Listen kids, rumors just keep rolling in as regards to the alleged and reported sale of The Manor, showbiz widow Candy Spelling's bloated mansion in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles, CA famously listed for years with an elephantine asking price of $150,000,000. We hate to turn the heat on or question the reportage of any of our far more accomplished confrere and compatriots in the real estate gossip game but Your Mama hears that all that has been reported–specifically the identity of the (alleged) buyer–is not accurate.
The story broke when the esteemed Wall Street Journal reported that Miz Spelling's massive manse was acquired by glitzy socialite heiress Petra Ecclestone. Twenty-two year old Miss Ecclestone, who reportedly splashed out more than $100,000,000 for an historic house in London last year, hails from the loins of a 6'2' Croat model who mated with 5'2" international playboy and billionaire Bernie Ecclestone. The odd couple were divorced in 2009 after nearly 25 years of marriage with a settlement that reportedly pored hundreds of millions of dollars into ex-Missus Ecclestone's coffers. Mister Ecclestone's four and some billion dollar fortune derives mainly from his involvement and investment(s) in Formula One racing.
Anyhoo, back in Tinseltown, after getting wind of the alleged sale–like everyone else we first read about it in the WSJ–Your Mama immediately queried a few of our better connected sources deep inside the walls of the high end real estate fortress. A trusted and usually exceedingly well-informed informant got back to us immediately saying somewhat cryptically that the buyer is not young Petra or even Daddy Ecclestone but rather one of the world's top 8 or 10 wealthiest men. Eccentric Mister Ecclestone, puppies, is filthy rich by any standard but his approximately 4.2 billion bucks brings him in at only #254 on the list of the world's wealthiest individuals compiled by each year by Forbes. That's downright impoverished compared to the tiny group of men (and one woman) who rank among the top 10 richest people on the planet.
Gossip juggernaut TMZ next revealed that the young and materially indulged Petra's first choice for a Los Angeles pied a terre was not The Manor but Fleur de Lys, couture clad divorcée Suzanne Saperstein's palatial Beaux Arts-style behemoth a few blocks away, listed at $125,000,000. For reasons not reported, Petra and her people were unable to secure Fleur de Lys. Instead, so the story goes, she settled for her second choice and agreed to pay Miz Spelling $85,000,000 for her 56,500 square foot faux-French chateau-style pile on 4.69 manicured acres that includes such necessities as a 3,500 square foot closet with motorized racks, a 17,000 square foot warehouse-like attic, 27 terlits, flower cutting room, doll museum, two-lane bowling alley, parking for 100-plus cars, extensive staff quarters, tennis court and swimming pool, barber shop, beauty salon and not one but several gift wrapping rooms.
Here's where Your Mama's wrench hits the fan: Two sources–one we trust implicitly and another to whom we've not previously communicated but appears to be in a position to know–have repeatedly insisted the buyer of Miz Spellings white elephant isn't Petra Ecclestone.
Although neither our Your Mama's people would–at first–name names, deeper investigation and questioning of said sources pointed towards Indian steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, number six on the Forbes 400 list with a porcine fortune that runs up to a truly staggering $31.1 billion. The fine folks over at Curbed even speculated that the buyer might actually be Mister Mittal who in April 2004, interestingly and incidentally, paid little ol' Bernie Ecclestone £57,000,000–approximately $128,250,000 at 2004 conversion rates–for a lavish 12 bedroom mega-mansion on the impossibly expensive and guard-gated Kensington Palace Gardens enclave in central London.
Alas, Your Mama's sources now snitch it ain't Mister Mittal who snatched up Miz Spelling's hulking real estate seconds but rather Mukesh Ambani, another mega-billionaire from India. As recently as 2010 Forbes calculated that Mister Ambani was among the top five wealthiest individuals in the world but his still unbelievably vast fortune, derived mainly from oil and gas, has dropped to 27 billion, which put him at number nine on the Forbes list as of March 2011.
Given that Mister Ambani–a Stanford University drop out, dontcha know–is a real estate size queen of the highest order it really isn't much a surprise he'd see a 123-room mansion in Los Angeles as a pied a terre. This is the man, after all, whose family has since the 1970s called Seawind home, a 19-story tower in Mumbai's upscale Cuffe Parade neighborhood. This is also the same man who (in)famously spent upwards of a billion dollars to custom design and build his family a recently completed mega-mansion in Mumbai in the form of a 27-story tower called Antila. That's right, the Ambani's live in a 27-floor tower used exclusively as their private residence. The Ambani's cantilevered tower-manse–which looks an awful lot like a stack of books about to tumble over from a stiff breeze–is said to include luxuries such as a 50-seat theater with wine bar, a health center with spa and gym facilities, multiple sky-gardens, parking for more than 160 cars (plus a private auto repair shop), three helipads on the rood (plus a private air traffic control center) and an ice room where the Ambani's can escape the Mumbai's stifling summer heat in a chilled room outfitted with a contraption that makes it snow...inside the room.
Listen kids, we're just passing along the scuttlebutt as we hear it. That means until someone directly involved with the (alleged) transaction steps out to make an on the record statement, the property records clear or Tori gives Your Mama a ringy-dingy the exact details of the deal and the identity of the new owner remains, technically, in question. That said, don't be surprised when it comes out that Petra Ecclestone has never even put a Brian Atwood stacked pump inside The Manor. We are not, mind y'all, saying that Miss Ecclestone hasn't visited Candy's crib. Maybe she has, maybe she hasn't. What we're saying don't be surprised if it comes out that she's never laid eyes on the mansion.
Stay tuned, children, because it seems this real estate fairy tale isn't quite at its close.
photo: Pacific Coast News