Real Housewives of Malibu Part 1: Camille Grammer sells to Wendy Hughes for $13 million… and then downgrades

Yolanda is back from the desert and not a moment too soon. Damn, y’all, it’s fun to get away now and then but your gurl forgot how little there actually is to do out there. Our restlessness meant we spent most of the time yakking on our phone or pounding away on our computer.

Know what else we did? We’re deeply ashamed to admit it, but we’re throwing it out there anyway. Firstly, you should know your ho Yolanda has a real thing for D-list celebrities and trashy reality shows. We loved Flavor of Love, Surreal Life, and Jersey Shore. Don’t laugh! We did. We like to think we’ve matured over the years, but that’s clearly not the case, is it? Regardless, we digress. While in the desert, we caught up on one of our favorite tawdry reality shows: The Real Housewives of Beverly HillsOr as Yolanda immaturely likes to call it, The Real Hag-whores of Not Beverly Hills. We pray Rabbi Hedda will forgive us our tastelessness.

You see, the title of this show is really all wrong. And it’s not just because none of these – ahem – “ladies” are actually housewives. It’s also because none of them live in the city of Beverly Hills. Maybe folks out in Weedhole, West Virginia believe that Beverly Hills encompasses all the wealthy areas of LA, but that’s just not the case. (No offense to West Virginians. It’s a beautiful state.)

In fact, though we’re now into season 6 of the show, we don’t believe a single one of these “ladies” have ever actually resided within the BH city limits during their starring roles. Lisa Vanderpump and Lisa Rinna probably come closest – they both have the coveted 90210 zip code on their home address – but they’re way up in Beverly Hills Post Office. And that, of course, is technically the city of Los Angeles. The horror!

Since we’ve been on a Malibu kick lately, talking about our boy Yousef Al Otaiba’s secret compound and all that, we thought it would be a fun and appropriate diversion to cobble together a multi-part series that chronicles the many homes these “ladies” have owned in the seaside community. Don’t want to read about these botoxed ol’ broads? Tough! We want to write about them and that cross-eyed Andy Cohen really needs to fix the name of his show. Think of this as a PSA and quit whining before Yolanda slaps you silly. (Just playin’ with that cross-eyed dig, Andy baby. You know your gurl Yolanda’s got mad love for ya.)

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So without further ado, let’s jump in and discuss one of our favorite wealthy wenches – Camille Grammer. Though she hasn’t officially been part of the cast since season 2, our big-boobed and blonde-haired former MTV video vixen-turned cancer survivor still pops up here and there and gleefully continues to fuel speculation she will make an official comeback in season 7. We shall see.

Since 1998, Ms. Grammer has resided primarily in the exclusive Serra Retreat gated community in Malibu. This enclave is so wealthy it has not one but two guard-gated entrances, kids. And there are many famous folks who currently own homes here: James Cameron, David Charvet & Brooke Burke, Larry Ellison, Brad Delson – just to name a small handful.

In August 2012, a couple years after her acrimonious split from royalty-rich sitcom star Kelsey Grammer, Ms. Grammer first attempted to sell her nearly 5 acre spread for $17,500,000.

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Like all properly major estates, the Grammer-cum-Hughes pad boasts its own moniker: “Peppertree Hill”.

Unfortunately, our poor lass had a real devil of a time unloading the big honker of a crib. It took years and several hefty price chops before the property finally transferred this past November (2015) for a much-lower but still very A-list $12,940,000.

The buyer’s identity is carefully obscured behind a shell company called “Chateau de Grace LLC” that leads down a dead-end road, to an LA law firm. Luckily Yolanda has a joker in the pack. We happen to have an old chum that has long resided in Serra Retreat. Thus, all it took was a single phone call and voilà! We now know for a fact who our secret buyer is. It’s a low-profile lady named Wendy Hughes.

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Oh, and don’t let the funny hat fool you. Ms. Hughes is a very seriously rich lady.

Because we don’t much care for the house, we’re not going to do our typical play-by-play with the pictures today. Suffice to say that the massive estate is tucked in near the very back of the community and the 6,645 square foot mock-Mediterranean main house has 4 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms. There’s a Wolfgang Puck-designed kitchen, a movie theater, a lot of wood and a lot of beige. Probably some other cool shit too. Who knows. Oh, and let’s not forget that double-height dining room, the site of a legendary bitchfight sure to go down in trashy TV history.

The mansion is nice enough if that’s your style, but we think the grounds of this estate are really what commanded the 8-figure pricetag. Simply put, they’re damn spectacular. Well, we don’t much care for that free-form flagstone-terrace-surrounded swimming pool. (Simple rectangular shapes are always better for residential pools, in Yolanda’s worthless opinion.)  But everything else is gorgeous.

Sycamore and eucalyptus trees abound. There’s a Frenchy guest house with a kitchen and at least a couple more bedrooms and bathrooms, a tennis court, meandering stone pathways leading down to a caretaker’s cottage near the horse stables and riding rink. Our favorite features are the gigantic lily pond (modeled, according to the listing, after a Monet series) and the waterside stone temple that allegedly dates to the 1700s.

By this time, you might be wondering how this Wendy Hughes lady can afford a $13 million estate of this magnitude. Can you imagine what the upkeep costs on a property this size must be? Yikes. But sit quiet because your gurl Yolanda is explain something to you. Ms. Hughes was long married to a guy named B. Wayne Hughes, Jr.

Our Mr. Hughes just happens to be a right proper billionaire. According to the bean counters at Forbes, he currently sports a net worth of $1.54 billion thanks to his part-ownership of Public Storage and a whole bunch of apartments in California and Hawaii. He and his family – including his billionaire sister Tamara Gustavson – have long resided in and around the Malibu area.

Wayne & Wendy Hughes
Wayne & Wendy Hughes

We say “was married” when referring to Ms. Hughes because although we are unable to locate a single shred of online evidence, our Serra Retreat insider snitch informed us that Mr. & Mrs. Hughes quietly got the big D recently. That’s right, y’all – Divorce.

We don’t know too much else about Ms. Hughes herself other than she is a Christian and notably philanthropic lady and she recently launched Cantinas Entertainment, which appears to develop films and TV productions dedicated to showcasing “positive, life affirming stories” in the family entertainment sector.

Anyway, Ms. Hughes is not a new resident of this particular community. She and Mr. Hughes resided together in Serra Retreat for a long time. In fact, their marital home, which they continue to own, is pretty much right around the corner from the huge new spread she bought from Ms. Grammer and is currently available with an $11,595,000 asking price.

Property records show Mr. & Ms. Hughes picked up the property way back in 1995 for $2,610,000. There are 5 bedrooms and 5.5 baths in just under 7,500 square feet of richly detailed Moorish/Spanish Colonial interior space and the property sits on just under 1 acre of land directly adjacent to the entrance of the “Serra Retreat” monastery.

If you happen to have 10 million bucks burning a hole in your pocket, head out to Malibu and talk to Mr. & Ms. Hughes. Divorce houses usually mean good deals (understandably, folks tend to want to put that past behind them quickly) so we’re sure something could be worked out right quick.

So there you have it. There’s the house Ms. Grammer just dumped and there’s who bought it. But wait a minute – where has our Ms. Grammer gone? Turns out she’s a sneaky lass. Homegurl has already purchased a new house right under our very noses.

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Ms. Grammer now resides just north of Malibu’s Paradise Cove and Point Dume areas in a gated-but-not-guarded community known as “Paradise View Estates”, which has 18 similar-looking mock-med mansions tucked within its boundaries. It kinda reminds us of a gated enclave in Newport Beach, which could be why Ms. Grammer, a Newport native, was originally drawn to it.

Though the house in question sits fairly tightly on a 1.12 acre lot, the residence is practically invisible from the street thanks to a thick mask of high hedges. Property records show the mini-estate was stealthily acquired by Ms. Grammer way back in April 2015 via a blind trust. Further investigation reveals she paid $3,282,000 for the luxurious but architecturally ho-hum residence.

There’s a dark-bottomed pool and spa rather unconventionally tucked into the front yard, and a large flagstone terrace with a barbecue pit out back. There’s also a rather rickety-looking wooden staircase that leads down the back hillside to a rather rickety-looking wooden gazebo. Whole thing looks like a fire hazard to us, but whatever.

According to listing information, the house itself contains 6,108 square feet of living space with 5 bedrooms and bathrooms and lots of beige and wood decor. It all looks eerily similar to her old Serra Retreat house, so we’re glad Ms. Grammer has found a style that works for her. But jeez, what a downgrade! Right?

Maybe not. Ms. Grammer, according to her own words, is working hard to make it fabulous for y’all. Our gurl has mentioned that she is demoing all the floors, countertops, and the master bedroom and bathroom in her new residence.

So maybe once she finally makes her eagerly-anticipated return to Real Housewives (okay, perhaps it’s just Yolanda who’s eagerly anticipating it) it’ll be a whole new house she’ll debut and everyone will ooh and ahh at Ms. Grammer’s masterful decor choices and effortless fusion of overall majestic minimalism with those boistrous balusters. Probably not, but you know. It could happen!

1 Comment

  1. Rabbi Hedda LaCasa says: Reply

    Tastelessness? When Rabbi Hedda was a shortie, she moved with her family from downtown Trenton NJ, then dysphemistically known as Jewtown, to an uptown streetcar suburb. Her new genteel gentile neighbors named their stand-alone houses with woodsy monikers such as Maplewood and Oakwood. Papa promptly erected a front yard sign reading Mashuganas Manor. Translation? Crazy House! And by the way, Rabbi Hedda’s bff is a West Virginia rabbi.

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