Anna Nicole Smith (real name Vickie Lynn Marshall) was a 26 year-old stripper when she met 89 year-old millionaire Howard Marshall. They met at Anna’s workplace, and adult club, and married in 1994.
Howard died in August 1995, 14 months after the wedding. All of his assets were held in a trust, with his son Pierce Marshall as the primary beneficiary. Anna Nicole claims that Howard created a separate trust for her benefit, but that Pierce destroyed the documentation.
Two court cases ensued. One in Texas probate court dealt with the distribution of assets from Howard’s estate. The jury found that Howard had left Anna Nicole nothing in his will. Pierce says that instead, she received gifts worth more than $6 million from Howard.
The second court case, in California, dealt with Anna Nicole’s bankruptcy filing and her claim that Pierce interfered with her inheritance. The federal judge found that Howard did intend to set up a trust for Anna Nicole, and that Pierce interfered. She was awarded $88 million.
The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals threw out the award and judgment, saying that the judge should not have reviewed claims related to the estate. Anna Nicole is now appealing that decision.