UPDATE: And just like that, the Supreme dream died. Today Justice Anthony Kennedy denied Stern’s petition to lift the stay in the case.
Today, relatives of the late E. Pierce Marshall asked the U.S. Supreme Court not to lift a stay preventing the estate of ex-Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith from collecting more than $88 million from Marshall’s estate. Meanwhile, the lawyer who petitioned the Court to life that stay got arrested yesterday.
These are but the latest installments in the ongoing real-life serial legal drama over the fortune left by Smith’s husband, oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II.
On Monday, attorney and former Smith flame Howard K. Stern asked the high court to lift a court-imposed stay to a federal judgment granting Smith the cash. E. Pierce Marshall, the oil magnate’s son, fought Smith over the money, which she said the older Marshall promised her during their brief marriage. Stern said the petition was made on behalf of Smith’s daughter, Danielynn, who is the sole heir to Smith’s estate.
The judgment was stayed while the case was appealed on a plethora of issues, including a jurisdictional question that went all the way to the Supreme Court in 2006. Later that year, the younger Marshall died, and Smith died of an accidental overdose a year later.
Today, the younger Marshall’s widow, Elaine Marshall, filed a response to Stern’s petition in the Supreme Court. She asked the justices to keep the order preventing Smith’s estate from collecting the $88.5 million until the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sorts out the tangle of competing claims.
Meanwhile, Stern was arrested and charged yesterday, along with two doctors, with illegally providing Smith with addictive prescription drugs under a false name.