November 03, 2000 10:30pm
Angry Anna Nicole Smith to Return to Courtroom
(HOUSTON, TX) -- An angry Anna Nicole Smith said on Thursday she would return to court next week after a judge rejected a motion to halt her inheritance trial because of a weightlifting injury that put her in the hospital for two weeks.
Smith, who is suing for half of her late 90-year-old husband's oil fortune, told KPRC-TV of Houston she would go back to court on Monday, but was upset that Probate Judge Mike Wood rejected a motion for mistrial on Wednesday while expressing doubts about the severity of her injury.
``It's ridiculous,'' the former Playboy Playmate of the Year said while seated in a wheelchair as she checked out of the hospital.
``I'm being called a liar, a fake,'' Smith said. ``I've had IV's in my arms and in my feet, in my thigh...I've been tortured here and they're acting like I came here and ho, ho, ooh, I'm having (intravenous) drugs.''
Smith, 32, got hurt when a dumbbell fell off a cocktail bar onto her left hand while she exercised on the floor of her residence at 3 a.m.
Her attorneys sought to stop the trial and reset it for another date because of fears that her prolonged absence would affect the jury's verdict.
They said she may have suffered nerve damage and could need weeks of therapy. The trial, which began Oct. 2, is expected to last into January.
But Wood, after hearing testimony from three physicians, said he doubted Smith's injury was so serious and ordered the trial to continue.
Smith married oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall in 1994 when she was 26 and he was 89 after they met at a Houston club where she was a stripper. She said he promised her half his fortune, estimated at $1.6 billion, to marry, but when he died 14 months later she got nothing.
Attorneys for stepson Pierce Marshall, who controls his father's estate, have accused Smith of being a gold digger who took advantage of an old man to get his money.
In hearings on Wednesday, two physicians hired by Marshall to examine Smith said she had only a bruised hand and was well enough to come back to the trial.
Marshall's attorneys also made much of the fact that the actress and model with a reputation for partying was receiving unusually potent painkillers intravenously, asking at one point if it did not constitute ``legal substance abuse'' on her part.
They also said she earlier checked out of the hospital for a day to go to Los Angeles for a photo shoot, which Wood said showed she was not badly hurt.
Smith, who is from Mexia, Texas, said she went to Los Angeles because she would have been sued had she missed the job. She gripped a rubber ball for therapy during the interview and said she would use it in courtroom.
``I'm going to do my therapy in the damned court, I guess,'' she said bitterly.