Oh dear. According to celebrated celebrity real estate columnist Braden Keil in his recent Gimme Shelter column in the New York Post, Veronica Hearst, the much younger widow of Randolph A. Hearst, step-mother of former SLA hostage Patty Hearst, and mother of one of New York's more glittering social gadabouts Fabiola Beracasa, has some serious real estate woes.
The high flying and big spending socialite lives in a massive apartment on Fifth Avenue that overlooks Central Park in Manhattan, but like so many socialites of a certain ilk and tax bracket, the Widow Hearst also owns a freakishly huge mansion in Palm Beach that Mister Keil reports has gone into foreclosure. Yes puppies, you read that correctly. Sometimes even the fabulously wealthy have cash flow problems.
The 52-room, 28,000 square foot behemoth, dubbed "Villa Venezia," includes four kitchens and was purchased in July 2000 for $29,870,000, which at the time was more money than any sugar baron or metals magnate had ever paid for a residential property in Palm Beach County. Five months later, as bad luck would have it, Mister Hearst, the scion and heir to William Randolph Hearst's media fortune, died of a massive stroke at the ripe old age of 85. Now children, what Your Mama wants to know is what foolishness possessed an 85 year old man, even one as rich as the Pope and married to a much younger socialite hottie, to buy a damn $30,000,000 mansion? Honestly, that was just stoopid, all due respect.
Anyhoo, the 3.5 acre estate (pictured above), with both ocean and intracoastal waterway frontage, has been for sale for a loooong time and was discussed on RADAR back in April of 2007 shortly after the asking price had been reduced to the bargain basement price of $27,000,000. Why is that a bargain basement price the children might fairly ask? Well, according to Mister Keil, the Widow Hearst recently defaulted on mortgages and loans totaling a mind bending $33,000,000, and apparently a West Palm Beach judge refused to stop the foreclosure proceedings on the monster mansion. Uh-oh.
One of Keils many inside sources told him, "When Randy died, he didn't leave her enough money to take care of the house. It's all tied up in trusts - and she's a big spender." And the Widow Hearst herself told Mister Keil that she is merely refinancing her debt and that, "There was a conflict of interest. The original terms were incorrect. We are resolving our issues."
Hmm. Something seems fishy here.
The Widow Hearst's foreclosure woes are not the only foreclosure woes in the world of celebrity and quasi-celebrity real estate. A tipster we'll call Chatty Cathy tells Your Mama that Nicole Murphy, Eddie Murphy's ex-wife and baby mama, is also in default on a mammoth mansion in Granite Bay–which is just outside Sacramento, Calif.–that she was awarded in the couple's 2006 dee-vorce. At first we did not know whether to believe Chatty Cathy, but then she sweetly sent Your Mama that actual documents which plainly show that as of mid-September 2007, the ex-Mrs. Murphy was arrears to the tune of $78,000 and some change. According to the document, foreclosure proceedings had not begun, but the notice of default was clear that unless the back mortgage monies were paid, the house would go to foreclosure. More Uh-oh.
As was reported on September 29 by Mister Big Time, ex-Mrs. Murphy has the 11,158 square foot mansion (pictured above) on the market for $6,500,000. Children, you should really have a look at the photos on Mister Big Time's site, because the 10 bedroom and 14 bathroom pile looks like the sort of place Saddam Hussein might have constructed and furnished for one of his concubines. Note to historians, Your Mama does not have any idea if Saddam Hussein had concubines, but if he did, we imagine they would have been shacked up in a distasteful place like this.
As the children may recall, the Granite Bay estate is not the only house that ex-Mrs. Murphy recently plunked onto the market. She also recently listed her tremendous 9,214 square foot Calabasas casa (pictured above) with 6 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms for an Louis Vuitton pocketbook filling $9,995,000.
The lesson here for all you poor dears with foreclosure and mortgage problems is that you can rest a little easier knowing that even people who seem to live big and phat sometimes have trouble making their payments.