Fight for Anna Nicole Smith’s body turns into a circus

first_img“It was delightful having everyone,” he said at the end of the day. Everyone probably would not agree. Smith’s longtime companion, Howard K. Stern, claims he is executor of her will and wants her buried next to her son in the Bahamas. Her estranged mother, Vergie Arthur, wants her buried in Smith’s home state of Texas. Photographer Larry Birkhead hopes DNA taken from Smith will help prove he fathered the former centerfold’s 5-month-old daughter, Dannielynn, who could inherit millions. Seidlin has said the dispute could be lengthy. The hearing, which began Wednesday, took all day Thursday and was to continue today. Lawyers for all three took swipes at each other’s clients throughout Thursday’s hearing in a room jammed with about 50 people. Reporters sat on the floor and atop a credenza, punching away at handheld computers. Courthouse staffers struggled to push their way through. There were not enough chairs for all the attorneys. Lawyers for Stern and Arthur fought Birkhead’s attorneys’ plea to gather additional DNA from the body of Smith, who died a week earlier, though Seidlin eventually ordered another cheek swab taken. Stern’s attorneys called Arthur’s move to gain her estranged daughter’s remains “sick” and the mother’s attorneys charged back that Smith’s longtime companion had no rights whatsoever. The attorneys, at times, buried their faces in their hands. They interrupted Seidlin repeatedly. Some even refused to shake hands. Unfazed, Seidlin addressed the attorneys as “my good lawyer,” or as “California” or “Texas” to note their state. The more tense the mood got, the more steadfastly he sought civility. “I don’t want to attack one another,” he said. It was a milder tone than Seidlin struck as he took over the case Wednesday and declared Smith’s corpse would stay refrigerated in the medical examiner’s office until he said otherwise. “This body belongs to me right now,” he said then. “This body’s not leaving Broward County till I make the ruling.” Seidlin ordered the medical examiner’s office to swab Smith’s cheek, even though DNA samples already had been collected. He said he wanted to make sure her body wouldn’t have to be exhumed. “When we bury her, I want it to be forever,” he said. Smith, 39, died Feb. 8 after collapsing at a Florida hotel. As the proceedings dragged on, police investigating a burglary report in the Bahamas went into a mansion that Stern and Smith shared. Stern, who was at the mansion with the officers, claims a computer, home videos and other items were taken from the house after Smith’s death.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – There were angry attacks at times, resounding laughter at others and a standing-room-only audience. And as custody of Anna Nicole Smith’s body and of the former Playboy Playmate’s infant daughter devolved Thursday into an all-out legal circus, Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin became the affable ringmaster. On the second day of an often acrimonious emergency hearing over Smith’s remains, Seidlin, 56, called lawyers “terrific” and “beautiful.” He divulged the minutiae of his days, from his morning swim to the tuna sandwich he was having when assigned the case. He so frequently spoke off the cuff that he seemed like he was auditioning for a TV court show. And he really seemed to enjoy it. last_img read more

Liverpool contract latest: Henderson should be demanding a new deal, insists Pearce

first_imgStuart Pearce believes it is Jordan Henderson, not Raheem Sterling, who should be demanding an improved Liverpool deal.Sterling has been all over the back pages this week after it was revealed he has turned down a £100,000 a week contract offer.But Pearce feels Henderson, who has 12 months left on his contract and reportedly rejected an £80,000 a week offer last month, is the player the Reds should be rewarding.“To give a young player [like Sterling] at 20 years old the top wage in your dressing room, considering there is someone like Steven Gerrard still in the dressing room, is wrong in my opinion. But if you don’t do it, that player will leave,” Pearce said on the Sports Bar.“You’ve got to look at a window of time and say this player gets paid that, that’s what we value him at, and often you’re valuing him at that to stop other people coming in and buying him.“But of all of these [players at Liverpool], Henderson is the one who should be holding out for that bargaining power and saying, ‘I’m delivering things, I’m going to be the next captain of Liverpool, I’m going to be the next captain of England hopefully’, and he should be the one pushing the buttons.”last_img read more