Skip to main content
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Find a Lawyer

More Options

Anna Nicole Smith's Supreme Court Loss: $89 Million

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on June 24, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

For the estate of the now-deceased former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith, the Supreme Court is not a friend. The Supreme Court's recent ruling has ended Smith's long-running posthumous battle for J. Howard Marshall's estate, her deceased husband.

Turns out she (or her estate now) is not entitled to some $89 million. The Supreme Court has ruled that the will of J. Howard Marshall should be followed - which did not include Smith.

Smith married Howard, a Texas oil tycoon, who was 63 years older than her, reports The New York Times. She was 26 at the time. He was 89, and he died around 14 months after their marriage, leaving behind a $1.6 billion fortune, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Smith was embroiled in a legal battle with Howard's now-deceased son, E. Pierce Marshall, for years, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Smith claimed that her husband had meant to make sure she was taken care of before he passed. She claimed that her husband's son, E. Pierce Marshall, had illegally interfered with the trust.

Now, the two main parties of the case - Smith and E. Pierce Marshall, are both deceased. Their case had been pushed forward, however, by their respective estates.

A Texas judge had originally ruled that Marshall had purposefully meant for Smith to be cut out of the will. A bankruptcy judge in California, however, later awarded Smith with $89 million. This decision is now void, and Smith's heirs, her 4-year-old daughter Dannielynn, will be entitled to nothing from the Marshall estate, reports New York Magazine.

The Supreme Court's ruling was based on their finding that the bankruptcy court and bankruptcy judge had overstepped their bounds - constitutionally, the decision that they had reached was beyond the decision-making powers of a bankruptcy judge. Essentially, because Smith's claim was only based on state-law related issues, it should have been left for state judges to decide.

So, Anna Nicole Smith's Supreme Court battle over J. Howard Marshall's estate has finally come to a conclusion, nearly four years after her death in 2007.

Related Resources:

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:
Copied to clipboard