Posted Mar 19, 2010 08:29 pm CDT
A hard-fought 15-year court battle by the late celebrity model Anna Nicole Smith and her heirs over the estate of the Texas oil billionaire she married when she was 26 and he was 89 may have finally ended in complete defeat of her claims.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today (PDF) that Smith’s heirs are entitled to none of the $300 million she sought from J. Howard Marshall’s estate after their marriage of a little more than a year ended with his death in 1995, according to the Associated Press and Reuters.
Smith died of an accidental prescription drug overdose in 2007, leaving an infant daughter. Her opponent in the estate war was Pierce Marshall, the son of J. Howard Marshall. He too died during the course of the litigation, passing away in 2006.
She had been awarded $450 million, at one point, by a federal bankruptcy court in California. However, the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit said in its ruling today that an initial jury verdict in a Texas state-court probate trial of Smith’s claims should have been allowed to stand, reports Bay City News.
Although her husband did not include her in his will, Smith had argued that he was unduly influenced by Pierce Marshall.
A post in the L.A. Now blog of the Los Angeles Times provides additional details about the estate saga.
Related earlier coverage:
ABAJournal.com: “Anna Nicole Smith Baby Inherits Unknown Amount”
ABAJournal.com: “Paternity Decided for Anna Nicole’s Baby”
ABAJournal.com: “Big Legal Bill for Anna Nicole Smith’s Baby”