- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 20, 2007

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A grief-stricken Anna Nicole Smith threw herself over her son’s body last fall as he lay in a coffin in the Bahamas, wailing, “If Daniel has to be buried, I want to buried with him,” her boyfriend testified yesterday at a hearing on where the former centerfold should be laid to rest.

Howard K. Stern is locked in a dispute with Mrs. Smith’s estranged mother. Mr. Stern said that Mrs. Smith made it clear during her son’s funeral that she wanted to be buried in the Bahamas, while Mrs. Smith’s mother wants her laid to rest in her native Texas.

Without written proof of Mrs. Smith’s wishes, Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin was forced to hear testimony from those who say they know what she wanted. Judge Seidlin gave no indication when he might rule.

Separately, a California judge refused to give up the paternity case involving Mrs. Smith’s baby daughter.

In Fort Lauderdale, Mr. Stern recounted Mrs. Smith’s actions at her 20-year-old son Daniel’s funeral after he died of apparent drug-related causes.

“She had the people open the casket and she was just inconsolable and hugging Daniel and grabbing onto him, and she wanted to go down with Daniel right there,” Mr. Stern testified.

Mrs. Smith, the widow of Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II, died in Florida on Feb. 8 at 39. The cause of death is under investigation. Mrs. Smith, Playboy magazine’s 1993 Playmate of the Year, married Mr. Marshall in 1994 when he was 89 and she was 26. She had been fighting his family over his estimated $500 million fortune since his death in 1995.

A bodyguard, doctor, neighbor and friend all have submitted affidavits claiming Mrs. Smith told them that she wanted to be buried next to her son.

Mr. Stern’s attorney, Krista Barth, said she had bank documentation proving that Mrs. Smith had agreed to pay for two cemetery plots in Nassau, Bahamas. Miss Barth said that Mrs. Smith, in an “Entertainment Tonight” interview, expressed hatred for her estranged mother. Miss Barth also questioned Mr. Stern about Mrs. Smith’s relationship with her son.

“Anna and Daniel were inseparable,” Mr. Stern said. “Daniel was without question the most important person in Anna’s life.”

Mr. Stern testified that Mrs. Smith “was my best friend, lover, the mother of my daughter — everything to me.”

Mr. Stern said Mrs. Smith “always thought she was going to die young,” like her hero, Marilyn Monroe. “She talked about death, really, from the time that I met her.”

Mr. Stern is listed on the birth certificate as the father of Mrs. Smith’s daughter, 5-month-old Dannielynn. In Los Angeles, Mr. Stern’s attorneys argued with attorneys for photographer Larry Birkhead, who claims he fathered the girl. Dannielynn could be worth millions of dollars, depending on how Mrs. Smith’s estate is divided.

Superior Court Judge Robert A. Schnider declined to relinquish the paternity case but suggested that questions remain to be resolved before the courts can determine which state has jurisdiction.

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