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Court strips Anna Nicole Smith of $88.5 million inheritance

UPI News Service, 12/31/2004 

A U.S. appeals court has overturned a lower court's decision to give Anna Nicole Smith $88.5 million of her late billionaire husband's fortune.

The former stripper and Playboy playmate had won that amount from a Texas judge in 2002, despite opposition from one of the sons of J. Howard Marshall II after lawyers argued he was his father's sole heir, E! Online reported.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday Judge David Carter had no authority to overturn a Texas probate court's decision giving the son, E. Pierce Marshall, his father's estate.

In 1994 Smith, then 26 and a stripper, married the 80-year-old Marshall. He died 14 months later but not before pledging his love for the buxom blonde, her lawyers argued.

The decision is a second major setback for Smith: In 2000 a federal bankruptcy judge awarded her a massive $474 million chunk of her late husband's estate, a ruling that was overturned within months.

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Copyright 2004 by United Press International

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