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After DNA test, Birkhead ruled Smith's baby's dad

Story Highlights

• Stern says he wants to help Birkhead get sole custody
• DNA test is 99.99 percent certain, doctor says
• Anna Nicole Smith's attorney, former boyfriend among those claiming paternity
• Father of Dannielynn stands to share multimillion-dollar inheritance
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NASSAU, Bahamas (CNN) -- Larry Birkhead is the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby daughter, Dannielynn, a Bahamian judge ruled Tuesday.

"Everybody, I hate to be the one to tell you this -- but I told you so," Birkhead said outside the court as he smiled and threw his hands into the air.

When asked what's next, he said, "I'm going to the toy store."

Crowds applauded in front of the courthouse as Birkhead, Smith's former boyfriend, made the announcement, and Birkhead teared up as he thanked his supporters. (Watch Birkhead be the one to say 'I told you so' Video)

A DNA test confirmed him as the father with 99.99 percent certainty, said Dr. Michael Baird, who performed the test and revealed the results to a closed session of a Bahamian court Tuesday.

The court had ordered DNA testing to determine the father of the child, who has been at the center of a paternity dispute since she was born in a Bahamian hospital in September.

Smith had publicly identified Howard K. Stern, her lawyer and live-in companion, as the baby's father and listed him as the father on the child's birth certificate.

Stern hugged Birkhead and said he is not going to fight him for custody. (Watch Stern express his disappointment Video)

"I'm going to do whatever I can to make sure that he gets sole custody," Stern said.

When asked when Birkhead would get custody of the 7-month-old girl, who has been living with Stern in Nassau, Stern said he wanted there to be a "gradual transition."

He said Birkhead could come to the house any time and spend as much time as he wants with his daughter.

Virgie Arthur, Smith's estranged mother who lives in Texas, said she was happy with the outcome. "All I care about is the safety and well-being of my little granddaughter," she said. (Watch Smith's mom explain what she plans to do next Video)

Another hearing is set for Friday to discuss the custody issue, which involves Stern, Birkhead and Arthur. It was unclear how Tuesday's news might affect that.

Birkhead sits in a good position to take Dannielynn home soon, according to B. J. Bernstein, a defense attorney and CNN legal analyst.

"It's very difficult for grandparents ... to trump the natural, biological parent," Bernstein said.

Birkhead, an entertainment reporter and photographer, said shortly after the baby's birth that he accompanied Smith to doctors' appointments until a "minor disagreement" took place while she was pregnant.

In September, Stern said on CNN's "Larry King Live" that he and Smith were confident he was the father, and "based on the timing of when the baby was born, there really is no doubt in either of our minds."

Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband, Frederic von Anhalt, also said he could be the father.

Dannielynn stands to inherit millions of dollars from the estate of Smith's late husband, oil tycoon Howard Marshall II. Until her death, Smith was involved in a legal battle over the inheritance.

The former Playboy Playmate died of an accidental drug overdose February 8.

After a protracted dispute over the burial of Smith's body, Stern and Birkhead began battling in Bahamian courts over the child, and a judge ordered that a swab be taken from the girl for DNA testing.

Stern then asked the Bahamas' Court of Appeal to block release of those test results, arguing that the judge had misinterpreted the law and his order invaded the girl's privacy.

Earlier this month, appellate judges questioned why Stern was raising legal claims after giving consent to the DNA swabbing.

Stern was ordered to pay $10,000 in court costs for the abandoned appeal.


Larry Birkhead, an entertainment reporter and photographer, announces he is the father of Anna Nicole Smith's daughter.



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