Battle for Smith's Baby Intensifies As Mother Declares Stern Isn't the Father

ByABC News via via logo

Feb. 12, 2007 — -- In the wake of Anna Nicole Smith's death, a fierce and unpredictable custody battle for her 5-month-old daughter Dannielynn has ensued.

Now, Smith's final companion, Howard K. Stern, has said the baby girl is the only thing keeping him alive. He's determined not to let Smith's mother, Virgie Arthur, ever see her. At the same time, Arthur has said that Stern is not Daniellynn's father. She wants to make sure the baby is with her real father, in a safe place.

Arthur is in the Bahamas trying to see her grandchild. In an exclusive interview with ABC's Chris Cuomo, she said Stern refuses to talk to her or let her see the baby.

"He won't talk to me," she said. "I saw him on TV and he said ... 'you'll never see her as long as I'm alive.'"

Arthur is convinced that Stern is not Daniellynn's dad. She believes that Larry Birkhead, Smith's ex-boyfriend who is also fighting for custody of the baby, is really the father.

"I think Larry Birkhead is the father. I don't have a problem with [Danniellynn] being with Larry Birkhead, I do have a problem with her being with Howard Stern," she said.

Arthur asserted she doesn't want custody of the baby.

"I don't want possession of her, I want to know if she's in a safe place," she said. "I want them to do a DNA test and I want her to be put with her father."

She also shot down any suggestion that she's interested in the millions of dollars Daniellynn could inherit.

"The money has nothing to do with that baby," Arthur said. "If Howard wants the money, give him the money. Just give us the baby."

As for Stern, in an interview with Entertainment Tonight reporter Mark Steines, he said Daniellynn is the only thing keeping him alive.

"If it wasn't for Daniellynn ... it's the only reason why I'm here," Stern said. "[Arthur is] trying to get the baby ... [I] despise that woman ... as long as I have one breath left in my body ... that woman will not see Daniellynn."

Stern maintains he is Daniellynn's father. According to Steines, Stern and Daniellynn had an emotional connection during the interview.

"He rushed to that baby, that's the one thing that's keeping him strong," Steines said. "He clutched her, he held her for what seemed like an eternity."

Stern told Steines about a break-in that occurred at Smith's house shortly after her death. According to Stern, all of her personal items were stolen, including Daniellynn's birth certificate. Stern said he knows who committed the crime.

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