Los Angeles (CNN) — Zsa Zsa Gabor’s daughter got her wish when a Los Angeles judge appointed a conservator to oversee the 95-year-old actress’s finances and medical care Wednesday.
But the man named temporary conservator is Gabor’s ninth husband, Prince Frederic von Anhalt, who has feuded with his stepdaughter Francesca Hilton for years.
Hilton contended when she filed for the conservatorship in March that von Anhalt kept her ailing mother “increasingly isolated” and “heavily sedated,” and she questions his handling of Gabor’s finances.
Hilton is satisfied, though, because the court order requires her stepfather to provide monthly financial reports and medical records, Hilton lawyer Kenneth Kossoff said.
The Hungarian-born actress was once one of Hollywood’s most glamorous women, but a broken hip and leg amputation in the past two years have left her confined to a bed.
The arrangement is an improvement for Hilton because it will “make sure Zsa Zsa’s money is used for Zsa Zsa’s benefit and not for anybody’s birthday party, billboards or mayoral campaign,” Kossoff said.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Reva Goetz, who also oversees singer Britney Spears’ conservatorship, ordered an end to any powers of attorney von Anhalt might claim that would have allowed him to sell Gabor’s Bel Air mansion or other estate assets.
As conservator, he must send canceled checks and other financial records to Hilton’s lawyer each month. Von Anhalt can make spending decisions with some of the money, but he must get court approval to access one bank account, Kossoff said.
Hilton and von Anhalt have battled publicly for several years over Gabor’s finances and her access to her mother.
“He’s basically taken my mother away from me,” Hilton told CNN in an interview a year ago.
Von Anhalt, in an interview with CNN, said he limits his stepdaughter’s access because she brings negativity into the room.
“I want smiling people in here. Happy, smiling people,” he said.
He defended his care of Gabor, saying, “I’m going to make sure she has a good life, as long as I live, I will take care of her.”
Von Anhalt, 68, maintains a high media profile, including a run for governor of California in 2010 that he halted after his wife’s hip injury. He is currently an announced candidate for mayor of Los Angeles.
He made news several years ago when he claimed to be the father of Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter after the actress’s death. Paternity tests later disproved that claim.
Last year, von Anhalt announced that he wanted Gabor to become a mother again using an egg donor, artificial insemination and a surrogate mother.
“That’s just weird,” Hilton said at the time.
“I’m a retired guy,” von Anhalt said then. “I can take care of it.”
The unusual motherhood plan was never hatched.
Von Anhalt is 27 years younger than Gabor, whom he married more than 25 years ago.
The conservatorship agreement, reached through mediation, expires in January when the judge will revisit the case, the lawyer said.
Zsa Zsa Gabor’s daughter, husband reach truce in dispute over actress’s care
July 12, 2012
L.A. judge names Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband as her temporary conservator
City News Service
July 11, 2012
LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles judge today named Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband the temporary conservator of the ailing actress and her estate, ending for now a bitter battle between him and his wife’s daughter concerning who would oversee the 95-year-old’s affairs.
The order by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Reva Goetz appointing Frederic von Anhalt as his wife’s conservator is good for six months. She set another hearing for Jan. 9 for an evaluation of how the agreement has worked.
Constance Francesca Gabor Hilton filed her petition March 20 after learning her mother’s home was in default over missed mortgage payments and that von Anhalt had obtained a six-figure loan against his wife’s equity in the property, according to a statement issued on behalf of Hilton’s attorney.
Gabor’s real estate holdings are worth more than $10.6 million, according to her 65-year-old only child, who was fathered by hotelier Conrad Hilton.
A brief hearing on the petition was scheduled in early May, but Goetz postponed the matter so both sides could try to reach a settlement. Today, the lawyers told Goetz an interim solution was reached in favor of appointing von Anhalt as Gabor’s temporary conservator.
Both Hilton and von Anhalt attended today’s hearing, but did not address the court.
Key areas of dispute included the ability of Hilton and her mother’s friends to visit Gabor without interference by von Anhalt, as well as Gabor’s financial protection, said Kenneth Kossoff, Hilton’s attorney.
Koffoff said after today’s hearing that he is “cautiously optimistic” the agreement will benefit both sides. He said it contains conditions that will allow his client regular visits with her mother and protect Gabor’s finances. In a capacity declaration document submitted by Kossoff, Dr. Debra Judelson wrote that Gabor is “bedbound, unable to hear or see clearly, unable to respond or answer questions, becomes agitated when outside of familiar environment.”
Judelson also wrote that Gabor is “calmer in (a) familiar home environment with familiar people, agitated in (a) hospital setting” and “recognizes husband by voice/hand squeeze and able to be calmed by him.”
In a previously submitted sworn statement, Hilton claimed von Anhalt, 68, has thrown up a wall between her and her mother.
“My mother’s husband has increasingly isolated my mother from me and from others who have long been close to her,” Hilton said in a sworn statement. “Before she broke her hip, my mother and I spoke several times every day. Since she broke her hip, her husband has removed the telephone that used to be by her bed.”
In his court papers, attorney William Remery, on behalf of von Anhalt, said his client has “managed (Gabor’s) finances prudently while under significant financial straits created in large part by (Hilton’s) own abuse of power of attorney given to her by (her mother).”
Remery argued that von Anhalt was “entitled to priority for consideration” regarding any appointment of a conservator for Gabor.
In her statement, Hilton claimed she was alarmed during visits on Nov. 27 and Feb. 8, when her mother “seemed heavily sedated” and had remnants from bed sores. A makeup artist who prepared Gabor for her 95th birthday party Feb. 6 saw lesions on the woman’s face, according to Hilton.
Until she was heavily sedated, Gabor did not allow her husband access to her funds because of a pre-marital agreement, Hilton said. However, Gabor now has allowed him to obtain a $700,000 loan against the home, according to Hilton.
Hilton said she wants an independent medical evaluation of whether her mother should continue to be confined to bed.
Gabor’s right leg was amputated a year ago because of gangrene. After she broke her hip in July 2011, the Hilton-von Anhalt relationship appeared to deteriorate.