This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," February 8, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Howard K. Stern has been Anna Nicole's long-time personal lawyer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you have a best friend?
SMITH: My best friend is my lawyer.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think that's sort of odd that your best friend is your lawyer?
SMITH: Well, that's where the loneliness comes back in.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Tell me. Explain. I mean, most people-
SMITH: I don't have anyone around me, and he was my lawyer. And he, you know, always talked to me when I needed a friend, when I needed somebody, and we just became best friends.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: And according to Anna Nicole, he was also her lover, and according to Anna Nicole, the father of her baby girl.
Joining us from L.A., Howard K. Stern's father — lawyer, rather, James Neavitt. Welcome, James.
JAMES NEAVITT, ATTORNEY FOR HOWARD K. STERN: Good evening, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: Have you had a chance on speak to your client in the last few hours?
VAN SUSTEREN: When was the last time you did speak to him?
NEAVITT: Well, as you know, Ron Rale is Anna Nicole's attorney, and I've been with him all day, since we found out about Anna Nicole's tragic passing, and all the communications have been going on with Ron. And as you know, Ron and Howard are long-time friends, and most of the information — all the information in terms of communications with Howard have been through Ron. But he's — you know, Howard's so distraught and upset, he really isn't talking to anybody.
VAN SUSTEREN: Jim, this whole thing is obviously a terrible tragedy. You got sort of folded into this, all this litigation that she has surrounding her, whether it's about the estate or the paternity. Do you know of — I mean, do you know how she was dealing with the stress of all these lawsuits that are descending upon her for the last couple of years?
NEAVITT: Well, what I do know is that yesterday she wasn't feeling well. We were — Mr. — Ron Rale was in court yesterday involving some of the issues on the paternity case. You know, she's been under a lot of stress, obviously, from all the news. Her son died in September. She has a new baby. I mean, she was in court in, I believe, November on the civil litigation. And then, you know, the constant media pressure on her. She could go nowhere. She was a captive in her house. She couldn't leave her house.
And you know, what can you say? She was under a lot of stress. I mean, we don't know why — how she died, we don't know the cause of it, and that will be determined by the autopsy.
VAN SUSTEREN: Jim, what's your client like? How do you — I mean, is he also a friend of yours? I mean, can you give us sort of an insight into what Howard K. Stern's — what he's like?
NEAVITT: You know, I'm good friends with his good friend, Ron Rale. You know, Ron is a great guy. He — you know, he talks about Howard in the most — you know, he's a good friend. He's a good guy. You know, both he and Howard — Ron and Howard have stuck by Anna Nicole for all these years in the civil litigation. And now when Anna Nicole's involved in the paternity action with Mr. Birkhead, Ron was there for her. And you know, because of my relationship with Ron, they asked me to represent Howard.
VAN SUSTEREN: Jim, last September is when the baby was born. Then Daniel, unfortunately, died a few days later. And then later in the month of September, there was some sort of ceremony or gesture between Howard K. Stern and Anna Nicole. It wasn't a wedding, it was just — do you know — how do you explain what that was? Was it a confirmation of friendship? What was that?
NEAVITT: It was a commitment ceremony.
VAN SUSTEREN: And what does that mean? What does that mean? That's not a marriage, is it?
NEAVITT: It wasn't a legal marriage, and that's because of all the legal proceedings going on. There's certain legal issues that were being brought up about whether they should get married or not, and that's — you know, they were following the advice of their attorneys. I mean, Howard and Anna Nicole love each other dearly. They're always — what I was always told was that that was a situation — you know, they would be married at some point.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know why they opposed — why Anna Nicole opposed, and I suppose that your client opposed, as well, the simple DNA swab from both the child and from Anna Nicole to see who the father of that child is?
NEAVITT: You know, I'm not going to comment on the paternity litigation. Actually, as you may have heard, an hour after Anna Nicole's death, we get a call — I have a call from Mr. Birkhead's attorney, noticing us to be in court tomorrow morning. And during the middle of the grieving, in the middle of trying to sort out what was going on, we have to deal with the legalities of them wanting to go into court and get DNA testing of Anna Nicole. And there was no question Anna Nicole was the mother of this child. It's a ludicrous action they've done. I believe...
VAN SUSTEREN: I thought so, too. I thought so, too. But then someone said to me that, you know, you could have, you know, exchanged the infant because he hadn't seen the infant, and just out of an abundance of certainty, to make sure that nothing, you know, fast and loose had been done, that they didn't bring in another child for the testing. I thought it was odd, but nonetheless — but what I think is even stranger...
NEAVITT: You know that wouldn't happen. You know there's so many ways...
VAN SUSTEREN: I don't think so. I don't think so. But what I thought was also stranger, though, was that, you know, with all the headache of this — I mean, having to, you know, fight over who the father is and knowing that that child needs her father, that it would have been so simple simply to do that swab of the infant and to put the matter to rest, and yet Anna Nicole and Howard K. opposed it or resisted. And I haven't been able to figure out why.
NEAVITT: Well, first of all, Howard — as I told you before, Howard is the father of Dannielynn. I mean, under the law in the Bahamas, under - - he's the presumed father in California, based on the fact that he's on the birth certificate, and you know, he professed to be the father. He's on the death certificate. And if Mr. Birkhead wanted to contest that, he can go simply to the Bahamas and ask for testing. It's a simple process. But he chose to be in Los Angeles and try to litigate this thing in California, I guess close to the news outlets in Hollywood.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I mean, I guess that, you know, the two of you could sort of fight back and forth and say who's — you know, who's more wrong and who's being a bigger jerk, who's looking for the media attention, who's doing what. But bottom line is that the best interests of the child would just be to sort of end this particular problem as quickly as possible while everyone's pointing fingers. I mean, it's an easy test.
NEAVITT: Again, Anna Nicole and Howard were raising this child. It's their child. Howard's the father of the child. You know, there's a lot of information that's involved in the paternity case that are not — is not public, and I'm not about to sit here and discuss all those factors that are in the paternity action on television, first because it's against the public policy in California, and it's not going to benefit this child.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is the child in the United States?
NEAVITT: You know, I don't know that answer.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Jim. Thank you very much. Obviously, you know, a terrible time for your client, and certainly worse for, you know, Anna Nicole. Thank you, Jim.
NEAVITT: Thank you. Bye.
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