Bahamas Mansion Added To Anna Nicole Drama

Godfrey Pinder, a Bahamian attorney for G. Ben Thompson, a former lover to TV star Anna Nicole Smith, speaks with reporters outside Thompson's home in Nassau, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2007. AP

The locks at the Bahamas mansion where Anna Nicole Smith had been living were changed Saturday for the second time in 24 hours, as a lawyer for the late reality TV star said he had retaken possession of the estate.

Outside the gated mansion known as "Horizons," attorney Wayne Munroe also told a small scrum of reporters that he had filed a robbery complaint with police over computer equipment and other personal effects allegedly taken from the home. He did not disclose further details.

The 39-year-old former Playboy playmate, who died at a Florida hotel on Thursday, had claimed that U.S. developer and former boyfriend G. Ben Thompson bought her the house as a gift.

The impromptu press conference outside the mansion's gates came several hours after Godfrey Pinder, an attorney for Thompson, announced he had taken control of the residence in the exclusive New Providence neighborhood by changing the locks on Friday on behalf of his client. Thompson has said he bought the house and that the residence was on loan to Smith, with whom he had a brief relationship.

But Munroe said the property belongs to Howard K. Stern — Smith's companion, who is listed on a birth certificate as the father of Smith's 5-month-old daughter, Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern.

He added that he did not know the whereabouts of Dannielynn, who is at the center of a broadening legal battle, but emphasized that Stern is due custody of the baby.

"As the other registered parent, Howard Stern has the right to speak to the custody of Dannielynn. That has to be respected unless and until a court — not a person — says otherwise," Munroe said, standing next to Pinder.

Smith's ownership of the mansion was the basis of her claim to residency in the Bahamas. In a lawsuit, Smith asked a court to recognize her as the owner and reject a claim on the house by Thompson, a South Carolina developer.

The island chain's Supreme Court has scheduled a Feb. 26 hearing on the matter, Munroe said.

Witnesses reported seeing Stern inside the mansion with TV crews shortly before the attorneys spoke to reporters, and Munroe confirmed that he was in Nassau. Several SUVs with black-tinted windows exited the gated mansion's grounds earlier.

Earlier in the day, Pinder said Bahamian Immigration Minister Shane Gibson's mother was permitted into the waterfront home late Friday to remove some of Smith's personal effects, including clothes and jewelry. The government official was a friend of the late reality TV star.

And on Friday, a pickup carried a crib and an infant's car seat from the mansion to Gibson's house in the middle-class Marathon area. Later, a baby could be heard crying inside the house. Gibson did not return calls seeking comment Saturday.

The exact whereabouts of Dannielynn, who was not with Smith on Thursday when she died in Florida, were unclear Saturday.

Experts say the decision of who receives custody could determine the child's inheritance. Smith was in a long legal battle over the fortune of her late husband, Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II.

Smith's mother arrived Friday in Nassau, where the late star's son died last year under mysterious circumstances, to check on the welfare of her granddaughter, according to Reginald Ferguson, assistant commissioner for the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

Arthur, who was reportedly staying in a resort in Nassau's famed Cable Beach, could not be reached for comment Saturday. She told ABC's "Good Morning America" that she believes her daughter died from a drug overdose.

A birth certificate for Dannielynn lists Stern as the girl's father, but two other men have challenged for paternity. A former boyfriend, Larry Birkhead, has filed suit claiming he is the father. On Friday, Prince Frederic von Anhalt, the husband of actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, announced that he had a decade-long affair with Smith and may be the girl's father.

And the New York Daily News reported Saturday that a manuscript it obtained by Smith's half-sister, Donna Hogan, says Smith froze the sperm of her 90-year-old oilman husband, J. Howard Marshall, before his death and may have used it to become pregnant.

Smith gave birth to Dannielynn on Sept. 7. Three days later, her 20-year-old son, Daniel Smith, died while visiting her in the hospital. A medical examiner hired by the family concluded he died from an accidental combination of methadone and antidepressants, but results of an official autopsy have not been released.
  • James Klatell

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