Haul them old thinking caps out of the garage. Remember when Yolanda whispered to y’all some rumors we were hearing about a particularly unique and celebrity-pedigreed estate way up in the Beverly Hills Post Office area soon becoming available for sale? No? Here’s a refresher.
At the time, we speculated that it “may only be a matter of months, perhaps even weeks” before the massive compound hit the market.
Well here we are two months later and — hallelujah! — just as Yolanda predicted, she’s here. Our crazy-rich widow, the Neiman Marcus-loving Vicki Walters, has heaved and hoed her beast out for public display.
The lady at the Wall Street Journal, which broke the story, correctly identifies both Her Majesty Cher and Eddie Murphy as former owners of the property. However, she rather oddly left out the fact that Cher did not just own this house — she built the damn thing herself. It’s been well-documented not just by Yolanda, but all over the web, including by the the legendary Ruth Ryon.
Perhaps she didn’t mention it since the mansion has been remodeled (at least) twice since Her Highness sold the property to Mr. Murphy. It’s essentially a completely new house, but it still retains some of the original “diva-style” features Cher installed, including a retractable roof over the atrium.
We won’t deep-dive again into the estate’s intriguing and only-in-LA history — our gurl Your Mama has done a spectacular job of that — but suffice to say that Cher sold the house to Eddie Murphy in 1988. Mr. Murphy then dumped it at a huge loss to a Mexican investor in 1995, who flipped it to Raul & Vicki Walters in 1997 for about $6.4 million.
At that time, the estate spanned “just” 4 acres. That wasn’t nearly enough space for the lavish-living Walters couple. They lickety-split acquired all their nearest neighbors’ homes, razed them, and constructed a massive estate that today encompasses 16 acres with the 20,000 square foot main house, two guest houses (one of which measures 7,000 square feet!), two riding rinks, a moat, stables, a tennis court, and extensive hiking/riding trails.
According to the WSJ, Mrs. Walters & her husband began a renovation of the main house about 10 years ago. It was while they were living in one of the guest houses, awaiting construction completion, that Mr. Walters rather unexpectedly passed away of a heart attack. Construction still has not been completed on the main house — Mrs. Walters opted not to finish the job — so we assume that’s why the listing does not contain a single interior photo of the massive main residence.
Listen, kids, whatever you think of the style (check out all those elephant tusks and such on the walls!) this is a true trophy property. Can you imagine how much money it took to cobble together an estate of this magnitude? Hot damn, Mrs. Walters and her late husband were loaded like whoa. The structures on the property add up to a mogul-esque 32,000 square feet of living space with a total of 10 bedrooms and 17 bathrooms. Guess that’s what partnering with the founders of Wal-Mart can do for you.
Our redheaded gal Mrs. Walters, a large-living lady if ever there was one, has already “downsized” to full-floor penthouse in “The Century” tower in LA. Property records show she forked out $22,500,000 for the 9,000-square-foot residence, which sits two floors below our gurl Candy Spelling’s duplex apartment.
So whaddya think? Will some large-living, horse-loving Saudi royal or other foreign potentate take a shine to this place and complete the construction? Or will a developer buy it and build several spec mansions on the 16 acre site? Is the $85 million pricetag remotely realistic? Let your gurl know whatcha think.