Can Anna Nicole Smith just be dead already? Legal mess drags on

Lesson for those who crave fame: Unlike debt, the glare of the tabloids still haunts the dead. Case in point: Anna Nicole Smith’s ongoing legal battles and character assassination in the media.

Now, her young daughter’s own mental and physical development is being manipulated by an attorney in a preliminary drug trial of Smith’s old boyfriend/svengali, Howard K Stern.

Larry Birkhead told the press that a prosecutor in the drug trial of Smith’s former boyfriend tried to “suggest” he “ramp up” his testimony to claim that his daughter would have developmental problems due to Smith’s drug use, even though Birkhead claims his 3-year-old daughter “is fine.”

According to TMZ, last week Birkhead said Smith was admitted to a drug detox center at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center four months into her pregnancy.

But before his testimony resumed Monday, Birkhead said a prosecutor approached him and suggested that he claim his daughter, Dannielynn Hope, would have developmental problems due to Smith’s drug use.

“I was there for the prosecution, but I don’t think they liked what I had to say. So I feel like it turned. They were trying to beat me up in the end, but the truth is the truth,” Larry Birkhead told the celebrity Web site

Smith died in a hotel in Florida from an overdose of prescription drugs in February 2007.

Birkhead told TMZ that the prosecutor also accused him of taking Stern’s side.

Birkhead says the young girl has no sign of developmental problems. “She’s very smart, she’s very healthy and happy,” Birkhead said about 3-year-old Dannielynn. “I’ve been told by several doctors she’s quite advanced.”

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