Skip to main content
Search
Services


 

Return to Transcripts main page

NANCY GRACE

Anna Nicole Smith Saga Continues

Aired February 12, 2007 - 20:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight. We go live to the Bahamas, Florida and LA as the storm intensifies around the sudden and unexpected death of covergirl Anna Nicole Smith. At this moment, sources say boyfriend/lawyer Howard K. Stern being questioned by Bahamian police, her own child locked out of the home. And allegations fly that hangers-on make off with art and possessions to the tune of thousands, those possessions once belonging to Anna Nicole Smith. And tonight, new allegations Anna Nicole`s untimely death could be because of recent plastic surgery. It`s a legal nightmare. All the while, an estimated $475 million hanging in the balance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This morning, the Nassau edition of the "Miami Herald" ran photos of the late model on her bed with the Bahamas immigration minister, the same immunity minister who approved Smith`s permanent resident application last year. Opposition lawmakers accuse Gibson of preferential treatment.

GRACE: Where is the baby, Dannielynn?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As far as I know, he`s -- she`s in the Bahamas. My client is the father. He`s taking care of his daughter. He will be responsible for those decisions.

PRINCE FREDERICK VON ANHALT, ZSA ZSA GABOR`S HUSBAND: These two guys, Larry and Howard, they two lie. They are not the father of this child.

MEAGHER: Monroe (ph) claims things were taken from the mansion illegally by the original owner on Friday. Still, the looming question, Where`s the baby? Smith`s former attorney would only answer in the vaguest manner.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The child, as far as I know, has never left the country of her birth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take a look at these photographs. The Web site TMZ.com has acquired them and it says it is verified as authentic of Anna Nicole Smith`s refrigerator in the Bahamas. Visible in the fridge is a white bottle labeled methadone, and methadone was noted in the death of Smith`s son, Daniel, some five months ago.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight. Tonight, fewer answers, more questions around the death of Anna Nicole Smith.

Let`s go live to the Bahamas. Standing by from "Inside Edition," Matt Meagher. Matt, thank you for being with us. What is happening in the Bahamas? Is Anna Nicole Smith`s mother there to claim the baby?

MATT MEAGHER, "INSIDE EDITION": Mother arrived, I believe, Friday morning. She made some desperate attempts on Friday to go to ministers and police offices and say, you know, Can you help me get the baby? She didn`t see the baby on Friday. She didn`t see the baby on Saturday. She drove by where we all believe the baby is being kept on Sunday, did not see the baby, drove away in disgust. It`s our understanding she`s still here and still trying to get in to see that baby.

GRACE: Joining us right now is a special guest. It is Howard K. Stern`s attorney, James Neavitt. Mr. Neavitt, thank you for being with us.

JAMES NEAVITT, HOWARD K. STERN`S ATTORNEY: Thank you, Nancy.

GRACE: Why is it that your client, Mr. Stern, refuses to let the grandmother at least see the baby?

NEAVITT: Well, first of all, Howard`s the father, and he`s making the decision about what`s best for his daughter. And if you look at the film and the videos of the things that the mom has been saying after the baby was born and even after Anna Nicole died, he`s not real happy with her right now, and that`s something that`s going to have to be sorted out in the future.

GRACE: You mean not so subtly suggesting that Anna Nicole Smith may have been murdered?

NEAVITT: That`s one of the things that we`ve heard she said, and that`s just outrageous.

GRACE: Mr. Neavitt, blood is thicker than any legal dispute or what a grandmother may have said in a moment of pain, losing a grandson, losing the daughter. How far back does this feud go, and is there any relenting to let Virgie Arthur, the maternal grandmother, see the baby?

NEAVITT: Again, Howard`s going to make all those decisions. And you know, of course, that`s a situation involving the custody of Dannielynn in the Bahamas. Howard has custody, and the grandmother or the grandparents may have legal rights in the United States to see children, I`m not sure what the law is in the Bahamas. He has his attorneys in the Bahamas that deal with those issues. In California, there are rights to grandparents of a dead child. In other words, Anna Nicole is now dead and the grandparent can step in and ask for visitation rights, and that`s something they can do through the court system, if the parties can`t work it out. And hopefully, this can be worked out in the future. But again, right now, Howard`s position is that there`s not going to be any contact between the grandmother and the child.

GRACE: Well, I certainly hope it can, not that you asked me...

NEAVITT: I understand that that`s important.

GRACE: You know, this is a child is, one of her few remaining blood relatives. You`ve got that whole pack of Marshalls. Remember, Anna Nicole Smith was married to Marshall -- they all hate the family. They don`t want them to get a penny. And now you`ve got Howard K. Stern who`s keeping the grandmother away from the baby. It`s quite the drama.

Back to Matt Meagher there with "Inside Edition," joining us there in the Bahamas. Matt, what happened at Anna Nicole Smith`s residence? I understand there was a big hair (ph) fight on Friday. The locks were changed. The baby couldn`t get in. What happened, and where does it stand now?

MEAGHER: The locks have been changed at least three times...

GRACE: Oh, good Lord!

MEAGHER: ... just in the last week. And you know, some people are saying that it was a mistake, some people are saying it was intentional. There`s still...

GRACE: Hey, wait! Wa-wa-wa-wa-wait!

MEAGHER: ... a giant battle going on over that property.

GRACE: Matt, how do you accidentally change all the locks to a mansion?

MEAGHER: A misunderstanding. Remember, that this is a mansion, and long before Anna Nicole died, there had been a protracted fight over who owns that mansion.

GRACE: So was the baby locked out when it tried to go back to the residence of its mom?

MEAGHER: I can`t tell you. We know that there was a big to-do in front of the mansion. We know that lawyers were all called down. Our best knowledge is that the baby was back in there on Saturday and Sunday, and we believe the baby is there now.

GRACE: Were items taken from the home?

MEAGHER: There is a police report that has been filed. The lawyer for Anna Nicole, her lawyer on the island before she passed away, is saying that the house was ransacked. Mr. Stern is saying that the house was ransacked. Things were stolen. He predicted yesterday -- the lawyer told me yesterday that the things that were stolen would start showing up on the Internet today, or they would start showing up in the media. They were personal photos. They were computers.

Here`s the big paper in Nassau today. Shane, Shane Gibson, the minister of immigration, and Anna Nicole -- dramatic new photos.

GRACE: Oh, you know what? I saw those.

MEAGHER: Very compromising photos in the papers...

GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa! Wa-wait! Wait! Wait! I don`t think they`re compromising. She`s there in a hospital bed. She`s clearly just given birth to Dannielynn and...

MEAGHER: That`s not her hospital bed.

GRACE: Oh, really?

MEAGHER: On the inside is her hospital bed. Yes. And in the copy and talking with the editor and the reporters today, they assure the readers in the copy, and they told me today there are much more revealing pictures to come. Everybody`s got a stake in this. There`s stuff flying out of that house. There`s stuff flying between lawyers and reporters. And this is going to go on for a while, unfortunately.

GRACE: Well, you know, Jean Casarez, I saw the photos, I believe, that Matt showed us, and it was Anna Nicole Smith in a bed, which is basically where she shot her entire reality show for however many years, and both people fully dressed, posing for a camera. I did not find that compromising in any sense. But can you tell me any more about the break-in in the house, Jean?

JEAN CASAREZ, COURT TV: Well, the break-in in the house -- Howard K. Stern went to the police and reported it over the weekend. We heard it was computers and possibly paintings that Anna Nicole had done. Now we`re hearing possibly birth certificates and personal items of the baby.

GRACE: Alex Goen is joining us tonight. Not only is he a personal friend of Anna Nicole Smith. He`s been by her side for many, many years. He is the CEO of Trimspa. Alex, thank you for being with us. What can you tell us about the break-in to Anna Nicole`s home in the Bahamas?

ALEX GOEN, TRIMSPA CEO, FRIEND OF ANNA NICOLE SMITH`S: I can tell you that it happened, it looks like, on Friday. And it`s quite shocking. I mean, Anna passed away, unfortunately, on Thursday. And Friday this happened. What else can happen to a person? I know that on Thursday, our thoughts were at least a lot of this is going to be over, and it looks like it`s not over and it`s just becoming more extraordinary. Looks like paintings that Anna painted of Dannielynn Hope were taken, videotape, something like 6,000 to 7,000 pictures. A video of Anna giving birth to Dannielynn Hope was taken, or something like...

GRACE: Whoa. Whoa. The video of her giving birth has been taken from the home?

GOEN: That`s right. Computers, a lot of personal belongings. It`s just so sad. I mean, to believe that it`s a great opportunity to go into the house because Anna just passed away and no one`s going to be there, you have to wonder what people are thinking.

GRACE: All the while, the body of Anna Nicole Smith is lying in a morgue in Florida, no burial time set, no funeral planned.

Out to Carlos Diaz with "Extra." Carlos joining us there in Miami. What`s the latest?

CARLOS DIAZ, "EXTRA": Well, we heard, you know, rumors today that we were going to have Anna Nicole`s mother here in Florida to sign away -- to sign on the death certificate. We were outside of the morgue for a portion of the day, and she never arrived. So I mean, right now in Florida, it`s kind of all quiet on the home front here, with everything going on in the Bahamas.

GRACE: Joining us also there in Florida, a special guest from Ft. Lauderdale. The chief medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Anna Nicole Smith is with us, Dr. Joshua Perper. He`s the chief medical examiner there at Broward County. Doctor, thank you for being with us again tonight. A lot of questions lingering. First of all, did anyone request to see the body today?

DR. JOSHUA PERPER, CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER: No, nobody requested to see the body.

GRACE: And my question, Dr. Perper, is under your procedure there in Florida, who gets to take the body?

PERPER: Well, we are going to release the body to whoever has the legal right, whoever is the legal next of kin. And we`ll require a court order because there might be a conflict. At this time, the only person who requested the body for purposes of burial was Mr. Stern, and no one else.

GRACE: It`s my understanding that the mother, Virgie Arthur, is coming to Florida to see her daughter Anna Nicole`s body. Did she show up at the medical examiner`s today?

PERPER: We did not receive any information in this regard.

GRACE: Dr. Perper, I want to go back to a couple of questions I didn`t get to ask you regarding the autopsy. I know you told me that there were no pills in her stomach and there were no needle marks on her body. If she had died of a drug-related death, how long would it take those pills to metabolize and no longer be in the stomach?

PERPER: Well, it depends how long it took from the time she took the pills until she died, so if there`s a sufficient time that the pill can be absorbed. The fact is that if she would have taken a large amount of pills immediately before she died, some pills could have been expected to be in the stomach, and we didn`t find them. Again, in the stomach was a small amount of blood, as I said before, and that`s another finding. However, this does not exclude the possibility that there might be significant levels of drugs, medication or toxic substances in the blood.

GRACE: Doctor, now a rumor is circulating all over the Internet, even reports of it that Anna Nicole Smith`s death was somehow related to a recent plastic surgery. You have viewed her body. You performed the autopsy. Was there any evidence of a recent plastic surgery?

PERPER: There was no evidence of recent plastic surgery. And you know, rumors are flying like balloons, but many balloons are really pierced by reality. There`s no such finding. In other words, if she would have had any kind of recent plastic surgery, there would have been suture. There would be a wound which is healing. And those are not difficult to detect.

GRACE: Dr. Perper, if she had died of a drug-related issue, how would you expect to find the body? How can you look at the body and determine that, other than a toxicology test of the blood and tissue?

PERPER: Well, the only way that you can suspect it, if you find pills in the stomach or you find evidence of needle tracks on the arms. Then obviously, you have a suspicion, which might be verified by toxicology or not. But the only way to make the final determination is by toxicology. And again, what`s important, it`s not the nature of the drug only, but also the blood levels of the drug because those are going to indicate whether they play a role in the death.

GRACE: With us is Dr. Perper, Dr. Joshua Perper. He is the chief medical examiner in Broward County, who performed, along with a team, over six hours of autopsy on covergirl Anna Nicole Smith. Dr. Perper, I know you`re waiting on the toxicology reports of the tissue and blood taken from Anna Nicole Smith, but it`s my understanding when someone dies of, for instance, a drug overdose, they have a bodily symptom, such as a heart attack, or they -- they go face down in their pillow and they asphyxiate. How did she actually die?

PERPER: Well, first of all, we don`t know that she died of a drug overdose...

GRACE: Right.

PERPER: ... or drug toxicity. But assuming that a person is dying of drug toxicity or drug overdose, most of the time, those drugs affect the centers in the brain which are responsible for circulation and breathing, and sometimes the heartbeat stops first and sometimes it is the respiratory center which shuts off the breathing.

GRACE: So there would be no evidence of, say, a heart attack. Her heart would simply quit beating. Is that what you`re saying?

PERPER: That`s correct because in those cases, the final event is what we call an electrical arrhythmia. In other words, the heart stops because of an improperly transmitted electrical signal in the heart muscle.

GRACE: Electrical arrhythmia. Exactly. Doctor, how long -- I call it the morgue. I know it`s the medical examiner`s office. I don`t know if in your jurisdiction, that`s one and the same. But how long are you able to hold onto a body until someone claims it? Look, if this goes in the courtroom, Dr. Perper, it could be years before the correct person is named.

PERPER: I don`t think so. Number one, I spoke with Mr. Stern, and he`s interested in the prompt release of the body, for obvious reasons. If there`s going to be another contender to the possession of the body for purposes of burial, they will be equally interested to expedite the matter. And a court of law is going to consider the possibility that you cannot keep a body in limbo for a long period of time. So I don`t think that this is going to be a realistic concern.

GRACE: Dr. Perper, I really pray and hope that you are right.

Very quickly, out to the lines. Lola in Pennsylvania. Hi, Lola.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy.

GRACE: What`s your question, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nancy, now that we see the immigration official pulled strings to give residency to Anna...

GRACE: Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! How do we know that, other than those two photos?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, that was on the news today.

GRACE: I know, but -- hey, there`s a lot on the news, Lola. Believe me! I don`t know that any strings were pulled. But go ahead. I want to hear your question. You may be right. Maybe they were.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question is, will Larry Birkhead and his lawyer be present if the DNA has to be done in the Bahamas? I mean, will they be there to supervise that it`s done fairly and properly?

GRACE: You know what? That`s an excellent question. Let`s go out to Howard Stern`s lawyer. James Neavitt is with us, again. He`s joining us from LA. James, again, it`s great to have you with us. So many legal questions. What will happen? Will Birkhead have to go there to get that order enforced for DNA?

NEAVITT: Absolutely. And the court here in California has told him that they`re not going to have any jurisdiction over any issue except for determining paternity. And they`re going to have to get the paternity test in the Bahamas, and the Bahama authorities are going to have to accept that order in the Bahamas.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERPER: The autopsy was able to exclude any kind of physical injuries.

This is a rather complicated puzzle in which a variety of elements have to be put all together to get really a comprehensive picture and an understanding of the cause and manner of death.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was in the Bahamas to plead with Bahamian officials to help her gain custody of the child, but without success. She spoke after making a brief attempt to see the child.

VIRGIE ARTHUR, ANNA NICOLE SMITH`S MOTHER: I`m just devastated that nobody can help me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that crying you hear is the baby at the center of an international storm, Anna Nicole`s daughter, Dannielynn. The wail was heard over an intercom from inside this house in the Bahamas as reporters gathered outside. Howard K. Stern, one of the men who claim to be the child`s father, was inside.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Welcome back. Now controversy swirling still around the death of Anna Nicole Smith, an apparent break-in in her home over the weekend, personal photos, computers, artwork all taken from the home.

Let`s go back out to Carlos Diaz with "Extra" in Miami. Carlos, what have you heard about these photos that -- Matt had some of them, Matt Meagher from "Inside Edition" -- about them being actually taken from the home?

DIAZ: That`s the most damaging thing, the photos, but also the video, like you said, the video of Dannielynn being born, that being taken at a time when Anna Nicole Smith had just passed away. It sounds to me, like if you`ve -- 0 being down here in Miami and also being in the Bahamas, the media frenzy is out of control in this situation, and I wouldn`t put it past any media outlet for, you know, maybe, you know, getting in there and seeing an opportunity to get these videos and these pictures somehow.

GRACE: You know, Jean Casarez, a lot will boil down to Bahama residency. What can you tell us?

CASAREZ: Legal residency, that`s right. In the Bahamas, to have legal residency, you have to own a home. Now, you know the issue that`s been going on for months now about whether Anna Nicole owned that home, the mansion. Well, now, Anna Nicole`s deceased. Howard Stern is not her husband. He was basically a civil live-in boyfriend, you could say. So where is his legal residency in the Bahamas?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was so shocked because her mind and spirit was taken away from us and is no longer existing. To watch these images of her, know that she`s not here is unbelievable, that this statue of liberty is no longer with us, this global glamour (INAUDIBLE) is not with us any longer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Apparently, the child of Anna Nicole Smith, 5-month-old Dannielynn, is in the Bahamas with boyfriend/lawyer Howard K. Stern. This is what Stern said over the weekend.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOWARD K. STERN, ANNA NICOLE SMITH`S BOYFRIEND: I just want her to be with Daniel. And I hope -- I hope that they`re happy. I just hope that wherever she is, that she doesn`t have to go through everything that she`s been dragged throughout here in this life. It wasn`t fair. She`s such a wonderful person. (INAUDIBLE)

We were going to make everything legally mine in less than two weeks. I can`t even talk about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: There you see Howard K. Stern, very emotional. He was speaking to "The Insider," talking about Anna Nicole Smith.

I want to go out to the lawyer for Mr. Thompson. This is G. Ben Thompson`s attorney, Godfrey "Pro" Pinder. Sir, thank you for being with us. Why were those locks changed?

GODFREY "PRO" PINDER, ATTORNEY FOR ALLEGED OWNER OF MANSION: Good evening, Nancy. First of all, let me give my deepest sympathy to the family of the late Anna Nicole Smith.

The locks changed simply because the ownership, the ownership of the property, is in G. Ben Thompson, and he had a right to change those locks after Anna Nicole Smith was no longer in the house. He had given her permission to remain in the house. He owns the house. He has title to the house. He has documents to show...

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRINCE FREDERICK VON ANHALT, CLAIMS TO BE FATHER OF BABY: I know who the father is, but there is a court case going on now, and I would like to stay out of it. If the court ruling goes in the right direction, that means if it doesn`t go to Larry Birkhead or to Howard Stern, then I stay out of it. If it goes to Howard Stern or the other side, then I jump in, and I will tell a couple things, and then there will be a new investigation, and there will be a complete different picture out there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Following the death, the untimely and unexpected death of Anna Nicole Smith, a legal battle has ensued. One, her body is still at the morgue unclaimed. Two, who will take over control of the estate that comes to her 5-month-old child, Dannielynn?

Right now there are several men all claiming to be the father. Do they want the baby or do they want the baby`s money? Isn`t the dad supposed to support the baby, as opposed to the baby supporting the dad? Let`s see. We`ve got Howard Stern, we`ve got Larry Birkhead, we`ve got the possible frozen sperm of her former husband, Marshall. Then who could forget Prince Frederick von Anhalt? That`s Zsa Zsa Gabor`s husband.

But wait a minute. You left somebody out, Elizabeth. There`s now a personal trainer claiming he`s the father. And who`s the other one, Jean? There`s someone else -- there`s another guy -- bodyguard! Look, they all can`t be the father, and this shameless grab for attention is wearing very thin. As a matter of fact, take a listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRINCE FREDERICK VON ANHALT: There`s a court ruling now, and two guys claim they are the father, and I don`t think it`s true. I know who is the father. And I don`t believe that one of the two is the father. That`s for sure.

There could be -- right now there could be 20 guys who claim to be the father of the child. But I never claimed to be the father of the child. I said could be one of those.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: He goes on to state, that`s Frederick Prince von Anhalt, the husband of 90-year-old Zsa Zsa Gabor. Jean, he was claiming on Friday night that he believes he could be the father. He kind of shied away when I brought up the whole child support thing. But let`s talk about the citizenship of Dannielynn. We`re talking about $475 million at stake here.

JEAN CASAREZ, COURT TV: Well, you know, this is Bahamian law, and I think it`s contested at this point. Because I have heard that, according to Bahamian law, you take the citizenship of your parents, which would be U.S. citizenship. Also one could say presumptively born in the...

GRACE: Bahamas?

CASAREZ: ... Bahamas -- thank you -- that you would claim that citizenship.

GRACE: Is that how it works? Out to you, David Bythewood. You`re a Bahaman law expert. If the child is born there, is it a citizen there?

DAVID BYTHEWOOD, BAHAMIAN LAW EXPERT: It`s presumptively a citizen in the Bahamas, but it can just be a U.S. citizen. It can go down either path. Right now, my understanding...

GRACE: Well, there`s no law on it?

BYTHEWOOD: Well, I spoke with several Bahamian officials this morning and lawyers, and they told me that presumptive the baby is a Bahamian, and they`re concerned about the baby`s money and people trying to grab it.

GRACE: So I want to go back out to you, to Godfrey "Pro" Pinder. He is G. Ben Thompson`s attorney. As you all know, this beautiful mansion that Anna Nicole Smith has been living in belongs to G. Ben Thompson, a former boyfriend of Anna Nicole Smith.

Mr. Pinder, how did all those items get taken from the home?

GODFREY "PRO" PINDER, ATTORNEY FOR ALLEGED OWNER OF MANSION: I don`t know how the items got taken from the house, but there were other persons in the house before Friday. On the night of Thursday, certain persons went into the house.

GRACE: Who?

PINDER: Well, there are allegations or suggestions that Mr. Howard Stern might have gone into the house the night before in order to...

GRACE: No, Howard Stern was in Florida.

PINDER: Well, so everybody believes. But there is this suggestion that he might have gone in to secure the items and various other things having to do with the late Nicole Smith and, of course, to secure the baby.

GRACE: OK, now, you`ve named Howard Stern, but, apparently, Howard Stern was actually still in Florida at the time. So who else was in the home?

PINDER: Well, that`s what everybody believes that he might have still been in the house, but we don`t necessarily believe that he was still in the house.

GRACE: Is there anybody else, Mr. Pinder, that you believe was in the home?

PINDER: Yes, the mother of Shane Gibson, Mrs. Gibson, Gerylynn Gibson (ph), could have been in the house, because she was the nanny for the baby, and she was taking care of the baby while Mr. Stern and Ms. Smith were off the island.

GRACE: Is true that your client had to have an injunction ordered against him to change the locks back so Stern could back in?

PINDER: No, the injunction was not to change the locks back. The injunction was to maintain the status quo until the 26th of February, 2007, when it will be decided before (INAUDIBLE) justice may be decided the true owner of the house.

GRACE: Mr. Pinder, in order to maintain the status quo, didn`t he have to change the locks back?

PINDER: Well, the locks -- could you repeat the question, please?

GRACE: Yes. You said the court ordered your client to maintain the status quo. Didn`t that include changing the locks back to the home?

PINDER: Yes, that did include that, because the status quo previously was that the house was possessed by Anna Nicole Smith and Mr. Howard Stern, who was invited there by Ms. Smith. He`s not the owner; neither was he really invited there.

GRACE: To James Neavitt -- this is Howard Stern`s attorney -- what all do you believe has been stolen from the home?

JAMES NEAVITT, HOWARD K. STERN`S ATTORNEY: What I understand is her computer, photos, pictures on the walls, and videos. And, you know, as my client has announced that anybody that tries to disseminate these items we`ll use whatever remedies legally we can against them, and those issues are being worked on right now with the attorneys. And just want to make sure that everybody understands that anybody that tries to publish those is going to be in this same situation.

GRACE: Hey, well, guess what? They`ve already been published.

NEAVITT: Well, we know.

GRACE: Matt Meagher, isn`t that what`s on the front page of the paper down there in the Bahamas?

MATT MEAGHER, "INSIDE EDITION": I can`t say for sure that these came from that house. It`s very coincidental when these showed up. And these were compromising photos, not in a sleazy, sexual way, but we have a top Bahamian official here who has been accused, long before Anna Nicole died, of expediting her permanent residency.

He said, no, I didn`t. We were not even really close friends. These are pictures of more than close friends, and that`s why they`re compromising. And that`s the scandal here in Nassau.

GRACE: You know, Matt Meagher, you`re absolutely correct. When you say compromising at the beginning, I took it in a different way, but now that you`re explaining it, I understand what you mean by that. I understand. They`re both fully clothed, loosely hugging for a photo. But when you bring in the public official capacity in which he was serving, you`re absolutely correct.

Let`s go out to the lines. Pam in Maryland. Hi, Pam.

CALLER: Hi, Nancy.

GRACE: What`s your question, dear?

CALLER: My question is the grandmother. Why didn`t she come see the baby five months ago if she wanted to see her grandbaby?

GRACE: You know what? That`s a really good question. Let`s go out to you, Jean Casarez. Was she allowed to see the baby?

CASAREZ: Mother and daughter have been pretty estranged. You know, Nancy, today on Court TV News, we showed the 2001 civil case on Anna Nicole, and you saw, whenever her mother was brought up, she didn`t want to talk about it, she wanted to move on. There have been issues, so I think that`s why grandma didn`t come to visit.

GRACE: To Dr. Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist and author, where does this leave the baby? You`ve got all these adult males claiming they`re the daddy. One of them, as a matter of fact, it`s my understanding, claims he was impotent in a lawsuit back in 2002-2003, and now claims it`s his child. This is outrageous. And one day this little girl is going to grow up and read all this and find out about it.

DR. ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: It`s true. And I think what we`re seeing is that Anna Nicole`s life was so chaotic, and the people that were close to her experienced that chaos, and that chaos is even being experienced in her death. But now we really need to think about the mental health of the child.

And it`s very important for a child to know who their father is. They have a right to know where their identity comes from, to have, you know, the genetic family love them. She needs some stability in her life. There`s already going to be...

GRACE: To you, James Neavitt. Robi`s right. Has Howard K. Stern ever taken care of the baby in his life? James, James Neavitt?

NEAVITT: Yes?

GRACE: Has your client ever taken care of the baby in his whole life?

NEAVITT: He`s been taking care of the baby since the child was born in the Bahamas before they went on their vacation and then, on return, he went right back to his child.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was in the Bahamas to plead with Bahamian officials to help her gain custody of the child, but without success. She spoke after making a brief attempt to see the child.

VERGIE ARTHUR, MOTHER OF ANNA NICOLE SMITH: I`m just devastated that nobody will help me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that crying you hear is the baby at the center of an international storm, Anna Nicole`s daughter, Dannielynn. The wail was heard over an intercom from inside this house in the Bahamas, as reporters gathered outside. Howard K. Stern, one of the men who claimed to be the child`s father, was inside.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Welcome back. Let`s go straight out to Dr. Joshua Perper who performed the autopsy of Anna Nicole Smith. A lot of unanswered questions today. Dr. Perper, are you going to rely on a court order to tell you who can claim the body?

DR. JOSHUA PERPER, BROWARD COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINER: Absolutely. And I spoke -- this morning, I interview both Mr. Stern and physician who is a friend, and also provided some incidental treatment. And I told them that they will have to have a court order. And, obviously, a court order, you have to honor it, otherwise you`re in contempt of court. They don`t have any option there.

GRACE: Until you get the court order, Dr. Perper, how long can you hold her body?

PERPER: Well, we can hold the body for a long period of time, you know, for weeks. But, obviously, the body, if you held it for a long period of time, eventually it`s going to deteriorate, and therefore the viewing of the body is going to be affected or made impossible.

GRACE: OK. How long will it be until that process begins, the deterioration?

PERPER: Well, the process continues gradually all the time, and it`s difficult to say exactly when. But, certainly, the body will be -- for two weeks, it will be a significant deterioration.

And, as I said, my expectation is that there`s going to be a prompt decision by a court one way or another, because the person who claims the body will have the responsibility of showing why they have a legal right.

GRACE: Dr. Perper, I know no funeral or burial has been announced. While the body`s being held there at the morgue, how is it protected? I mean, we already know people have gone into her home, taken photos, video of her giving birth, artwork, you name it. How is she being protected in death?

PERPER: Well, we were very concerned from the very beginning with the safety and the integrity of the body and making sure that nobody takes photograph of the body. So we had, initially, one of the associate medical examiner ride with the transportation service to the hospital and bring the body back under security provisions.

And in the office -- it`s in a refrigerated area, which is under lock and key. And I thought of this, even that it`s not sufficient, because somebody may break into the office. And, as a result of that, I went and I asked the sheriff of Broward County, Sheriff Jenne, to provide additional security, and he was very gracious and did so.

GRACE: Right. I`m so glad you did that, Dr. Perper. Dr. Perper, I wanted to ask you a question about methadone.

Elizabeth, if you could show the photos allegedly of her refrigerator. There`s a lot of Slim-Fast in there, the drink, and what appears to be methadone. Dr. Perper, is methadone always taken in liquid form?

PERPER: No, it can be taken as pill or it can be taken as liquid form in an orange juice.

GRACE: Liquid form in orange juice?

PERPER: Yes, in an orange drink, yes. That`s a way of taking it.

GRACE: OK, so she could have actually just ingested it by mouth. She did not have to shoot it up if she were using methadone, right?

PERPER: Absolutely. And usually it`s taken by mouth and not injected, normally.

GRACE: Dr. Perper, I know it`s been another long day for you. And from all of us in the legal community who have -- it`s hard to say admired your work as a medical examiner, but acknowledged your work. It`s wonderful to get to talk to you and get answers to all the questions swirling about this lady. And I want to thank you for being with us again.

PERPER: You`re very welcome. And we hope that we`ll have an answer.

GRACE: Yes, sir.

You know, it`s just a shame to me that this is happening to someone in death. I want to go back out to Mr. Pinder. This is G. Ben Thompson`s attorney.

Mr. Pinder, did you see that photo taken allegedly of the inside of Anna Nicole Smith`s refrigerator? Now, who do you think got into her home and took photos of her refrigerator, carefully turning a lot of the labels all to one side? I mean, who had access to the home to do that?

PINDER: I wouldn`t know, Nancy, who really had access to the house to do that, but it wasn`t done by my client, G. Ben Thompson, or none of his agents, servants or clients.

GRACE: Let`s go out to the lawyers. Joining us, David Bythewood and Doug Burns. Out to you, Doug Burns. At this juncture, all Howard Stern has is this commitment ceremony. Does that give him any protection under the law?

DOUG BURNS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, the other thing that he has, Nancy, is that he`s listed on the Bahamian birth certificate, and that`s very important. My view is that I think the photographer may very well be the father. But since he`s listed as the father, that also gives him a lot of rights. And that`s what he`s really grasping onto at this point.

GRACE: And, David Bythewood, in Bahaman law, how long can Stern refuse to allow a DNA test? On the other hand, why does anybody have a right to just jump up off the street and ask for a paternity test?

BYTHEWOOD: Well, first of all, nobody`s asked for it yet. This whole idea that the Bahamas has to adhere to a California court order is ridiculous. That`s like a California court ordering Russia to do something. It just doesn`t happen. You`re dealing with a sovereign country. They have their own laws, their own courts. California has no authority, no power there whatsoever.

So until somebody comes to the Bahamian courts and goes through what`s called affiliation proceeding, there`s not going to be an issue of DNA in the Bahamas. And there will also be an issue as to whether or not the DNA should be taken to the child. Of course, that`s discretionary with the judges.

GRACE: Good point.

Out to you, Mike Brooks. Mike, where do we start?

MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE: I`ll tell you what, Nancy. The investigators are not sitting on their hands right now. There`s a lot of questions still unanswered about the time line, time of death, all these kind of things. Who was with her? Who wasn`t with her when she died?

But one of the other things, Nancy, is coming up. Don`t forget, we`ve got this coroner`s inquest in the Bahamas coming up on March 27th. You know, Mr. Stern, is he going to be there or not? In fact, CNN today spoke with Roger Gomez, the chief magistrate of the Bahamas, and he said that, since Anna Nicole`s death, they are very interested in speaking to him now during this inquest. He said, quote, about Daniel, about the investigation of Daniel, he said, "He died suddenly. He came here for what would normally have been a festive occasion, to see his newborn sister. So it`s unusual for someone to die suddenly. About that, we want to know exactly why." He said, also, they`re expecting at least 30 witnesses at this coroner`s inquest, Nancy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERPER: If there`s an excessive amount of pills taken, it means they`re more than required to cause death. And, therefore, the number of pills be present after the death of the individual in the stomach. But it doesn`t -- but it doesn`t exclude the possibility that drugs or medication contributed or causing the death.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Welcome back, everybody. Straight out to the lines. Tracy in Louisiana. Hi, Tracy.

CALLER: Hi.

GRACE: What`s your question, dear?

CALLER: My question is for Dr. Perper. He said that he found a small amount of blood in her stomach. And I was just wondering what that could be caused from?

GRACE: We just big him adieu, but spoke to him about that Friday night. And she had been intubated, Tracy, a tube stuck down her throat. And most likely it was a very small amount of blood that he did not find unusual at all. Excellent question.

Very quickly, back out to Doug Burns. Doug, the legal issue is going to boil down to where this child is a resident and who is the father. What comes next?

BURNS: Oh, it`s just unbelievably complicated. You could teach an entire wills and trust course on this thing. I mean, it depends, also, by the way, Nancy, whether or not Anna Nicole Smith has a will. That`s going to be crucial.

GRACE: What about it, Jean? Does she?

CASAREZ: You know, it`s been reported that she did have a will. We don`t know if it`s confirmed. We don`t know if it`s true. But it would have been older. Daniel would still have been alive at that point, so.

GRACE: Mike Brooks, still questions regarding a criminal investigation.

BROOKS: Absolutely, Nancy. It`s not over with. This is still in the early stages. There`s still a lot of interviews they`re doing right now as we speak. You know, but a lot is still going to rely on that toxicology test coming back. But we still do not know a cause of death or a manner of death, and that`s what they`re looking into right now.

GRACE: Mike Brooks, thank you, as always. And to all of our guests, especially to you for being with us, see you tomorrow night. Good night, friend.

END

Search
© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by CNN.com
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines