- The Washington Times - Friday, March 13, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has turned down a plea for help from the estate of Anna Nicole Smith in a fight over a Texas oil tycoon’s fortune.

Kennedy refused Friday to lift a court order that prevents Smith’s estate from collecting $88.5 million that once belonged to billionaire oil man J. Howard Marshall II, who married Smith a year before his death in 1995.

The money has been tied up in a long-running fight between Smith and Marshall’s youngest son, E. Pierce Marshall. Both Smith and Marshall are now dead, but their estates have continued the battle.

Howard K. Stern, Smith’s lawyer-turned-boyfriend, had asked Kennedy to lift the order that was put in place by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Stern said that Smith’s 2-year-old daughter, Dannielynn, is the sole beneficiary of Smith’s estate.

Smith died of a drug overdose in 2007.

Stern, who claimed he was the girl’s father until DNA tests showed otherwise, has been charged with conspiring to give Smith thousands of prescription pills before her death.

Elaine Marshall, Pierce Marshall’s widow, had argued that the order preventing Smith’s estate from collecting the money should remain in place while the appeals court tries to sort out the tangle of competing claims.

Pierce Marshall died in 2006.

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