternoon. Police declined to provide further details about the investigation.
The 38-year-old TV star noticed her son had stopped breathing in the morning and called for help, Scott has said. Hospital staff unsuccessfully tried CPR and other measures to revive him. Police have said no evidence of drugs was found at the scene.
Daniel Smith was the son of Anna Nicole and Bill Smith, who married in 1985 and divorced two years later. The son had small roles in her movies “Skyscraper” and “To the Limit.” He also appeared several times on the E! reality series “The Anna Nicole Show.”
The name of the father of Anna Nicole Smith’s new daughter has not been publicly released.
Anna Nicole Smith married Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II in 1994, when she was 26 and he was 89. He died the following year. She then feuded with Marshall’s son, Pierce Marshall, over her entitlement to the tycoon’s estate before Pierce Marshall died in June at age 67.
An initial judgment of $474 million in her favor was eventually reduced to nothing, although in May the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Smith could continue to pursue her claim in federal courts in California, despite a Texas state court ruling that Marshall’s youngest son was the sole heir.