Burial in Bahamas for Anna Nicole

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Former Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith is to be buried in the Bahamas, her infant daughter's guardian has said.
Attorney Richard Milstein said that Smith would be buried next to her son, who died there last year.

His announcement came shortly after a Florida judge awarded him custody of the former model's body amid a struggle between her mother and her partner.

Texas-born Smith, who married an elderly billionaire in 1994, died on 8 February of unknown causes.

Her estranged mother, Virgie Arthur, wanted her to be buried in Texas, while her partner, lawyer Howard K Stern, wanted her laid to rest in the Bahamas, where she had latterly made her home.

The matter was further complicated by the testimony of her ex-boyfriend, Larry Birkhead, who says he is the father of her five-month-old baby Dannielynn.

Tearful verdict

The matter was decided after a six-day hearing in front of a Florida court.

Judge Larry Seidlin heard from all three of the key players, plus witnesses including a former bodyguard.

The final witness was Smith's first husband, Billy Smith, who testified over the speaker of a lawyer's cell phone.

He said he thought Smith would have wanted to be buried next to their son.

Judge Seidlin, who appeared tearful as he delivered his verdict, directed Mr Milstein to consult with Ms Arthur, Mr Stern and Mr Birkhead before deciding where to bury the body.

But he concluded: "I want her buried in the Bahamas with her son."

Mr Milstein, who Judge Seidlin appointed earlier in the week to represent Dannielynn's interests, later said that Smith would be buried in the Bahamas, but gave no timeframe.

Ms Arthur planned to appeal, one of her lawyers said.

The issue of Dannielynn's paternity is due to be decided by a court in California.

But lawyers for Mr Birkhead will on Friday ask a Florida court to order a sample of the infant's DNA to be collected for testing.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/americas/6388229.stm

Published: 2007/02/23 04:12:12 GMT

© BBC MMVII
 
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