Anna Nicole: the fight after the death

Two men claimed her baby - now Zsa Zsa Gabor's eighth husband says 'She's mine'
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The Independent US

There were no illegal drugs in Anna Nicole Smith's hotel room when she died, nor any evidence she had taken large amounts of prescription medicine. Apart from that, the whole sorry saga has just, if that were possible, got even weirder.

The cause is the paternity of the late tabloid phenomenon's five-month-old baby daughter. Until Friday this was a matter of dispute between her partner, lawyer Howard K Stern, and former boyfriend Larry Birkhead. Then, late in the day, a Los Angeles judge ordered that the model's body be preserved for at least 10 days for a possible DNA test.

They may also need to preserve whatever passed for her little black book, because now a third contender has arrived: Prince Frédéric von Anhalt, the dubiously royal eighth husband of the 90-year-old Zsa Zsa Gabor, who now claims he had a decade-long affair with Ms Smith. "If you go back from September, she wasn't with one of those guys, she was with me," he said. He is to file a lawsuit if the child, Dannielynn, is turned over to Mr Stern or Mr Birkhead.

The prince, 59, and Gabor, 90, have been married for more than 20 years. Gabor, sultry star of such 1950s films as Moulin Rouge and Queen of Outer Space, suffered a stroke in 2005. She was partially paralysed in a car crash in 2002. Prince Frédéric said he and Ms Smith met in the 1990s when she was still married to elderly oil tycoon J Howard Marshall II. He said Ms Smith approached him and Gabor at the Plaza Hotel in New York. "She wanted to be a princess," he said.

The two started an affair soon after, meeting over the years in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. For much of that time, he said, Ms Smith urged him to make her a princess like his wife. But short of divorcing the actress, he said the only solution would have been adopting Ms Smith. He filled out adoption papers, but Gabor refused to sign them.

Publicist Edward Lozzi, who spoke for Gabor when she was convicted of slapping a Beverly Hills police officer during a 1989 traffic stop, said he doubted the prince's claim, calling him a "chronic fabricator". Prince Frédéric and John Blanchette, Gabor's longtime publicist, said Mr Lozzi was a hanger-on who never acted officially for the family.

The prince's royal credentials have also been doubted over the years. He was born Robert Lichtenberg, according to some reports, the son of a German policeman, and bought his title after being adopted as an adult by a bankrupt daughter-in-law of the last kaiser.



Zsa Zsa Gabor's eighth husband, a policeman's son, bought his title from a cash-strapped German royal in 1980


Smith's long-time attorney and partner at the time of her death. They had an unofficial 'wedding' in the Bahamas in September


Photojournalist and Smith's boyfriend before Stern. Says: 'I loved her in life, I will love her long after'