Prince Frederic von Anhalt has been laying the groundwork for the possible sale of his and wife Zsa Zsa Gabor's Bel Air mansion with tours for the press and, some might say, some pretty lofty Hollywood namedropping. Among his claims: Elvis once lived there. And Gabor bought the home from Howard Hughes, who allegedly built it.
Both tidbits aren't true, says Barbara Yobs, an area mortgage banker who tells the Weekly her grandparents built the place and sold it directly to Gabor in 1973. “Having him say all of these things, it just got me,” she said.
In fact, the 47-year-old says, even the early '70s price being touted is wrong. It wasn't $600,000; it was $250,000. Yobs sent us the grant deed from grandma and gramps to Gabor:
Von Anhalt, who said he wants to set the price at $28 million, says the upkeep and Gabor's recent hospital bills — she just came home after having a leg amputated — run $56,000 a month and they don't have the money.
“I am sick and tired of hiding behind those three words, 'rich and famous,'” the Ivy regular and Bentley driver told reporters. “Maybe we are famous, but we are not rich.''
Yobs says it's clear from records that a few extra mortgages have been taken out on the property as well.
What bugs her most about the hard sell, though, is how her grandparents, John and Gladys Zurlo, have been left out of the home's history in favor of what she says are tall tales.
For one, she says Elvis never lived there, as Von Anhalt says.
Second, her grandparents sold the home directly to Gabor. Gabor herself has said she bought it from Howard Hughes. But Yobs says the notoriously reclusive Hughes, who she said wore a hole in a hallway carpet because of his pacing, only leased the place during most of the 1960s.
She said any real estate agent who ends up with the listing (the home at 1001 Bel Air Road doesn't appear to have been listed) would have to set the record straight or open themselves up to possible litigation. The bold-face names could effect the value.
In fact, two decades ago Yobs says Gabor snubbed her grandmother when they ran into each other and grandma asked her how she liked the home. Gabor, according to family lore, asked who she was.
Yobs' grandfather sold real estate and owned and built a few properties, including 8730 Sunset Blvd., Yobs said.
The Zurlos built the Gabor home in 1955, she said, and apparently lived there until about 1959 when they moved to a Sunset Boulevard mixed-use building in what is now West Hollywood.
“They didn't want to have a large estate to deal with,” she said.
Her own parents lived there for six months in 1956.
“My dad was milkman,” Yobs said. “He'd get up at 3 in the morning and drive out of Bel Air in his milk truck.”
“I hope really hope she enjoyed the home,” Yobs says of Gabor. “There was so much happiness — the stories my grandparents told about it.”