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The Tragedy of Francesca Hilton, Daughter of Zsa Zsa Gabor and Hilton Founder
Everyone loves a good rags-to-riches tale. But Francesca Gabor Hilton’s life followed a dramatically different path. Born to Hollywood star (and Kim Kardashian predecessor), Zsa Zsa Gabor, and founder of the famed Hilton hotel dynasty, Conrad Hilton, Francesca was raised attending celebrity parties, living in mansions, earning blue ribbons in horse-riding competitions, and jet-setting to Paris, Rome, and other fashionable cities. But her life was not as idyllic as it seemed.
Zsa Zsa Gabor wrote in her autobiography that Francesca was born following a pregnancy that resulted from rape by her husband at the time, Conrad Hilton. The couple divorced before Francesca was born. Francesca told the LA Times in 2007 that she spent Christmases and occasional upscale lunches with her father. But their relationship was never close. When Conrad died in 1979, he left his only daughter a scant $100,000 out of his estate, with most of the wealth earmarked for charity. Conrad Hilton’s estate, which was worth about $200 million at the time, included massive Hilton Hotel stock interests.
Francesca sued to challenge the will but lost. At the same time, one of her half-brothers, Barron Hilton, also challenged the estate in probate court and walked away with voting interest and income rights over the majority of Hilton Hotel corporate stock. Already acting as CEO of the company, he dramatically grew the value and holdings of the Hilton empire and became a Forbes 400-ranked billionaire in the process. In 2007, Barron Hilton announced that his estate plan, like his father’s, would leave the large majority of his holdings (specifically, 97% of $2.3 billion) to charity when he dies — much to the chagrin of his famous granddaughter, Paris Hilton.
Unlike her well-to-do grand-niece, Francesca stopped enjoying the support of wealthy parents many years ago. She tried to earn a living from a variety of jobs — including acting, stand-up comedy, and working for her father’s charitable foundation. She watched her mother go through six more husbands after Conrad Hilton, before finally “settling down” with Prince Frederic von Anhalt in 1986. While von Anhalt and Zsa Zsa were both coy about their actual ages, well-accepted media reports have placed the couple’s age difference at 25 years, at least.
Their marriage appeared to be one of convenience more so than love. At least, that’s what thisVanity Fair story from 2007 suggests, even though von Anhalt said he loved Zsa Zsa. Nonetheless, the relationship gets the prize for lasting the longest of Zsa Zsa’s nine marriages. In fact, going on 29 years, the marriage has outlasted all of Zsa Zsa’s prior eight marriagescombined.
In that time, Zsa Zsa’s age finally caught up with her, especially after a 2002 car accident that left her wheelchair-bound with partial paralysis, followed by multiple strokes, surgeries, and other health problems, including losing the ability to speak and the amputation of her leg due to an infection. The Prince has remained as her husband and full-time caregiver throughout, despite numerous bumps in the road, such as his public claim that he had an affair with Anna Nicole Smith, his bizarre plan to cause Zsa Zsa to become a 94-year old mother (through an egg donor and surrogate mother), and mounting financial difficulties.
Von Anhalt battled to remain as the decision-maker for his wife after Francesca filed legal challenges to him and sought a court-appointed conservator, claiming that he mismanaged Zsa Zsa’s funds, botched her medical care, and refused to allow her to visit her mother. Von Anhalt denied the charges, refuted the public claims that he imprisoned rather than cared for Zsa Zsa, and eventually settled with Francesca out of court. In exchange for monthly reporting to Francesca Hilton’s attorney, and weekly visits of one-hour, the legal fight came to an end. The hard feelings remained, however.
Back in 2005, von Anhalt filed a lawsuit on behalf of himself and Zsa Zsa, accusing Francesca of fraud and forgery, in obtaining written permission from her mother to refinance her mansion. Von Anhalt said Francesca Hilton did it to pillage her mother’s equity in the Bel Air mansion, but Fransceca said she did it with her mother’s approval and permission to refinance the home and save it from foreclosure. The lawsuit was dropped after Zsa Zsa did not appear in court or sign an affidavit saying that she wanted to be part of the lawsuit against her daughter.
Despite the fact that there were no ongoing lawsuits pending when she died, Francesca’s friend and publicist told Radar Online that the bitterness remained until her death on January 6, 2015, at age 67. Not long before her passing, Francesca Hilton said that, “My mother wanted to be a princess, so she married an evil queen.” Francesca also said she was still very angry with the Prince and challenged him to sue her. By then, only weeks before she died, Francesca was flat broke and alternated between living in her car and a low-end apartment building when she could afford the weekly rent.
Things became so bad for Francesca that when she suddenly passed away, no one came forward to claim her body. With Zsa Zsa as her only family member (unless you include Paris Hilton and the other, well-to-do side of the Hilton family), Francesca’s remains were held in the morgue for days.
So who stepped forward to take care of her final resting arrangements? None other than Prince Frederic von Anhalt himself. He also called for an investigation into her death, claiming she left him troubling voice mail messages alluding to suicide. Francesca’s publicist says Francesca would have been very upset if von Anhalt handled her funeral and burial arrangements. He even blamed von Anhalt for Francesca’s death, saying, “Everybody that really knows Francesca knows why she passed away. It was a massive heart attack caused by the stress of one Frederic von Anhalt.”
Ultimately, authorities ordered an autopsy and did not allow von Anhalt to claim Francesca’s body. One of Francesca’s half-brothers, Stephen, reportedly will step forward and claim the body, so that Francesca’s friends can lay her to rest in the manner they believe she would have wanted.
It was quite a fall from grace for the daughter of the woman called “glamour personified” and one the world’s most successful hoteliers of all time. With all of the time, energy and money invested into battling over her mother’s best interests, it’s too bad that Francesca did not take more care to plan for her own estate. Francesca could have planned out her funeral and burial arrangements, even if she did not have assets to plan for. Exercising that forethought would have ended any concern that the man she battled against so fervently may have been the one to plan her funeral and burial.
It’s a lesson for everyone. No one knows when the end will come. Francesca was so worried about her mother that she probably never stopped to think about her own mortality. Everyone should take the time to plan out their estate — or at least their funeral and burial wishes — so that it’s not left up to chance. Francesca certainly did not plan to pass away at the age of 67, before her 97-year-old mother, but it happened. Delaying planning for what happens after you die is never a good idea.
La fille unique de l’actrice Zsa Zsa Gabor, né de son mariage avec le magnat de l’hôtellerie Conrad Hilton, est décédée d’une crise cardiaque. Elle avait 67 ans.
«Nous étions au téléphone quelques minutes avant sa mort», s’est souvenu Edward Lozzi, ami et porte-parole de Francesca Hilton, dans un communiqué de presse transmis à «USA Today». La fille unique de l’actrice hongroise Zsa Zsa Gabor et de Conrad Hilton –elle était la plus jeune de ses quatre enfants– est décédée lundi soir à Los Angeles. Âgée de 67 ans, elle a vraisemblablement été victime d’une crise cardiaque. Une mort soudaine, d’autant que l’héritière avait des projets: «Nous parlions du livre qu’elle écrivait et d’un contrat possible, a précisé Edward Lozzi. Elle a dû aller aux toilettes. Elle n’en est jamais sortie. Je suis si triste.»
La sexagénaire se trouvait avec son fiancé, Michael Natsis, qui a tenté de la réanimer, en vain. Transportée à l’hôpital Cedars-Sinai, elle y a été prononcée morte.
UNE HÉRITIÈRE DÉSARGENTÉE
A la mort de son multimillionnaire de père Conrad Hilton en 1979, Constance Francesca Hilton n’avait touché «que» 100.000 dollars. Une somme dérisoire par rapport aux millions qui étaient revenus, conformément au testament laissé par le magnat de l’hôtellerie, à sa fondation. La jeune femme, alors âgée de 32 ans, avait tenté de contester cette décision devant un tribunal, mais n’avait pas pu aller à l’encontre des volontés de son père. «On ne peut pas vivre dans le passé, assurait-elle en 2008 dans une interview accordée au "Times". C’était sa décision.» Elle disait alors ne plus être amère, mais avait une autre bataille à mener.
Depuis des années, Francesca Hilton luttait devant les tribunaux –et dans les médias– contre Frederic von Anhalt, le neuvième et dernier mari de sa mère. Elle accusait le prince autoproclamé de ne pas prendre assez soin de sa mère, victime de sévères problèmes de santé ces dernières années, et de tenter de détourner sa fortune en altérant son testament. L’homme l’avait accusée en 2005 d’avoir contrefait la signature de l’actrice afin de contracter un prêt avec un garant solide.
Sept ans plus tard, Francesca Hilton avait demandé à ce qu’un tutorat indépendant soit mis en place pour prendre soin de sa mère, mais une cour de Los Angeles avait accordé le contrôle temporaire de finances de Zsa Zsa Gabor à Frederic von Anhalt, qu’elle accusait d’utiliser cet argent en fêtes et dépenses futiles au lieu de payer les soins médicaux de la nonagénaire. Récemment, von Anhalt avait interdit à Francesca Hilton de voir sa mère.
ZSA ZSA GABOR DANS UN ÉTAT GRAVE
Depuis un sévère accident de voiture en 2002, l’état de santé de Zsa Zsa Gabor n’a cessé d’empirer. Elle a été amputée de la jambe droite en janvier 2011 afin de stopper la gangrène qui menaçait sa vie, à cause d'un caillot formé après une chute survenue en juillet précédent. Victime d’une fracture du col du fémur, elle avait demandé au cours de l’été 2010 à recevoir lesderniers sacrements en voyant son état s’aggraver et sa jambe enfler.
Ni son sulfureux Frederic von Anhalt, ni ses proches n’avaient osé lui annoncer la nouvelle. La nonagénaire avait mis 18 mois à comprendre que sa jambe avait été amputée. «Il manque quelque chose», avait-elle fait remarquer à son mari. Selon les dernières nouvelles transmises par Frederic von Anhalt, Zsa Zsa Gabor souffrirait de démence et ne pourrait plus parler. Elle est âgée de 97 ans.
THE GIRL ZSA ZSA GABOR AND CONRAD HILTON
FRANCESCA HILTON, an heiress DEATH
Francesca Hilton, who died of an heiress
Zsa Zsa Gabor and her daughter Francesca Hilton at a party in Las Vegas in 1970.
The only daughter of actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, born of his marriage to the hotel magnate Conrad Hilton, died of a heart attack. She was 67 years old.
"We were on the phone a few minutes before his death," recalled Edward Lozzi, a friend and spokeswoman Francesca Hilton, in a press release sent to "USA Today". The only daughter of the Hungarian actress Zsa Zsa Gabor and Conrad Hilton-she was the youngest of his four children-died Monday night in Los Angeles. 67 years old, she was probably the victim of a heart attack. Sudden death, especially as the heiress had plans: "We were talking about the book she was writing and a possible deal, said Edward Lozzi. She had to go to the bathroom. She never left. I'm so sad. "
The sixties was with her fiance, Michael Natsis, who tried to revive her, to no avail. Transported to Cedars-Sinai hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Francesca Hilton and Zsa Zsa Gabor, photographed in November 1994.
Ron Galella / WireImage / Getty Images
On the death of his father multimillionaire Conrad Hilton in 1979, Constance Francesca Hilton had received "only" $ 100,000. A pittance compared to the millions who had returned, according to the will left by the hotel magnate, at its foundation. The young woman, then aged 32, had tried to challenge this decision in court, but could not go against the wishes of his father. "We can not live in the past, she assured in 2008 in an interview with the" Times ". It was his decision. "She said then not be bitter, but had another battle to fight.
For years, Francesca Hilton fought in court -and in Frederic von Anhalt media- against the ninth and last husband of his mother. She accused the prince declared himself not take enough care of his mother, severe health problems suffered in recent years, and try to turn away his fortune by altering his will. The man was accused in 2005 of having forged the signature of the actress to a loan with a solid guarantee.
Zsa Zsa Gabor-Conrad Hilton, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Conrad Hilton and Natalie Wood in 1957.
Seven years later, Francesca Hilton had asked that an independent tutoring is in place to take care of his mother, but a Los Angeles court had granted temporary control of finances Zsa Zsa Gabor to Frederic von Anhalt, that it accused of using the money on futile festivals and expenses instead of paying for medical care nonagenarian. Recently, von Anhalt had forbidden Francesca Hilton to see his mother.
ZSA ZSA GABOR IN SERIOUS CONDITION
Zsa Zsa Gabor, Zsa Zsa Gabor photographed for his 94 years in 2011. At his side, her husband Frederic von Anhalt.
From a severe car accident in 2002, the state of Zsa Zsa Gabor health has worsened. It was amputated right leg in January 2011 to stop the gangrene that threatened his life because of a clot occurred after a fall last July. Suffered a fracture of the femoral neck, she had asked during the summer of 2010 to receive the last sacraments seeing his condition worsened and leg swelling.
Nor its sulfur Frederic von Anhalt, nor his family had dared to tell him the news. The nonagenarian had put 18 months to understand that his leg had been amputated. "Something is missing," she had remarked to her husband. According to the latest Frederic von Anhalt transmitted, Zsa Zsa Gabor suffers from dementia and could not speak. It is 97 years old.
Her Hilton relatives, along with contributions from friends, paid for a small plot not far from Marilyn Monroe’s crypt in the historic west Los Angeles cemetery. It’s also where her famous aunt, Eva Gabor, is buried and where her mother, still alive at 97, is intended to be interred.
Several hundred family and friends gathered at West Hollywood’s St. Ambrose Catholic Church Wednesday night for Hilton’s funeral. Three of her nephews — Steve Hilton, Conrad Hilton III and Rick Hilton — represented the Hilton family at the funeral. Von Anhalt was not invited. In fact, two ex-marines were stationed at the church door to stop him in case he tried to attend.
Although she was the daughter of hotel magnate Conrad Hilton, Francesca was homeless when she died. As Radar exclusively reported weeks before her death, Hilton was living in her 1997 Toyota Forerunner, except when she could scrap up enough cash to pay rent in a Hollywood flophouse.
“Her life was not easy,” Conrad Hilton III told Radar after the service. His aunt — who he called “a character” —suffered from living in the shadow of two famous and successful parents.
One friend called Hilton “a pre-Kardashian,” a reference to how her mother and aunts — the Gabor sisters — created the Beverly Hills tradition of a glamorous family captivating the media.