National News

Anna Nicole Smith's estate loses bid for millions

FILE - In this Feb. 28, 2006, file photo, Anna Nicole Smith, leaves the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. Smith
FILE - In this Feb. 28, 2006, file photo, Anna Nicole Smith, leaves the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. Smith's final bid to obtain her late husband's money has failed, seven years after her death. A federal judge in Santa Ana, Calif., on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, rejected a bid by Smith's estate to obtain about $44 million from the estate of J. Howard Marshall II, her late Texas billionaire husband. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
— image credit:

By The Associated Press

SANTA ANA, Calif. - The estate of Anna Nicole Smith has failed in its final bid to obtain her late husband's money, seven years after the death of the Playboy model and reality TV star.

A federal judge on Monday rejected the effort to obtain about $44 million from the estate of Texas billionaire J. Howard Marshall, whom Smith married in 1994 when he was 89 and she was 26. The oil tycoon died the next year. His will left his $1.6 billion estate to his son and nothing to Smith.

Smith, under her real name of Vickie Lynn Marshall, challenged the will, claiming that her husband promised to leave her more than $300 million above the cash and gifts showered on her during their 14-month marriage. A Houston jury said Marshall was mentally fit and under no undue pressure when he wrote the will.

Over the course of nearly 20 years, the Texas bankruptcy court and local and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, all rejected Smith's various attempts to overturn Marshall's will and trust and to obtain money from his estate.

The efforts continued even after Smith died of an accidental drug overdose in February 2007.

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter denied a request from Smith's estate to sanction the estate of Marshall's son, E. Pierce Marshall.

"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," the judge said in his ruling. He noted that it was the last surviving piece of decades of litigation.

"The American taxpayer has supported the burden of this litigation for many years, and it is time for this suit to no longer 'drag its weary length before the Court,'" Carter concluded, quoting a Supreme Court decision in the case that itself quoted Charles Dickens' "Bleak House."

An email message for Howard K. Stern, the executor of Smith's estate, was not immediately returned Tuesday.

G. Eric Brunstad Jr., attorney for the Marshall family, said in a statement that the family agreed with the judge that it was time to stop the litigation.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

(VIDEO) B.C. boys Reinhart, Virtanen ranked in Top 10 for 2014 NHL Draft
 
VIDEO: Ottawa hero Kevin Vickers receives standing ovation in House of Commons
 
One last holdup on B.C. railway tracks
Attacks on women prompt warning from Surrey RCMP
 
Cartolina revitalizes Nelson heritage building
 
The Sooke volleyball ladies
Time for truth in B.C. treaty talks
 
Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere facing uncertain future
 
Meet Keith Chicquen

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 22 edition online now. Browse the archives.