The story of Zsa Zsa Gabor has been a sad one lately, as the 94-year-old actress has struggled with a multitude of health problems, including a broken hip, the loss of a leg due to an an infection and a coma from which she ultimately awakened.
But thanks mostly to her current and ninth husband, Prince Frederic von Anhalt, her story has also been an increasingly weird one as well.
Last month, von Anhalt — a gregarious 68-year-old who is not shy about seeking publicity — paid $68,000, according to the L.A. Times, to buy a massive billboard on Sunset Blvd. announcing the couple’s 25th wedding anniversary on Aug. 14. “Please celebrate with us,” the billboard urged, while also offering the URL for von Anhalt’s Web site, princefrederic.com.
And Von Anhalt and Gabor really did celebrate on the 14th, throwing a big bash Sunday at the couple’s Bel-Air home despite the fact that his wife remains bedridden.
“Now people attack me for this,” Von Anhalt said in an interview with a KABC TV reporter. (See video below). “They say, how can you do it with a sick woman? Look, my wife is 94 years old. She should have everything she wants, and she should have everything large. This big party is not for the guests, not for the media, not for me. This big party is for Zsa Zsa.”
Here’s Von Anhalt’s interview in full:
The Daily Mail got its hands on some photos from the big event, pictures that show stars like famed producer Quincy Jones, Robert Blake and Frank Stallone, brother of Sylvester, enjoying the party. (Well, Frank Stallone apparently fell asleep at one point during the proceedings, assuming those photos are accurate. But presumably he enjoyed himself.)
To some outside observers, this all smacks of bad taste and insensitivity. But others don’t necessarily think so.
“Stuck in her room alone for another few hours or entertaining friends and family for a few minutes? I choose the former,” wrote a commenter named Tai (from a non-existent location dubbed “Obama got Osama, USA”) on the Daily Mail’s Web site. “The woman is very sick. Everyone knows it. This might be her last chance to see them.”
Is von Anhalt using his frail wife for publicity? Or is he just trying to help her have some fun despite her illness? Weigh in with a comment. I suspect you’ll have a lot to say.