The lawyer-turned-partner of Anna Nicole Smith dropped his bid Monday to halt the use of DNA to prove the paternity of the former Playboy playmate’s infant daughter when it appeared a Bahamas court was going to reject his appeal.
An attorney for Howard K. Stern withdrew the challenge in the face of skeptical questioning by a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal.
All three judges said Stern filed his challenge too late and should have raised his objections before the Supreme Court ordered DNA testing in the paternity challenge filed by Larry Birkhead, a former boyfriend of Smith’s who claims to be the father of the infant, Dannielynn.
Justice Emmanuel E. Osadebay noted that Stern himself had agreed to DNA testing — and even suggested an expert to do the analysis — but waited until a week after the sample was taken to file the a challenge to the court’s decision.
“His problem is that the person he wanted to do the testing was not the one selected by the court,” Osadebay said.
In withdrawing the appeal, Stern agreed to pay $10,000 in legal costs incurred by Birkhead and the Bahamian government department in charge of birth certificates.
Stern is listed on the birth certificate as the father of Dannielynn, who was born in the Bahamas in September. The child’s DNA was tested on March 21 but the results have not been revealed.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hold a hearing in the paternity case but the lawyers and officials are prohibited by Bahamian legal rules from discussing the case, even to reveal the nature of the hearing.
The baby, whose full name is Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern, could inherit millions from the estate of Smith’s late husband, J. Howard Marshall II. Smith had been fighting the Texas oil tycoon’s family over his estimated US$500 million fortune since his death in 1995.
Anna Nicole Smith collapsed and died Feb. 8 in Florida from an accidental overdose.