SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Less than six months after charging onto California's political scene in alligator-skin cowboy boots, Prince Frederic von Anhalt, a flamboyant Los Angeles socialite and eighth husband of Zsa Zsa Gabor, said Monday he was ending his bid for governor.
Gabor's publicist, John Blanchette, said von Anhalt, 65, is dropping out of the race to tend to his 93-year-old wife, who was hospitalized last month with a broken hip. The two have been married 24 years.
In a statement, von Anhalt said he needs to put his political aspirations aside.
"She wanted to be first lady of California, but with the recent accident and her ill health, she must now be first lady for me," he said.
Gabor is expected to leave the hospital Friday and return to the couple's Bel Air home, Blanchette said.
Von Anhalt announced his independent candidacy in February. His platform included legalizing and taxing marijuana and prostitution, and lifting the import ban on Cuban cigars.
In his statement, he left open the possibility of running for Los Angeles mayor in 2013. In the meantime, he said he planned to support Democratic candidate Jerry Brown, who faces Republican Meg Whitman in the gubernatorial contest.
While praising Brown, von Anhalt also took jabs at Whitman, a billionaire who has acknowledged a spotty voting record.
"He puts humanity and the health of (the) California economy first, not personal ambition or any other ulterior motives," von Anhalt said of Brown. "He even took the time to vote in elections when others couldn't be bothered!"
Before meeting Gabor, von Anhalt worked as a bank clerk, screenwriter and sauna manager. After his parents died, he said he was adopted by a German princess who gave him the title of Prince Frederic von Anhalt of Munich, the Duke of Saxony.
Some British news reports have said he merely paid for the title.
Von Anhalt made headlines in 2007 when he claimed to have had a decade-long affair with Anna Nicole Smith and declared he may have fathered her infant daughter. Paternity tests later disproved that.