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Bahamian official resigns over Anna Nicole Smith photo flap

UPI News Service, 02/19/2007 

The Bahamian official photographed in an embrace with the late Anna Nicole Smith has resigned.

Immigration and Labor Minister Shane Gibson's resignation came nearly a week after photographs of Gibson and Smith embracing in bed -- both fully clothed -- were published and amid allegations that the minister received a gift from Smith as a thank you for the approval of her permanent residency application last year, The Bahamas Journal said Monday.

Gibson also is being criticized for allegedly giving Smith, who died Feb. 8 in Florida of unknown causes, special treatment when she applied for permanent residency.

"I unconditionally deny that I ever abused my ministerial office by granting Anna Nicole Smith any permit of which she was undeserving or for which she was not qualified," Gibson said.

Gibson said he resigned so his family "can begin to heal." He said that his presence also made it difficult for the island government "to focus on issues that are of central concern."

Prime Minister Perry Christie said called Gibson's departure "a loss for the entire country."

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Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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