Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt
Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt
Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt at the Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin, 2008
Hans Georg Robert Lichtenberg
June 18, 1943
|Residence||Bel Air, California, U.S.|
|Other names||Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt|
United States (naturalized)
Zsa Zsa Gabor
(m. 1986; died 2016)
Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt (born Hans Georg Robert Lichtenberg; June 18, 1943) is a German-American entrepreneur best known as the last husband and widower of the late film actress Zsa Zsa Gabor. He changed his name after convincing titular Princess Marie-Auguste of Anhalt to adopt him as an adult.
Adoption and professed title
In 1980, at the age of 36, Lichtenberg was adopted as an adult by deposed German royal Marie-Auguste of Anhalt (1898–1983), whose first husband was Joachim, son of former German Emperor Wilhelm II. Upon adoption, Lichtenberg's name became "Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt", although "Prinz" is part of the legal surname and not a princely title. Since 1919, former royal and noble titles in Germany, which were all abolished then, may only be used legitimately as part of registered, legal surnames. Despite having no claim to royal or aristocratic heritage, Anhalt styles himself "Prince Frédéric of Anhalt, Duke of Saxony and Westphalia, Count of Ascania". Some reports state that Anhalt claims to have been a childhood friend of Marie Auguste's only biological child, Karl Franz (1916–1975), and that the grieving mother adopted him out of kindness, calling him "Prince" and "Duke of Saxony". However, British press reports indicate that Marie Auguste was bankrupt and the adoption was a business transaction, allegedly masterminded by Hans Hermann Weyer, a former window dresser who became the honorary consul of Bolivia in Luxembourg. Weyer was known for selling certificates of nobility, doctoral degrees from fictitious universities, and other spurious decorations in Germany in the 1960s. Lichtenberg was one of about 35 adults adopted by the ex-princess, some then styling themselves Princes of Anhalt.
Regardless of the adoption by Marie-Auguste, a member of the deposed ducal family of Anhalt, the House of Ascania's website makes no mention of Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt, as he is not blood-related.
Marriage to Gabor
In 1984, Anhalt moved to the U.S., becoming a socialite and living a flamboyant lifestyle. On August 14, 1986, he married Hungarian-born American actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, who was 26 years his senior. It was his seventh marriage: he had married and divorced six times before, on one occasion receiving a settlement of $4 million.
It was Gabor's ninth marriage, but legally her eighth, as her marriage to Felipe de Alba had been annulled, because she was still married to Michael O'Hara at the time. It also became her longest marriage. "We didn't marry for love", Anhalt said. "It was a friendship, but when you're with someone over a certain time you fall in love."
Since the death of Gabor in December 2016, von Anhalt has inherited her Bel Air mansion and all of her assets as the sole remaining heir. Anhalt claims that Gabor’s late daughter, Francesca Hilton, stole Gabor’s will while she was hospitalized, but due to her death in January 2015, it did not interfere with Anhalts acquisition of her assets.
Adult adoptees and "knights"
Together with Gabor, Anhalt has himself adopted at least ten adult males. "If someone offers you $2 million, you do it," he is reported to have said.
Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt adopted several adults:
- Michael Prinz von Anhalt (birth name: Michael Killer)
- Marcus Prinz von Anhalt (birth name: Marcus Eberhardt), also calls himself "Prince Germany";
- Oliver Prinz von Anhalt (1971-2016, birth name: Oliver Bendig)
- Markus Maximilian Prinz von Anhalt (birth name: Markus Chapelar)
- Albrecht Alexander Prinz von Anhalt (birth name: Alexander Wessel)
- Ferdinand Prinz von Anhalt (birth name: Markus Wölfert)
- Alex Prinz von Anhalt (birth name: Alex J. Anaxagorou aka Alex the Greek)
In addition to selling his name in marriage, Anhalt has sold as many as 68 "knighthoods" for $50,000 a piece.
Anna Nicole Smith affair
On February 9, 2007, Anhalt stated that he had had a decade-long affair with Anna Nicole Smith and could potentially be the father of her infant girl Dannielynn Birkhead. However, later in March, it was determined that Anhalt was not the father of the child, and Smith's former boyfriend Larry Birkhead was the biological father.
Candidacies for public office
On February 16, 2010, Anhalt announced his candidacy for Governor of California, running as an independent candidate against Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown in the 2010 election. He withdrew his candidacy on August 2, 2010, citing problems with his wife's health.
In October 2011, he announced his candidacy for Mayor of Los Angeles in the 2013 election. He announced via a large billboard on Sunset Boulevard. He did not pursue this campaign, and did not appear on the ballot.
Clash with Gabor's daughter
Zsa Zsa Gabor's daughter, the late Francesca Hilton, alleged von Anhalt compromised her mother's dignity, security and health for attention and profit. Hilton claimed von Anhalt prohibited Gabor from having visitors, including her own daughter.
Hilton claimed he fostered a circus atmosphere surrounding her mother's health, had plans to have her body preserved with plastic for public display, and claims Gabor wanted to mother a child at the age of 94, which she described as "just weird." Hilton remained worried about her mother's health, home and fortune.
At the time of her death, relations between Hilton and von Anhalt had been sour for nearly a decade. In 2005, he sued Hilton, alleging she had attempted to defraud her mother. However, Gabor refused to sign the papers in her husband's suit against her daughter so the court dismissed it.
On October 20, 2010, Anhalt was taken to a hospital after swallowing a bee, which then stung him in the throat. On December 22, 2010, he was again admitted to a hospital after gluing his eye shut with nail glue. On September 2, 2011, he was hospitalized after being hit by a car in Beverly Hills.
Robbery and stripping
On July 25, 2007, while sitting in his Rolls-Royce in Southern California von Anhalt was allegedly approached by three women whom he later described as attractive. He said they asked him to pose for pictures with them, at which point one of the women robbed him at gunpoint, taking his car keys, jewelry, wallet, driver's license, and all his clothes. According to Anhalt, his assailants bound him and placed him in handcuffs, yet he managed to call the authorities on a cellular phone. Los Angeles police found him completely naked approximately one hour later. No handcuffs were found at the scene. The culprits apparently drove away in a Chrysler convertible.
- Allen, Kristen (2010-02-04). "Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt: 'I'll give up Hollywood and mingle with the people'". The Local (Germany). Berlin: The Local Europe. Retrieved 2010-09-01. Contains a short interview with von Anhalt.
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- "Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband hit by car, rep says".
- CNN: Zsa Zsa Gabor's Husband Found Naked In Car, Says He Was Mugged Archived November 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
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