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Guardian of Smith's baby shuns the spotlight

A week's worth of testimony and accusations came down to one man's sense of responsibility and a few minutes of proceedings behind closed doors.


srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

Milstein_2For a few minutes, the courtroom was closed and the minute-by-minute details about Anna Nicole Smith's life, death, body and baby were out of sight.

The man who drew the curtains on the weeklong court performance was Richard Milstein, an unassuming, accomplished Miami attorney.

After Thursday's compromise to bury Smith in the Bahamas, Milstein was ambushed by the media. He declined requests for appearances on evening news shows.

''I've been in this for one week,'' Milstein said. The ''task was to keep one thing in mind -- the best interests of the child.'' Milstein, the court-appointed guardian for Smith's infant daughter, Dannielynn, was the one Broward Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin gave the responsibility of finding a final resting place for Smith.

Milstein's friends and acquaintances said Thursday the 60-year-old lawyer was the perfect choice to advocate on behalf of the 6-month-old girl.

''Richard is a mensch. In a time of crisis, Richard is always still waters,'' said Jorge Mursuli, vice president of People for The American Way and former chairman of SAVE Dade.

"He runs deep and is a very stable force, particularly when there is a lot of chaos. I can't think of a better person to be a stable force in the middle of a circus.''

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Thank God for people like Richard Milstein. Finally, Anna Nicole Smith will be laid to rest. We need more people like you in this town Richard. You should be a judge!!!

Mayra Cuellar

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