NEW: A hearing is set on Francesca Hilton's conservatorship petition for her mother
NEW: Prince Frederic von Anhalt denies Gabor's Bel Air mansion is in foreclosure
NEW: "Anything that's contesting Frederic's devotion to his wife ... is ridiculous," his lawyer says
Petition contends Gabor's husband keeps her "increasingly isolated" and "heavily sedated"
The judge who oversees Britney Spears’ conservatorship will consider a request to appoint a conservator to oversee Zsa Zsa Gabor’s finances and medical care.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Reva Goetz scheduled a hearing for May 2 for the conservatorship petition filed Tuesday by Francesca Hilton, Gabor’s daughter.
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.
Hilton contends that Gabor’s ninth husband, Prince Frederic von Anhalt, is keeping her “increasingly isolated” and “heavily sedated,” and she questions his handling of Gabor’s finances.
“What Ms. Hilton is seeking here is for the court to make sure that Zsa Zsa’s best interests are not being sacrificed for the selfish interests of anyone involved in Zsa Zsa’s life,” said Hilton lawyer Kenneth Kossoff.
Von Anhalt, 68, called a news conference at his home Tuesday to dispute the need for a conservator.
“My wife doesn’t complain,” he said. “She says she’s in a good condition, she feels good.”
His lawyer, Edward Lee, said he had not yet seen the court filing.
“Anything that’s contesting Frederic’s devotion to his wife or his ability to take care of his wife is ridiculous,” Lee said
The petition questions why von Anhalt recently borrowed $700,000 on Gabor’s $10 million Bel Air mansion, while the house reportedly is in foreclosure after several missed mortgage payments.
“In spite of her conflicts with von Anhalt, Francesca has been hoping he had Zsa Zsa’s interests at heart,” Kossoff said. “However, having just recently learned that he took out a $700,000 loan, and that there was a notice of default recorded against the property in late February 2012 because he apparently has not been paying Zsa Zsa’s mortgage payment, it became clear to Francesca that if she did not seek to protect her mother, no one else would.”
Von Anhalt, at his news conference said his step daughter was picking on him “at the worst time.”
“We are right now going through a very hard time, my wife and me,” he said. “We have to sell our property in order to pay our debts. My wife has $6 million in debts.”
He acknowledged taking out the new loan on the property, saying it was needed to pay his wife’s medical bills and to catch up on missed mortgage payments.
The mansion, however, is not in foreclosure, he said.
“There was a document filed in court 14 days ago,” he said. “It was wrongly filed. The bank apologized already.”
Hilton and von Anhalt have publicly battled 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 step-daughter’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.”
With Tuesday’s filing, Hilton hopes to take that responsibility away from von Anhalt.
The family feud intensified after Gabor broke her hip when she fell in July 2011.
“My mother’s husband has increasingly isolated my mother from others who have been close to her,” Hilton said in the court filing. “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.”
Von Anhalt allows Hilton, Gabor’s only child, to visit her mother only when a lawyer and doctor are present, she said.
She became alarmed during her last two visits on November 27, 2011, and February 8, 2012, “because my mother seemed heavily sedated, and I had not seen her in that state before,” Hilton said. She also raised concern about “remnants of some bedsores” and “lesions on my mother’s face.”
Gabor’s right leg was amputated a year ago because of gangrene, leaving her unable to care or dress herself, she said.
Hilton’s petition calls for “competent and independent medical professionals” to advise on her care. “I am very concerned that her medical needs and treatment are not being managed in her best interest.”
“I also believe that my mother now may suffer from a loss of intellectual and emotional faculties, which may be induced by the medication my mother is being given,” she said.
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.