OTR Interviews

Bizarre Dynamics Inside Smith Hearing

This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," February 20, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: How's Larry [Birkhead] doing tonight? His lawyer, Debra Opri, joins us. Before I ask the question how he's doing, Debra, the most — the most bizarre dynamics in that courtroom. First of all, you and Krista Barth — how do you get along?

DEBRA OPRI, LARRY BIRKHEAD'S ATTORNEY: I've never met her before today. I don't believe I'll ever want to meet her again, so...

VAN SUSTEREN: What's going on between the two of you, though? I mean, she jabs you, you jab her. I mean...

OPRI: No, it's no jabs. I'm not pushing any buttons. People are saying, You're pushing her buttons. If I'm pushing her buttons, that's her problem. That's her choice. But she — I learned after the fact that she made an allegation that I said something. And I'm not going to dignify it with a response, so don't bring it up. But I will tell you what I told her in chambers. This is not the Kristie Barth show. This is about a burial, and it's not about how long and how hard somebody can talk.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right...

OPRI: Or how loud.

VAN SUSTEREN: You said then she corrected you on the name. She said her name isn't Christie.

OPRI: Oh, God. You know, all I can tell you is, you know, Kristo, Kristie, I'll always know her as Kristie.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right.


VAN SUSTEREN: Why does it take 13 lawyers for this? I mean, (INAUDIBLE) in the courtroom today, I counted 13 lawyers.

OPRI: Many issues. We have conflicts of laws between California and Florida. That's our issues. We have the Bahamas, so it's conflict with countries. We have family law. We have probate law. We have a state law. And we have representatives of Larry Birkhead and the individuals coming in from California here. So we have a lot of attorneys, a lot of personalities. We have a judge who basically is handling it in a very unusual way but I think a very productive and effective way. And I think he's going to get the job done.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. You think he's going to get the job done. Today we had in the middle of the day sort of an emergency call from the medical examiner that time is of the essence. And he doesn't have a lot of time to get this case resolved. He's basically got a day or two.

OPRI: Well, I liked what the judge said. He said, I thought I had a few weeks. I don't. And the examiner, from what we understand, is saying the body is rapidly deteriorating. This means that we've got to get the viewing done. And I won't comment on what's been doing about the viewing issues because I cannot. But I will say that the burial issue will remain.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. How is your client doing, Larry Birkhead?

OPRI: He took it hard with coming in here. And people say, Well, how was it face to face with Howard K. Stern? I don't think it was an issue. I think it was an issue for Howard K. Stern dealing with Larry Birkhead.

VAN SUSTEREN: When — this is the first time you ever laid eyes on Howard K. Stern personally?

OPRI: Yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: What'd you think?

OPRI: I am not impressed with him. Body language is off. He doesn't appear to be in command of any legal knowledge (ph). And I don't appreciate his posturing. I don't appreciate the fact that I don't consider his responses truthful, accurate or on point. And I consider his demonstrative behavior in terms of showing a video of Anna Nicole on an entertainment show, basically showing her despicable opinions of the mother — and Virgie's sitting there, and the judge very eloquently — and you were there — said, Well, Virgie had to hear you. You can get to hear Virgie today and tomorrow. And it's going to happen.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think the judge was disturbed by that video? I mean, that he...

OPRI: He was angry.

VAN SUSTEREN: He was angry?

OPRI: He was angry.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why do you think that? I mean...


VAN SUSTEREN: But I sort of thought that he was angry, too, but I was surprised at that.

OPRI: What did he say after that video was done? He said, Enough. There will be no more videos by you. I'm done with this.

VAN SUSTEREN: But (INAUDIBLE) use her video — whether you buy it or not, the point of the video was to show whether it's true or not...

OPRI: No...

VAN SUSTEREN: ... the relationship had deteriorated.

OPRI: He felt bad for the mother...


OPRI: ... line of questioning. You're an attorney. When he did his line of questioning of Virgie, what did he say?

VAN SUSTEREN: How many years have you been...

OPRI: Who are you...

VAN SUSTEREN: ... twenty-eight years (INAUDIBLE)

OPRI: Who are you? Where did you come from? Give me your family background. Give me your — the siblings and the children, and how close to you are they, and what...

VAN SUSTEREN: He helped her...


OPRI: ... liked her. Nobody, I think, liked Howard K. Stern.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Has anyone put the question to Howard K. Stern, How about DNA? If so, what's the answer?

OPRI: Yes, and you saw it in court. We said, We're volunteering. We'll do the DNA.

VAN SUSTEREN: I know Larry is, but what about Howard? What's Howard...

OPRI: Let me — let me tell you about Howard. Howard is very cryptic in his testimony. Howard is saying, I am the father under Bahamian law. What does that mean? In layman's terms, he's saying, I don't need to be the biological father under Bahamian law because a presumed father is all I need.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, here's the catch, though. He said that he wanted to get back to the Bahamas because he wants to be with the child, basically...

OPRI: Ha, ha, ha!

VAN SUSTEREN: ... dragged into these proceedings. Here's the problem, though. The proceedings end with the DNA test.


VAN SUSTEREN: Well, yes, they do.

OPRI: No, they don't!


OPRI: Well...

VAN SUSTEREN: I mean (INAUDIBLE) disposition of the body, but at least the question of paternity.

OPRI: I disappeared off the face of the earth for almost two weeks because we had three jurisdictions to research for our case strategies. We have, as of today, a California judge who is maintaining jurisdiction over the paternity action. He is enforcing the order that the paternity testing be completed. It's a three-way prong. We are going to get the DNA from Anna because he ordered it. We'll pick it up...

VAN SUSTEREN: Right, but you've got it.

OPRI: We go to the Bahamas...

VAN SUSTEREN: But you've got Larry's. You've got Anna Nicole's. And if you get Howard's, that ends the paternity issue.

OPRI: I don't want Howard's! I want...

VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, I'm sorry...


VAN SUSTEREN: I misspoke. The baby's. I mean, if Howard agreed to the baby...

OPRI: We are — there is a children's act in the Bahamas, and there is a domestication act in the Florida jurisdiction. We are tomorrow going to domesticate the newest order by the California judge saying, Complete the paternity action. We're going to the Bahamas, and we're filing, if we haven't already filed, that action, which includes custody. And we're going in for the whole enchilada. We're going to get the baby.

VAN SUSTEREN: I misspoke. I meant, Why doesn't Howard agree to the baby's DNA? I misspoke. But that...

OPRI: Howard is not the natural biological father.

VAN SUSTEREN: Right. But he agrees — if he agrees to the baby's DNA, that ends the issue of paternity.

OPRI: He tells everybody on television, I'm following orders. I'll do whatever I'm ordered. He doesn't. Not at all.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well...

OPRI: We filed a motion. He's coming in, in Anna's shoes, in the California jurisdiction, and he will produce that child.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, I'm just waiting for the DNA for Howard. Howard should do the right thing and give the baby's DNA, and most of this (ph). Anyway, Debra, as always, thank you.

Content and Programming Copyright 2007 FOX News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2007 Voxant, Inc. (www.voxant.com), which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon FOX News Network, LLC'S and Voxant, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.