At 70, Elaine Tettemer Marshall seems a bit old to be the daughter-in-law of someone who would have turned 46 this year. That that someone happened to be Anna Nicole Smith, the gold-digging Playboy playmate who married 86-year-old J. Howard Marshall in 1994, a year before he died, explains a lot.
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The next dozen years were spent by Elaine Marshall trying to steer clear of a media circus as her husband, Dallas businessman E. Pierce Marshall, fought with Smith over control of his father's estate. She was mostly successful and, after her husband died in 2006, followed by Smith the next year, few knew her face or name.
Also unknown was exactly how much money Elaine Marshall was sitting on. Her husband's estate was reportedly worth $125 million, but, as Bloomberg reported yesterday, Marshall's net worth is more like $12.7 billion, or 100 times what was initially thought.
The added wealth, as Bloomberg reports, comes in the form of a 15-percent stake in Koch Industries, the multinational conglomerate of which David and Charles Koch own 84 of the remaining 85 percent. The holdings, acquired during extensive dealings between Howard Marshall and the Koch family starting in 1959, were placed in a trust by Pierce Marshall in 2006 after an unfavorable Supreme Court decision that bolstered Smith's claims. The assets were transferred to a trust controlled by his wife upon his death.
By Bloomberg's account, that makes makes Elaine Marshall the 69th richest person in the country and the fourth richest woman, behind Alice and Christy Walton and candy heiress Jacqueline Mars.