After DNA test, Birkhead ruled Smith's baby's dad - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/10/07

After DNA test, Birkhead ruled Smith's baby's dad

NASSAU, Bahamas (CNN) -- Larry Birkhead is the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby daughter, Dannielynn, a Bahamian judge ruled Tuesday.

"I told you so," Birkhead said outside the court.

Crowds applauded in front of the courthouse as Birkhead, Smith's former boyfriend, made the announcement.

A DNA test confirmed him as the father with 99.99 percent certainty, said Dr. Michael Baird, who performed the test.

The court had ordered DNA testing to determine the father of the child, who has been at the center of a paternity dispute since she was born in a Bahamian hospital in September.

The doctor who performed a DNA test for Birkhead revealed the results to a closed session of a Bahamian court Tuesday.

Smith had publicly identified Howard K. Stern, her lawyer and live-in companion, as the baby's father and listed him as the father on the child's birth certificate.

Stern said he is not going to fight Birkhead for custody.

"I'm going to do whatever I can to make sure he gets sole custody," Stern said.

When asked when Birkhead would get custody of Dannielynn, Stern said he wanted there to be a "gradual transition."

Smith's mother, Virgie Arthur, said she "looked forward to working with Larry" to raise her granddaughter.

No ruling about custody has been made.

Birkhead, an entertainment reporter and photographer, said shortly after the baby's birth that he accompanied Smith to doctors' appointments until a "minor disagreement" took place while she was pregnant.

But Smith publicly identified Howard K. Stern, her lawyer and live-in companion, as the baby's father and listed him as the father on the child's birth certificate.

In September, Stern said on CNN's "Larry King Live" that he and Smith were confident he was the father, and "based on when the timing of when the baby was born, there really is no doubt in either of our minds."

Her daughter stands to inherit millions of dollars from the estate of Smith's late husband, oil tycoon Howard Marshall II. Until her death, Smith was involved in a legal battle over the inheritance.

After a protracted dispute over the burial of Smith's body, Stern and Birkhead began battling in Bahamian courts over the child, and a judge ordered that a swab be taken from the girl for DNA testing.

Stern then asked the Bahamas' Court of Appeal to block release of those test results, arguing that the judge had misinterpreted the law and his order invaded the girl's privacy.

Earlier this month, appellate judges questioned why Stern was raising legal claims after giving consent to the DNA swabbing.

Stern was ordered to pay $10,000 in court costs for the abandoned appeal.

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