February 16, 2007
Bahamian Minister did nothing illegal – Stern

Guardian Staff Reporter 16.FEB.07

BAHAMAS – In an effort to “set forth the truth” about Anna Nicole Smith’s relationship with Bahamian Immigration Minister Shane Gibson, her partner, Howard K. Stern, said Gibson was never asked to and neither did he do anything illegal.

In a statement issued to the press earlier this week, Stern addressed the issues arising from pictures that circulated in a local Bahamian newspaper earlier in the week of Minister Gibson with the late former Playboy playmate Anna Nicole Smith months before her death in Florida last week, which have provoked many concerns about the appropriateness of their relationship.{{more}}

He said the pictures of the two had been stolen from the home, along with other items, less than 24 hours after Ms Smith’s death.

“It is incomprehensible that the Tribune in the Bahamas and later have published pictures that were stolen from Anna Nicole’s house of Anna Nicole with the Hon. Shane Gibson and made scurrilous accusations regarding their relationship,” Mr Stern’s statement read. “I am absolutely certain that the pictures published in the Tribune and on are from an external hard drive that was stolen from Anna Nicole’s house. I shot all of the pictures myself with Anna Nicole’s camera, some of which I then transferred directly onto the hard drive that was stolen.”

Stern added that lawyers protecting Smith’s interests are currently working with authorities locally as well as in the US to prosecute all culpable individuals to the fullest extent of the law in order to “prevent the further dissemination of any illegally obtained material, and to ensure that all the stolen items were returned.

Stern said that he knew in his heart that Smith would have wanted him to set the truth about her relationship with the entire Gibson family.

“We actually met Minister Gibson for the first time after Tracy Ferguson of Callenders & Co. advised us to do so. After our initial meeting, we shared a cordial, but not close, relationship with Minister Gibson prior to the death of Anna Nicole’s son Daniel,” read Mr Stern’s statement. ” It was when Daniel passed away that we really came to know Minister Gibson…the entire Gibson family-not just Minister Gibson-provided a great deal of emotional support to both Anna Nicole and I during a very difficult period.”

Stern said that he “could not believe” that in his grief-stricken state that he still had to defend Smith’s honour to the public after the pictures were splashed across the Tribune’s newspaper’s front page Monday.