ZSA ZSA GABOR was known for her Hollywood roles – but now her real life is like a soap opera thanks to a nasty family feud.
As the ailing 94-year-old former socialite and actress lies motionless, unable to eat, and barely able to communicate, tensions have been growing between the two people closest to her: her husband of 25 years, Frederic Prinz von Anhalt, and her only daughter, Francesca Hilton.
Von Anhalt and Hilton fight over her will, each rewriting it without telling the other. They also fight over her house: Von Anhalt sued Hilton in 2005 for refinancing the property, which she says she did to protect her mother’s investments. Now, Hilton is disputing von Anhalt’s right to sell the place.
Hilton detests von Anhalt for publishing photos of Gabor in her hospital gown; he says it allows her fans to see that she’s happy and not “half dead.”
They argue over visiting Gabor: von Anhalt says that because Hilton is “crazy,” she can only come when accompanied by a doctor. Hilton says she hasn’t been allowed to see her mother in more than two months.
While von Anhalt talks openly to the press, Hilton typically hides from it
Last week, Zsa Zsa underwent surgery to reposition her feeding tube. Since last summer, she has been admitted to UCLA Medical Center nearly two dozen times.
Von Anhalt, who claims to be a German prince, now says he wants to have a baby with an egg donor and a surrogate, because after his wife dies, “I will be very alone.”
Von Anhalt met Gabor in 1984 while on vacation in Los Angeles from Germany.
Hilton says she and her mother were always very close, talking on the phone “10 times a day.”
“He’s the one who tried to separate us,” Hilton says of von Anhalt. “I have no idea why he hates me.”
One thing the two agree on is that their troubles began in 2002 after a car accident that left Gabor paralyzed and wheelchair-bound. She became dependent on von Anhalt’s care, and he and Hilton began butting heads.
Hilton says that after the accident, von Anhalt started pushing her away and behaving oddly. Von Anhalt says Hilton is simply threatened by his relationship with Gabor.
“She knew my wife depends on me and that’s dangerous,” he says, adding that he thinks Hilton regards her mother as “(her) life insurance.”
Von Anhalt has served as Gabor’s primary caretaker and spokesman since she broke her hip last July.
Hilton says that when she calls von Anhalt to inquire after her mother, he spews expletives at her and hangs up the phone.
“I don’t know why he doesn’t tell me when she’s in the hospital so I could see her,” she says. “It’s truly not right. It’s my mother. He doesn’t own her.”