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Zsa Zsa Gabor’s Husband Deprived Her of Daughter Whose Body Went Unclaimed for Days after Death

Junie Sihlangu
Apr 01, 2022
03:40 P.M.
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Zsa Zsa Gabor's only child, Francesca Hilton, was allegedly kept away from her by her last husband, Frederic Prinz von Anhalt. Her stepfather only claimed Francesca's body after days in the morgue.

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Zsa Zsa Gabor married Conrad Hilton in 1942 despite being 30 years younger than him. According to Sam Staggs's book "Finding Zsa Zsa: The Gabors Behind the Legend," the couple didn't share a bedroom during their marriage.

The hotel magnate kept his wife on a budget. After their divorce in 1947, Gabor gave birth to Francesca Hilton, their daughter, and her only child with her ex-husband - claiming the pregnancy hadn't been planned.

Zsa Zsa Gabor at a Miami Beach benefit event in 1988, and the actress with Francesca Hilton at Matinee Theatre in a role in "The Babylonian Heart" on April 19, 1956. | Source: Frank Carroll/NBCU Photo Bank & Alan Oxley/Getty Images

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According to Staggs, Conrad only had "two passions in life: his religion and Hilton hotels." He didn't believe Francesca was his daughter despite his name appearing on the child's birth certificate.

However, Gabor called the birth of her daughter the happiest moment in her life. Despite Conrad's doubts about Francesca's paternity, he attended the ceremony when she was confirmed into the Roman Catholic Church in 1960.

Zsa Zsa Gabor, Conrad "Nicky" Hilton, and Natalie Wood at Mike Romanoff's Restaurant on June 13, 1957. | Source: Bruce Bailey/Getty Images

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Gabor's ex-husband also took her and the little girl to lunch at his Beverly Hilton Hotel. Conrad generally treated Francesca well, but he refused when she borrowed money from him later in life, but that's the same way he handled requests from his three older children.

When Conrad passed away in 1979, he left Gabor's daughter a mere $100,000 out of an estimated $200 million estate. Francesca sued and tried to contest his will but lost the case.

GABOR'S OTHER MARRIAGES AND FRANCESCA CUT OFF FROM WEALTHY MOM

Zsa Zsa Gabor, Francesca Hilton, and Porforio Rubirosa at Idlewild Airport on December 31, 1954. | Source: Bettmann/Getty Images

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After Gabor's marriage to Conrad failed, she tied the knot with actor George Sanders. He wasn't her last husband she had, as he was followed by financier Herbert Hutner, oil heir Joshua Cosden, inventor Jack Ryan, and actor Felipe de Alba.

Francesca wasn't well-off after Conrad died and had to earn a living with different jobs like stand-up comedy, acting, and working for Gabor's late husband's charity foundation. She watched her mother get married six more times after Conrad.

Zsa Zsa Gabor and Prince Frederick von Anhalt make a brief appearance outside her Bel Air mansion on August 14, 1986, after their wedding in Los Angeles. | Source: Bettmann/Getty Images

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Gabor's last and ninth husband was Frederic Prinz von Anhalt, with whom she had an age difference of around 25 years. The couple got married in 1986, and Francesca disliked him when she saw him. 

On the outside, the actress's daughter seemed abrasive and tough; however, the truth was inside, she was still a little girl who wanted a father. Von Anhalt built a wedge between mother and daughter and cut the latter off financially.

Francesca Hilton and Zsa Zsa Gabor at the Hope Dinner, circa 1963. | Source: Archive Photos/Getty Images

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In Staggs's book, he claimed Francesca shared how Gabor used to call her ten times a day, but her new husband disconnected her phone. Although Von Anhalt said he loved his wife, reports suggested that the marriage was more for convenience than anything else.

By the time the couple reached 29 years of marriage, the union had outlasted all of Gabor's past marriages. Despite her mother making this marriage work, Francesca was still at loggerheads with her stepfather.

FRANCESCA SUES FREDERIC

Zsa Zsa Gabor and Prince Von Anhalt in Beverly Hills, California on January 16, 1982. | Source: Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

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In 2002, Gabor was involved in a car accident and had to be wheelchair-bound due to partial paralysis. She also suffered from strokes and other health problems, like having her leg amputated due to an infection and being unable to speak, plus several surgeries.

Von Anhalt stayed by his wife's side and nursed her full-time. He struggled to remain the decision-maker for Gabor after her daughter filed legally against him, trying to find a court-appointed conservator so her mother's funds and medical care could be independently controlled.

Francesca Hilton and Zsa Zsa Gabor at the 63rd Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade on November 27, 1994, in Hollywood, California. | Source: Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

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In March 2021, Francesca claimed Von Anhalt messed up Gabor's medical care, mismanaged her funds, and refused her entry to visit the actress. He denied the claims and settled the matter with Francesca out of court.

In the settlement, the star's daughter's lawyer would receive monthly reports from Von Anhalt, and Francesca could have one-hour-long weekly visits with her mother, but the tension between her and Gabor's husband remained. 

FRANCESCA'S CONTINUED FEUD WITH FREDERIC AND MORE

Francesca Hilton at the Women in Show Business Awards in 1993. | Source: Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

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The feud between Von Anhalt and Francesca remained until she died at age 67 on January 6, 2015. According to Edward Lozzi, her representative, she passed away in Los Angeles from an "apparent stroke/heart attack." 

Francesca's fiancé Michael Natsis administered CPR with paramedics before she was taken to Cedars-Sinai and pronounced dead. Before her death, she confessed that she was still quite upset with her mother's husband and challenged him to tackle matters legally. 

Constance Francesca Hilton outside the Santa Monica Court House on July 27, 2007, in Santa Monica, California. | Source: Toby Canham/Getty Images

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Lozzi claimed Von Anhalt broke the court's order about Francesca's visitations the same month the actress's daughter died. At that point, Gabor had dementia and couldn't speak.

A petition claim revealed that the star's [Zsa Zsa Gabor] husband [Frederic Prinz von Anhalt] believed Francesca [Hilton] had stolen the original will while she had access to it.

Francesca called Ken Kossoff, her lawyer, hours before her death to plan a course of action against her stepfather. Weeks before Francesca passed on, she was allegedly wholly broke and was living in a low-end apartment building or her car.

Zsa Zsa Gabor and Francesca Hilton during a sighting on August 16, 1983. | Source: Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

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When she died, no one claimed her body for days. However, Von Anhalt eventually came forward to make the funeral arrangements, but Francesca's publicist blamed Gabor's husband for her daughter's death, saying he'd stressed her, leading to the heart attack.

Von Anhalt wasn't allowed to claim his stepdaughter's body, and instead, her nephew, Steven, was named as the person who would. The plan was for Francesca's friends to lay her to rest in a way they believed she would've wanted.

Zsa Zsa Gabor posing for a photo on August 13, 1952. | Source: Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

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Gabor lived for a long time but eventually died at age 99 in December 2016, a year after her daughter. Court documents obtained by one publication revealed that Von Anhalt was named the sole trustee of the late actress's fortune. 

The documents also noted how Gabor's initial will had become "lost or missing." A petition claim revealed that the star's husband believed Francesca had stolen the original will while she had access to it.

The late actress's husband thought his stepdaughter got possession of the will in an attempt to "defraud third parties." Von Anhalt's petition said Francesca wanted to make her attempt with a forged will.

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