Anna Nicole Smith’s mother received permission to see the former Playboy Playmate’s daughter, her lawyer said.
Virgie Arthur planned to go to the gated, waterfront house where her five-month-old granddaughter is living with Smith’s companion, Howard J Stern, last night before boarding a flight to Florida for a court hearing in her effort to have her daughter buried in Texas instead of the Bahamas, said lawyer Deborah Rose.
“She will see the baby and she will be in Florida,” Rose told reporters.
Arthur was in the Bahamas to attend court hearings on her bid to gain custody of Smith’s daughter, Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern, from the former model’s partner, Howard Stern.
On Monday, one of the mother’s other lawyers, John O’Quinn, said Stern had denied her permission to visit the infant.
Larry Birkhead, a former Smith boyfriend who claims he is Dannielynn’s father and is also seeking custody, met the baby for the first time on Sunday night, the television show The Insider reported.
Rose and Arthur were in court yesterday for a brief hearing but the lawyer said it was only for a “small technical procedure”.
She said permission for the visit with Dannielynn did not come from the court, but she declined to say who authorised it, citing Bahamian legal rules that bar her from discussing a case involving a child.
“She’s in mourning having lost her daughter and grandson both within the last five months,” Rose said. “Our objective is really to assist our client in having access to her granddaughter and foremost to ensure the best interests and welfare of the child are secured.”
Arthur, who appealed a decision to bring Smith’s body to the Bahamas for burial, still wants her daughter interred in her native Texas, her attorney said.
“That’s her daughter and that’s family,” Rose said.
The dispute over where to bury Smith’s body has dragged on for more than two weeks since Smith, 39, died in Florida on February 8.
Stern wants her buried in a Nassau cemetery beside the unmarked grave of her son Daniel, who died while visiting her last year three days before she gave birth to Dannielynn.
A private examiner concluded that Daniel Smith, 20, died from a lethal combination of methadone and two antidepressants.
A jury inquest into his death has been scheduled for March 26.