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Former reality TV star Anna Nicole Smith goes to Washington

UPI News Service, 03/01/2006 

A subdued Anna Nicole Smith appeared to gain the sympathy of the U.S. Supreme Court in her bid for a share of her late husband's $1.6 billion estate.

The former Playmate wore black and occasionally dabbed her eyes during the hearing in Washington Tuesday, the New York Daily News reported.

J. Howard Marshall II's son and heir, Pierce Marshall, claims Smith is a gold digger and not entitled her to any of the family fortune.

Marshall died at age 90 in 1995, 14 months after he married Smith, then a 26-year-old stripper. His widow and son have been wrangling over the will in courts for 11 years now.

"It's quite a story," Justice Stephen Breyer was quoted as saying.

A Texas probate court first awarded the entire estate to Pierce Marshall. A California bankruptcy judge then awarded $474 million to Smith. That award was later reduced, then thrown out by a federal appeals court.

The justices appeared reluctant to limit the reach of the federal court, which is what Marshall's legal team is asking them to do, in reinstating the original probate decision, the newspaper said.

"That's just not the way our system works," said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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