Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Anna Nicole's Will Names Stern; Was Wedding in Works?

Where there's a will, there's an executor. And where there's Anna Nicole Smith's will, there's a trail of contention.

Smith's Los Angeles-based attorney, Ron Rale, appeared on CNN's Larry King Live Monday, saying that Smith had indeed written a will and that both he and Howard K. Stern were named as its executors.

"I'll represent right now that I will be working in a capacity on behalf of her estate...there is a will that was executed by Anna Nicole," he said. "Just to be specific, Howard [K.] Stern is named first as executor. And I'm the second executor."

While Rale claimed that he had in fact seen the will, written by Smith in 2001 (while son Daniel was still alive and daughter Dannielynn still five years away), the lawyer did not disclose what was contained within the document. He did say that he was still uncertain as to how her estate, and the potential $474 million she stands to inherit from her oil tycoon ex-husband J. Howard Marshall II, would be allocated.

"How it's going to unfold, I can't tell you right now. But that's—this is developing for us, too."

"We're kind of jumping ahead because there's no probate officially pending right now."

Rale was joined by several more Anna Nicole Smith players on the show, including Stern's sister, Bonnie Stern, who defended allegations that her brother was somehow a party to either Smith's death last week or Daniel's death last September, saying that reports painting him as some sort of ill-intentioned puppetmaster could not be further from the truth.

"Anna Nicole controlled what Anna Nicole did," she said. "He did not feed her pills. He did not get her medication. Anna Nicole got her own medication and she did what she wanted to do."

Her statement conflicts with reports last week that Smith was taking prescription medication at the time of her death that had Stern's name on the labels. Seminole Police in Hollywood, Florida, where Smith died last week, confirmed that pills were present in her hotel room; however, officials declined to reveal whose name was on the prescription.

As for Smith's death, Bonnie Stern said that her brother was "completely devastated."

"He was freezing, sweating, under the covers, crying, just completely devastated. His whole world was gone, is the way he put it. 'My whole world is gone.' "

In a later interview with the Associated Press, Stern's sister confirmed that Stern was not in the room with Smith when she collapsed at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel on Thursday, but that he had been aware she was sick.

Bonnie Stern said that her brother told her Smith had been running a 105-degree fever throughout the morning and that the private nurse, who later found Smith's body, had been "icing her down."

"When he left her, she was sleeping," she said. She also claimed her brother was gone from the room—to where she didn't say—for just two hours before learning of Smith's death.

According to a 911 tape released by the Hollywood police department Tuesday, Smith was unconscious and not breathing when her private nurse, whose name has not yet been released, found her.

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