Anna Nicole Smith was born Vickie Lynn Hogan in Houston, Texas. She dropped out of high school when she was 15, first married at age 18 and went on to lead a tragic life that ended prematurely with her going down as the most infamous Sugar baby of all time, with comparison to Marilyin Monroe for her looks and fast-paced living.
She first began life as a stripper in 1989 at Executive Suites in Houston, where she performed under the moniker Vickie Smith. She moved on and began stripping Gigi’s, also in her native Houston. It was during her stint there that she met octogenarian oil tycoon and Sugar Daddy, J Howard Marshall. They quickly began dating, with Marhsall lavishing gifts on her and begging her hand in marriage.
Smith divorced her husband Billy in 1993, the same year she won Playboy’s Playmate Of The Year, and just over a year later twenty-six-year-old Anna Nicole Smith married eighty-nine-year-old Marshall in Houston. Gossip was rife that she married him for his money, with reports that they never lived together, had sex or even kissed on the mouth more than ten times.
Smith alway denied the rumors, insisting she loved her husband and age was nothing but a number. 13 months after the marriage, Marshall died at age ninety and one hell of a legal battle started that would last over a decade because Smith was claiming half of her late husband’s $1.6 billion estate. Smith wasn’t named in Marshall’s will.
One of Marshall’s sons quickly disputed her claim and Smith temporarily joined forces with J. Howard’s other son, James Howard Marshall III. Howard III had been disowned by the elder Marshall but claimed that J. Howard Marshall had promised him a portion of the estate, though he to wasn’t named in the will. Over a decade of legal battles that took place in several courts and jurisdictions, decisions swung for and against Smith as she tried to hang on to her alleged inheritance.
In September 2000, a Los Angeles bankruptcy judge awarded Smith $449,754,134. But in July 2001 a judge in Houston turned the case on its head when he affirmed the jury findings in the probate case by ruling that she was entitled to nothing. The judge also ordered Smith to pay over $1 million in fees and expenses to Pierce’s legal team. The conflict between the Texas and California courts forced matter into federal court.
In March 2002, a federal judge vacated the California bankruptcy court’s ruling and issued a new ruling but reduced the award to $88 million. But then in December 2004, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the March 2002 decision, on the reasoning that the federal courts lacked jurisdiction to overrule this probate court decision.
The case went to the US Supreme Court, who decided in September 2005 to hear the appeal of that decision. The Bush administration subsequently directed the Solicitor General to intercede on Smith’s behalf out of an interest to expand federal court jurisdiction over state probate disputes. On May 1, 2006, the justices unanimously handed down a decision in favor of Smith, but the decision didn’t grant Smith a portion of her husband’s estate, only affirmed her right to pursue a share of it in a federal court.
Anna Nicole Smith tragically died in a Hollywood, Florida hotel room on February 8, 2007, as a result of an overdose of prescription drugs. Her life had recently taken on a new twist of drama, with the death of her 20 year old son Daniel and the ongoing paternity and custody battle over her newborn daughter, Dannielynn.
After her death, the case for the estate continued in the name of her infant daughter, Dannielynn. Following the decision by the Appeals Court for the Ninth Circuit, lawyers for the estate of Anna Nicole Smith requested the appeal be heard before the entire 9th Circuit, but that appeal was denied in 2010. In the same year, the U.S. Supreme Court again agreed to hear the case.
On June 23, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling against the estate of Anna Nicole Smith, holding that a bankruptcy court ruling giving her estate a sum of $475 million was decided without jurisdiction. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed with the ruling of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The current situation is that Anna Nicole Smith’s estate will not inherit any of Marshall’s estate.