Supreme Court Rules Against Anna Nicole Smith Estate

The Supreme Court has made a ruling in the bitter battle over the will of late oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall that has been going on since Marshall's death in 1994.

Shortly after Marshall's death, it was revealed that he left his estate - worth an estimated $1.6 billion - to his son, E. Pierce Marshall but gave nothing to his wife of less than a year, model and actress Anna Nicole Smith.

Two years later, following a public battle during which Smith and Marshall's estranged son James Howard (who was also left nothing in the will) fought for a share of the estate, a California bankruptcy court awarded Smith $475 million.

Now, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the bankruptcy court had no authority to award Smith the money. Smith, who passed away in 2007, left behind an infant daughter with boyfriend Larry Birkhead. Her son, Daniel, died of a drug overdose in 2006 at age 20.

Smith's estate will now have no claim over any of Marshall's fortune.

Selected Reading: NPR, Washington Post, Houston Chronicle

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