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[02/21/07] Ex Birkhead says Anna Nicole Smith on drugs while pregnant

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  • [02/21/07] Ex Birkhead says Anna Nicole Smith on drugs while pregnant

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (CNN) -- A former boyfriend of Anna Nicole Smith -- one of four men who say they could be the father of her 5-month-old daughter -- testified Wednesday that his relationship with Smith stretched over two years and included a miscarriage.

    The boyfriend, Larry Birkhead, also testified that their relationship was marred at times by Smith's use of drugs before and during her pregnancy with Dannielyn.

    Birkhead was testifying at a hearing in a Florida court over the disposition of Smith's body. (Watch Birkhead testify about duffle bag of drugs )

    At one point, Birkhead said, a pregnant Smith grew enraged over a misunderstanding and asked him to leave the hospital room where "she was trying to get off medications."

    Two days later, Smith called him to ask where he was, and did not remember telling him to leave, he said.

    Birkhead said he would run errands for Smith, and would come back and "30 minutes later, she couldn't talk."

    He choked up as he recalled having to pick Smith up and carry her.

    "She was taking medications before and during her pregnancy," Birkhead testified. "I was very concerned about that, because we'd already had one miscarriage."

    Birkhead has filed court papers challenging Dannielynn's paternity.

    Viewing of Smith's body
    Earlier Wednesday, an attorney representing 5-month-old Dannielynn alleged that someone, possibly for money, had tipped off the media to an afternoon viewing of Smith's body.

    Leaking that information violated a confidentiality agreement.

    As Smith's mother, Virgie Arthur, and others arrived at the Broward County Medical Examiner's office to view the body, media helicopters hovered overhead, said Richard Milstein, guardian ad litem for Dannielynn Smith. (Watch Arthur describe checking Smith into rehab )

    Meanwhile, Medical Examiner Joshua Perper held a news conference to discuss some details of the viewing.

    In attendance, Perper said, were Arthur and her husband and Howard K. Stern, Smith's attorney and companion. Stern also claims to be Dannielynn's father, and his name is on her birth certificate. Stern has said he and Smith were to be married this week.

    "The viewing was when the deceased was in an open casket, and her condition was excellent," Perper told reporters. "There was no evidence of decomposition."

    A battle of the body
    The casket, he said, was surrounded by flower arrangements and lamps, like in a funeral home.

    Smith, 39, a former Playboy Playmate and television reality show star, died February 8 at a casino hotel near Hollywood, Florida.

    As the hearing over where she will be buried dragged on, Perper Tuesday warned the court that burial should take place by Saturday at the latest, saying the body's condition continued to deteriorate.

    Stern and Arthur are battling over custody of Smith's body. (Watch Arthur and Stern make their cases )

    Stern believes she wanted to be buried in the Bahamas, where she was living at the time of her death, near the grave of her son, 20-year-old Daniel, who died in September. (Full story)

    Arthur wants to bury her in Texas, near other family members. Broward County Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin has said he will render a decision by noon Friday.

    Pennies for their thoughts
    After Milstein's allegation, Arthur, Stern and Birkhead were called to the witness stand to face far-reaching questioning from a phalanx of lawyers over their personal financial situations and whether they had received payment from media outlets.

    Stern and Arthur testified they received one free flight from media outlets -- Stern on a chartered flight with Entertainment Tonight personnel and Arthur from a journalist from Splash Magazine -- but both said those journalists were personal friends. Neither said they had received any other payment from journalists.

    Birkhead, a photographer, testified that aside from his royalties for photos of Smith, her son and others, he had not received payment from media outlets.

    Splash News and Picture Agency, Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood issued statements on the matter.

    Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood denied paying for interviews, while Splash said "all financial matters are kept confidential."

    Birkhead's attorney, Debra Opri, was hostile in her questioning of Stern, asking him if he was aware of a forgery investigation in the Bahamas involving Smith's bank accounts, in which money was allegedly going to California.

    Stern said he was not.

    Opri then asked Stern if he was Dannielynn's father.

    Stern shook his head in disbelief but did not answer; Seidlin stopped the questioning on the issue, saying to Opri, "I think you're finished."

    Smith's history of drug use
    Stern refused to answer a question regarding Smith's alleged drug use, prompting a lengthy discussion about whether such questions were appropriate. Arthur has testified her daughter had grappled with drug abuse in the last years of her life, leading to sometimes bizarre behavior.

    Seidlin eventually decided to allow the questioning of a clearly reluctant Stern.

    "Anna Nicole took prescription medication at times for depression," he testified.

    Asked to name specific drugs, Stern named Topamax, a medication for migraine headaches, but balked at naming others, saying, "Your honor, is this really necessary? It's not right to do to somebody after she's died."

    When Seidlin asked whether Smith needed to go into treatment, Stern replied, "I guess that would be open to interpretation."

    He acknowledged, however, that both he and Daniel Smith attempted to speak to her about her drug use.

    From there, questioning veered in far-flung directions as Stern faced allegations from Arthur's attorney that Smith's will was faxed to someone days before she died. Stern also identified a check written to a maid in the Bahamas and explained a document on the purchase of the Bahamas burial plots, saying that his name appeared on it because he bought them at Smith's direction.

    Smith's mother: Please help us
    Arthur testified Wednesday morning that she is afraid for Dannielynn's safety while the child is in the care of Stern, linking Smith's death and that of Daniel Smith to him.

    "My grandson did not overdose," Arthur said. "Howard was there when he died. And Howard was there when my daughter died. And he has my granddaughter now and it's not even his child, and I'm afraid for her life as well. Please help us."

    A pathologist has said Daniel Smith died from a lethal combination of methadone and two antidepressants, but the cause of death has not been officially announced.

    Stern testified Tuesday that Smith was "everything to me" and that Daniel was like a brother to him.

    Arthur said her estrangement from her daughter began after the former Playmate met Stern. She told the hearing that as a child, Smith was a tomboy who loved frogs and made the family laugh.

    Beyond the issue of who has the right to choose Smith's burial site, other complicated questions loom, involving Dannielynn's future and Smith's estate.

    The stakes are huge -- perhaps $88 million or more. Smith's heir or heirs stand to inherit a stake in her long-standing claim to the $1.6 billion fortune of her late husband, Texas oil baron J. Howard Marshall II. (Watch CNN's Jeffrey Toobin try to untangle the legal mess )

    In her will, released Friday, Smith left everything to Daniel. She also named Stern as executor, according to the document dated July 30, 2001. The 16-page will was never updated, and does not mention Dannielynn, who was born in 2006.

    Clouding an already murky legal scenario, some language in the will seems to exclude any of Smith's future spouses or children.

    But in other sections, it refers to Smith's "children," instructing the executor, for example, to manage the estate "such that my children are distributed sufficient sums for their health, education and support." (Read the will -- pdf)

    In addition to Stern and Birkhead, Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband, Frederic von Anhalt, has said he is the father of Dannielynn. Smith's former bodyguard, Alexander Denk, has also said he could be the girl's father.
    Real homies help ya get through,
    And coming new, he'd do the same thing if he could
    Cause in the hood true homies make you feel good

  • #2
    sad to say but i don't doubt it


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