The long-distance battles over what to do with Smith's body and the paternity of her infant daughter were taking place Tuesday in courtrooms in Florida and California.
Smith's estranged mother, Virgie Arthur, and boyfriend, Howard K. Stern, were set to square off in Fort Lauderdale. Lawyers for Stern were also set to argue in Los Angeles with those for Smith's ex-companion over who is the father of her infant daughter, Dannielynn.
No immediate ruling on the burial question was expected from Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin. Without written proof of Smith's own wishes, Seidlin will be forced to hear testimony from those who claim to know what the reality TV star wanted.
"We're trying to balance the rights and respect of a body that wants peace and tranquility," Seidlin said last week.
Stern's expected court appearance in Florida came after Stephen Tunstall, the attorney representing Arthur, pushed for it Friday. Stern's attorneys resisted, but Seidlin ordered him to court.
"I want him here," Tunstall said. "There is no reason why he can't be here."
In Nassau, Bahamas, Stern emerged from seclusion at a waterfront mansion Tuesday, but did not speak to reporters as he entered a car that took him to the airport.
Stern wants Smith buried in the Bahamas in a plot that was purchased next to her son, Daniel, who died in September. Arthur wants her brought home to her native Texas.
The mother has a perhaps unlikely ally in Larry Birkhead, Smith's ex-boyfriend, who delayed a decision on the star's burial by fighting for another DNA sample he hopes will prove he is the baby's father. He was expected to testify for Arthur.
But Stern has allies of his own. A bodyguard, doctor, neighbor and friend all have submitted affidavits claiming Smith told them she wanted to be buried next to her son. And Stern has provided invoices showing the purchase of burial plots in the Bahamas.
On Monday, the leader of the main opposition party in the Bahamas said he does not want Smith's body to be buried in the island chain.
"She died outside of our country and I don't see any good reason for her to return to my country," said Hubert Ingraham, leader of the Free National Movement.
The opposition party says the country has been embarrassed by Smith's relationship with former Immigration Minister Shane Gibson, who fast-tracked her application for permanent residency. Gibson resigned on Sunday after a newspaper published photographs of him embracing Smith on a bed.
Arthur insists, despite her estrangement, she has the right to bury her own daughter, not a man to whom Smith was not even married.
"Since the dawn of civilization, the next of kin has been given the rights and responsibility of their dead," Tunstall said.
In Los Angeles, the dispute over who is the father of 5-month-old Dannielynn was scheduled to be taken up in a closed-door hearing. Stern is named father on the girl's birth certificate but Birkhead and Frederic von Anhalt, the husband of actressZsa Zsa Gabor, have filed separate paternity challenges.
Smith died in Florida on Feb. 8 at age 39. The cause of death is under investigation.
Smith was 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 estimated $500 million fortune since his death in 1995.
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