Anna Nicole Smith's ex-boyfriend Larry Birkhead, who is fighting to prove he is the father of the former Playboy Playmate's 6-month-old daughter Dannielynn, has parted ways with his attorney, Debra Opri.
"Larry Birkhead and I have terminated our attorney-client relationship effective immediately," Opri said in a statement. "I wish Larry the very best of luck in his continuing efforts to prove that he is Dannielynn's biological father. My prayers will be with Larry and Dannielynn always."
Opri has represented Birkhead in his fight to prove his paternity and ultimately get custody of Dannielynn. Howard K. Stern, Smith's companion, maintains that he is the father and currently resides in the Bahamas with Dannielynn.
TMZ.com reported that Birkhead sent Opri an e-mail discharging her last Tuesday, but Opri told the entertainment show “Extra” that she "just had enough," implying that Birkhead is working with Stern behind her back.
"I can't represent a client who has a middle man by the name of Howard K. Stern. I feel very comfortable in my decision, and I wish Larry the best. But I am worried about him," she said.
Opri said she is worried about Birkhead because "I just don't like the influence of this middle man, Howard K. Stern, and it was just too much to handle. I couldn't continue with the way things were going.
"I don't want anyone to think that I'm jumping ship. He's close enough. He's getting the DNA results today in the Bahamas. I didn't abandon Larry," she said.
The DNA Opri refers to is Dannielynn's, which Birkhead is seeking Friday at a hearing in the Bahamas.
Birkhead filed a motion in California earlier this week to get Stern to take a paternity test, which Opri said would strengthen their case at the Bahamas hearing. The judge in that case has not yet decided whether he will force Stern to give up his DNA.
Birkhead was set to be at the hearing Friday along with Smith's estranged mother Virgie Arthur, who is fighting to get custody of Dannielynn pending paternity results.
Earlier this week, Opri said she expected Birkhead would gain custody of Dannielynn "within a month." Opri also made headlines when she said it was time for Stern to "put up or shut up."
At last month's hearing over who should get custody of Smith's body, Opri caused a stir when she suddenly lashed out at Stern while he was testifying, shouting, "Are you the biological father of Dannielynn?"
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