Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter loses final bid for J Howard Marshall’s fortune
The estate of Anna Nicole has lost the final bid to obtain her late husband J Howard Marshall’s fortune, seven years after the death of the Playboy model.
Anna Nicole Smith married Texas oil tycoon J Howard Marshall in 1994 when he was 89 and she was 26.
J Howard Marshall died in 1995, leaving his $1.6 billion estate to his son and nothing to Anna Nicole Smith, which she challenged.
A judge has now halted efforts by lawyers acting on behalf of Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter to obtain $44 million.
After J Howard Marshall’s death, Anna Nicole Smith – using her real name Vickie Lynn Marshall – filed legal papers claiming he had promised to leave her more than $300 million in his will.
During the past two decades, many attempts have been made to overturn the will, including the Texas bankruptcy court and US Supreme Court.
A Houston jury previously ruled J Howard Marshall was mentally fit and under no undue pressure when he wrote his will, leaving his fortune to his son E Pierce Marshall – who himself died in 2006.
Efforts continued after Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental drug overdose in February 2007, with lawyers representing her seven-year-old daughter Dannielynn, who lives with her father Larry Birkhead.
However, District Court Judge David Carter’s ruling means this will be the end of the matter.
“Time spent litigating the relationship between Vickie Lynn and J Howard has extended for nearly five times the length of their relationship and nearly 20 times the length of their marriage,” Judge David Carter said in court.
“It is neither reasonable nor practical to go forward.”
Judge David Carter also said while the record showed J Howard Marshall and his lawyers had “a distinct disinterest in rules or ethics”, Dannielynn Birkhead’s lawyers had failed to provide sufficient evidence of actual damages for him to award sanctions, Forbes reported.
J Howard Marshall family’s lawyer, G Eric Brunstad Jr., said in a statement they agreed with the judge it was time to stop legal proceedings.