The Tragic Life And 2015 Death Of Zsa Zsa Gabor's Only Daughter, Francesca Hilton

The following article includes an allegation of rape.

Zsa Zsa Gabor will forever be celebrated for her beauty, career, and lavish lifestyle. She will also, of course, be remembered for her cheeky sense of humor regarding her love life. As she famously once quipped, "I believe in large families: Every woman should have at least three husbands." Gabor walked down the aisle nine times, so consider that mission accomplished. 

Gabor also was a mother to Francesca Hilton, a daughter she shared with her second husband, Conrad Hilton Sr.  While being the child of a glamorous movie star and founder of the Hilton Hotel empire might sound like a blissful and breezy experience, in reality, Francesca's life was not always so easy — and it was never normal. "My mother would drag me around — not drag me, but take me to different locations: Paris, Rome, you name it," Francesca once recalled in the Los Angeles Times. "I was never really a kid because I'm the only child. Parents do the best they can, you know?"

However, Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt, Gabor's ninth and final husband, felt Francesca, who died in 2015, took the hand she was dealt for granted. "You have a Gabor name, you have a Hilton name and any of the best schools. ... And she doesn't do anything with it," he said to Inside Edition in 2015. "I can't help her. Her mother can't help her. She has to make her own life." This is the tragic life and death of Francesca Hilton, who did try to make her own life.

Zsa Zsa Gabor said Francesca Hilton was a product of rape

In 1941, Zsa Zsa Gabor was officially divorced from her first husband, Burhan Belge. The next year, she married Conrad Hilton. In September of 1946, she was granted a divorce from the hotel magnate. The following March, their daughter, Francesca Hilton, was born. That same year, the divorce was finalized. 

In typical Zsa Zsa Gabor style, the movie star cracked wise about their split. "Conrad Hilton was very generous in the divorce settlement. He gave me 5,000 Gideon Bibles," she once said.  However, things behind the scenes were far from lighthearted. In her 1991 memoir "One Lifetime Is Not Enough," Gabor claimed she became pregnant with Francesca after Conrad raped her. 

In a 2008 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Francesca addressed her mother's allegations about her father. "How would I know? I wasn't even there. I know they had sex because here I am," she said. "I asked my mom about this and she doesn't seem to remember." 

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Francesca Hilton didn't inherit her father's empire

In 1919, Conrad Hilton Sr. founded the Hilton Hotels chain and went on to accumulate a massive fortune. When he died in 1979, he was said to be worth around $200 million. You might assume that hefty chunk of change was split up evenly between his three living children, but most of it ended up going to charity. And when Francesca Hilton saw that she would be getting $100,000 — a relatively paltry fraction of the fortune — she took legal action. However, that move didn't totally work out.

"There was a disinheritance clause," Francesca told the Los Angeles Times. "If you sue and you lose, you lose. One-hundred thousand [dollars] out of $200 million, that's why I sued." She was pragmatic about the results, saying, "You can't live in the past. That was his decision."

Francesca's stepfather, Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt, also had some thoughts on Conrad Sr.'s will and Francesca's connection to the Hiltons. "The Hiltons denied she as a family member," he claimed to Radar in 2015. "This is why she didn't have any money."

She tried hard to find her own path and identity

Despite all the challenges life threw at Francesca Hilton, she did not lose her sense of humor. Although she had tried her hand at many things during her career, including photography, one of her more recent focuses was comedy. In the aforementioned 2008 interview with the Los Angeles Times, the publication noted how she had performed standup at Los Angeles' famed Comedy Store. Instead of breaking away from her family name, she let it fuel her funny.

"Good evening, I am the original Hilton heiress,"  she said at the start of her set. "I'm older, wiser, smarter — and I'm damn wider." Later on, she gave a shoutout to one particularly famous relative. "My niece is Paris Hilton. She called me the other day and said, 'Francesca, can you pick me up? I'm just too drunk to drive.' I said, 'Girl, I'd pick you up, but I'm too drunk to drive myself,'" she said, seemingly referring to Paris' run-in with the law as she was charged with a DUI in 2006. 

It takes courage to put your life out there like Francesca did, and although she would never become a big star or have her name in lights, she was not afraid to go for it.

Francesca Hilton had a bitter struggle with her stepfather

During Zsa Zsa Gabor's final years, Francesca Hilton was in a constant battle with Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt over her mother's health and well-being. As Hilton told the Los Angeles Times in 2008, she'd gone years without seeing her mother, as von Anhalt had to approve in-person interactions. 

A few years later, Hilton and von Anhalt entered into a legal battle. As the Daily Mail reported, Hilton filed for conservatorship. "By isolating me from my mother, not only does her current husband deprive her of my love and companionship, but he goes against estate planning documents that appear to reflect her wishes that he not be in sole control of her affairs," she wrote in a statement. Von Anhalt dismissed her allegations, countering,  "It's probably her last card she's playing now. It's all about money. She's afraid her mother passing away eventually, and there's nothing." As CNN reported at the time, they eventually reached an agreement that permitted Hilton to visit her mother on a regular basis. Von Anhalt was made temporary conservator. 

While they might've reached an agreement, Hilton and von Anhalt didn't exactly become friendly. Two years later, Hilton took aim at her mom's ninth husband while speaking with Radar. "My mother wanted to be a princess, so she married an evil queen," she told the outlet. "What's he going to do? Sue me?" she continued. "Good! Come sue me, honey."

Her stepfather accused her of fraud and forgery

Years before the conservatorship battle, Francesca Hilton landed another legal mess with Zsa Zsa Gabor and Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt. As the AP reported at the time, in 2005, Gabor and von Anhalt accused the former's daughter of forging Gabor's signature — and no, it was not on a piece of memorabilia for an autograph collector. According to their claim, Hilton was said to have used her mom's signature to take a hefty loan out on her mansion. Hilton denied the allegations.  

In 2007, the case was dismissed after Gabor did not appear in court. In a statement provided to TMZ, Hilton implied that the allegations were Gabor's husband's handiwork. "I want to get on with my life," she said. "These past two years have been stolen from me because of these malicious and untrue charges. I feel that these false accusations have been proven to be just that — and really had nothing to do with my mother."

Joan Collins accused her of making a pass on her husband

While Francesca Hilton was in the middle of her 2008 interview with the Los Angeles Times, she ran into a few famous faces, including Joan Collins. According to the outlet, the two exchanged a few pleasantries, and Collins asked how Zsa Zsa Gabor was doing. Just your classic Hollywood run-in, right? Turns out, there is a bit of drama and history there. 

As the Los Angeles Times noted, Gabor wrote in "One Lifetime Is Not Enough" that Collins apparently claimed Hilton once got a little too friendly with her third husband. Gabor maintained Hilton did nothing of the sort.  "Francesca was much too young and even now doesn't really know how to flirt," she wrote. The husband in question was Ronald Kass, to whom Joan Collins was married from 1972 until 1983. At the time of the flirting drama, Hilton would've been in her 20s or 30s.

Francesca Hilton had no fixed address

Growing up, Francesca Hilton lived a glamorous and luxurious life. Years later, she wound up in vastly different circumstances. Hilton told Radar in 2014 that she wasn't rolling in the dough or residing in any sort of estate, but was splitting her time between a motel and her modest car. "I live with murderers!" she said.

Hilton's representative, Edward Lozzi, placed much of the blame at Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt's feet. "Why did he not help her at all?" Lozzi questioned in an interview with Radar. "It would have been nice if her mother and father had helped her out. His excuse that the courts won't let me is a lie. He is a despicable person, and he could have helped her. He completely left her out to dry."

In 2011, Zsa Zsa Gabor made headline when word got out that she could once again be a mother at 94. She would be too old to carry and deliver the baby herself, but von Anhalt reportedly had plans to use a surrogate. "I've gone through the initial steps of donor matching and blood work, and next week, the donation process will begin," he told CNN. His plans never came to fruition. 

She had big plans for her future that never materialised

Francesca Hilton's life may not have panned out the way she wanted, but she hadn't given up. She had big plans for her future, which her representative, Edward Lozzi, shared in a statement following her death.

"We were on the phone minutes before she died," he said, per the Los Angeles Times. "We were discussing the book she was writing and a possible deal. She had to go to the restroom. She never made it out," he said. This could have been Hilton's turning point, especially concerning her finances. 

This was not the first mention of a book being in the works. In her 2008 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Hilton revealed she was putting together a memoir titled "Hotels, Diamonds & Me." While it was never released, she did tell the publication to expect to read about her experiences with her father, Conrad Hilton Sr. "He was a businessman," she said at the time. "He was wonderful, but he was married to his business... We'd spend Christmas together. We'd occasionally have lunches at L'Escoffier with my mom. He loved my mom. He couldn't pronounce Zsa Zsa, so he called her Georgia from time to time. That's the truth."

Francesca Hilton died after suffering a stroke

On January 5, 2015, Constance Francesca Gabor Hilton died at the age of 67. After suffering an apparent stroke and heart attack, she was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where she was pronounced dead. 

In the wake of her death, Hilton's stepfather issued a statement. "I thought she was a very healthy woman and I'm totally shocked that she passed away, and it's a sad day for us," Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt said, per ABC7. "I'm very sorry about that."

Hilton's publicist, Edward Lozzi, called out Zsa Zsa Gabor's ninth husband for the role he played in his client's life. "Everybody that really knows Francesca knows why she passed away," he told Radar. "It was a massive heart attack caused by the stress of one Frederic von Anhalt." In the aforementioned interview with ABC7, he noted that Hilton had a scheduled meeting with Gabor the day of her death.

Her remains were left in the morgue due to a dispute

Francesca Hilton's body remained at the Los Angeles County morgue for several days being buried, as there was a dispute about who could claim the remains. As Forbes noted, Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt did attempt to claim her body and make preparations. Because of his status as Zsa Zsa Gabor's conservator, he believed he was entitled to be in charge, even though his relationship with Hilton was beyond fraught. In the end, a blood relative ultimately took on the role. 

Following Hilton's death, von Anhalt told Inside Edition that he would indeed attend Hilton's funeral. "She is a family member, you know, she was my wife's daughter," he said. "Even if we didn't get along, that doesn't mean we were fighting all the time." However, Hilton's publicist, Edward Lozzi, told Radar that von Anhalt was not only not welcome to the funeral, but would not be permitted to attend. 

Zsa Zsa Gabor never knew her daughter died

Zsa Zsa Gabor outlived her daughter, Francesca Hilton, who died in 2015. The following year, Gabor died at age 99 after years of health issues. The cause of her death was heart failure. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt said in his eulogy that her death was "a beautiful way to pass." Gabor's widower continued, "She left peacefully; she had no pain. It was just perfect." About five years after Gabor died, her ashes were taken to Budapest, where they were finally buried. 

Following Gabor's death, her rep Edward Lozzi issued a statement to People. "For the past five years, Zsa Zsa has suffered chronic dementia, locked away in her mansion laying in a hospital bed being fed through tubes in her navel, not able to speak, see, write or hear," he said. "Nor knowing who she was or how famous she was."

Sadly, it seems Gabor was not aware of her own daughter's death, as von Anhalt had vowed to keep that information from her because he feared too much for her health. "Zsa Zsa is not aware of the news, and I will not let anybody get close to my wife and tell her," he told New York Daily News in 2015. "She'll be 98 in a couple weeks with blood pressure on the rise. I don't want her to have bad news."