What might eventually prove to be the Wisdom of Solomon, Florida Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin ruled today Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter Dannielynn to be the rightful heir to her mother’s body, as was announced on CNN. In what amounted to an unnecessarily emotional announcement, Seidlin blubbered through his ruling, pausing for emotion or effect, you decide, and recommended that the former model be buried alongside her son, Daniel, in the Bahamas.
While it appeared the judge was almost enjoying his moment in the center of the dispute, time was running out for the proceedings. The Broward County medical examiner made it clear that Smith’s body was rapidly decomposing and she had to be interned immediately while there was still something left to bury.
In his ruling, Seidlin kept the door wide for the protracted financial battle concerning Smith’s legacy from her late husband, oil billionaire J. Howard Marshall. “Who is entitled to custody of the remains of Anna Nicole Smith? There can be only one proper and equitable answer to that question: Dannielynn, Anna Nicole Smith’s only child, heir and next of kin.” Smith’s last will and testament made clear her only heir would be her 20-year old son, Daniel, who died of a drug overdose in September, days after the birth of his sister. This ruling possibly intends Smith’s daughter to continue the fight for her share of the Marshal fortune estimated anywhere between $88 and $474 million, two amounts that were awarded to Smith during her ten-year inheritance battle.
While this round appears to be over for now, the three litigants for possession of the 39-year old Smith actually agreed to agree upon the funeral arrangements. “Husband” Howard K. Stern, Smith’s mother Virgie Arthur and ex-boyfriend Larry Birkhead joined one another outside the courtroom to make this announcement. The funeral that eventually takes place may resemble anything between a pay-per-view event and the Circus Maximus.
The next courtroom brouhaha will be the paternity suit over who is Dannielynn’s real father. Birkhead’s lawyer has been demanding that DNA samples from the baby herself be submitted. No date to proceed has been firmly announced but the results will probably not put an end to the inevitable appeals following that ruling.
Also in California, that state’s medical board is investigating possible misconduct of Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, a Los Angeles physician who admitted to prescribing methadone for Smith under an alias she used for such purposes. Who brought these drugs to the Bahamas? Was everybody in the family using it? Was Dannielynn born addicted to methadone? If Daniel Smith died of, among other things, a methadone overdose, why was the drug still in Anna Nicole’s Bahamas refrigerator after her death? Fingers appear to be pointing at Howard K. Stern, whom Judge Seidlin called “an enabler” in his ruling. Bahamian police questioned Stern immediately following his return to the island after Smith’s death but results have not been exposed at this time. Meanwhile, tune in tomorrow for more never-ending litigation.