E. Pierce Marshall was the son of the Playmate's late husband

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated June 26, 2006 07:45 AM
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E. Pierce Marshall, who battled for years with Anna Nicole Smith over his late father’s estate, has died. He was 67.

According to a statement from family spokesman David Margulies, Marshall died unexpectedly Tuesday evening in the Dallas area from a brief and extremely aggressive infection.

“The family would politely request that their privacy be respected during this extremely difficult time as they grapple with this devastating loss,” the statement said, according to the Associated Press.

Smith married Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II in 1994, when she was 26 and he was 89. He died the following year. Since then, E. Pierce Marshall has been locked in a legal battle over Smith entitlement to the estate.

The U.S. Supreme Court last month revived the former Playmate’s pursuit of her late husband’s oil fortune, ruling that she deserves another day in court.

The colorful case has had twists and turns. Smith won a $474 million judgment, which was cut to about $89 million and eventually reduced to zero.

“Mr. Marshall leaves behind a legacy of being, first and foremost, a remarkable husband, father and grandfather, a successful business visionary and a man of unrivaled perseverance and principle,” the Margulies statement said.