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Smith laid to rest after lavish service

Bahamas funeral for Anna Nicole is part soap opera, part circus as feud over her estate and daughter rages on.

March 03, 2007|From the Associated Press

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The guests of honor were feuding. Spectators booed and cheered behind steel barricades. A crew from an entertainment TV program buzzed around a coffin draped in a rhinestone-studded pink cloth.

The funeral here Friday for Anna Nicole Smith -- part soap opera, part circus -- won't end the legal wrangling that began with her death: There is pending legal action over custody of her daughter, who stands to inherit a fortune, and over ownership of a Bahamas mansion Smith used to establish residency in the islands last year.

While Smith was mourned at a lavish memorial service at Mount Horeb Baptist Church, her companion, Howard K. Stern, her mother, Virgie Arthur, and her former boyfriend Larry Birkhead continued their battle for custody of her 5-month-old daughter, Dannielynn. Arthur, Birkhead and Stern took turns eulogizing the 39-year-old Smith, the former Playboy Playmate and reality TV star who died last month in a Florida hotel.

Smith was buried next to her son, Daniel, 20, who died in September of an apparent drug overdose while visiting Smith in the hospital after she gave birth.

In a last-minute bid to stop the burial, Arthur, who wanted her daughter buried in her native Texas, sought to have Supreme Court Justice Anita Adams grant her custody of Smith's body, but the Bahamian judge denied the request just before the service began.

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