June 15 | 2014

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Zsa Zsa Gabor: The Original Fame Seeker

Before Paris Hilton, there was her step-great-grandmother: a ravishing beauty who married nine times and made a multi-million dollar fortune - as well as plenty of headlines - along the way.

In a sleek white Rolls-Royce, the elegantly dressed woman was driving through the palm-fringed streets of Beverly Hills when she heard the wail of a police siren behind her and quickly pulled into the kerb. "Is there a problem, dahlink?" she cooed, as the traffic cop leant through the window. She handed him her driver's licence and waited impatiently for a few mom-ents, growing increasingly irritated, before abruptly slamming her foot on the accelerator and speeding away. Two blocks later, the startled police officer caught up with her and hauled her unceremoniously out of the car. "Vot are you doing?" screamed the woman. "Zeese is outrageous!" And then she slapped him.

Only Zsa Zsa Gabor could turn a simple drive into international news. The infamous cop-slapping incident in June 1989 unleashed a media frenzy and put the irrepressible actress and socialite, then 72, firmly back in her most cherished position: centrestage. At her headline-stealing trial, she wore black Valentino (she didn't want to look "too fat" on camera) and her trademark diamonds, and had two hairstylists waiting nervously in the wings. At one point in the proceedings, the notorious self-publicist and step-great-grandmother of Paris Hilton evoked her self-described "uniquely Hungarian talent for melodrama and self-dramatisation", and flounced out of the court in a huff. Then, after being sensationally sentenced to three days in prison, Gabor waved off the ignominy as "another good chapter for my book".

And now, to celebrate the 25 year anniversary of her cop slapping incident the Volo Auto Museum will proudly display the Rolls Royce that Zsa Zsa was driving when pulled over in Beverly Hills.

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