Published November 18, 2006
NASSAU, Bahamas – A private medical examiner who performed an autopsy on Anna Nicole Smith's son in the Bahamas said Saturday that she hadn't paid him, but he didn't anticipate having to file any legal action.
"I do expect it to be resolved in short order. This is not going to be something we're dealing with years down the road," he told The Associated Press by telephone.
Daniel Smith, 20, died while visiting his mother in a Nassau hospital after the 38-year-old former Playboy Playmate gave birth to a girl. Wecht said he died from a combination of methadone and antidepressants. Results of an official autopsy and a police investigation have not been released.
Wecht said he submitted invoices for payment shortly after he performed the autopsy on Sept. 17. Since then, he said he has been discussing the issue with Anna Nicole's former attorneys, Michael Scott and Tracy Ferguson, her current attorney Wayne Munroe and Stern's Bahamian counsel, Anthony McKinney.
Telephone calls placed Saturday to Munroe's cell phone went unanswered.
Wecht, a forensic pathologist from Pittsburgh who gained fame as a consultant on celebrity cases including Elvis Presley's death, declined to say how much he had charged or to elaborate on his talks with the lawyers.
Wecht said Stern first contacted him about performing the autopsy.
"The whole thing, the nature of the case and everything that's been going on with Anna Nicole Smith and Howard Stern, the way the authorities have been dealing with it, it's interesting," he said. "It's sure not a run-of-the-mill case, that's for certain."
Anna Nicole Smith moved to the Bahamas in July. There was little public fanfare about her stay until Daniel died. She has since dominated local media and politics in the archipelago southeast of Florida.
Allegations of special treatment by some Bahamian government officials surfaced after the head coroner scheduled an inquest three days after Daniel Smith's death, despite a backlog of requests for inquests into the deaths of ordinary Bahamians. The outcry prompted officials to reassign the head coroner.
The opposition party has also criticized what they say was her quick path to residency.