for the Family You Love
Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV’s most provocative entertainment news show. I’m A.J. Hammer in New York. This is our continuing coverage of what killed Anna Nicole Smith.
ANDERSON: Just like so many others, Larry Birkhead, who says he is the father of Anna Nicole’s baby, watched today as the medical examiner revealed the results. Joining me tonight from Davey, Florida is Larry Birkhead’s attorney, Susan Brown. Welcome Susan.
SUSAN BROWN, LAWYER FOR LARRY BIRKHEAD: Hi.
ANDERSON: OK, Larry Birkhead, as I said, just like so many others, waiting to see what really killed, for Larry, the love of his life, Anna Nicole Smith. Is Larry satisfied, Susan, with the medical examiner’s determination that she died from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs?
BROWN: I have unfortunately been playing phone tag with him. So I don’t have an official comment at this time.
ANDERSON: Prior to the revealing of the autopsy results, in your conversations with Larry, did he suspect that would be the cause of her death?
BROWN: Well, one of the problems is you’re kind of asking me to get into attorney-client privilege. But let me address it this way: I don’t think anybody was surprised that she died of a drug overdose. I think it’s what was suspected from the beginning.
ANDERSON: OK, well look, during the court hearings over the battle over Anna Nicole’s body, on the witness stand, Larry said that at one point he had taken the drugs away from Anna Nicole, but that Howard K. Stern told him to give the drugs back, that Anna needed them to live. Does Larry think — even though, you know, no charges are being filed as a result of the autopsy, and I know you’re going to have to go back to previous conversations, but does Larry want somebody to be held responsible here? I know this entire thing has been very, very emotional. He’s very distraught since her death.
BROWN: Right now, Larry’s main focus is getting custody of his daughter. I think, any other issues are for another day, after the dust settles a little. You know, there’s some big stuff coming up. I think the paternity and custody issue are the priorities right now.
ANDERSON: OK, well let’s talk about that. You know, all of this happening just as we are expecting the results of the DNA test that will determine whether Larry is the father of Dannielynn. Now does Larry have any doubt, any doubt whatsoever that the DNA will show that he is the father?
BROWN: As Larry testified before Judge Seidlin in Florida, he’s 110 percent sure that he’s the father. Larry is confident he’s the father. And hopefully we’re going to know very soon.
ANDERSON: Hopefully so. And speaking of that, there have been reports, Susan, that the court will not reveal the results of the DNA test until at least April 3rd. Is there anything that leads you to believe this could happen sooner than that, later than that, Howard could file an appeal? What are you hearing?
BROWN: Well, again, I’m only going to respond, and attempt not to violate the gag order, to what I’ve heard in the media. And I have also heard that the results will not be addressed until April 3rd. I suspect Howard Stern will file an appeal. I would be shocked if he did not.
ANDERSON: So that could delay the entire procedure and everyone getting the results, correct?
BROWN: Yes, I think an appeal could delay it. I don’t know how quick the appellate system works in the Bahamas, but our appeal with Virgie Arthur was very unusual in Florida. Usually it takes a substantially longer time. But I expect an appeal. Again, I would be shocked if there isn’t one.
ANDERSON: Well, once the results are revealed, even if the DNA test shows that Larry is the father of the baby, under Bohemian law, Howard K. Stern can maintain custody of that child, because he’s listed on the birth certificate as the father. Does Larry believe that Howard will still refuse to give up the baby, even if the DNA shows Larry is the dad?
BROWN: It’s a guess at this time. However, my understanding of Bohemian law is that if the DNA rebuts the presumption, Howard K. Stern will have no claim whatsoever.
ANDERSON: All right, Susan Brown, attorney for Larry Birkhead, thanks so much for joining us and sharing what you could with us. We appreciate it.
BROWN: You’re welcome.