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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, March 20, 2010

Billionaire left Smith nothing, court rules


Advertiser News Services

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Anna Nicole Smith

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SAN FRANCISCO The elderly Texas billionaire who married Anna Nicole Smith in the last year of his life never intended to leave the former stripper any portion of his vast fortune, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with a Houston jury that said J. Howard Marshall was mentally fit and under no undue pressure when he wrote a will leaving nearly all of his $1.6 billion estate to his son E. Pierce Marshall and nothing to Smith.

The ruling was the latest development in the bitter 15-year legal battle. Smith said the elder Marshall promised her more than $300 million, even though there was no written documentation.

OPRAH TO TESTIFY IN SOUTH AFRICA LAWSUIT

PHILADELPHIA Oprah Winfrey and several schoolgirls allegedly abused at her academy in South Africa are expected to testify in a trial over a defamation lawsuit brought by the school's former headmistress, whose performance Winfrey criticized.

When news of the scandal broke in 2007, Winfrey said she had "lost confidence" in headmistress Nomvuyo Mzamane and was "cleaning house from top to bottom."

Mzamane, who said she didn't know about any sexual abuse, had trouble finding another job afterward.

The case is headed for a two-week jury trial in federal court in Philadelphia starting March 29.

OCTUPLETS MOM FACING FORECLOSURE

LA HABRA, Calif. Octuplets mom Nadya Suleman could be kicked out of her Southern California home.

Mortgage holder Amer Haddadin said he is starting foreclosure proceedings on the $565,000 La Habra residence because the family hasn't kept up the payments.

His friend and adviser, Ramsey Masso, said yesterday that Haddadin signed over the home to Suleman's father last year.

Ed Suleman, who leased the home to his daughter, was supposed to pay about $4,000 a month and a final balloon payment of $450,000 that was due earlier this month.

Masso said the family was late on recent payments and also missed the balloon payment.

ACTRESSES LINKED TO ONLINE SUICIDE THREAT

CASSELBERRY, Fla. Actresses Demi Moore and Nia Vardalos were linked to an online chain of Twitter posts that ultimately led to Florida authorities intervening yesterday when an 18-year-old man threatened to commit suicide.

Moore's Twitter account, mrskutcher, was among those responding to a message from a young man threatening to hang himself in his front yard in Casselberry, north of Orlando.

Vardalos' eponymous account included a message that she had called a suicide hot line and been connected to Florida police.

"I gave his name+city. They went to home, helped him," one message read.