Battle grows for control of Smith’s body

first_imgStern claims he is executor of Smith’s will and wants to have her buried next to her son in the Bahamas; Arthur wants her daughter buried in her home state of Texas; and Birkhead simply wants to prove he is the father of Dannielynn, who potentially could inherit millions. For now, though, the judge said Smith’s body would stay where it was. “This body belongs to me right now,” he said. “This body’s not leaving Broward County till I make the ruling.” Smith, 39, died Feb. 8 after collapsing at a hotel. She was a Playboy Playmate of the Year and the widow of Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II, whom she married in 1994 when he was 89 and she was 26. She had been fighting his family over his fortune since his death in 1995. On Wednesday morning, a case filed by Birkhead prompted a brief hearing before Circuit Judge Lawrence Korda in the court’s family division. Korda ordered Smith’s body temporarily retained by the morgue, following an earlier ruling in California. FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The bickering over Anna Nicole Smith spiraled into a post-mortem legal war Wednesday, with judges on both coasts issuing rulings and a parade of lawyers fighting for control of the body. At the end of the day, though, Smith’s remains still were at the medical examiner’s office, and a judge here said the dispute could be lengthy. “We’re going to have hearings, as many hearings as we need,” Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin said at the start of afternoon proceedings. “This is just a warm-up.” At least three people are seeking control of Smith’s body – her longtime companion Howard K. Stern, her estranged mother, Vergie Arthur, and photographer Larry Birkhead, who claims to have fathered the model’s 5-month-old daughter, Dannielynn. But a Los Angeles judge later Wednesday lifted the ruling that the body be held. It appeared the case would become solely under Seidlin’s jurisdiction in probate court in Florida. When discussion resumes this morning, the judge will hear more of the sordid drama that has evolved since Smith’s death. Stern’s filing Wednesday acknowledges that Smith’s will makes no mention of where she wanted to be buried, but his attorneys claim that he is authorized to make her funeral arrangements. The petition includes affidavits from Smith’s bodyguard, her physician, a neighbor and a friend stating that the one-time reality television star wanted a Bahamas burial with her son. “It is very clear what she wanted,” said Krista Barth, a lawyer for Stern. “I think we all know Anna wants to be next to Daniel, and anything else is a tragedy.” Stern’s attorneys provided a transcript of interviews Smith gave to “Entertainment Tonight” in October in which she said Arthur was her birth mother but nothing more. “You want to hear all the things she did to me? You want to hear all the things she let my father do to me or my brother do to me? Or my sister?” she said, according to the transcript. “All the beatings and the whippin’s and the rape? That’s my mother. That’s my mom.” Arthur’s attorney, Stephen Tunstall, did not comment on the specifics alleged in the Stern filing, though he did say the mother had become estranged from Smith over drug use. But he added that none of it made any difference now. “Since the dawn of civilization, the next of kin has been given the rights and responsibility of their dead,” Tunstall said. As for Birkhead, his attorneys say he simply wants to ensure that he gets a DNA sample that has not been tampered with and that they had no interest in the burial. “We don’t care about the body,” said one of the lawyers, Susan Brown. Broward County medical examiner Joshua Perper warned that Smith’s corpse is decomposing and should be released. Her body will remain refrigerated until the judge rules. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Cult of Southgate grows, England W Cup fever mounts

first_img0Shares0000Gareth Southgate is nearing sainthood status in England © AFP / Yuri CORTEZLONDON, United Kingdom, Jul 8 – England is basking in unexpected World Cup success as coach Gareth Southgate is elevated to national hero status, cathedral organs belt out football anthems and the country prepares to shut down for Wednesday’s semi-final.Clean-cut, waistcoated manager Southgate was not even supposed to be in Russia. Now he’s about to lead England against Croatia with a place in Sunday’s final beckoning. When the 47-year-old was appointed in November 2016 after Sam Allardyce left his post following a newspaper sting after just 67 days in charge, there was little fanfare.That’s all changed now. “Southgreat” trumpeted the Sun on Sunday. “Cry God for Harry, England and St George!” said the Sunday Telegraph.England, basking in a long summer heatwave, is starting to believe the team can reach their first final since 1966 after the young side saw off Sweden 2-0 in the quarter-finals on Saturday.Almost 20 million people in Britain tuned in, not accounting for the many more who watched in pubs and public viewing areas.Streets were deserted as people crammed into sweaty pubs, gathered around big screens or stayed home to watch the national side reach the last four of a World Cup for the first time in 28 years.Marks and Spencer, official tailors to the England team, declared Saturday #NationalWaistcoatDay in honour of Southgate and the team.England coach Gareth Southgate and captain Harry Kane celebrate their World Cup quarter-final victory against Sweden © AFP / Alexander NEMENOVThe manager has even been promised a lifetime supply of waistcoats from a firm in London.“I’m so impressed with Southgate’s performance, and with his choice of attire,” the founder Sir Plus, Henry Hales, told the London Evening Standard.Exeter Cathedral, in southwest England, tweeted a video of an organist playing the unofficial team anthem “Three Lions (Football’s Coming Home)” in an tweet entitled “To Russia With Love”.The song itself, released by the Lightning Seeds and comedians Frank Skinner and David Baddiel for Euro ’96, hosted in England, is storming up the charts again.Fans have also adapted another song, “Whole Again” by Atomic Kitten.“Looking back on when we first met, I cannot escape it, I cannot forget,” the fans chant.“Southgate you’re the one. You still turn me on and football’s coming home again.”– Social media star –Southgate was an accomplished defender for England and a clutch of Premier League clubs, but his managerial experience is limited to a spell at Middlesbrough and with the England Under-21sHe famously appeared in a pizza advertisement that played on his penalty miss in the Euro 96 semi-final shootout against eventual champions Germany.But he has gone from fall guy to hero, taking social media by storm, with the hashtag #GarethSouthgateWould used thousands of times by people imagining how he would help them out.“#GarethSouthgateWould siphon the petrol out of his own car and put it into yours, if he saw you parked up on the hard shoulder on a motorway out of fuel. He’d wave you off, then he’d wait for the AA (Automobile Association) to come get him, because that was his last few drops,” tweeted @DrawtyDevil.AmnestyUK tweeted: “#GarethSouthgateWould ensure we retain all our hard-won #humanrights after #Brexit.”Former British Paralympian Tanni Grey-Thompson tweeted: “#GarethSouthgateWould come all the way to London to make sure there was a ramp to get me off the train when he was only popping to Boro to get some milk.”Twitter user Claire Eubank tweeted a radically altered version of The Lord’s Prayer.“Our Gareth, who art in Samara, Hallowed be thy waistcoat…. For Thine is the semis, The Final and the Glory, For ever and ever. #It’s Coming Home.”Southgate’s rising profile has been a bonanza for lookalike airline pilot Neil Rowe, who even managed to temporarily fool BBC TV presenter and former England international Gary Lineker when he spied him in the crowd during the match against Sweden.“I signed kids’ napkins in McDonald’s in 96 after he missed the penalty, have been shouted at by Colombian fans and got free beers in the Irish bar,” Rowe told the BBC.Perhaps, though, the Daily Mirror summed it up best as to why Southgate has wowed the English public.“He is a gentleman.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more