With all the constant nuggets and tidbits blasting out of this story on an hourly basis, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the untimely death of Anna Nicole Smith was the most tragic tale you're already getting a bit bored of if you're honest.
But there's nothing to inject a bit of vigour back into the investigation of a just-dead porn actress who kept bottles of methadone in her fridge like a good old-fashioned body-battle over a cadaver. So far the contenders for the title of Anna Nicole Smith Corpse-Winner 2007 include Howard K Stern – Anna Nicole Smith's lawyer and possible babydaddy; Larry Birkhead – Anna Nicole Smith's ex-boyfriend and possible babydaddy; and Vergie Arthur – Anna Nicole Smith's estranged mother and almost certainly not her babydaddy. And until a judge decides which of these three lucky people gets to take the lifeless body of Anna Nicole Smith home with them, Anna Nicole Smith has to stay in a morgue which, considering the things we hear – but can't legally prove – go on in those places, probably isn't the best place for her.
It seems that Anna Nicole Smith is even more famous in death than she ever was when she was alive. Sure, the whole almost-dead billionaire-marrying thing got her a few headlines, and also when her son died last year, but now that Anna Nicole Smith is dead she's all over the place. Hell, for that sort of fame even we'd be prepared to give birth to a child of questionable parentage and then collapse in a hotel room apparently surrounded by empty pill bottles.
Since she died, those closest to Anna Nicole Smith have gone through various natural stages of grief including the stunned initial reaction, the frantic claiming of Anna Nicole's baby as their own and the requesting a court order to stop Anna Nicole Smith's creepy lawyer running off with the baby. And now, bang on time, comes the messy battle over Anna Nicole Smith's dead unburied body.
Lawyers for several parties are all rushing to claim Anna Nicole's corpse for their respective clients in the first round of what looks likely to be a lengthy string of hearings. Still, big respect to the judge presiding over Anna Nicole Smith's body-battle – in a case that's unusual for its staggering lack of taste, he goes and says just about the creepiest thing he can about it, as CBS reports:
"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. Stern 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 until he makes a ruling. "This body belongs to me right now," he said.
Urgh – something tells us that the judge might have watched Kissed a few too many times.
It's unfortunate, and profoundly sad, that the various factions tussling over the body of Anna Nicole Smith can't unite in their grief and try to find a compromise that everyone is happy with – but we think we've found a solution to keep everyone happy in the meantime. Look; Anna Nicole Smith's body is unburied, James Brown's body is unburied – surely we can't be the only ones dreaming of a touring Celebrity Corpse Marionette Revue. Can we?