Playboy Playmate of the Year Anna Nicole Smith is involved in a legal battle over her late husband’s estate, and she’s getting legal help from the Bush administration.
Smith married oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II in 1994, when he was 89 and she was 26 and working as a topless dancer in Houston. She’s since gone on to do reality TV shows, among other things. Marshall died in 1995, and while a federal bankruptcy judge awarded her $474 million in a fight with Marshall’s family over the estate, an appeals court reversed the ruling.
The case will go in front of the Supreme Court, and the U.S. solicitor general wants to help Smith.
The issue before the high court is one only lawyers would love: when may federal courts hear claims that involve state probate proceedings. Smith lost in Texas state courts, which found that E. Pierce Marshall was the sole heir to his father’s estate.
The Bush administration’s filings in the case are technical. Without getting into the details of the family squabble, Solicitor General Paul Clement said that the justices should protect federal court jurisdiction in disputes. — Associated Press
I’m not familiar with the case, but I can say that a 26 year old marrying an 89 year old is suspicious, at the least.