Anna Nicole Smith’s Estate Is Not Entitled To Late Husband’s Money, Final RulingBy: Val Powell - August 21, 2014
The long-running court case that Anna Nicole Smith first filed in 1996 for a portion of the Marshall wealth has finally come to an end in federal court. The final ruling maintained that Smith –more precisely, her estate– is not entitled to the estate of her former husband, Texas billionaire, J. Howard Marshall II.
When 89-year-old Marshall died, he left his entire estate to his son, E. Pierce Marshall. This was in 1995, fourteen months after being married to then 26-year-old, former Playboy model, Smith.
Smith, whose legal name is Vickie Lynn Marshall, claimed that she was promised by her late husband more than $300million in inheritance, and took the matter to court.
Due to Smith’s filing for bankruptcy, among other complications, the case was heard in various local and federal courts. It had gone on to outlive both Smith, who died in 2007 because of a drug overdose, and the Marshall son, E. Pierce, who passed on in 2006.
Smith’s estate pursued the case on behalf of her daughter, eight-year-old Dannielynn Birkhead. Birkhead’s lawyers have attempted to win sanctions from the Marshall family for delays and obfuscation tactics of the deceased heir and his lawyers. As Smith’s only living heir, she would have been about $44 million richer had the courts ruled in her favor.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge David O. Carter dismissed their attempts as moot since Birkhead’s lawyers failed to provide sufficient evidence of actual damages.
“The Court also must consider the very real concerns attendant in sanctioning Pierce Marshall, who is deceased and therefore cannot be present, cannot attend the hearing, and cannot answer for himself the allegations against him.” said Carter.
Carter added that too much time and energy had been spent on the case and ought to be ended. “Time spent litigating the relationship between Vickie Lynn and J. Howard has extended for nearly five times the length of their relationship and nearly twenty times the length of their marriage. It is neither reasonable nor practical to go forward.”