One of the most errie aspects about this whole custody of Anna Nicole Smith’s body is how closely it mirrored the Teri Schiavo case in showing us the working of the courts and how they establish legal rights of guardianship over those who can’t speak for themselves. If you recall Teri Schiavo was the young Florida wife, who was in a coma (cause unknown). Her husband, Michael Schiavo, was also the one legally empowered to make medical decisions regarding her care. Similarly to the Howard K. Stern/Anna Nicole Smith situation (over the custody of her body), Michael Schiavo too was in an ongoing fight with Teri Schiavo’s parents about whether or not to disconnect the food/water tubes keeping her body alive.
Over the last few weeks, I actually felt like I was reliving the trauma of the Schiavo case all over again. I happened to be sick at home during the beginning of the Anna Nicole Smith court fight and was furious watching that Judge totally disregarding Anna Nicole Smith’s mother while setting up a legal scenario designed to favor Howard K. Stern. Clearly assigning a guardian to represent the so-called ‘best interest of the child’ favored the man who had helped abduct that child in the first place and was currently fraudulently named on her birth certificate as her ‘father’ so he already had defacto legal custody of the child in question.
It was a foregone conclusion from the moment the guardian was named that any so-called guardian 'for the child' would have to name the child's current defacto custodial parent as the person with the right to claim her mother's body. Logic demanded it, unless the birth certificate could be found to be fraudalent before the right to claim the mother's remains was decided. Since this was not likely to happen, the whole hearing was a setup from the moment the statue was disregarded and a child UNDER the age of 18 was designated as next of kin. The whole thing was just a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo designed to empower the men involved and ignore Virgie Arthur's more powerful legal and as well as natural claim to her daughter's remains.
So basically Howard K. Stern was rewarded for perpetuatng a fraud. This entire legal situation was instigated by said fraud to ensure a baby was born outside of US jurisdiction. It has been a so far successful attempt to deny that child’s father any contact with his child, deny the child her American citizenship, as well as any connection with either side of her extended US family. Anna Nicole Smith was replicating the same scenario that she had gotten away with ten years earlier, alienating her son from his grandmother, Virgie Arthur, who raised him for the first five years of his life. Now Anna Nicole Smith was pulling the same stunt with her daughter and I was just sick watching this Judge rewarding an active participant in this fraud, Howard K. Stern.
Now to return to the Schiavo case: I was ready to fly down to Florida during that situation, that’s how upset I was by the whole thing. But was turned off by the hoards of religious fanatics who had taken over the argument. Anyway, even though our President himself claimed he was supportive of Teri Schiavo’s parents being named as her guardians, yet we were told the law was strictly defined vis-à-vis designation of a guardian in Florida, first a spouse, then a child OVER 18, THEN parents.
That was it.
The republic itself was at stake to listen to the media drone on about it. The President himself couldn’t change this, as it was unconstitutional for him to try to overrule a sovereign state’s laws. The President’s brother, Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida, supposedly was planning on having his own police detail drive in with an ambulance and just remove Teri Schiavo from the home she was in, yet the county the home was located in found out about it and threatened a confrontation involving the state police if he tried it, so he backed down. The Supreme Court held a special session, yet they too turned down Teri Schiavo’s parents as there was absolutely no way around the Florida statues. NONE.
Even though Michael Schiavo was living as man and wife with another woman for almost ten years, he even had two children with her. Clearly he was no longer in a position to act in the best interest of a ‘wife’ lying in a coma. Yet the Florida statues were so clear, that her parents had to stand by helplessly as their daughter was starved to death. There was nothing anyone could do. Not to mention Michael Schiavo’s final spite filled act of cremating Teri Schiavo’s body and then not letting her parents even know where she was going to be buried, so they couldn’t attend her funeral. Actually I was kind of relieved he did this as it justify me hating the guy. Since this final venomous curtain call in the Teri Schiavo drama said more about him then anything else that had happened up to that point and ensured his place in the history books when this case is written about and guess what: it won’t be a good one.
Anyway until last week I think most of us believed that the Florida statues were written in stone. Guardianship statues were tamper proof, no deviations, no wiggle room, no interpretation allowed. Okay. Fine. Thus I fully expected to see Howard K. Stern, leaving the courthouse with his tail between his legs, as Anna Nicole Smith’s mother reclaimed her daughter, probably shortly followed by her grandson being removed from the Bahamas (where he had previously spent ONE NIGHT before dying there) and being reburied right next to his mother in the country of their birth. As Stern was not ever married to Anna Nicole Smith. It’s even doubtful if he was ever really her boyfriend or just a stand in to help commit paternity fraud. Thus he was entitled to no standing under Florida’s presumably very strict statues.
Yet much to my shock it appeared Florida statues are not written in stone. As the Judge in the case decided to overlook the strong possibility that Howard K. Stern engaged in fraud to get himself named on this child’s birth certificate. Or that he might have strong financial motivations (as in Marshall estate ruling) to wish to remain as a guardian, utilizing a baby, to manage the Anna Nicole Smith’s estate.
Although Howard K. Stern was shown to have leeched off Anna Nicole Smith for years, he was quickly given the moral equivalence pass, since, Virgie Arthur, Anna’s mother was found to have gotten a plane ticket to the Bahamas paid for by a magazine publisher. Excuse me but how in the heck do people think this woman, a retired grandmother, is able to finance an ongoing court battle going on between Florida and the Bahamas? Unlike Stern, who is making millions by selling exclusive rights to Entertainment Tonight for interviews or Larry Birkhead, whose parents are footing the bill for his stupidity in getting involved with this situation, Grandma Arthur has to pay for everything herself. She’s probably draining her retirement account just to pay the lawyers. AND just like most other grandmothers, she is concerned about her grand daugher being the pawn of a bunch of leeches determined to get custody of this kid so they can keep milking the situation, just as they did when her mother was alive. Grandma Arthur couldn’t do anything at that time, but she can and should act now. After all she’s already lost one grandkid to this bunch, I can see her being concerned about losing another.
There is something very disheartening about the level of jealousy within people today, who simply refuse to admit that a mother’s bond with her children is more powerful then other social bonds and don’t want to accept the possibility that Virgie Arthur is doing this out of love for her daughter and concern for her grandchild. Or that a daughter like Anna Nicole Smith: total screwup, drug addict, spite filled alienator who refused to even visit her mother for ten years, money-grubbing conniver who used men for money, could still have a mother out there who loved her and worried about her children. Yes, believe it or not this happens everyday. The most horrible adults in the world still have a mother who loves them, even if that love is not returned. Everyone keeps pointing out that video where Anne Nicole Smith appears to hate her mother. Well guess what: it doesn’t matter, as it tells us nothing about how her mother felt about her.
Anyway this new interpretation of Florida’s guardianship statues appeared to be fine with the media and the courts, since any statue that can usurp a mothers’ natural rights to her children, even when they are dead, appears to fit the bill here. This latest ruling pretty much ignoring the past precedence set was just another obvious spit in the eye to biological parenthood and let’s be clear about this: everytime it happens it’s an attack on mothers. As mothers are the only ones who have our rights designated through natural law due to our more meaningful biological link to children. It is men who need the cover of the courts to give them any legitimate claim. So each and every attack favoring legal over biological connections is an insidious attempt to undermine women in their role as mothers. To place any and all relationships over and above the mother/child one and to once again place man, any man at the center of all things in a women’s life, be he husband, boyfriend, your attorney, whatever. Sadly men do not seem to be able to deal with not being featured with star billing in every show.