Tuesday, January 20, 2009

UPDATE: Villa Leopolda

Poor rich Lily Safra.

The jet setting international socialite and mega-moneyed widow prefers to float well under the publicity radar of all the real estate gossips, but rumors and reports keep seeping out about Villa Leopolda, her legendarily high maintenance Belle Epoque estate on Villefrance on the Cote d'Azure that was widely whispered to have been sold last year to a big spending Russian billionaire for a knee buckling and heart stopping £392,000,000. That's 576,283,120 buckaroos to all us Americanos at today's rates, but back in August of 2008–before the global financial markets had a major meltdown–that figure converted to in excess of $730,000,000.

As it turns out, the palatial property was not sold. Or at least not according to a recent report in The Londoner's Diary. Your Mama isn't all that surprised to see this in print since both The Social Butterfly and Nelly Knowsitall, two of our better connected tipsters, told us ages ago that they'd heard on the hoity toity gossip grapevine they're privy to that all the brouhaha about a sale was just, well, brouhaha.

The reported £392,000,000 sale to Russian commodities tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov would have easily set a world record for the purchase price of a single family property. But alas...

Your Mama could certainly understand why Miz Safra, a ladee who knows how to marry well and whose fourth marriage was to Brazilian-naturalized Jewish Lebanese billionaire banker Edmund Safra who tragically perished in a highly suspicious conflagration of the couple's penthouse apartment in Monaco back in 1999, would want to unload this Villa Leopolda place. After all, she's no spring chicken anymore and it surely costs a small fortune and a few migraines each year to manage and pay the gardeners who maintain the gorgeously groomed 20 acre estate (who are oft reported to number 50 even though The Social Butterfly swears on her tiara it is a fraction of that), not to mention the serious doo-cats necessary to pay a full complement of house staff and team of scary security people, who are said to be armed and former members of the Israeli special forces.

The Gilded Lily, who cats around with swells like Prince Charles and that Camilla ladee he's married to and whose lavish lifestyle makes even the very rich look middle class, is also said to maintain posh properties in New York City, London, Monaco and Geneva.

Unless Miz Safra chooses to hand down the labor intensive property to one of her children, it's only a matter of time before Villa Leopolda sells to some billionaire or another whose looking for a trophy property they'll almost never use, but until then, it's pins and needles for all the folks like Your Mama who care about such frivolity as the fate of Miz Safra's celebrated estate.

22 comments:

timtimtim said...

I think Lily Safra flipped quite a few high end properties a few years ago in NY...838 Fifth and a lower floor unit in 820 Fifth (where she was and I believe she still resides on a higher floor)..

Something along those lines. She sure has pretty good taste in real estate

Anonymous said...

She wouldn't need the armed guards if they hadn't stolen so much money over the years. I always found the explanation of the old man's murder suspect, also.

Anonymous said...

It boggles the mind to imagine a property, any property, worth the better part of a Trillion dollars, and is oppressive to imagine needing Israeli special forces to keep both it and me safe. That's living? No thanks.

Anonymous said...

Correction.. I meant to say the better part of a Billion dollars.

The Preppy Pauper said...

Dominick Dunne was all over the Safra fire/death story in his column in Vanity Fair. Despite the Villa's beauty that is some bad chi (energy). Even a billion dollars can't protect you from the Grim Reaper when your time is up...

Boo Dwar said...

As if she hangs aroung with Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Who came up with that one?

Anonymous said...

*I always found the explanation of the old man's murder suspect"

His American or Canadian [Can't remember] nurse pretty much set the fire. Been proven, Case put to rest.

"As if she hangs aroung with Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall"

She is extremely good friends with Prince Charles like many of the worlds Billionaires.

And also her primary residence is London [sold the Monaco Apt after husbands death] ... so can easily socialise with Prince Charles etc..

Anonymous said...

i think she is standing in my backyard(!!??). let me ask her....

Anonymous said...

If the highly trained security team had been present the night the nurse set the fire, Mr. Safra would likely still be here to enjoy the house. What a story......

Anonymous said...

actually the story is very suspect...in the end the nurse was charged but it sounds like he was set up as the pawn..he was in the house during the fire...and doors were locked so the security was no where to be found...

average joe :[) said...

Silly woman.

She is still waiting for me to replace the deposit checks I bounced.

Anonymous said...

Average Joe:

Was this before you had the funds to buy your own bank?

average joe :[) said...

I thought when I bought the bank it meant they couldn't bounce my checks anymore. Now I am suing guy who brokered the deal because I am sure he told me that.

He sold me this bag of beans too. He says if I plant them a beanstalk will grow with millions of dollars at the top.

Viva! said...

Lily Safra is a very interesting lady...I'm not saying she's innocent and I'm not saying she's guilty...but she's interesting. She's gotten around.

HBO should make a mini series based on Lady Colin Campbell's lightly veiled novel "Empress Bianca" with Joan Collins in the leading role, Miz Collins is the hotter version of Miz Safra and would likely be fabulous. It's rather effortless for Miz JC.

Anonymous said...

I thought she, not he, was Brazilian; he was Lebanese.

Your Mama said...

You're right dolly, Mister Safra was born in Lebanon and later became a naturalized Brazilian citizen. We've amended to post to be more accurately descriptive.

Anonymous said...

I worked at a small company of about 75 employees. The company had a line of credit with Safra and employees were paid through a Safra account.

The principals of my company apparently got behind on their loan payments so Safra then bounced every payroll check they had written for the previous two months. I have never heard of such a thing, before or since. The act was totally illegal.

Extremely good friends with Price Charles? I doubt it knowing how the royals hated the family of Dodi Fayed.

Anonymous said...

"I have never heard of such a thing"

Indeed.

Must be nice to be able to hold on to a paycheck for two months before depositing it. Even wealthy people deposit chacks payable to them into their own bank accounts quicker than that where they can start earning interest.

I forgot...We're supposed to believe everything we read on the internet.

Anonymous said...

12:29, no, they bounced checks that had been deposited up to two months earlier by employees based around the country.

Anonymous said...

6:55 -

You aren't making sense. In what world does it take two months for a check to clear? Once it has cleared, it is paid. Done. Over. Finished. Checks can't be charged back after they clear.

luke220 said...

8:44, you are wrong. I had never heard of it before either but Safra Bank did it. In my case, I filed a complaint through the Comptroller of Currency and recovered the second month's payments, but a paying bank has thirty days to recall a check, even after deposited and cleared.

Anonymous said...

"Extremely good friends with Price Charles? I doubt it knowing how the royals hated the family of Dodi Fayed"

What? What has Fayed got to do with anything? Actually Wills & Harry are extremely good friends with Camilla Fayed, she was at Princess Dianas funeral & her 10 year memorial service. The families get on fine. I will state once again ... Lily Safra is extremely good friends with Prince Charles. Fact. No need to question it.