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Inside lifetime of Paris Hilton’s man-eater grandma ‘Large Kathy’



In Paris Hilton’s just-released “Paris: The Memoir,” the dangerous lady of the early 2000s paints a glowing, saintly portrait of her late maternal grandmother as a significant affect in her life.

However Kathleen Dugan Avanzino Richards Catain Fenton was extra sinner than saint.

A high-school dropout at 16, Kathleen grew up in a raucous, well-to-do Irish-Catholic household in upscale Manhasset, in Lengthy Island, and later had a popularity as a person hunter and a spouse from hell, first revealed in my 2006 bestselling biography, “Home of Hilton.”

Dugan was her maiden identify; the opposite 4 names got here from the lads she had married — together with a well-connected mobster chased by the feds and a good-looking alcoholic who bought 20-year-old Dugan pregnant within the again seat of a Chevy convertible.

That’s how Kathy Hilton — Paris’ mom and a star of “Actual Housewives of Beverly Hills” — was conceived. She can be recognized within the household as “Little Kathy,” whereas her mom was “Large Kathy.” 

Kyle Richards and her mother Kathleen
Kathleen Dugan Avanzino Richards Catain Fenton (left) as soon as allegedly tried to push her second husband — the daddy of daughters Kyle (proper) and Kim Richards — down a flight of stairs.
Ron Galella Assortment by way of Getty Pictures

Large Kathy would subsequently give start to 2 extra daughters, actresses Kyle and Kim Richards, additionally “RHOBH” stars, together with her second husband. She develop into a pushed and obsessive stage mom, shortly pushing her ladies into present enterprise careers — in Little Kathy’s case, when she was simply two years previous.

The three daughters had been taught to marry wealthy males and have numerous infants. They adopted these classes to the letter, later main Large Kathy to boast, “My daughters are married to males who’ve a complete web value of $13 billion.” 

However, in Paris’s telling, Large Kathy was merely the “single mother of three extraordinary daughters.” 

None of Large Kathy’s marriages and her usually weird way of life made it into Paris’s guide.

Kim Richards, Kyle Richards, Paris Hilton and Kathy Hilton
Kim (far left) and Kyle (second from left) Richards are from their mom’s second marriage, whereas Kathy Hilton (far proper, subsequent to daughter Paris Hilton) is from Kathleen’s first.
Getty Pictures for Further

When Paris was 14, her dad and mom, Rick and Kathy Hilton, despatched her to Palm Springs to stay together with her grandmother, hoping Large Kathy may get the wild child to behave. It was throughout that yr that the 2 had bonded.

Paris gave her the nickname “Gram Cracker,” and Large Kathy taught the lady about trend, model and, extra importantly, males and deal with them.

When Paris complained {that a} boy in her class had been imply to her, Large Kathy went ballistic and known as his dwelling. “Hear, you ugly little pimple face, don’t f–ok with my granddaughter. If you happen to a lot as communicate to her once more, I’ll come over there and destroy you.”

It was a risk to take critically.

Large Kathy, a heavy drinker, was recognized to will be predisposed to violence.

Kathy, Nicky, and Paris Hilton
Paris Hilton (proper, with mother Kathy and sister Nicky) was despatched to stay together with her grandma throughout her wild teen years.
Getty Pictures

She as soon as put a screw in somebody’s cheeseburger, apparently hoping they’d choke or break their tooth. As advised in my guide, she even tried to push certainly one of her husbands down a flight of basement stairs.

The primary man to be lured into matrimony by Kathleen Dugan was Laurence Okay. Avanzino, a good-looking, blond-haired soccer participant at C.W. Publish, a part of Lengthy Island College, and stated to resemble a cross between Steve McQueen and Paul Newman.

However, like his girlfriend, Avanzino was wild and a drinker, with little curiosity in teachers. They fell for one another within the fall of 1957.

Within the spring of 1958, they’d intercourse for the primary time, and the long run Large Kathy — a “grasp at getting what she wished,” a supply famous — turned pregnant.

Kathleen Richards, Kyle Richards and Kim Richards
Kathleen, with Kyle and Kim Richards, pushed her daughters into performing whereas they had been nonetheless in diapers.
Ron Galella Assortment by way of Getty Pictures

The younger couple shortly wed and moved into his dad and mom’ dwelling to await the start of the child. The most effective job Avanzino may safe was at an Esso station in Wantagh in Lengthy Island. It was a turbulent union that may quickly finish.

Residing hand-to-mouth, supporting a toddler by working for peanuts at a cosmetics counter, Kathleen Dugan Avanzino desperately wanted safety and a greater way of life.

Enter Kenneth Edwin Richards, the subtle — and married — son of a Methodist minister in Valley Stream, NY.

A retired lieutenant colonel below the military’s surgeon normal in World Warfare II, Richards had develop into profitable creating and advertising girls’ clothes.

Incomes a princely wage, he had a elaborate dwelling in Backyard Metropolis, an exquisite Manhattan house and a household farm upstate.

Kathy and Rick Hilton
Kathy Hilton was reportedly pushed by her mother to marry a rich man — and Kathleen was pleased with son-in-law Rick Hilton’s checking account.

In different phrases, he was prime recreation for man hunter Kathleen.

She met the daddy of three at a celebration they usually quickly started an intimate relationship, assembly at a Lengthy Island bar the place she was working as a hatcheck lady.

One night, Large Kathy and Richards’ spouse Evelyn had a confrontation on the bar — and Large Kathy was accused by a witness of placing knockout drops in Evelyn’s drink.

Evelyn’s daughter later alleged that Large Kathy drugged her mom, adopted her to the car parking zone and slammed the heavy door of the Richards’ Lincoln Continental on her ankle, placing the lady in a forged for weeks.

Large Kathy then confirmed up at Richards’ dwelling and, together with her secret boyfriend’s two older youngsters current, started making accusations about his spouse.

Kathy Hilton and sisters Kim Richards and Kyle Richards
Kathleen Richards as soon as allegedly served her stepdaughter — the half-sister of Kim (left) and Kyle (proper, with Kathy Hilton) Richards — a cheeseburger with a screw in it.

When Richards hemmed and hawed over divorce and marrying Large Kathy, she bought pregnant in January 1964, simply as she had completed with Avanzino. Richards bought a Mexican divorce, and married Large Kathy. 

It was throughout that point that the brand new spouse started combating with Richards’ mom, Maunie.

One afternoon Richards’ daughter discovered Large Kathy within the kitchen laughing hysterically. “I simply fed Maunie pet food for lunch,” she declared.

Richards would later allegedly declare that Large Kathy “tried to kill his mom.”

On September 19, 1964, in a hospital in Mineola, Large Kathy gave start to her second daughter. They named her Kimberly, later shortened to Kim for stage and TV.

Paris Hilton writes about her grandmother in her new memoir, however paints a rosy image.

She was only a few months previous when Kathleen bought her booked right into a TV carpet business.

Quickly, Richards was allegedly being bodily assaulted by Large Kathy.

Richards’ daughter stated she got here dwelling throughout one of many fights and found that Large Kathy “tried to actually push my dad down the basement stairs. He was holding on for his life.”

Nonetheless, the couple stayed collectively, and ultimately moved to Los Angeles, the place Richards bought a job with a reduction retailer chain and Large Kathy pursued performing careers for the women.

In La-La Land, Kathleen started demanding diamonds, furs and costly sneakers. Her shut pal described her as being “like Imelda Marcos.”

Nicky Hilton, Paris Hilton, Kathy Hilton
A pal as soon as described Kathleen — the ancestor of trend plates Nicky (from left), Paris and Kathy Hilton — as being like Imelda Marcos when it got here to amassing sneakers.

And her violence once more emerged.

Jealous that her stepdaughter had develop into mates with the household’s younger maid, Large Kathy as soon as served up a cheeseburger with a small screw in it and gave it to Richards’ daughter.

“She at all times advised me I had fairly tooth and I suppose she wished me to interrupt them,” Richards’ daughter recalled.

In April 1968, Large Kathy, was pregnant once more. Her marriage was all however over by the point her daughter Kyle was born.

Not one of the ladies would have conventional childhoods due to their mom’s drive to have them work. Kim, as an example, was barely about to learn when Large Kathy was instructing her to recollect dialogue.

Actor C. Thomas Howell, actress Kyle Richards, Kathleen Richards, actress Kim Richards and husband G. Monty Brinson at Kim and Monty's wedding
Kathleen (heart) as soon as boasted, “My daughters are married to males who’ve a complete web value of $13 billion.” She’s seen right here on the marriage ceremony of daughter Kim Richards and G. Monty Brinson (proper, together with C. Thomas Howell and Kyle Richards, left).
Ron Galella Assortment by way of Getty Pictures

After six turbulent years, Large Kathy gave Richards the boot — resulting in a nine-year battle over cash and the youngsters’s TV careers.

Whereas Richards was mild-mannered and crushed down by Large Kathy, her third husband was a hot-tempered mobster stated to have had the ability to order hits. She might have married him twice.

In 1969, a US Senate probe into organized crime had named Jack Catain as a member of the Mafia. A subsequent probe linked him to Angelo Bruno, the Philadelphia godfather.

The identical yr that Large Kathy and Catain tied the knot, Bruno was murdered.

In 1987, after Catain was divorced from Large Kathy, he was convicted for his half in a $3.3 million counterfeiting operation.

Kathy Hilton
“Actual Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Kathy Hilton was known as “Little Kathy” rising up, whereas her mother, Kathleen, was “Large Kathy.”
Getty Pictures

Subsequent was Robert C. Fenton Jr., generally known as the “silver fox” as a result of the 70something was in nice form. However as Large Kathy’s husband quantity 4, he’d bodily crumble.

She made his life a dwelling hell.

Large Kathy snagged the latest widower at a Palm Desert, California, dance membership.

They moved in collectively in 1998, not lengthy after assembly and he quickly gave Large Kathy an unlimited emerald ring surrounded by diamonds.

Married the subsequent yr, Large Kathy satisfied Fenton to chop off monetary help to his daughter, and to additionally promote his dwelling — and put all of the proceeds, stated to be a quarter-million {dollars}, into renovating her home.

As soon as he did, Large Kathy stopped sleeping with him and started treating him like filth.

Paris Hilton
Paris writes that her grandmother was “unbreakable.”
Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

Fenton’s daughters stated he fell below Large Kathy’s spell as a result of he was “blinded” by the Hilton household’s fame and wealth, which she always performed up.

On March 2, 2002, some six weeks after her sixty fourth birthday, Kathleen Dugan Avanzino Richards Catain Fenton died after being handled for breast most cancers. 

In her memoir, Paris Hilton remembers that point.

“I used to be crushed by the considered saying goodbye to Gram Cracker,” Hilton writes “She was unbreakable. Or possibly I simply noticed her that means as a result of I couldn’t stand the thought of dropping her.”

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