July 10, 2001 08:32am
Ex-Playmate Ordered to Pay Stepson
(HOUSTON, TX) -- A judge has ordered former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith to pay $541,000 in legal fees to her stepson, whom she accused of blocking her from collecting half of her wealthy husband's estate.
In a draft order Monday, Probate Judge Mike Wood also reduced to $10 million a jury's $35.2 million damage judgment against stepson E. Pierce Marshall's brother, J. Howard Marshall III, for bringing a baseless lawsuit.
The judge ordered Smith and J. Howard Marshall III to pay $1.2 million to the estate for the temporary administrator's fees.
The preliminary ruling supports a jury's finding that Smith and J. Howard Marshall III are not entitled to anything from the estate of oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II.
Smith and Marshall II 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.
J. Howard Marshall III had also sued his brother, claiming their father promised them equal shares of his estate, valued at $1.2 billion by some estimates, but measured at $40 million to $60 million by Pierce Marshall.
Pierce Marshall said he feels vindicated by the judge's preliminary ruling. ``It is time for Smith to pay up and move on,'' he said.
Smith's attorneys say they are waiting to see the judge's final judgment.
``It may differ significantly from his draft letter,'' said Richard Zook. ``We are still not 100 percent clear on what his final judgment will be.''