June 20, 2001 11:15am
Anna Nicole Challenge Will Be Allowed
(SANTA ANA, CA) -- A federal judge denied former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith (news - web sites)'s request to dismiss a challenge to a court ruling that gave her $475 million from her late husband's estate.
U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter, who is handling the appeal brought by her late husband's son, said Tuesday he won't dismiss the case.
Smith's attorneys had argued the size of the judgment was justified because her late husband's son ignored court orders. However, Carter said such a sanction was extreme and only should be undertaken as a last resort.
Smith, 33, lost a Texas court battle in March over the fortune left behind by her husband, oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II. The two met in 1991 while she was working as a stripper in Houston. He died at age 90 in August 1995, 14 months after they wed.
The Texas jury found that Marshall made no agreement to leave part of his estate to son J. Howard Marshall III or Smith. The jury ruled in favor of E. Pierce Marshall, another son of the tycoon.
But a California bankruptcy court awarded Smith the money before the Texas case was resolved. E. Pierce Marshall appealed, questioning whether California had jurisdiction and whether Smith's claim was a bankruptcy issue.
Carter vacated the California judgment last month and will hear arguments in August on whether it should stand.