Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday's Mish-Mash

It's been quite some time since Your Mama has done the mish-mash and there are a number of juicy tidbits piling up on our desk we need to clear off our calendar so strap on your safety belts and let's go.

For good or ill, both Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter have an unhealthy obsession with all the Real Housewives from all the cities (call me Andy Cohen) and so we about jumped out of our skin when we got a ringy-dingy from a gal we call Kitty Glitter who told Your Mama that robustly Botoxed and behemoth busted Real Housewife of Orange County Tamra Barney and her tequila trafficking huzband Simon recently (re-)listed their faux-Tuscan tract house in Ladera Ranch, CA with an asking price of $1,149,000.

All the children who have not completely mucked up their minds with booze and other illegal substances may recall that in November of 2008, the blond, tan and toothy reality tee-vee stars listed their 5 bedroom and 5.5 pooper property in the gated Covenant Hills community with an asking price of $1,599,00 saying they wanted to take advantage of the market by selling their current house and buying a bigger and better foreclosed property at a low price. But alas...

One of the things that's interesting to Your Mama about the Barney's real estate situation is that the property is listed with someone other than Tamra, who claims to be a real estate agent, nor is it listed with Jeanna Keough, another Housewife of Orange County who is a real estate agent and who is also trying to unload her multi-million dollar Orange County crib currently listed at $4,900,000. We'd be pissed iffin we were Jeana, which of course we are not.

What's even perhaps more interesting (and salacious) is that, according to property records, Mister and Missus Barney paid $1,320,500 for the upgraded but still pathetically generic property in August of 2005. It does not take flicking the beads on our bejeweled abacus to understand that this "MUST SEE" property is likely to be a short sale and, in fact, it is flagged on Redfin as a short sale. Oh dear.

Listen chickens, it never makes Your Mama squeal with delight to see someone lose money on their homes or, even worse, lose their homes but we confess their is a kind of delicious real estate schadenfreude when the homeowners in question have made such an arrogant display of their allegedly deep pockets on national television such as the Barneys have. Maybe Tamra can hawk that flashy pink diamond encrusted Rolex she got from Simon on her (alleged) 40th birthday to help with the finances.

There's a rumor making its way around the posh and pricey streets of Greenwich, CT that Grammy winning singer and wannabe actor Justin Timberlake and his ladee-friend, actress Jessica Biel, recently bought a big house in the Backcountry area of the leafy and extravagantly expensive town. Details are slim but it's been reported elsewhere that it could be a 25.5 acre spread that recently sold for $18,700,000 in the gated and swank Conyers Farm development.

If this is true, and Your Mama don't know nuthin' from a piece of toast about this, does this mean Mister Timberlake and Miss Biel are fixin' to start a family? Why else would these two twenty something year old youngsters want be up in sleepy and staid Greenwich, CT with Regis Philbin and all those hedge fund hogs who have a net worth well in excess of the GDP of most African countries?

Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Bueller?

Poor Annie Leibovitz. Although the super successful celebrity photographer is reported to earn in the neighborhood of two million clams a year snapping photos of rich and famous folks for Vanity Fair and other Condé Nast publications–not to mention the big bucks she earns from other picture and portrait projects–she's found herself in a deep and wide financial pickle that may soon find her and her three children tossed out of her sprawling townhouse home and studio on West 11th Street in New York City and their 200+ acre country compound off scenic River Road in Rhinebeck, NY.

It seems that at some point not so long ago Miz Leibovitz needed to scare up a toe curling $24,000,000 to cover a myriad of liens, loans, lawsuits, renovation costs and other debts. Like many bankable artists in a pinch, Miz Leibovitz went to Art Capital Group, a private banking operation that provides loans to artists who often back the loans with their own art collection and future work(s). In Miz Leibovitz's case, the leviathan loan was collateralized by her significant but heavily mortgaged real estate holdings as well as the negatives and intellectual property rights to every photo she has ever taken. That's right puppies, every photo she has ever taken.

This is the same company, incidentally, who lent eight million clams to artist Julian Schnabel when he was building Palazzo Chupi, his first and not very successful foray as real estate developer, and also the same company who swooped in and reportedly took possession of a Rubens (and jeezis only knows what else) after cash strapped socialite Veronica Hearst defaulted on the loan she took from them in a valiant but failed effort to save her 52-room white elephant in Palm Beach.

Anyhoo, Miz Leibovitz's situation is far too complicated for Your Mama to go into right now, but it's a fascinating story and suffice to say that according to peeps at Art Capital Partners do not think Miz Leibovitz will be able to repay the loan–which is due in September–without selling her real estate holdings and artworks and therefore wants access to her properties in order to assess their value and ready them for sale. Miz Leibovitz is, not surprisingly, resisting and claiming not to have understood the original agreement. With twenty four million smackers on the line, Art Capital Partners is, not surprisingly, suing. It's gonna get ugly folks,

Annie Leibovitz is not the only rich or famous person in the throws of a financial fracas that threatens their real estate portfolio. Actor and prodigious property collector Nic Cage has the IRS after his booty for more than $6,000,000 in unpaid income taxes from 2007. As a result, the IRS has placed a lien on at least 1 of his many properties.

Although, according to a recent report in the New Orleans Business News, one of Mister Cage's two big houses in the Big Easy has an IRS lien placed against it, the IRS can (and will) apply this lien to any of Mister Cage's other properties in the event they are sold. Technically Mister Cage needs to satisfy the lien before selling or refinancing but payment of the lien can also be paied out of the proceeds of the sale of any of his many homes.(One of our tipsters named Jimmy Jetsetter swears Mister Cage owns more than 25 properties although Your Mama can only account for 10.)

Mister Cage's New Orleans real estate holdings consist of the infamous, and rumored to be haunted, LaLaurie house on Royal Street currently listed at $3,550,000 and a massive mansion measuring 13,176 square feet on pretty Prytania Street in the Garden District currently listed at $3,450,000. Mister Cage has a number of his other properties on the market including an rather large estate in Rhode Island ($15,900,000), a house in real estate ravaged Las Vegas ($9,490,000), a couple of combined condos in New York City ($9,750,000) as well as his primary residence on Copa de Oro Road in ritzy Bel Air, CA currently listed at $17,500,000 after first being offered at a butt clenching $35,000,000.

About 10 days ago, Your Mama discussed the sale of the Holmby Hills estate that Hugh and Kimberley Hefner sold for $18,000,000 after having listed it at $27,995,000. The 2.3 acre property which sits smack up against the Playboy Mansion in hoity-toity Holmby Hills was purchased by a 25 year old muscle car collecting whippersnapper named Daren Metropoulos. That's right chickens, the new owner of the 7 bedroom, 7,318 square foot manse is just twenty five years old. Sorta makes ya queasy, don't it?

The young entrepreneur is known in some circles as one of the Bumble Bee tuna boys due to the fact that his father, big bizness investor and former Executive Chairman of Pinnacle Foods Group C. Dean Metropoulos, somewhat famously purchased Bumble Bee and installed a then 14-year old Daren and his then 17-year old brother Evan as presidents.

Your Mama hears from Linda Letsitallhangout that controversial comedian Sacha Baron Cohen and his wifey Isla Fisher are out hunting for new digs in Los Angeles in which to house their expanding family. Say what you will about Mister Baron Cohen and his high-lariously juvenile yet smart, sassy satirical movies, but he's making money hand over fist so he must be doing something right.

Newly svelte (again) and notorious hot mess rocker chick Courtney Love says she's moving to New York City. Y'all are warned.

And with that nugget of celebrity real estate news, we are through.


StPaulSnowman said...

That was a sweet box of chocolates, Mama........pass me the insulin . Ms. Leibovitz could surly fenagle a loan from her buddy HRH Elizabeth II. A few portraits of the Royal Corgis would sweeten the deal. Eat your hearts out Linda and Beverly!

Nancy/PA said...

Andy Cohen is getting more flamboyant and wannabe-comedian....he needs to go back to just reading the e-mail questions and looking like a deer-in-the-headlights during the fights.

Tamra's watch was just so Fitty Cent...I don't even think SHE liked it. Thanks for the tidbits, Mama!

chris said...

Yeah I bet poor little Annie is so illiterate she can't understand what she reads, or perhaps never bothered to read in the first place. I fear I share your schadenfreude at the pickles and mustard these overrewarded "talents" have gotten themselves into. I only wish it could happen to hundreds more of them. That would increase my freude a lot.

Viva! said...

Damn, that sucks for Tamra...but she and Simon deserved it. Instead of spending 50 grand on a watch they should have been paying their mortgage.

On the other hand, Jeana works hard for her money and so does her (jackass) of a soon to be ex husband. Though she lived lavishly her house sales afforded her that. I hope Jeana offloads her house at a tidy profit.

Madam Pince said...

Seems Miss Annie is getting back the ugliness she visited on her late, longtime partner, Susan Sontag. Miss Payback has come for her due.

Anonymous said...

RE: Dean Metropoulos. Never heard of him so googled.

He needs a couple of billion to dangle in front of the Girls Next Door to get a wife.

Anonymous said...

Mama, I don't know if I missed it in another post (there have been so many regarding this particular family and their 'hood that I have lost track of the details from each) but it appears through my search of Trulia foreclosure listings that the Beverly Park Bisnos have defaulted...again?

Doesn't it seem as though the celebrity real estate shit is hitting the proverbial fan these days? I suppose it's about time that those who were once considered to be the super wealthy experience their share of hard times.

Anyway, thanks for the great post, it made my night!

Nancy/PA said...

Anon 6:33, I googled Metropoulos too, and as of last year he'd been married for 30 years or so. So I diidn't quite understand your comment. He's actually very good-looking, but in the article I read (from a Greek publication), he is so full of himself I'm surprised his head could fit on the page. And his SONS....well, he's even worse when bragging about them and their "guerilla-marketing" savvy....(puke). Hey, MY son is the top delivery guy at Papa John's!!!

angie said...

It kind of takes your breath away how some people with stellar incomes play so loose and fast with it, but to be fair it was the defining characteristic of Bush's 'money grows on trees' economic stewardship. The many who unwisely followed his lead are now paying the price for it, well, all except George W of course who is no doubt raking in a bundle from conservotards on the canned speech circuit.

That Daren Metropoulos is supposedly the youngest billionaire in the world.

Many thanks for the chock full of real estate nuggets column Mama!

Anonymous said...

I happened to notice today that Nic Cage's famous estate on Copa D'Oro in Bel-Air is no longer listed on the Los Angeles MLS, mama...pulled from the market or sold?

Anonymous said...

Nancy/PA - Sorry, Mama mentioned both father and son's names and I typed the wrong one on my reply even though I googled the right name (Daren). The son is who Mama is reporting bought this house. He is only 25. And is not an attractive man by any stretch of the imagination.

Billy said...

I remember reading that Ms. Leibovitz’s financial problems stem from the inheritance of Ms. Sontag’s estate having to pay death tax because they weren’t (couldn’t be) married.

Anonymous said...

Like the above poster mentioned,

Annie's problems came from multi-million dollar death taxes she had to pay b/c in this country [supposedly land of the free!] she couldn't be legally married or have a civil union unlike most other Western nations!

Anonymous said...

I'm not disagreeing, but can someone tell me why, if they were not married, leibovitz had to pay death taxes for sontag?

is is that she inherited the estate by sontag's will and that made her responsible?

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 2:58... even if you are married, you will still be responsible for 'death taxes' of an estate. Saying that she had to pay them because she was not able to marry Susan S is a red herring.

Anonymous said...

the Leibovitz Sontag gay tax thing is totally false, and she has denied it so, and Sontag's family states that her son received the bulk of everything, with Leibovitz receiving 4 personal items.

Leibovitz is financially F'd due to her massive ego and her renovation stupidity.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I don't think the Sontag estate amounted to so much and it didn't go to Leibovitz in any case. If she can't be bothered to read the contract about the loans or pay a lawyer to explain it all to her you could hardly expect her to take good care of her affairs, could you? She probably needed a financial manager and never got one. If she had, then she could blame her problems on him.

Spectacular Bid said...

In regards to Nicolas Cage and his H.T. Lindeberg designed home in Middletown, RI a/k/a Grag Craig - it's being identified now as SOLD per the Lila Delman's website update last week.

Anonymous said...

Im sure someone has pointed it out already, but another one of those Atlanta housewives has been foreclosed upon. Lisa Businesswoman Hartwell and her husband were pitched out on their ear and their digs foisted upon the auction block.

Anonymous said...

It's great to have an old man with 2 billion dollars. Then you can buy the house next door to the playboy mansion for your 25th birthday......

Anonymous said...

Sorry Spectacular Bid..Nic Cage's house in Middletown is not SOLD..try REDUCED!