Barbara Huttom, heiress to the 45 million Woolworth fortune, announced her second marriage, to European aristocrat Count Kurt Heinrich Haughwitz-Hardenberg-Reventlow, in 1933: “I’ve found happiness. I know this is safe and true. I love my husband and he loves me.”
Three years later, they separated, and their divorce was finalised in 1941. She paid $ 375,000 into a trust fund for him. Barbara declared, “I will never marry again.” But she couldn’t resist movie star Cary Grant. “It’s sheer heaven,” she sighed. But three years later Barbara had divorced Cary. Again she said, ‘I’ll never marry again. You cannot go on being a fool for ever.”
In 1952, Barbara tied her fifth knot, with Dominican diplomat and playboy Porfirio Rubirosa. On their wedding day, the New York papers splashed pictures of Porfirio’s ex-girlfriend, Zsa Zsa Gabor, proudly exhibiting the black eye she claimed the playboy had given her when she refused to marry him.
Porfirio received a string of polo ponies and a twin-engined airplane from his bride. Zsa Zsa wished them happiness. “I’m so glad he got married. I would never have been able to get rid of him otherwise.’ She gave the marriage six months. But the Huttom-Rubirosa marriage lasted only a dozen weeks.
By November 1955, Barbara had found Mr Right at last — German Tennis star Baron Gottfried von Cramm. “I ought to have married him 18 years ago,” she cooed, “But at that time I was married.’
She gave von Cramm a set of pearl studs for the wedding. Barbara assured the press: “Life has been terribly lonely. But no more lonely nights for me. This is positively my final marriage.” A year later, they divorced. She told the world: “I’m free as the air — no strings. I’m in no hurry to go through that crazy routine again.”
Four years later Barbara observed: “I’ve been terribly unlucky with husbands.” But in 1964, she married a Vietnamese prince, Doan Vinh de Champacak. “He’s a composite of all my previous husbands. I am in an ecstatic state of happiness.” After the spring wedding, she said: “Seven is my lucky number. This is my seventh husband. We were married at 7 pm. On April 7. I’ve never been so happy in my life.”
In November 1966 Barbara left her last prince. According to a newspaper report, she also left a cheque for $1 million for him at the reception desk of the hotel in Morocco where they were staying. Barbara Hutton did not marry again.
(Excerpted from Don’t Quote Me! by Don Atyeo and Jonathan Green)