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New Developments on Anna Nicole Smith's Baby

Aired February 10, 2007 - 15:50   ET


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Fredricka Whitfield in Atlanta. Still questions surrounding the fate of 5-month-old Dannielynn Smith, the baby of now deceased actress Anna Nicole Smith.

Well sources have said that the baby was being cared for by friends in the Bahamas. And now sources are telling us that there may be some movement about who exactly is going to continue to care for this baby. Our Rusty Dornin is in Nassau Bahamas and joins us on the phone right now with some new information -- Rusty?

RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on phone): Fredricka, the legal battles involving Anna Nicole Smith continue here in the Bahamas. And right now, it's revolving around an estate that she was living in with Howard Stern and the baby overlooking the -- across the street from the ocean here.

Apparently, she bought the property, she never signed any mortgage papers and no exchange of money was made. And when she died, the owner of the property claims that the property was his and he came back and changed the locks on the estate.

Well, we came over to the property this afternoon with the attorney for that man precisely at a time that a motorcade, very heavy security, pulled up into the gates of the house. It was the attorney for Anna Nicole Smith, who is saying now that the original owner of the property is -- he had a court order, restraining order barring him from entering, saying that the only people who have access to this property legally are Howard Stern and Dannielynn. Those are the only two people.

So there ended up being a confrontation here on the front of the estate for Anna Nicole Smith. Many people here do believe that in that motorcade was the baby Dannielynn. Originally, the baby had been left with a high-ranking minister's family. We do understand from Ron Rale, who told CNN last night, the attorney for Anna Nicole Smith, also told us that Howard Stern's sister and her mother came to the Bahamas last night to take responsibility for the baby.

It's unclear if they are here at this estate now. But it is also clear that these legal battles continue on in all areas of Anna Nicole's life. Now, again, a battle about the house that she was living in, whether indeed she owned it. And it looks like many people here do believe and are reporting that the baby is inside those walls -- Fredricka. WHITFIELD: So all of this, Rusty, taking place while still, in the state, the paternity suit continues with ex-boyfriend Larry Birkhead saying he is the natural father to this baby. Meantime, you talk about Howard K. Stern's family members who have made their way to the Bahamas. Has anyone seen Howard K. Stern returning back home there?

DORNIN: No one here has seen him yet. And remember, Fredricka, that his name is on that birth certificate. And as far as any Bahamian officials are concerned, he is the father of that baby, you know, and the jurisdiction here in the Bahamas.

One thing to make clear, too, the baby was born here but does not become a Bahamian citizen. They do not do that here. You have to apply for that later if your parents are not citizens. So the baby would be an American citizen, but the courts here would retain some jurisdiction when they're -- if there becomes a battle -- if one of these men who claim to be the father, whether Larry Birkhead or someone else comes and claims to be the father, he will have to come to the Bahamas to try to start some kind of custody battle here.

WHITFIELD: OK and now when you talk about this motorcade that has exited from the property that Anna Nicole and her baby and Howard K. Stern once resided, you're saying it's being presumed that inside that motorcade were family members of some ministry's family there in the Bahamas and that possibly Dannielynn Smith may have been in that motorcade as well exiting?

DORNIN: That's right, it was a motorcade, I'm sorry, Fredricka, that pulled into the estate. As we were standing outside of the gate and the attorney for the original owner was telling us about the locks on the gate, that's when the motorcade came up with very heavy security, about four cars, all with tinted windows, that pulled up inside.

And all the security people spread out throughout the estate. And they did not allow us on the property. The police arrived a short time later. That is the motorcade that people do believe may have either the high-ranking members of this ministry's family or perhaps Howard Stern's sister and mother.

WHITFIELD: Now you mentioned Howard K. Stern's family members. What about any family members of Anna Nicole Smith? There had been some rumors perhaps her mother was in the Bahamas or making her way there. What do you know?

DORNIN: We know that she did talk to the police here. And again, she does not have any rights to that baby. We just spoke to Wayne Monroe, again, Anna Nicole Smith's attorney here, former attorney here and he said she has no rights here.

She will not be allowed onto that property and as far as he was concerned, Anna Nicole Smith was estranged from her family. Her wishes were not that that baby should go with her family as far as he's concerned and he says that he is vowing to protect those wishes. WHITFIELD: Okay, Rusty Dornin, the bizarre only gets more bizarre here with these new developments now coming out of the Bahamas. We're going to take a short break. Right after that, you'll be in the NEWSROOM.


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