Larry Birkhead may soon be laughing all the way to the bank.
A federal judge ruled this week that Dannielynn - the six-year old daughter Larry had with the late Anna Nicole Smith - may be entitled to as much as $49 million due to sanctions from the estate of E. Pierce Marshall, the son of Anna's ex-husband, J. Howard Marshall.
The judge found "massive discovery abuse" in Marshall's legal battle against the deceased model and has ordered his estate to pay up as punishment.
Such a punitive figure arises from allegations that Marshall’s estate lawyers utilizes “delaying tactics like shipping crucial legal documents to a lawyer in Lake Charles, La. to try and keep them out of the hands of Smith’s lawyers,” according to Forbes.
Those representing Anna Nicole have been trying for many years to recover hundreds of millions from the enormous estate of her late ex, which is estimated to be close to $1 billion.
He passed away at the age of 90 in 1995, but did not include his wife at the time in his will.
"This is a complete vindication of Anna Nicole's rights, and a total condemnation of what was done to her," Phil Boesch, lawyer of Smith's estate, told Forbes. "We are confident that the amount Anna's estate and daughter Dannielynn will finally be awarded will be fair and substantial."
Anna Nicole died from a drug overdose in 2007 at age 39.