Supreme Court Rules Against Anna Nicole Smith Estate
On Thursday the Supreme Court ruled against the estate of Playboy Playmate, Anna Nicole Smith, after a 15-year battle for a share in her late husband, J. Howard Marshall's, $1.6 billion fortune.
When Marshall died after 14 months of marriage to the blonde bombshell, he left all of his assets to his son from a previous marriage, cutting Smith almost entirely out of the will. Smith later took the matter to court, claiming that she and her husband had a verbal agreement that would leave her with in excess of $300 million of his assets.
Though Smith died of a drug overdose over three years ago, her estate has still been tied up in the legal battle. Though the case itself might have been highly sensational, the narrow 5-4 ruling against the reality star's estate occurred due to a technicality in interpreting the law. Chief Justice John Roberts, who compared the case to the plot of a Charles Dickens novel, ruled that the Bankruptcy Court that had previously awarded Smith $474 million from the Marshall's estate (which was later reduced to about $90 million), "lacked the constitutional authority to do so."
Consequently, Smith's estate no longer has the right to the millions it was previously awarded. "There are [other] ongoing appeals," Kent Richland, Smith's estate's lawyer, said. "Because of the complexity of the case there are other aspects to the case in other courts that will continue to be finalized."