TMZ spoke to celebrity photographer Larry Birkhead today, and he flatly rejects lawyer Howard K. Stern's assertion last night on CNN's "Larry King Live" that he is the father of Dannielynn Hope, the daughter born to Anna Nicole Smith on September 7.
Birkhead was either so disgusted or so unconcerned by Stern's appearance on King's show that, according to a TMZ witness, he left to spend the evening in the company of Janet Jackson at her record release party in New York while Howard K. Stern was on the air. Birkhead also posted a note on his website www.larrybirkhead.net saying, "I AM THE PROUD FATHER." "The whole thing is laughable," says Birkhead. "It was obvious that even Larry King didn't believe what Howard K. Stern was saying."
Back in June, when TMZ first confirmed that Anna Nicole was in fact pregnant with the child, Birkhead and Stern clashed over the baby's paternity. Said Birkhead, "I have seen the ultrasound and have spoken to doctors ... Howard needs to get past his own jealousy about the relationship between myself and his only client." Stern shot back in a conversation with TMZ, "Anna wants that guy completely out of her life and obviously he is having trouble dealing with it."
At that point, however, even while he was denying Birkhead's paternity claims, Stern did not make any claim to be the father of the child, despite repeated chances to do so.