A federal appeals court ruled Friday that the estate of the late Anna Nicole Smith will not receive any portion of the estate of her deceased Texas billionaire husband, according to The Associated Press.
The ruling ends a 15-year legal battle between Smith and the son of oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall. Smith, then 26, and Marshall were married for one year before he died at the age of 90 in 1995. Following his death, Smith claimed her husband had intended to leave her upwards of $300 million.
Since the case began, both Smith and her former son-in-law, E. Pierce Marshall, have died. Marshall succumbed to a fatal infection in 2006 and Smith died from a drug overdose in 2007. Their heirs and attorneys continued the legal battle.
Smith said she was owed millions of her late husband's $1.6 billion estate despite not being in his trust, which was set up 12 years before their marriage. The former Playboy playmate said Marshall had promised to leave her money and claimed that his son had illegally coerced his father to keep Smith out of the will.
In Texas, a jury favored with the younger Marshall following a five-month trial in 2001. At one point, Smith was awarded $474 million in bankruptcy court after she filed for bankruptcy in California. This was later reduced to $89 million in a federal court trial ruling. Friday's ruling from the federal court of appeals said both these rulings should be ignored.
"Our only wish would be that Pierce was here to see his vindication," the family said in a prepared statement to the AP. Kent Richland, the representative for Smith's estate, told the news agency he plans to appeal the ruling.