Anna Nicole Weds for "Shot of Emotional Adrenaline"

ByABC News
September 30, 2006, 8:24 AM

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.

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.