A judge in the U.S. has ended years of legal wrangling over Anna Nicole Smith's share of her billionaire husband's fortune.

Anna Nicole Smith was married to Texas oil baron J Howard Marshall for 14 months prior to his death in 1995 at the age of 90, and she spent years fighting his relatives for a slice of his $1.6 billion estate.

The blonde star died from an accidental drug overdose in 2007, and the legal fight was continued by her executors on behalf of her young daughter, Dannielynn, who looked set for a pay day worth millions of dollars if a court ruled in her late mother's favour.

However, U.S. District Court Judge David Carter has now brought the matter to a conclusion and rejected the Smith estate's challenge for a $44 million (£25.9 million) share of Marshall's money.

The judge also ruled the wrangling will not be allowed to proceed any further, saying, "Time spent litigating the relationship between (Smith) and J Howard has extended for nearly five times the length of their relationship and nearly 20 times the length of their marriage. It is neither reasonable nor practical to go forward."

Dannielynn, seven, is Smith's child with ex-boyfriend Larry Birkhead. Her son Daniel died aged 20 just months before his mother.