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Smith paternity case belongs in Bahamas

A Florida judge Wednesday rejected a bid by a former boyfriend of late Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith to have a Florida court decide a paternity fight over Smith’s 5-month-old baby daughter, Dannielynn.
/ Source: Reuters

A Florida judge Wednesday rejected a bid by a former boyfriend of late Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith to have a Florida court decide a paternity fight over Smith’s 5-month-old baby daughter, Dannielynn.

Larry Birkhead, a former boyfriend of the topless dancer and billionaire’s widow, says he is the father of the child while Smith’s longtime companion, Howard K. Stern, is listed as such on the birth certificate.

Broward County Judge Lawrence Korda rejected jurisdiction and tossed the case back to California, where Birkhead first filed a paternity action.

“They have jurisdiction for a number of reasons, apparently the act of conception being what the petition requires in terms of jurisdiction for California,” Korda said.

He did grant Birkhead the right to get a DNA sample from Smith.

Smith died suddenly at age 39 on Feb. 8 at a Florida casino hotel.

Her decomposing body remains at a medical examiner’s office in Dania Beach, Florida.

Her estate could ultimately be worth millions if it wins a legal battle over the estate of her late husband, billionaire oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall.

Earlier Wednesday, a Florida appeals court heard arguments from attorneys for Smith’s estranged mother, Virgie Arthur, and Stern in the protracted legal dispute over custody of her body and whether it should be buried in the Bahamas or her native Texas.

The Fourth District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach has not yet ruled on Arthur’s request that it overturn a lower court ruling that gave custody of Smith’s body to a court-appointed guardian for Dannielynn.

The guardian is arranging a funeral in the Bahamas, with Friday morning tentatively penciled in as the likely time, while Arthur wants to bury her daughter in Texas.