Hearing Over Custody Of Dannielynn Ends Without Resolution

NASSAU, Bahamas (April 20, 2007) — Anna Nicole Smith’s mother and ex-boyfriend left a Bahamian court disappointed Friday as the latest closed hearing in the custody dispute over the late Playboy Playmate’s infant daughter ended without resolution.

Larry Birkhead, the baby’s father and Smith’s former boyfriend, said he hoped to be leaving the Bahamas “soon,” though the court set another hearing in the case for Wednesday.

All participants are prohibited by Bahamian legal rules from discussing details of the case.

“On my behalf, everything went well,” Birkhead told reporters after the hour-long hearing. “I’m moving toward starting a life with my daughter outside of the Bahamas.”

When asked if he would be taking his daughter with him when he leaves the Bahamas, Birkheadwas coy.

?I’ll call my travel agent, one seat or two, I don’t know,? he said.

Smith’s mother, Virgie Arthur, left the courthouse in downtown Nassau without speaking to reporters. Before the session, she said simply “I’m holding on.”

Birkhead and Arthur have tried to reach a visitation agreement that would end her legal attempt for custody of Dannielynn, who could inherit a fortune from the estate of her mother. Smith, 39, collapsed and died from an accidental drug overdose in February.

A DNA expert revealed earlier this month that Birkhead was Dannielynn’s father. Smith’s companion, Howard K. Stern, has said he supports the former boyfriend’s custody bid.

Stern, who also attended Friday’s court hearing, said the case “should have been over today,” before he left with Birkhead in a black Cadillac SUV with tinted windows.

Smith gave birth to Dannielynn in September in a Bahamas hospital, days before her 20-year-old son, Daniel, died from a lethal combination of drugs at her bedside.

The baby has been living in an oceanfront home with Stern, who was listed on the birth certificate as her father, but Birkhead has been visiting her in recent days to get acquainted with her.

When Smith died, legal wrangling was still continuing over the estate of her late husband, the Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II, who died in 1995. It remains unclear how much, if any, Dannielynn would get from the estate, estimated to be worth more than $1 billion.

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