Bad news for Anna Nicole Smith: A federal appeals court in Los Angeles has declined to reconsider a ruling that the former Playboy model is not entitled to $88.5 million from the estate of her late oilman husband.
Smith’s attorney, Howard K. Stern, said he would appeal to the Supreme Court, reports the Associated Press.
The 1993 Playmate of the Year was 26 when she and 89-year-old billionaire J. Howard Marshall II married in 1994. When he died the following year, Smith and Marshall’s son, E. Pierce Marshall, began their legal fight over the old man’s fortune that has continued to this day.
Last December, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stood by a Texas probate court’s decision the younger Marshall was the oilman’s sole heir – leaving Smith without a penny. The panel went on to say that the California federal judge who ruled in Smith’s favor in 2002 should never have even heard the case.
Smith asked the full court to rehear the case. No way, it said.
“The basic principle we think is very sound is if you pursue a probate claim in a probate court, that’s the only place you should pursue it,” Marshall’s attorney, Eric Brunstad, said Thursday.
Counters Stern on behalf of Smith: “The 9th Circuit’s ruling is not based on the merits of the case, but instead on what we believe is a misapplication of a jurisdictional exception regarding probate cases.”