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June 2011

The Anna Nicole Smith Case Finally Ends

No, it can’t be … has the 15-year saga started by Anna Nicole Smith, as she tried to get money from the estate of her deceased husband, really come to and end? The court battle involved the fortune owned by the late J. Howard Marshall, II, who was a 90-year-old Texas oil billionaire before he passed away in 1995.   ANS and JHM

The case started in Texas probate court, moved to bankruptcy court in California, traveled up and down the federal court system through numerous appeals, hearings, and even two trips to the United States Supreme Court.

The case survived the death of both people who were fighting — Anna Nicole Smith and her step-son (who was 27 years older than she was). But the case is alive no more. Anna Nicole’s quest for a bequest has failed.

That’s right, apparently love doesn’t conquer all. We all know that Anna Nicole must have been deeply in love with Howard Marshall (whom she met while stripping) despite their age difference of more than 60 years. And she was rewarded for her love with about $8 million in gifts during their brief marriage that lasted just over a year.

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Zsa Zsa Gabor's Family Fights as She Nears Death

Zsa Zsa Gabor, who appeared in dozens of movies and television shows throughout a career that spanned five decades, is approaching the end. She has a feeding tube, can hardly tell when she’s at home or in the hospital, and is barely able to communicate. According to a recent Associated Press story, she’s been admitted to the hospital nearly two dozen times since last summer, and she recently was in a coma.   Zsa-Zsa-Gabor

Sadly, her final days are surrounding by fighting, between her husband of 25 years and her only daughter. Frederic Prinz von Anhalt is her ninth husband, and he’s been her devoted caregiver and says he is constantly by her side. Gabor’s daughter, Francesca Hilton (yes, from that Hilton family), tells a different story of Von Anhalt. She says he doesn’t let her visit her mother, won’t update her about her medical condition, and that she learned of a recent hospitalization from a reporter, since Von Anhalt won’t talk to her.

Hilton says she wants to see her mother and have independent confirmation that she is being well cared for. She is struggling with having gone from speaking with her mother 10 times a day, she says, to being shut out.

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Michael Jackson Estate Faces $17.5 Million Insurance Fight

Legal controversy has surrounded the Estate of Michael Jackson ever since he died almost two years ago. Trial & Heirs did a year in review article last year; it’s almost time for year two. You can now add a new lawsuit — over $17.5 million worth of insurance — to the list. Michael Jackson 3

Concert promoter AEG Live took out the large insurance policy over Michael Jackson in case he died and was unable to perform the “This Is It” concert tour. Of course, that’s exactly what happened, showing that AEG was smart to take that precaution. Reportedly, AEG spent some $20 to $25 million on the tour before the King of Pop’s death, and this insurance was supposed to protect that investment. Both AEG and a Michael Jackson limited liability company that is controlled by the Estate were named as beneficiaries eligible to collect that money under the policy.

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Did Ryan O'Neal take advantage of Farrah Fawcett?

Farrah Fawcett, dying from cancer, floated in and out of consciousness and needed a full-time nurse when Ryan O’Neal interceded to appease NBC and make sure a documentary about Fawcett’s struggle with cancer aired in time for the May sweeps period. At least, that’s the picture painted in a recent New York Times articleFarrah-fawcett-young

We’ve blogged before about the lawsuit which pitted Fawcett-confidant and television producer, Craig Nevius, against the on-again, off-again ex-husband/boyfriend of Fawcett, Ryan O’Neal. Nevius was working with Fawcett to produce a documentary about her struggles with cancer, to help highlight flaws in the American medical system and how it treated cancer patients.

But, NBC wasn’t pleased with the progress of the documentary and insisted that it be completed on time for a May 2009 airing. Nevius did not want to release the footage without final approval from Fawcett, but she was too sick to provide it, he says.

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