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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A lawyer for one of three men claiming to be the father ofAnna Nicole Smith's baby asked a judge Tuesday to order the late Playboy model's partner, Howard K. Stern, to come to California and provide a DNA sample.ADVERTISEMENT
Attorney Debra Opri, who represents Smith's former boyfriend Larry Birkhead, said after a closed hearing that she wants the DNA to determine if Stern is the baby's father. His name is on the little girl's birth certificate.
"Put up or shut up, that's what we're asking for," Opri said outside court.
Superior Court Judge Robert Schnider refused to make Stern a part of the paternity court action but said he would review the matter in two weeks after he considers the law more closely, Opri said.
Stern was living with Smith at the time of her death. He and the baby, Dannielynn, currently reside in the Bahamas.
Opri said Birkhead needs a paternity ruling from California to present in the Bahamas to strengthen his case for claiming paternity of the child.
"Without it, we have a weak argument," she said.
A lawyer for Stern argued against the DNA request, saying Stern is already officially listed as the baby's father.
"Howard Stern doesn't have to go to Larry Birkhead for anything," attorney Ron Rale said.
Schnider originally asserted jurisdiction in the paternity lawsuit in California because Smith had connections in Los Angeles and Birkhead claimed the baby was conceived in California.
Smith, 39, died of unknown causes Feb. 8 after collapsing at a Florida hotel.
A court in the Bahamas is currently dealing with custody issues involving the child. A judge has barred Stern from taking the girl out of that country until a custody ruling is made.
Birkhead attended the hearing in Los Angeles and said he was confident he would be declared the father.
"I've been putting a nursery together so I'm smiling. I'm in a good mood," Birkhead said outside court.
Meeting the child in the Bahamas, where Smith was buried, "was one of the greatest things in my life," he said. "That was my delivery room just to get to meet her."
Frederic von Anhalt, the husband of actressZsa Zsa Gabor, also says he may be the father.
Smith married Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II in 1994 when he was 89 and she was 26. The reality TV star and Playboy playmate had been fighting his family over his estimated $500 million fortune since his death in 1995.