Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt is desperate. Childless and 78 years old, he needs an heir to inherit his estate and care for him as he slides into dotage. Plus his royal lineage, which, he maintains, traces back some 1,000 years, would cease to exist without an heir.
So von Anhalt, the widower of actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, did something rash. He sought to adopt an adult son.
Having been married to a woman he describes as a prototype Kardashian — “She wasn’t famous for her movies; she was famous for the [nine] men she married,” he told The Post — it made sense that he would carry out his quest as publicly as possible.
On “Adults Adopting Adults,” a docu-series which premieres Monday, Jan. 31, on A&E, he is seen scouring social media and concocting plans that include trying to find a son in the Beverly Hills outpost of Gucci.
“I did it on television because I wanted to show lonely people that they do not need to be alone,” von Anhalt said. “You can adopt a grown-up and have somebody who helps you from day one. You don’t have to raise a child.”
Frederic von Anhalt was adopted himself, at age 35, by Princess Marie Auguste (above) of Germany.Library of Congress
Von Anhalt is no stranger to the mechanisms of adoption. In fact, that is precisely how he, a policeman’s son from a working-class family in Wallhausen, Germany, came to be Prince Frederic. At age 35, in 1979, “I was adopted by the most well-known princess in Germany [Marie Auguste von Anhalt],” he said. “I had played soccer with her grandson, and he moved to South America. I was the black sheep of my family. I was adopted by the daughter of the last emperor of Germany.”
The German monarchy was abolished in 1918; according to the prince, “The titles still exist but there is no more power to nobility.
“Right after getting adopted I went to a [garment] factory and bought a military dress uniform. I needed it. I was a prince and all the royal family members wear uniforms. That’s how it is.”
Now 78, von Anhalt is looking for an heir to carry on his lineage — and help take care of him in old age.
The adoption came with a title, but no money. “She received $500 per month from the German government,” von Anhalt said.
As part of the arrangement, he supplemented the princess with an additional 2,000 Deutsch marks per month, the then-equivalent of about $700. “She got a good deal,” said the prince, who owned a spa and sauna business at the time. “She got the money and I got the title. Her children and grandchildren had titles as well.”
Von Anhalt came to Los Angeles on a lark, met Zsa Zsa Gabor while crashing a party hosted by writer Sidney Sheldon, and impressed the actress with his title as well as that splashy military uniform, which he had donned for the occasion. They married three years later.
Von Anhalt is widower to Zsa Zsa Gabor and holds the rights to her legacy.PacificCoastNews.com
The prince makes no bones about what the royal title means to him.
“I made a tool out of the title,” he told The Post. “I would like to adopt somebody and give him the tool. In America, it works. People want to know who you are and that is how they judge you.”
Though the A&E show depicts von Anhalt as struggling to find a suitable adoptee and even saying that he is considering a rapper, the ideal candidate was right under his nose.
Feucht is the son of a friend of von Anhalt’s, but says his parents are “happy” about the adoption.
“I have known Frederic for seven years,” Kevin Feucht, 27, told The Post. “I used to go to LA for weekends. My dad is a friend of Frederic and he told me that I could stay at Frederic’s house. Frederic and I agreed that if I help around the place, cook for him, work with him on the computer, make sure his bills get paid – I got some of them lowered – and cook for him sometimes, I can stay.”
When Feucht, who was born in Germany and educated at UC Santa Barbara, found out that Frederic was looking to adopt a son, he threw his hat into the ring. “He loves his family but he is not going to stay with his family; he is going to stay with me,” said von Anhalt. “He has a new birth certificate and I am his official father. His father and I are still friends. His mother and father are both fine with it.”
Said Feucht: “My dad is happy about it. I love my parents and will always love them.”
And Von Anhalt insists that Feucht’s parents need not worry about their own elder care: “Kevin has a sister. She will take care of them.”
Von Anhalt says it wasn’t required that Feucht spoke German but it’s a plus that he does.
“Frederic is in a situation and at an age where he needs more and more help. Also, he built such a great career with Zsa Zsa,” said Feucht. (According to the prince, his main career in America was being the husband of Gabor.)
“If nobody takes on the legacy, it all dies,” added Freucht, who is the founder of Skillers Academy, a soccer training center in Munich. “I offer a lot of knowledge. I am eager to build something big and make it bigger. I want to make a movie or do a book about Zsa Zsa. I want to keep the legacy alive.”
Frederic liked the idea right away. “It was not important that he be German, but Kevin speaks perfect English and German, and that is important,” said von Anhalt. “He’s a nice guy, intelligent, clean, he works hard. Zsa Zsa opened all the doors for me and now I will do the same for Kevin. Elon Musk is my neighbor. He sees me and says, ‘Hello, Prince.’”
A trainer, Feucht helps von Anhalt stay active with exercise.
Von Anhalt hopes that this adoption goes smoother than the five previous ones he’s made — all of them while married to Gabor.
“They left. One guy went to Dubai and showed off,” said the prince, adding that another used the title to promote a chain of strip clubs in Germany. “What am I supposed to do? Once they had the title, they took off. Zsa Zsa said you have to marry a lot of guys until you find the right guy. I think it is the same thing with adopting.”
He told The Post that his “sons” paid for the titles and still retain them.
Von Anhalt said he is not worried about them trying to claim his inheritance. “I am doing all the right things [to protect the inheritance] while I am alive. But after I die, I don’t give a damn. For now, though, I just hope Kevin will work out. He’s different from the others — he has a brain — but you never know.”
Von Anhalt was married to Zsa Zsa Gabor from 1986 until her death in 2016.Ernst/picture-alliance/dpa/AP
Von Anhalt has also used his title to confer knighthoods that he sold for $50,000 to $100,000 each. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he admitted to making more than $10 million through these services. “I never counted the money,” he told The Post, adding that the cash went as easily as it came. “I had an expensive wife and also an expensive life.”
Feucht figures he’ll spend half of each year in the United States with the prince and likens their give-and-take relationship to the one depicted in the movie “The Upside,” in which Bryan Cranston plays a paraplegic looked after by a wisecracking ex-con portrayed by Kevin Hart.
The adoptee said that no money formally changed hands between him and von Anhalt, and the show depicts it as a completely legal adoption.
Von Anhalt and Feucht, visit the grave of his deceased wife.
“I would not call this a deal,” Feucht said. “I stayed at Frederic’s apartment and helped him. There was no money involved and that was how we kept it. I have my own money. But sometimes, when I go out, he’ll give me $500 so I can buy dinner. Beverly Hills is expensive!”
Beyond the pin money, Feucht’s big payoff will come when von Anhalt dies and bequeaths him the Gabor family stake. “I inherited money from all the sisters [Magda and ‘Green Acres’ star Eva]. It all went to Zsa Zsa and now I am the only one left,” von Anhalt told The Post. “When I was with Zsa Zsa and her family, it was a 24-hour job.” In 2013, he and Gabor sold their home, which had been listed for $14.9 million.
As to what Feucht will do with the money after the prince passes away, that remains up in the air. “I will definitely do everything I need to do to keep up the legacy of Zsa Zsa Gabor,” he said. “Maybe I will use the money to build a statue or make a movie. Frederic wants me to keep the money in the family and to make it useful, not to use it for material things. And there are a lot of name rights in the trust. If you want to make a movie about Zsa Zsa, you need the rights.”
Von Anhalt, meanwhile, is anticipating the kind of elder care that only kin can provide. In the series, Feucht is seen cooking for his new “dad” and generally keeping him company.
Von Anhalt says he lets Feucht drive his Mercedes G Wagon.
“Kevin goes to the gym with me and we walk 5 miles. I have no job and I have lots of time,” von Anhalt said. “He helps me in the house and drives my Mercedes G Wagon. I take care of him, but when I get sick he will take care of me.”
Thus far, Feucht has found the princely life to be pretty cool. Though he has not taken a cue from von Anhalt and used the title to land a celebrity girlfriend — “You want the girl to be loyal and not in it for money,” Freucht said — he has tried on the military uniform that is now his birthright. “It looks amazing,” he said. “It fits me like Cinderella’s shoe.”