Smith always claimed that she fell desperately in love with him. Mr Marshall’s promise to his wife was never committed to paper and there were no witnesses. On his death, his youngest son disputed any claims Smith made for money. He said that his father never included Smith in any of his six wills.
Soon after her husband’s death his widow and her young son from a previous relationship were living in a squalid flat in Los Angeles and on the verge of bankruptcy. She became addicted to prescription drugs and alcohol and sold all of the expensive presents her late husband had bought her.
She filed for bankruptcy in January 1996 after losing an $850,000 (£586,000) judgment brought against her by a former female assistant alleging sexual harassment. However, she never stopped fighting for the money she believed was rightfully hers.