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Anna Nicole Smith's estate loses oil fortune

Anna Nicole Smith's estate will receive none of the more than £200m she claimed her late billionaire husband had promised her, a US federal appeals court said yesterday. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals is the latest stop in the 15-year legal battle over the £1bn estate that oil magnate J Howard Marshall left after his death in 1995 aged 90. Smith had married Marshall the previous year and argued he meant to leave her more than $300m. She died in 2007.

Lawyers for Marshall's son's estate say they hope the litigation is at an end with the ruling.