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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Anna Nicole Smith's Burial Friday in the Bahamas
Aired February 28, 2007 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY "ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT")
HOWARD K. STERN: I feel, you know, like grateful and relieved that I know Anna is going to be with Daniel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Finally, a Florida court rules today that Anna Nicole Smith's body will go back to the Bahamas to be buried Friday next to her son. And her mother will not appeal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. JOSHUA PERPER, BROWARD COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINER: I really hope that the body is in such condition that a second viewing would be possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: But the question still remains, who is Dannielynn's daddy?
Today, another Florida court throws that to the Bahamas to decide.
We've got all the latest with Anna Nicole's close friends preparing for Friday morning's funeral. And we're in Florida and the Bahamas with all the attorneys involved in today's courtroom dramas.
It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
We begin with the reporters on the scene in West Palm Beach.
Here's Jean Casarez of Court TV News, who has been covering the legal battles throughout.
In Los Angeles, Harvey Levin, the managing editor of Tmz.com, an attorney, as well as a prominent journalist.
And in the Bahamas, Carlos Diaz, correspondent for the syndicated TV show "Extra."
Let's start with Jean Casarez.
Was today's ruling a surprise?
JEAN CASAREZ, COURT TV CORRESPONDENT: I don't think it was. The 4th District Court of Appeals actually affirmed the lower court decision, saying we may not agree with the reasoning, but we do agree that Anna Nicole Smith needs to go to the Bahamas and be laid to rest with her son.
They didn't focus on statutes, they focused on her intent. Not only had she purchased plots, but she had told people that she wanted to be buried with her son in the Bahamas if anything happened to her.
And then 50 miles away, at the Broward County courthouse, two other decisions came down. This in the area of paternity.
Number one, the family court judge ruled that, yes, he did have jurisdiction over DNA from Anna Nicole's body, he would give that to Larry Birkhead's experts so they could hold it. In fact, if they wanted to test it along with the baby when that point of time comes.
KING: All right.
"Entertainment Tonight" got an exclusive interview with Howard Stern after today's ruling.
Here's a little of what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY "ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT")
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Howard, I was here a few minutes ago when the news broke. The court ruled Anna is coming home.
STERN: I see.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you feel?
STERN: I feel very relieved.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes?
STERN: I feel like the court got it right because they didn't focus on me and they didn't focus on Virgie Arthur, but they focused on what Anna's intent was.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
STERN: I think that that's very important, that it's what Anna wanted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
STERN: She wanted to be in the Bahamas with Daniel, and that's what's going to be carried out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Harvey Levin in Los Angeles, who always has something we didn't know before, what do you have tonight?
HARVEY LEVIN, MANAGING EDITOR, TMZ.COM: Well, Larry, I think paternity is now a done deal. What I am hearing from multiple sources connected with this is the following, that Howard K. Stern has all but conceded that Larry Birkhead is the father. Birkhead wants this kid and that's it.
I am told there is horse trading going on, that Howard K. Stern is living in this house called The Horizons and he tried to float the idea of trading Anna's house that she bought in the Bahamas and the boat that she bought for Horizons.
She went to the owners of Horizons, Ford Shelly and Ben Thompson, and they shut him down. Then I'm told he is also trying to get some kind of control, financial control, over the estate that Dannielynn will inherit. That is not to say that he's going to try to raid the assets, but he wants a part of this, a piece of this, if you will, and I know that that is now the subject of these negotiations.
Paternity, I think, is a done deal.
KING: Carlos, if that's true, doesn't that tell you that Mr. Stern is basically in this for money?
CARLOS DIAZ, "EXTRA" CORRESPONDENT: Well, it might -- that might be the case. It might be what you're reading out of this. It might also be that he, you know, maybe has a heart and wants, you know, the baby to be with the rightful father, you know, Mr. Birkhead, you know, in this situation.
The thing you have to realize, too, is, you know, we're all waiting for this funeral to happen on Friday down here in the Bahamas. Keep one thing in mind here -- Howard K. Stern is not running this funeral. A lot of people are talking about his guest list, who he wants to be at this funeral.
The funeral belongs to Dannielynn and the guardian, which was assigned by the courts, Richard Milstein. He's the one who's basically controlling the funeral down here. So the people who are invited to the funeral, it can be anyone from Virgie Arthur's people to Howard K. Stern's people, even Larry Birkhead's people.
KING: We have an e-mail question from Gail (ph) in Summerside, Prince Edward Island: "I'd like to know why they just don't cremate the body and all the parties involved and have some ashes and bury them or do as they wish with them."
CASAREZ: Well, her intent was to be buried, because she had purchased plots and one was for herself. One was for her son. I think four people altogether can fit. So her intent was not to be cremated.
KING: What do you make of Harvey's story, Jean? CASAREZ: I think it probably has a lot of truth to it. Harvey always is right on the money. And I think that we've seen people come and go from the home in the Bahamas. I think negotiations -- remember, there is a right of publicity for Anna Nicole Smith, for years to come, her likeness, in so many ways. There's money to be had from that. And my guess Howard K. Stern wants some of that.
KING: Harvey, is it pretty much assumed now that Larry is the father?
LEVIN: It is. From what I'm hearing, this is hardly a debate anymore. And, again, Larry, I go back to the money issue. And I think one of the most stunning things I've seen since this -- this all started, we got the death certificate today. And if you look at how Howard Stern is referred to on that death certificate, you would think that it might say partner, partner in life, something like that. It says nominated executor.
And we contacted the people who were responsible for the certificate and they say they put down what they're told to put down.
So Howard K. Stern, the day she died or the day after, because that's when this was signed, said he was the nominated executor. I find that a stunning way of referring to the relationship.
Carlos Diaz, do you expect on Friday a zoo?
DIAZ: Yes, it'll definitely be a zoo down here. We're talking about a 10:30 in the morning funeral. We're talking about the body getting down here some time tomorrow. The funeral happening at 10:30. It was a complete zoo on Monday in the courthouse, in the courtroom heading to the courthouse, even more so than when I was in Fort Lauderdale earlier this week.
So if this week is an earlier indication -- earlier this week is an indication, the funeral will be a zoo. But it will be closed off to much of the media. So it'll be a zoo outside, but not inside, media-wise.
KING: Thanks, guys.
Up next, Howard Stern's attorneys talk about their client's next move.
As we go to break, more of "E.T.'s" executive Howard Stern interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY "ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT")
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there closure now, or the beginning of closure, for you?
STERN: Well, there's not closure yet but just -- just I feel, you know, grateful and relieved that I know Anna is going to be with Daniel, which is important to me because that's -- I couldn't have lived with myself if that didn't happen.
KING: Joining us now from Fort Lauderdale is Howard Stern's successful attorney team. They are Ron Rale, the attorney for Anna Nicole Smith and Howard Stern; Krista Barth, the attorney for Howard Stern; and June Hoffman, appellate attorney for Howard Stern.
Before we get into other things, Anna's mom Virgie was -- got to meet Dannielynn for the first time last night. Howard Stern was there.
Here's what he told "Entertainment Tonight" about that meeting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY "ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT")
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You showed a lot of cooperation last night when Virgie came here.
What was the mood like?
STERN: She watched Dannielynn sleep for 15 minutes. I wasn't going to let her wake her up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, really?
STERN: I would not let Virgie alone with Dannielynn. No, that's not going to happen. That you'd need a court order for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: All right, Ron Rale, would you consider this a success today?
RON RALE, ATTORNEY FOR ANNA NICOLE SMITH: A huge success, Larry.
We're real happy about it and it was a success in any way possible.
KING: Krista, why was Howard so adamant that he wouldn't leave her, the mother, alone with her granddaughter?
KRISTA BARTH, ATTORNEY FOR HOWARD K. STERN: Well, I'm not sure, Larry. But I think there are numerous reasons, and some of which were stated in Anna's video that was played during the court. I think it was very clear that Anna was very concerned about her mother ever being near that baby. And I think Howard is trying to protect Dannielynn.
KING: Where is Howard right now, June?
JUNE HOFFMAN, APPELLATE ATTORNEY FOR HOWARD K. STERN: He is in the Bahamas with Dannielynn.
KING: Getting ready for the funeral on Friday morning?
KING: Ron Rale, what do you make of the story we just heard that there's some sort of agreement going on between Larry and Howard that Larry will get the baby, Howard will get part of the funds, some will be to trustee, Larry will return home?
What's going on?
RALE: I'm so glad you asked me that question. And I think that was from Harvey Levin, where you got that information.
RALE: You know, I never knew what TMZ was until this case started and I'm just shocked that Harvey Levin has no clue about what he's talking about. That is absolutely false. There is no -- there is no foundation to what he's saying. That's a legal objection but he -- it's -- he's clueless. And I'm just shocked that he brings that stuff forward without, you know, verifying his source.
This is the same guy that, during the trial, I believe, published something on his Web site that Howard and I conspired to do something about Anna's estate plan prior to her death based on the header on a fax which came from my house, which my home fax has the wrong date and the phone number on there was a number that I had three houses ago.
So if Harvey Levin would have had the decency to give me a call, I could have explained it to him before he published it on his Web site.
Similar to this story that you just heard, absolute falsity.
KING: All right.
Krista, there does, though, appear to be some sort of friendliness between Howard and Larry.
Is that not correct?
BARTH: That is correct, Larry. I think that right now Mr. Birkhead and Mr. Stern are working together, alongside Mr. Milstein, both of them working hard to make Anna's funeral a beautiful and memorable event that would make Anna proud and someday, hopefully, will make Dannielynn proud.
KING: June, is Howard about to admit that he is not the biological father?
HOFFMAN: I actually have not been involved with that aspect of the case, strictly with respect to the return of Anna's remains to her son. I would defer to Krista or Ron on any of those issues.
RALE: In terms of whether Howard is the biological father?
RALE: Well, he really thinks that he is. And, you know, if you really look at the time line, Larry Birkhead's allegations that he's the natural father has to be that the baby is premature, because he's declared, under penalty of perjury, that he only was with Anna after January 1st, I believe. And based on his time line, the baby would have had to be premature. And the baby was not premature.
But, again, you know, we don't know. Eventually the DNA will show who the father is. But Howard has, you know, really good odds of being the father.
KING: We have an e-mail question from Debbie (ph) in Beaverton, Oregon: "Larry Birkhead, Anna Nicole Smith's mother and Howard K. Stern's attorneys, fees have to be out of sight. How are you being paid? What about expenses, the involvement of the California, Florida and Bahamian courts, travel costs? Most people would not be able to afford this. Are the attorneys doing it for the exposure or themselves -- for themselves?" rather.
BARTH: I can -- it's really not appropriate for me to speak to my fee arrangement other than that I am being paid by Mr. Stern individually for this. Even though it would probably be a proper payment out of the estate, he's going to pay me. This was very important to him. And he did borrow some money from his mom and dad for some cost advance.
You have not seen any of us jetting around in private planes that have been paid for or things that are kind of extraordinary. This is just kind of, for us, down and dirty. And I am not a $1,200 an hour lawyer. So maybe that question would best be posed to Miss. Arthur's lawyers.
KING: June, the never ending question -- when will Howard, to your knowledge, submit to a DNA?
HOFFMAN: Honestly, Larry, I am not privy to those details because I've had a very limited involvement with respect to the Florida proceedings. I would defer to Ron or Krista, who have direct contact with Ron -- with Howard -- on those issues.
RALE: There were issues...
KING: Ron, do you know?
RALE: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE) set forth.
KING: Ron, it seems fairly simple, do it or don't do it.
RALE: Well, I mean, you know, it's never been an issue of whether Howard had to submit to DNA. Now suddenly they're trying to make him a party. Really, to determine Larry Birkhead's paternity, just get his and Dannielynn's.
Now we're going back to the Bahamas, just like all along, when I talked to you originally and how we -- the way we've maintained our position all the way since the case started in L.A. it should have been in the Bahamas the whole time. We would have already had results.
And as I understand, it's going to move forward expeditiously there and we'll probably have DNA testing.
We could have avoided all of this -- all of these charades in two different states before getting to the Bahamas.
KING: One e-mail from Mary in St. Charles, Iowa: "Was Anna Nicole Smith persuaded to move to the Bahamas by Howard Stern, knowing laws there pertaining to baby's parental rights?"
BARTH: I'm glad you asked me that question, because Mr. Shelly answered that on his direct examination. He indicated that Anna Nicole had sought him out and his father for assistance in moving away from the paparazzi and all the media attention, which certainly, knowing what's going on now, I can understand Anna's feelings.
But he indicated -- and he was not our witness, Larry -- that they were the ones that assisted Anna in the concept of moving to the Bahamas, but that initially Anna's desire was to get away from the photographers and the media exposure and raise her baby.
KING: Thank you all very much.
When we come back, the attorneys for Larry Birkhead and the attorney for Anna Nicole's mother, Virgie Arthur.
We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY ACCESS HOLLYWOOD)
LARRY BIRKHEAD: And I just, I kept seeing her face over and over. And I said she's still here. She's right there. She hasn't gone anywhere. And I just kept saying no, no, not now. Please, don't. I -- I said our daughter needs you. Don't. You can't go now.
I was screaming at the TV and said you've got to help me. No. Don't let her go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorrow and anguish flood Larry Birkhead's memory of the day Anna died.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: Tomorrow night, ABC Newsman Bob Woodruff is our special guest. It's his first live prime time interview on the Iraqi roadside bomb that nearly killed him last year.
So our text vote question of the night is: should reporters be embedded with military troops in Iraq?
Text your vote to CNN TV from your cell phone, text King A for yes, King B for no, and we'll reveal the results on tomorrow night's show, with ABC News' Bob Woodruff.
Last night we asked you: "Do you think Larry Birkhead is Dannielynn's father?"
Eighty-six percent of you text voted yes.
We welcome, in Fort Lauderdale, Susan Brown, the attorney for Larry Birkhead, and Robert Mellinger, the Florida appellate attorney, also for Larry Birkhead.
Susan, does that poll surprise you?
SUSAN BROWN, LARRY BIRKHEAD'S FLORIDA ATTORNEY: Not at all. Larry's undisputed testimony was he was 110 percent sure that he is the father. Contrary to what Howard Stern's people said, his testimony was he had access at the time of conception. And I would be shocked if he wasn't the father.
He is convinced and his conduct is consistent with someone who is the father.
KING: Today's decision that the DNA can be released to the California court, Anna Nicole's DNA, does that mean you're making progress, Robert?
ROBERT MELLINGER, BIRKHEAD'S FLORIDA APPELLATE ATTORNEY: Absolutely.
We basically have two prongs of the matter taking care of with the DNA of Larry, which we've had all along, and now with the mother and then finally we will need that of Dannielynn and the matter will be completed.
KING: But, Susan, that same judge refused a DNA order for Dannielynn.
So what do you do?
BROWN: Well, there's other places we can proceed. Obviously, there's a gag order in the Bahamas. But there is a case pending in the Bahamas. That was something we attempted to do. We really didn't think we were going to prevail, but we gave it a shot because the California judge and the Florida judge were communicating.
We are very thrilled with the judge's decision, both at the trial level and the appellate level. KING: We have an e-mail question from Rene (ph) in Louisville, Kentucky: "If Larry Birkhead is the father, once DNA is taken, how long will it take for him to take custody of the baby?"
MELLINGER: Well, now we're dealing with the Bahamian forum and it's pursuant to the laws of the Bahamas and whatever their procedural time will take. I mean we've heard that it could take maybe two months, it could take longer. But you really would need to speak to the Bahamian counsel there to really get a better idea of how that's proceeding.
KING: Susan, if you get a DNA from the baby and a DNA from Larry and a DNA from the mother, you don't need Howard Stern, do you?
BROWN: That is correct. And we're confident it's going to show that Larry is the father.
KING: So he would -- a DNA from him would -- from Howard -- would be moot?
BROWN: It would be moot. But I'd like to know why Mr. Stern has maintained he's the father and not stepped up to the plate and given a sample and not produced that baby.
KING: And, Robert, are they appearing to be friendlier, Howard and Larry?
MELLINGER: Well, I mean at the present time, they're dealing -- cooperating as far as the funeral arrangements and they both have a, you know -- trying to do what's best in the memory Anna Nicole. So they are cooperating as far as that particular matter.
KING: Thank you, Susan Brown, Larry -- Robert Mellinger.
Let's go to Houston, Texas and John O'Quinn, the attorney for Anna Nicole's mother, Virgie Arthur, who lost her legal appeal today.
Were you surprised at that, John?
JOHN O'QUINN, ATTORNEY FOR ANNA NICOLE'S MOTHER, VIRGIE ARTHUR: I was very surprised at that. You know, the case was tried in the media and the O.J. Simpson trial taught us a case tried in the media is generally not well tried. It is not -- the truth does not ultimately come out.
KING: Is your client going to go to the funeral?
O'QUINN: I believe she will be at the funeral, yes, Larry.
KING: Yesterday, she got to see her granddaughter.
What was it like for her?
O'QUINN: Well, Stern would not let her touch or hold her granddaughter. So it was like a bad experience for Virgie.
KING: Do you expect any future visits? Can you legally press for future visits?
O'QUINN: Yes, we can. I think the Bahamian court system will order that she be allowed to have a real visit with her grandchild.
KING: Why has she decided on no further appeals to the burial site?
O'QUINN: We're told by Florida counsel that the way the Florida court system is set up, you don't really have a good chance to appeal to the Supreme Court. They have very limited jurisdiction there, extremely limited, even though the decision was a bad decision because of the way they have their Supreme Court set up and the jurisdictional lines drawn, the Supreme Court will not do anything about it.
KING: How is your client feeling?
O'QUINN: Well, she feels very disappointed about it. But she's very hopeful she'll get a chance to hold her granddaughter.
KING: John, we've had you on a few times. We've always talked about Virgie. I haven't asked you your -- your overall view of this whole thing.
O'QUINN: Well, I'll be happy to give you my view of this thing.
I think grandmothers are very important people. Lots of Americans have been raised by grandmothers who have done a very good job and lots of people in the Bahamas have been raised by grandmothers. And I think that there is a just god in this world. And Virgie and I both pray to this god every night that he move the hearts of men and women to cause the right thing to happen.
And I believe ultimately that god will cause that to happen. I think hearts will move and this young child will have a grandmother involved in her life.
KING: So you're saying you think we will find out who the real father is and the real father might be Larry and if it's Larry, then she will have a grandmother?
O'QUINN: Yes, she'll have a grandmother and she'll have a father. And that's good. That's good to find this out. I think -- I take my hat off to Larry Birkhead. He's doing the right thing. And I wish Stern would do the right thing so the child could really know who is my father.
That child will wonder all her life who is my real father. I mean that's an important question to a child.
KING: Courts can be frustratingly slow sometimes, right?
O'QUINN: Yes, they can be. But I don't believe that I -- I was in front of this judge in the Bahamas. He's a remarkable man. KING: Really?
O'QUINN: Yes, he is. And I think he'll run his court in the right way and he'll get to the right decision. I'm trusting in that.
KING: Thank you, John.
Thanks for all your cooperation with us.
O'QUINN: You're very welcome, Larry.
I apologize for the other night. I was unable to do it...
KING: No problem.
O'QUINN: ... to do a better job for you.
KING: You were great.
O'QUINN: Thank you very much.
KING: John O'Quinn.
In our next half hour, a friend of Anna's who was in the house last night when Dannielynn's grandmother saw her for the first time.
And we go to break with more of the "Access Hollywood" interview with Larry Birkhead about the day Anna Nicole died.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY ACCESS HOLLYWOOD)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where were you when you found out that either she had collapsed or that she had passed?
BIRKHEAD: I was sitting in the dentist's chair with half of my mouth numb. And at the dentist's, they had televisions in front of you and this -- the headline said "Anna Nicole Collapses." And the first thing, I thought she was just -- that went through my head of course -- I was kind of numb, but I thought this might -- this is a joke because she had only one more day to pick out the date of the paternity.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So it might be a ploy?
But it was soon very obvious that this was not a ploy.
KING: Joining us now from Nassau in the Bahamas is Patrik Simpson. He and his partner Paul Atteau (ph) were close personal friends of Anna Nicole. They have been helping Howard K. Stern in the aftermath of her death.
We understand, Patrik, that Howard is back in the Bahamas now, right?
PATRIK SIMPSON, SMITH FRIEND: Yes, he is. He's back at home with the baby.
KING: Now what can you tell us about the plans being made for the funeral?
SIMPSON: Well, what I can tell you is that, first of all, I'm wearing pink tonight in memory of Anna, because that was her favorite color, and we are very happy that we can bring her home to lay her next to her son. It's going to be a beautiful, beautiful funeral. It's going to be an intimate gathering of friends and family and it's going to be a perfect send-off to send Anna off.
KING: It's 10:30 Friday morning, is that right, Patrik?
SIMPSON: Yes, that's what I'm told.
KING: Friends and family only?
KING: Nobody sold any rights to the funeral to any periodical or entertainment group?
SIMPSON: Not that I know of. Not at all.
KING: Because that would be like kind of harming the proceedings, don't you think?
SIMPSON: I think that would, absolutely. You have to remember that there is an independent guardian ad litem, Milstein. And he's the one that is responsible in making all of the arrangements and putting everything together, and it is from all three parties.
KING: I know your 15-year-old daughter sang at the funeral of Anna's son Daniel. Will she take part in this funeral?
SIMPSON: I don't know. I don't think so. There is going to be special guest that is going to sing that Anna is going to love. But I think Shelby (ph) is going to be just sitting beside us and mourning the loss of our friend.
KING: Can you tell us who that person is who will sing?
SIMPSON: I have not been told yet, even though I'm staying in the house, they just told me it is going to be something Anna's going to love. And as soon as I know, I'm sure everybody else will know at the same time.
KING: What was the visit like last night when Anna Nicole's mom, Virgie, visited her granddaughter? You were there, right?
SIMPSON: Well, I was there and I left. I was not in the house because I felt that that was a very personal, private moment that Howard and Dannielynn and the grandmother needed to be there themselves. But I did hear that she was not very respectful to Mrs. Gibson. And I did not think that was very nice.
KING: Mrs. Gibson is the lady who is taking care of the baby, right?
SIMPSON: Yes, the woman that is absolutely taking wonderful care of the baby.
KING: Do you know how far from the funeral is the gravesite?
SIMPSON: I do not know yet because I have not been told the official church that it's going to be in. But of course, the world knows, she is going to be next to Daniel so we all know where the cemetery is but I do not know the official church yet.
KING: Will there be less of a party at the gravesite?
SIMPSON: Yes. It's going to be very, very intimate, few family members and few friends that really, really knew Anna and were very integral in the last several months of her life.
KING: Will you be one of them?
SIMPSON: Yes, I am very thankful to Howard that he has invited my family as well.
KING: Will Larry Birkhead be one of them?
SIMPSON: I'm sure Larry will be.
KING: That would be very nice. By the way, one thing, Frank Rodriguez (ph), described as a longtime friend of Anna Nicole, has told "Entertainment Tonight" that she told him that she had lupus. Do you know anything about her having that disease?
SIMPSON: You know, I heard that. I heard that, Larry, and I have never -- I mean, I have never known that at all. And when I heard that -- because I have a friend that has lupus and I never knew Anna to have any of those symptoms. And I'm sure that is something we would have known if that were the case.
KING: Patrik, we certainly appreciate this and we expect maybe you will come back with us Friday night and describe what happened at the funeral?
SIMPSON: I believe several of Anna's really close friends are going to be there for our final tribute to our friend. And, Larry, we are so thankful that today that the judges saw through everything and gave in and basically respected Anna's wishes and she's coming home to the Bahamas to be buried next to her son.
KING: Thank you, Patrik.
SIMPSON: Thank you.
KING: Patrik Simpson. When we come back, a Bahamas celebrity with close connections to Anna Nicole, Howard Stern and the baby Dannielynn. He's also doing a lot of the planning for Anna's Friday funeral. The details when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want her buried with her son in the Bahamas. I want them to be together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's conceivable under Florida law for a child to have two fathers. That's conceivable under Florida law. We, as I talked to Judge Schneider (ph), we have an inclination to prefer a finding of parentage, particularly in the case where this little girl has -- her mom is deceased and there is no certainty with regard to the father and that is probably a better reason why it needs to be established.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Joining us now from Nassau in the Bahamas is Eric Gibson, known to the Bahamians as "King Eric." His ex-wife is caring for Anna Nicole's baby Dannielynn. The father of the former Bahamian immigration minister, Shane Gibson, was friends with Anna and with Howard Stern. He is going to do the music, by the way, for Anna's Bahamian funeral.
How well did you know Anna, Eric?
ERIC GIBSON, SMITH FRIEND: Oh, last five months very well. We have a lot of conversations together. We talked a lot.
KING: Your ex-wife is taking care of the baby. Do you know how long she will be doing that?
GIBSON: Well, I guess as long that is necessary. She had seven of her own so she must know how to take care of that one.
KING: You have had seven children?
GIBSON: Yes, she had seven kids, yes.
KING: How much contact you have had with Dannielynn?
GIBSON: Oh, I would say all the time. She loved to play with my mustache. She has got a big smile on her face and when she played with my mustache she would laugh. She's a happy kid.
KING: How would you describe Anna's behavior with her? I mean, Anna had just lost her son who she loved very much. Was she a doting mother? What was that relationship like?
GIBSON: Oh, she -- Anna was -- in between a little depressed sometimes. The only time we could get her really relaxed is when he we take her out on the boat and on the beach, in the water swimming, and she really turned loose and get relaxed. And she back to her normal self again. So that's why we make a special effort to take her out on the boat all the time.
KING: Eric, do you have any opinions as to who the biological father is?
GIBSON: Well, I don't know who the biological father is. But I know one thing, Anna definitely would want Howard to have -- to take care of that baby. She would -- we had some very close conversations that I would not like to say on air, but she would definitely -- whoever is the father, she recognized Howard as the father for sure, definitely, and nobody else.
KING: Now tell me about...
GIBSON: ... without a doubt.
KING: Tell me about the funeral, Eric. What is it going to be like, do you think?
GIBSON: Oh, I think it is going to be nice. We have one of our staff singer who is going to be singing along with me, Jamie Chill (ph), and Stuart Habert (ph), and these guys are really good singers and they are going to be there. Also I understand there is an international singer that is going to be along with us too. I don't recall his name right now.
KING: Someone famous?
GIBSON: I think it is -- yes. I think it's going to be great. It is going to be good.
KING: Would you say it would be...
KING: Would it be a simple funeral?
GIBSON: I think so. I think it is going to be very simple, very simple, very simple. Howard has always wanted to do what he thinks Anna would like to have done. That's why he asked me to play at the funeral. Because he knows that is what she would like to have done. Me and my old group. She spent the New Year's Eve night with us at one of the islands and he knows that. She loves my music. So we give her last choice to enjoy some of my music.
KING: Your son Shane resigned his government job after a photo was released with him snuggling with Anna Nicole, apparently on her bed. How did all of that affect you?
GIBSON: Oh, that doesn't affect me any. I'm an entertainer. So is Shane. Shane was born an entertainer. I mean, whether it is to hug somebody or embrace somebody or give somebody a kiss. You know, he thrives on that. That's what he does. That's what he does. But I guess it satisfied the people that I think is wrong, I guess he stepped aside momentarily to deal with the situation. I'm sure in short order he will be dealing with those people who wrongfully accused him.
KING: Thank you, Eric. Eric Gibson.
GIBSON: That's a promise.
KING: OK. He's King Eric. He will be at the funeral. He will be performing at the funeral. He tells us that there may be a major international star as one of the singers in what will be apparently a simple ceremony for friends and family only. Joining us now is Anderson Cooper. He will host "AC 360" as per usual at the top of the hour.
What's up tonight, Anderson?
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "ANDERSON COOPER 360": Larry, tonight, have archaeologists really found Jesus' tomb? The claim could change the way 2 billion Christians see the origins of their faith, if it's true, that is. A new documentary claims to have located the tomb of Jesus, Mary Magdalene and a child.
The filmmakers went public on Monday but tonight the controversy heats up as everyone from archbishops to archaeologists weigh in. Some are calling this nothing more than a publicity stunt. Tonight we will look inside the tomb, at the film and the facts.
We will also talk with the filmmaker and the critics so you can decide for yourself who really is buried inside of those graves. "360," Larry, at the top of the hour.
KING: That is "AC 360," 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific.
Still to come, one of the people who will be at Anna's funeral this Friday and what he thinks her final farewell will be like. As we go to break, more from Larry Birkhead on Anna's final day. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Larry finally got a hold of a friend of his who works in the media.
LARRY BIRKHEAD, SMITH BOYFRIEND: And he said, we don't want you to hear about this on -- he said, we don't want you to hear about this on television but it doesn't look good. And I just -- no, I said, no, save her, somebody save her. And I just thought for a second, I was in my car and I just said, I will go save her if they can't, I will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We must all concentrate on getting Anna Nicole buried. It's of urgent nature. We have to lay her to rest. It's something we just have to do as human beings.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We welcome now to LARRY KING LIVE Alex Goen. He's the CEO of Trimspa, which used Anna Nicole smith as its celebrity spokesperson and a close friend of Anna Nicole, her son Daniel, and Howard Stern. And at Nassau in the Bahamas is Peter Nygard, a return visit with Peter, a friend of Anna Nicole's. She modeled, by the way, for his company and they dated for a time.
The body is being released, will be returned to the Bahamas. Do you have a sense of relief about this, Alex?
ALEX GOEN, CEO, TRIMSPA, SMITH FRIEND: I do. I mean, it was clear that Anna wanted to be buried next to her son. I think everyone knew it. Everyone in America knew it. It took way too long. I think it was very unfortunate that Virgie pursued it the way she did. But I think clearly what Anna wanted has now happened.
KING: Are you going down for the funeral?
GOEN: I am.
KING: Peter Nygard, are you happy about this decision?
PETER NYGARD, SMITH FRIEND: Yes, I am. Anna loved the Bahamas and Anna wanted to come to the Bahamas. So this is the right decision.
KING: What do you imagine -- what are you hearing there, Peter, the funeral will be like?
NYGARD: Well, I think, first of all, they are trying to keep it to the closest family but I think it is going to have a lot of people around there. And unfortunately, it's going to be a big show.
KING: Do you think so, Alex? That the word of our entertainment reporter said it could be a zoo.
GOEN: Well, I don't know about the zoo word. I hope it is not going to be a zoo. I remember talking to Anna about Daniel's funeral. I had suggested that they should maybe have a public viewing and she said no, Daniel is very private. He would want it private. And she said, if it was me, I certainly would want it more public, just trying to explain a contrast, she was a public figure.
I think it probably should be public. I think there are a lot of people that would want to have the opportunity to pay their respects. Unfortunately, it is really not in Howard's control or Larry's control or Virgie's control. It's in the guardian's control and the guardian is going to really do what he thinks is the right thing to do.
KING: And he's quite a bright guy, I understand? GOEN: I think he's a very bright guy. I don't know if he knows Anna as well as others but I think he's listening to them.
KING: What do you think, Peter, should it be more private or more public?
NYGARD: No. It definitely should be more public. You know, Anna was a public figure. And there are a lot of people who would like to go to this funeral and should be able to do it.
KING: There are some rumors that "ET" has already paid for the rights to be there at that funeral and film it. Have you heard that, Alex?
GOEN: I have heard the rumors. I'm not really familiar with that. I mean, what I would...
KING: How would you react to it?
GOEN: I would like to see the public be able to pay tribute to Anna, just like the guests are able to pay tribute. I don't think that it should be turned into a media type of circus but I certainly that all of the media should have an opportunity to have the public pay their respects.
I mean, there were a lot of fans of Anna Nicole. Certainly a lot of people watched her because they thought she was a train wreck, but there are other people that really cared about her.
KING: Do you think, though, it's OK to sell the rights to it, even if it went to a charity?
GOEN: Well, I think if you sell the rights to it and they go to Dannielynn Hope, for her good, I think it will be perfectly fine. If anyone else gets the money, I think it would be wrong.
KING: What do you think, Peter?
NYGARD: I think it's wrong to sell the rights. You know, this is definitely a public interest story. Anna was bigger than life as it turned out. And everybody should be part of this. I think to keep it closed like that is just not right. You know, Anna's funeral should be public information. You should not be selling it.
KING: There -- Alex, there are still a lot of billboards out there with your company and Anna's image. You have got to take them down, don't you?
GOEN: Well, we are trying to take them down. I mean, we have got a lot of products that we spent about $1 million of thrown-away packaging. We are taking Anna's images off of the products but you can't do it overnight. We are trying our very, very best and be as respectful as we possibly can.
KING: Peter, do you think we are going to get to the conclusion of who is the biological parent soon? NYGARD: You know, I hope so. I don't agree with Howard's approach on this, you know? And he's making himself look bad. If it was Anna's wish for Howard to be the father and that's what he's doing in carrying out her wish, then come clean with it.
And in my opinion, I think we are just going through another charade here like we did with the funeral arrangements. And going through needless exercise here. We could get to an end of this very easily by letting and deciding whether or not the Bahamian courts will reward Howard for it.
KING: Alex, what do you think?
GOEN: Well, I mean, I think that it's a tough situation. I think Howard is looking to fulfill Anna's wishes. Right now, Anna wanted to get buried next to Daniel and he's really focused on that.
KING: Yes, we know that.
GOEN: I do believe next Howard is going to look seriously at this, and I think that you are going to see a different Howard K. Stern. But keep in mind, all along, all that Anna and Howard asked is, do this in the Bahamas. That was the proper place to do it. And, finally, now it's being done in the Bahamas.
KING: Alex Goen and Peter Nygard, thank you both very much.
And when we come back, the man who performed Anna's autopsy and will accompany her body on its final journey to the island she loved. He will tell us what lies in store for the beauty between now and her final farewell.
KING: Joining us now in West Palm Beach, Dr. Joshua Perper, the Broward County chief medical examiner who conducted the autopsy.
You will accompany the body, is that correct, doctor?
JOSHUA PERPER, BROWARD COUNTY CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER: That's correct. The judge asked me on the bench to do so, and I'm going to honor his request.
KING: When do you go?
PERPER: Well, I am going to go together with the guardian ad litem. And I did not receive yet any kind after announcement but obviously it has to be either tomorrow or very early Friday morning.
KING: What is the process? The body is frozen. Do they have to unfreeze it?
PERPER: Correct, they -- it's not totally frozen. It's just at low temperature but it has to be warmed up. Then cosmetics would be applied to the body. Then the body is going to be dressed in a nice dress and put in a casket. And then the casket will travel to the airport to fly off Florida.
KING: As far as you can tell, will it be fit for viewing?
PERPER: Well, it's difficult to say because I did not see the body since the last viewing. So we will have to make this decision, the embalmers basically will see if they can present the body so that it should be fit for viewing.
KING: When will we have the final autopsy results?
PERPER: In about nine to 10 days.
KING: There's a tabloid reporting that she died of pneumonia. Can you confirm or deny that?
PERPER: Well, I thought the tabloid would rely on some substantial evidence, and don't see any. I don't see any kind of evidence to any of those suggestions and very wild theories.
KING: Did you find any verification of the fact that she was suffering from lupus?
PERPER: I said that I am not going to react to any one of those suggestions because none of them or most of them do not have any substance. We are going to look very carefully to all of the diagnostic possibilities and we are going to exclude the ones that are not there and confirm the one which are.
KING: And when you have the final autopsy, you will appear at a public symposium and address everyone with it?
PERPER: I don't know if it's so grandiose as a symposium, but I will have a press conference. And I'm going to explain very carefully the way in which we arrived to the diagnosis. This was not a straight way because there were surprises and there were all kind of findings of evidence which turned our focus to different areas.
KING: Thank you, Doctor, as always. Dr. Joshua Perper, the Broward County chief medical examiner.
Tomorrow night, ABC newsman Bob Woodruff is our special guest. Bob was nearly killed last year in Iraq while covering the war. So our text vote question of the night is, should reporters be embedded with military troops in Iraq? Text your vote to CNNTV from your cell phone. Text KINGA for yes, and KINGB for no. And we'll reveal the results on tomorrow night's show with ABC News Bob Woodruff. We'll talk about that day that changed his life forever. You can also e- mail your questions for Bob by going to cnn.com/larryking.
And now it's time to turn our attention to Anderson Cooper, the host of "AC 360."
And, Anderson, lots on the plate tonight, what's up?
COOPER: Larry, thanks very much.
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