Photo Credit: Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage
Zsa Zsa Gabor and her ninth husband Frederic Prinz von Anhalt celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on Aug. 14 -- and von Anhalt, 68, commemorated the occasion by renting a giant billboard on Sunset Boulevard and by throwing his 94-year-old wife an elaborate red-carpet bash at their Bel Air, Calif., home on Sunday. Sounds innocent enough, but von Anhalt has been criticized for the party -- which was attended by such celebrities as Phyllis Diller, Frank Stallone and Quincy Jones -- because Gabor is in such poor health that she was forced to watch from bed.
Gabor has been in and out of the hospital in recent months, had her leg partially amputated in January, and suffered a stroke that left her partially paralyzed and barely able to speak.
"People attack me for this and say, 'How can you do it for a sick woman?'" von Anhalt says in a video posted on his Facebook page. "Look, my wife is 94 years old. She should have everything she wants and should have everything large. This big party is not for the guests, not for the media, not for me -- this big party is for Zsa Zsa."
Still, the party was for von Anhalt, too -- and he admits as much. "It's 25 years of marriage. Twenty-five years of marriage here in Hollywood is a big thing. It's 25 years with Zsa Zsa Gabor, it's a big thing, it's a huge thing, and I made it," he enthuses. "So many husbands didn't make it -- they only made it a year or two. I made it 25 years, so I must have done something right.
One other point of controversy stemming from the party was the fact that von Anhalt said the cake would be provided by Spago. But Spago shot down those claims on Friday, citing the ongoing feud between von Anhalt and Gabor's daughter Francesca Hilton (her father is Gabor's second husband, hotel magnate Conrad Hilton). "Spago is neither providing a cake or any cuisine for this event whatsoever," the restaurant's founder and co-owner Barbara Lazaroff said in a statement. "I fully support Zsa Zsa’s daughter Francesca Hilton in her quest to have visitation rights to see her mother and to receive independent evaluation of Zsa Zsa’s mental and physical health."
This isn't the first time von Anhalt has stirred up controversy. He drew criticism back in April when he told CNN that he wanted Zsa Zsa to be a mother again, and so he had begun the arduous process of matching an egg-donor and looking for a surrogate.
Despite rampant criticism, von Anhalt is a vigorous defender of his right to choose what is best for his own wife. He said in an interview with Joy Behar, "It's nobody's business if I deliver sperm, it's nobody's business how I got off at the sperm bank... It's my life, and that's it!"