When Anna Nicole Smith died in 2007, she had been in a lengthy, no-holds-barred battle with her millionaire husband’s estate lawyers over money she claimed was hers. Now, a judge has ruled that her daughter is entitled to some of it.
Smith married Howard Marshall in 1994; despite their 62-year age difference, she said she was in love with him and didn’t care about his money. When he died a year later, his family claimed he’d left nothing to her in his will even though she said he’d promised her $300 million. The case hopped around from court to court, with Smith awarded millions only to have the amount reduced drastically when it went to federal court. In 2010, a jury found that Marshall’s will should be upheld and that his estate be handed over to his son, Pierce Marshall.
“J. Howard’s wishes were always perfectly clear: He gave Anna Nicole Smith approximately $8 million in gifts during his lifetime, and those gifts were all that he intended to give her,” said Eric Brunstad, the Marshalls’ lawyer.
Now, however, a California judge says that Marshall’s attorneys didn’t play fair and left out vital documents from Smith’s estate lawyers after her death. He says her daughter, Danielynn, may be entitled to as much as $49 million in sanctions against Marshall’s family.
Dannielynn, who is just six years old, is being raised by her father, Larry Burkhead.