Anna Nicole Smith has been given a choice: She can either book a paternity test or a plane ticket.
Two weeks after hearing arguments as to why Smith shouldn't have to submit her daughter for a DNA test just yet, a Los Angeles judge ordered that the reality-TV star either have that test completed by Feb. 21 or else hightail it back to L.A. to explain the delay in person.
Larry Birkhead filed a paternity suit against Smith (who has denied having had a romantic relationship with the photograher, while he claims they had a two-and-a-half-year affair) in October, demanding that she have Dannielynn Hope, who was barely a month old at the time, tested to determine whether he or Smith's lawyer-turned-lover, Howard K. Stern, is the little girl's father.
According to Birkhead's attorney, Debra Opri, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald Schnider ruled Wednesday that Smith could have the test performed in the Bahamas or in Miami. If Smith fails to comply, Opri said, Schnider will want to see her in court.
There was no immediate comment from Smith's L.A.-based attorney, Ron Rale.
The judge stayed the previous Jan. 23 deadline after Smith's legal camp argued that, because the TrimSpa endorser had been living in the Bahamas since August, a Bahamian judge needed to sign off on Schnider's order.
Although, in light of this latest ruling, an end to this saga seems near, various twists and turns have been keeping both the L.A. and Bahaman legal systems busy.
A few weeks after suing Smith in Los Angeles, Birkhead transported some of his grievances to her new island residence, filing a civil action in the Bahamas charging Smith and Stern with fraud and conspiracy after Stern was listed as Dannielynn's father on the child's birth certificate.
Then, before Schnider was able to issue the test order, matters of jurisdiction had to be hammered out, with Smith's attorney insisting it was up to a Bahamian court. Meanwhile, Birkhead's side maintained that Dannielynn had been conceived in California, and that because the ex-Playmate had recently been living, working and engaging in a sexual relationship in the state, it was an L.A. affair.
Schnider agreed with Birkhead's team in November and settled in for what has turned out to be the long haul.
Then, last month, the Bahamian law firm that used to represent Smith—until she sold photos of her and Stern's commitment ceremony to People magazine before making funeral arrangements for her son Daniel, who died suddenly Sept. 10—filed suit against her, claiming she owes more than $113,000 in legal fees. A freeze was put on Smith's local bank accounts, preventing her total balances from falling below the amount of the unpaid tab.
And, as if Smith wasn't busy enough defending herself from attacks on her character, mothering skills and overall sense of morality, now her latest career move is under fire, as well.
Smith and TrimSpa Inc. were sued last week by three women claiming to be the victims of the diet-aid purveyor's dirty dealings. Per court documents, the plaintiffs charged that the makers of TrimSpa—and their spokesmodel—engaged in deceptive business practices by marketing the pills as a safe, effective and fast way to lose a substantial amount of weight. Which apparently didn't work out for them.