The 6-year-old daughter of Anna Nicole Smith may soon receive as much as $49 million after a judge ruled this week that she's entitled to part of oil billionaire J. Howard Marshall's wealth, according to multiple reports.
Dannielynn Birkhead, Smith's daughter from a relationship with Larry Birkhead, was declared the sole heir to the estate in 2008, but the Supreme Court ruled three years later that Anna Nicole Smith's estate wasn't owed any of the $475 million that she was awarded.
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Thanks to a new ruling, a judge ordered the estate of E. Pierce Marshall, the son of Smith's ex-husband, to pay damages, a decision based on claims that attorneys working for Marshall's estate used unethical tricks through the legal system, including concealing key legal documents from Smith's estate lawyers.
The Marshall estate is estimated at between $500 million and $1 billion. He married the former Playboy playmate and Guess model in 1994, despite being 62 years her senior. He died a year later. Smith died in 2007 of a prescription drug overdose in the Bahamas.
The legal fight has lasted more than a decade. Smith's estate had been attempting to recover hundreds of millions of dollars.
"This is a complete vindication of Anna Nicole's rights and a total condemnation of what was done to her," lawyer Phil Boesch told Forbes. "We are confident that the amount Anna's estate and daughter Dannielynn will finally be awarded will be fair and substantial."
For her part, Dannielynn is being raised by her father, who had to establish paternity in a suit against Smith's then-partner and lawyer Howard K. Stern. Bikhead and his daughter recently appeared together at the Kentucky Debry, dressed as characters from Mary Poppins
"I see her mom in everything she does," Birkhead told UsWeekly, adding: "We were at the Kentucky Derby and she started smiling and posing like her mom would. People ask me to put her in modelling, but I don't want to push."
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