LOS ANGELES – California courts have jurisdiction over former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith but the unanswered question in the paternity suit filed by her ex-boyfriend is whether DNA testing can be done on her infant daughter, an attorney in the case claimed Wednesday after a closed hearing.
The court has personal jurisdiction over Smith because she has enough contacts with California, said attorney Debra Opri, who represents Larry Birkhead, the ex-boyfriend who claims to be the father of 2-month-old Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern.
Before moving to the Bahamas recently, Smith lived, worked and had a sexual relationship in California, Opri told reporters at Los Angeles Superior Court, where a 75-minute hearing was held in private.
Birkhead gave a thumbs-up sign as he left the courtroom but said nothing. If he is confirmed to be the father, he could receive visitation or custody rights and possibly child support.
The Los Angeles-based photographer also claims in a lawsuit filed in the Bahamas that Smith and her current companion, lawyer Howard K. Stern, committed fraud and conspiracy.
The baby's birth certificate lists Stern as the father.
Ron Rale, Smith's attorney, said Opri's statements were misleading but he declined to confirm or deny specific rulings.
"Her statements are inaccurate and reprehensible," he said in an interview.
Rale has repeatedly stated that paternity proceedings are confidential under California law.
Outside the courtroom and in front of TV cameras, Opri tried to point out a resemblance between Birkhead and Dannielynn by holding up a binder with two baby photos posted on the front.
Rale, standing nearby, said the circus-like atmosphere was "amusing to watch" and joked that he did not have baby photos of Stern handy.