Tuesday, April 22, 2008

UPDATE: Veronica Hearst

This morning we're going to engage in a little rumor and gossip. Did you hear that children? Ru-mor and gos-sip, so there isn't much here you should read as fact.

Over the last few days Your Mama has heard from no less than three New York City sources who all whispered the same thing: The real estate drama for the allegedly (April issue, page 38) financially strapped socialite Veronica Hearst has yet to come to an end. The children will recall that the Widow Hearst recently endured a nasty, prolonged and public foreclosure on Villa Venezia, the pa-lay-shul 52-room Palm Beach spread she and her late huzband, newspaper heir Randolph A. Hearst, purchased for nearly $30,000,000 just a few months before Mister Hearst was called by life's Editor in Chief. (The property has since been reportedly purchased by filthy rich financier Franklin Haney.)

First, Your Mama heard the rumor from The Fifth Avenue Flap Jaw that the co-op board of Miz Hearst's dignified and limestone clad building at 4 East 66th Street was quietly encouraging Miz Hearst to even more quietly sell her large apartment before another foreclosure fracas presented itself that might shine the kleig lights of publicity on the other discreet and ridiculously rich residents of the dee-luxe building, or even worse, allow an unwanted buyer to swoop in and purchase the posh co-op at auction thereby skirting the usual, byzantine and sometimes humiliating hoops of co-op board approval. Property records show other residents in the swanky building include Pharmaceutical honcho Howard Soloman, hedge hog Daniel Nir and Deutsche Bank director Kevin Parker and his wife Ulla. Our high society snitch, The Social Butterfly, told us ages ago that Texas based billionaires Sid and Mercedes Bass also maintain a residence in the building.

Next we heard from someone we'll call Yelena Yaksitup who whispered to Your Mama that she heard an unsubstantiated rumor that the Widow Hearst's apartment had already been sold...for $31,000,000. Property records do not reveal a sale and we are somewhat skeptical if only because we're hard pressed to believe we'd get scuttlebutt this scandalous before the much more established real estate gossips in New York City. None the less, the $31,000,000 number does sound about what Your Mama would expect the (approx.) 8,000 square foot full floor co-op overlooking Central Park would fetch if it were to be sold.

After hearing what Yelena and Flap Jaw had to say, Your Mama got on the horn with The Social Butterfly who made a few discreet inquiries with some of her more hoity toity acquaintances and reported back that the ladees in Balmain suits who lunch at Swifty's and Michael's haven't heard a thing about this particular real estate rumor and doubt very seriously that Miz Hearst would give up her apartment unless she was dead or being dragged out kicking and screaming in all 7 of the languages she speaks.

Let's be real children. Despite that uglee foreclosure bizness in Florida, neither Your Mama nor anyone else besides Miz Hearst and her team of accountants and attorneys has any inkling about Miz Hearst's financial (in)stability or exposure. Just because it has been reported that she put up the Fifth Avneu apartment as collateral for the massive loans she took from New Stream Capital, the reality could easily be that Miz Hearst still has more money than Your Mama and most of the children...combined. Although it does take big buckets of bucks to live a life of private planes, couture lunching suits and multiple residences with outrageous tax and maintenance bills, just because she couldn't afford to keep Villa Venezia, does not automatically infer that she can't well afford to keep her Fifth Avenue digs and/or her 45 acre estate in New Castle, NY.

However, if the scuttlebutt is true and the Widow Hearst's bank accounts are gasping for air, Your Mama advises that the ladee either marry well, again, or sell her big ticket properties and pay cash for something small and chic at the Sherry Netherland and perhaps treat herself to a petite pied a terre in Paris. Who needs the nonsense of constant debt restructuring and refinancing not to mention public and private chatter among her couture clad crew just to be able to maintain the image of massive wealth? It just ain't worth it.

For those of the children that do not already know, Miz Hearst's decadent digs on Fifth Avenue were exquisitely done up and did over by (now deceased) Italian trompe l'oeil genius and master of interior decorating fakery Renzo Mongiardino, a man who could (and did) make cardboard look like butter soft and aged calf skin and then meticulously installed it in some of the finest homes in the world.

The photos above show Miz Hearst's Fifth Avenue crib and were shot sometime in 2007 for the large format fashion glossy V Magazine. In the article, Miz Hearst's gal about town in a good pair of shoos daughter Fabiola Beracasa is interviewed and featured in additional and fun photos inside mommy's lavish apartment slouching on spectacular and exceptionally upholstered red velvet brocade chairs as well as straddling an ancient stone horse while standing on a gilded commode. Good stuff, children, have a look-see for a glimpse of how the young and entitled in New York City get by.

And remember kids, for now this is just rumor and gossip...rumor and gossip.

22 comments:

StPaulSnowman said...

overly busy elegance. I'd need seizure meds and some very large checkers to cope with those floors.

Anonymous said...

Cardboard eh? Truly a house made of cards......

bentley said...

I love those casement doors - beautiful.

I'm also a sucker for those floors in the gallery. Not very imaginative, I know, but they do it for me.

lil' gay boy said...

Oh.
My.
God.

Talk about putting lipstick on a pig . . . this is foul.

I can't remember when I last saw anything so vulgarly over-the-top; although I must admit that for all the frippery, the place does have good bones. And the mural walls in the dining room are just campy enough to keep.

I'd recommend a nice big team of gay decorators move in, preserve the mural in the dining room, and pitch the rest out the window, regardless of NYC's litter laws.

Runs away screaming said...

Arrgghhhh!

sandpiper said...

Hey Little Buddy !!!
You're back, and snarky as ever. I'm delighted. xxoo

Anonymous said...

If the rumor is true that she used her N.Y. apartment for collateral to maintain the Palm Beach estate, we may not have even seen the half of this story yet. As I was reading through Mama's article, I couldn't help but wonder what kind of advice her attorneys are giving her. And then it occurred to me she's probably doing a good deal more dictating to them than listening. More and more this is seeming eerily similiar to that other White Ladee's story - yup, that's who I mean.

Alessandra said...

I'd rather have the calf skin than the card board, but I'm old-fashioned that way.

She should sell and take Mama's advice. But, she won't. And then the true fun will ensue.

Barren Karen said...

Those floors and walls make me dizzy and I love it. I love it even more that it's faked up shit.

sandpiper said...

Staying within the boundaries of Mama's rumored speculation, can you imagine how unglued the coop board must be? To think this unit could end up in the real estate portfolio of ... Flavor Flav? Marilyn Manson? The Spitter? Brittney?

Seriously, this entire saga is a very unfortunate mess.

E.J. said...

Can anyone seriously look at anything in these pictures and not laugh. Or wretch? I mean really. It looks like it was decorated by Navin Johnson (that's funny - trust me - if you know that Navin Johnson was Steve Martin's character in The Jerk). The Hearst shit-dump is awful. Classless. Over-the-top shit. Just awful. And I'm sure the commode isn't the only thing Fabiola straddles to make sure she can keep herself in $5000 handbags and tasteless magazine pictorials. Am I the only person that wants to shoot people in the Vanity Fair "charity dinner" pictures? Wait. Did I say that out loud?

Quite Contrary said...

What's really sad, besides the fact that the woman overextended herself so very far, is that this is what Fleur de Lys wishes it looked like.

so_chic_darling said...

They want so much and they seem to need so much,it's all so desperate in the end don't you think?
I think this is going to end in a blood bath and a section in a Christies catalog that says "property of a lady".

sandpiper said...

so-chic,
You may very well have nailed it.

pch said...

Gonna be a bit contrarian here. Minus the baroque busts, which I think are too big -- I really dig the entry hall. Looks to me like it could come from a small palace in central Europe. Not for me, but it's cool.

I could do without the religious iconography and furnishings in the other shots, but I like the walls there, too.

Anonymous said...

Makes me want to throw up!!

Benjamin said...

It may or may not have sold, but if it has, the sale hasn't been recorded on ACRIS (public website of the Office of the City Register) yet.

I doubt the place is really 8000 sf. Probably more like 7000.

Whatever the situation is, the co-op board will still vet the buyer. Britney is out of luck.

This apartment is very over the top and baroque, but I don't think it's hideous.

Viva! said...

It's bad and what's worse is that it's expensive bad. Like Dolly Parton said 'it takes a lot of money to look this cheap.'

This isn't going to end well for Veronica Hearst, so_chic_darling nailed it. If Ms Hearst is lucky it'll say Property of a Lady in the catalogue.

That co op board must be DYING. I'd love for someone like Courtney Love to just swoop in and buy it. Hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Someone like Courtney Love couldn't buy it. The board will still decide, even if it is foreclosed on.

StPaulSnowman said...

after reading all these wonderfully sensitive comments, I am led wonder who will live in this place next............if only the Clampetts were househunting

Anonymous said...

Viva!
Come up with your own ideas to comment if you can or else do not bother with boring the children like yuo always do.

Anonymous said...

I worked in this house as a private chef and despite what is said about the pics the home was very ethereal and done very tastefully. Mr. Hearst was a collector of religious pieces that were either inherited from his father or that he bought on his own. Pics are one thing seeing it in person is a whole different experience.