Smith's ex says meeting Dannielynn was "one of the greatest things in my life"

By Howard Breuer
Updated March 13, 2007 04:40 PM

Anna Nicole Smith’s former boyfriend Larry Birkhead claims he’s the father of Smith’s baby daughter, Dannielynn – and is so confident about it, he’s already getting his home ready for her.

“I’ve been putting a nursery together, so I’m smiling,” Birkhead said Tuesday after the latest hearing in Los Angeles in a paternity battle over the 6-month-old little girl. “I’m in a good mood.”

In a private session, a judge refused to grant Birkhead’s request that Smith’s companion at the time of her death, Howard K. Stern, take a paternity test. But Superior Court Judge Robert Schnider said he would review the matter and scheduled a follow-up hearing for March 27.

Birkhead’s lawyer, Debra Opri, said after the hearing, “Put up or shut up, that’s what we’re asking for.”

Smith died at age 39 on Feb. 8 of unknown causes and was finally buried on March 2 in the Bahamas.

A number of men have claimed paternity of Dannielynn, who stands to inherit potentially tens of millions of dollars from the estate of Smith’s late husband, Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshal II.

At a press conference Tuesday, attorneys in the paternity dispute between Birkhead and Stern confirmed that there had been private talks in the Bahamas, but Birkhead insisted: “My daughter is not for sale. The only discussions were over whether there will be a DNA test.”

He added that he was happy to have spent time with Dannielynn recently in the Bahamas, where the courts have ordered that she remain until various legal issues are resolved.

“It was one of the greatest things in my life,” he said. “It was magic.”

Stern, who is listed on the baby’s birth certificate as the father, argued that he didn’t have to take a paternity test.

“Howard K. Stern is the presumed father until one of the 12 or whatever people claiming to be Dannielynn’s father can come in and prove it,” said his attorney, James Neavitt.

Paternity may ultimately be decided by a court in the Bahamas, and the issue could be put on hold while the courts sort out Smith’s will, lawyers said.

“This is going to take months,” Neavitt said.