Anna Nicole Smith's Mother Receives Permission To Visit Her Granddaughter, Attorney Says
Tuesday, February 27th 2007, 10:19 pm
News On 6
NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) _ Anna Nicole Smith's estranged mother wept Tuesday after making a brief first visit with the 5-month-old daughter of the late former Playboy Playmate.
Virgie Arthur, who had received permission for the visit only hours earlier, could be seen crying and hugging a woman in the back seat of a sports utility vehicle as they left the gated, waterfront home where Smith had lived with her partner, Howard K. Stern.
Earlier, a lawyer for Arthur, Deborah Rose, said Arthur had gotten permission to visit the baby before returning to Florida to attend a hearing in her effort to have her daughter buried in Texas instead of the Bahamas.
Smith, 39, died in a Florida hotel on Feb. 8.
Arthur was in the Bahamas to attend court hearings in her bid to gain custody of Smith's daughter, Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern, from Stern, who is listed on the birth certificate as the father.
On Monday, one of the mother's other lawyers, John O'Quinn, said Stern had denied her permission to visit the infant.
Larry Birkhead, a former Smith boyfriend who claims he is Dannielynn's father and is also seeking custody, met the baby for the first time Sunday night, the syndicated television show ``The Insider'' reported.
Rose and Arthur were in court Tuesday for a brief hearing, but the lawyer said it was only for a ``small technical procedure.'' The lawyer said permission for the visit with Dannielynn did not come from the court, but she declined to say who authorized it.
``She's in mourning having lost her daughter and grandson both within the last five months,'' Rose said. Smith's son, Daniel, died while visiting her last year three days after she gave birth to Dannielynn.
``Our objective is really to assist our client in having access to her granddaughter and foremost to ensure the best interests and welfare of the child are secured.''
Arthur, who appealed a decision to bring her daughter's body to the Bahamas for burial, still wants her interred in her native Texas, her attorney said.
``That's her daughter, and that's family,'' Rose said.
The dispute over where to bury Smith's body has dragged on for more than two weeks since Smith died.
Stern wants her buried in a Nassau cemetery beside the unmarked grave of her son.
An appeals court was set to hear arguments Wednesday about whether Smith should be buried in the Bahamas or Texas.
In filings Tuesday with the Florida 4th District Court of Appeal, attorneys for Smith's partner and her infant daughter claimed Smith's estranged mother was trying to ``place her in death where she never wanted to be in life'' _ Texas.
The three judges assigned to the case have not said when they will rule.