The custody fight over the baby daughter of late Playboy Playmate and tabloid star Anna Nicole Smith appeared to draw closer to an end Wednesday after another court hearing in the Bahamas.
A source close to the hearing, held behind closed-doors, said Larry Birkhead, a Los Angeles photographer and former boyfriend of Anna Nicole, won approval to travel to the United States with 7-month-old Dannielynn.
Court-ordered DNA tests earlier this month proved Birkhead to be the father of the baby, who could one day be worth a fortune if Smith’s estate wins a decades-long battle to inherit from her late oil tycoon husband, J. Howard Marshall.
Despite the tests, Birkhead has been locked in a custody battle with Smith’s mother, Virgie Arthur.
Smith’s death from an accidental drug overdose on Feb. 8 in Florida sparked a media frenzy, as well as a fight over her remains and then over rights to the guardianship of Dannielynn.
The only condition set by the court for granting Birkhead freedom to travel with Dannielynn was that he return to Nassau with the baby for another formal custody hearing June 8, the source said.
Birkhead declined to comment on the specifics of Wednesday’s 30-minute hearing, due to limitations imposed by Bahamian court rules.
He told reporters outside the court that he hoped to be leaving with Dannielynn soon, however.
“I guess all I can say really is that it was a good day for me in court,” he said.