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Anna Nicole Smith’s Marriage Was a Gold Digging Master Class Gone Wrong

Will there ever be a purer love story than the one between then-26-year-old Anna Nicole Smith and her 89-year-old billionaire husband J. Howard Marshall? The iconic blonde was known for her rollercoaster life and hysterical antics, all ending in 2007 from a tragic, accidental overdose. Yet nothing, not TrimSpa, not the Anna Nicole Smith Show, not even that time she slept with a ghost, defined her crazy life like Anna Nicole Smith's marriage to the wheelchaired bound geriatric.

Usually, what's what the forefront of our memories is the endless string of court cases Anna Nicole fought in order to get his fortune. And yet how she ended up with the man she affectionately referred to as "Paw Paw" (couldn't even be subtle about the sugar daddy thing) is a whole other tale. After spending years struggling to make a living, the then-stripper strategically made herself the apple of J. Howard's eye. And look, we're not saying that goldigging is the most honorable way to make a living. But the shrewd and extravagant Anna Nicole definitely made this marriage into the controversy of the century.

What unfolds below is the story that, like our fallen anti-heroine, is kooky, melodramatic, hilarious and profoundly sad. But first, a bit of context…

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