Published September 27, 2006
NASSAU, Bahamas – A lawyer for Anna Nicole Smith said Tuesday that he was the father of the reality TV star's newborn girl, who has been the couple's one "ray of hope" as they have grieved the death of her 20-year-old son in the Bahamas.
"Right now we have to somehow get through what we're going through," he said. "And I'll tell you, our baby is the one ray of hope."
Daniel Smith, 20, died Sept. 10 while visiting his mother as she recuperated from giving birth three days earlier. Authorities have said there was no sign of suicide or foul play, and they were awaiting toxicology results to determine the cause of death.
"We're still waiting to find out what the cause is," Stern said. "We also now have an indication that there may have been other prescriptive medication in his system."
Stern, who picked Daniel up at the airport and brought him to the Nassau hospital the previous night, said he appeared happy to see his mother and half-sister. He said the young man appeared fine until the next morning.
"And then at one point Daniel said to me, 'How come I'm so tired?' And in hindsight I wish that I had seen that as some sort of a signal and seen that something wasn't right," he said.
Soon afterward, Anna Nicole Smith noticed Daniel wasn't breathing, Stern said. Medical personnel could not revive him, and he and Anna Nicole continued resuscitation efforts even after they were asked to stop.
"She stayed there and we were at the foot of the bed and she was hugging Daniel's legs," he said. "And she was praying to Jesus and she was telling Jesus to take her and not take Daniel."
Stern said he and Anna Nicole Smith had been living together in the Bahamas, and planned to stay in the island chain long term and marry "at some point."
She wanted to get away from the media and to start a new life and give her daughter a chance to live a normal life, said Stern, who described himself as a "proud father."
He said there has not been a funeral and declined to describe any burial plans.
Cyril Wecht, a pathologist hired by the family to conduct a repeat autopsy, has said Daniel was taking a low dose of the antidepressant Lexapro. Stern said Smith had recently been hospitalized with back pain and depression, and may have had "other prescriptive medication in his system."
Daniel Smith, who appeared several times on the E! reality series "The Anna Nicole Show," was the son of Anna Nicole and Bill Smith, who married in 1985 and divorced two years later.
Anna Nicole Smith married Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II in 1994, when she was 26 and he was 89. He died the following year and she has since been involved in legal disputes over the estate.