Sept. 30, 2006 -- Reality TV star Anna Nicole Smith exchanged vows with boyfriend Howard K. Stern on a boat near Nassau but there was no formal marriage and the ceremony is "not legally binding" stated a second attorney for Smith, Michael Scott to ABC News.
"The goal was to exchange vows to reaffirm a commitment they have made to each other. It was also to give them a shot of emotional adrenaline," said Scott.
In answer to questions as to why the couple did not wait for a full marriage, Scott replied: "I don't think that they had time to wait for a marriage license."
"They have been through a trying time, and they have one more very difficult event to go through," Scott said, in reference to the approaching funeral for Smith's son.
The exchange of vows took place aboard a boat off the shore of the Bahamian island of Nassau, just 18 days after the death of Smith's 20-year-old son, Daniel Smith.
Daniel Smith died of a lethal combination of methadone and two antidepressants -- Lexapro and Zoloft. He died in the hospital room where two days earlier his mother had given birth to a daughter.
New Child's Paternity in Doubt
The surprise ceremony stunned even some in Smith's own camp, sources told ABC News. Two days earlier, Stern had told CNN's Larry King Live that Smith was too distraught to appear in public.
"She's having a tough time of it,'' Stern told King. "You know, I can't really imagine being any worse of a condition. I mean she has help. She's doing the best that she can, but she's, you know, this is a really tough thing to deal with."
Stern claims he is the father of Smith's new baby, named Dani Lynn Hope in honor of her deceased half-brother.
But the paternity is in dispute. Smith's former boyfriend, photographer Larry Birkhead, insists that he is the father of the child.
Birkhead said in a statement on his Web site that he wants a paternity test conducted to prove his claim.
Birkhead met Smith at the 2003 Kentucky Derby, where he was assigned to photograph her, he said in an interview with Fox News. The following year, he said that Stern contacted him and invited him to accompany Smith on a promotional tour for a line of diet and nutritional pill products she was promoting.
The following year Smith and Birkhead began to date, according to Birkhead, and the romance continued until last June. It included five months during which he took on the role of expectant father. As he described it on Fox, Birkhead was alternately excited and anxious, accompanying Smith to doctor's visits and helping plan for the child's birth.
When he received a text message from Stern saying he wasn't the father, Birkhead said he confronted Smith.
"She said, 'He's just jealous. Don't listen to him because he thought that he and I should have a baby someday,' as crazy as that sounds,''' Birkhead said.
But he said problems emerged after Smith insisted that Birkhead give up his professional commitments to devote more time to her.
"I was in the middle of some business commitments, also was trying to help her with… things that she needed to get done -- taking her son to school, just little things around the house, trying to satisfy her food cravings, things like that," Birkhead told Fox.
Their relationship ended when Smith sent him out for a pair of Chanel sunglasses one day in June. When he returned without them, "she went ballistic in a hair salon.''
They haven't spoken since, Birkhead told Fox.
Stern told Larry King that he is sure he is the father.
"Based on the timing of when the baby was born, there is really no doubt in either of our minds," he said, referring to Smith and himself.
But he said he wouldn't voluntarily take a DNA test.
"If legally compelled to do so, I will,'' Stern said. "But I'm not going to do any favors for [Birkhead] right now."