This has been rumored to infinity and beyond already, but Yolanda would like to inform y’all that property records now confirm that weirdo actor Mr. Crucero sold his big Beverly Hills mansion to multi-billionaire financier Leon Black and his wife Debra earlier this month.
However, unlike celebrity gossip kingpin TMZ, which reported the deal was going down for $40 million, records reveal the house actually sold for “just” $38,000,000.
Now, kids, we fully realize the difference between a $40 million house and a $38 million house is pretty damn insignificant in the grand scheme of things. But Yolanda would like to point out that this difference means Mr. Cruise does not currently hold the title for most-expensive LA County home sale this year. That trophy still lies with ubiquitous high-end spec mansion developer Nile Niami, who sold a modern confection in the nearby “Trousdale Estates” neighborhood to billionaire financier Brian Sheth for $38,270,000 a couple months ago, as Yolanda first reported.
Both sales, of course, will soon be eclipsed by the sale of the Playboy Mansion, which is rumored to be selling for somewhere in the $105 million to $120 million range to heir Daren Metropoulos. Then there’s the $93 million that Jay-Z and Beyonce are about to drop on a really, truly ugly spec-mega-mansion in the Holmby Hills area. (Yeah, right. Listen, kids. Heaven knows our gurl Your Mama is always correct when it comes to real estate. But when it comes to these two loons, we’ll believe it when we see it.)
There’s also the Kelly Wearstler estate on Hillcrest Road in Beverly Hills, which is in escrow for somewhere close to $53 million with fashion designer Tom Ford. (However, Yolanda has heard from our gurl Your Mama that the house is actually on a yearlong escrow that will not close until 2017 (!!!). Apparently Mr. Ford wants Mrs. Wearstler to do some renovations for him first or some such silliness.)
Anyway, the Mr. Cruise’s newly former flag lot palace was originally built way back in 1937. At some point it came to be owned by Guadalupe Hank Shannon, a member of the powerful, feared, and extremely wealthy Hank clan of Mexico. It was Ms. Hank who sold the house for nearly $6 million in 2003 to top real estate broker Kurt Rappaport and his former wife Juliette.
Over the next several years, the Rappaports completely remodeled and expanded the estate. In early 2007, they managed to unload it for an eye-popping $30,500,000 to our Mr. Cruise. If you’re keeping track, the Rappaports managed to secure a sale price that was more than five times the amount they paid for the place just four years prior. Though we imagine they invested many millions into the complete overhaul, the Rappaport couple no doubt made major bank off that transaction.
For his part, Mr. Cruise himself made significant alterations to the property immediately after purchasing in in its newly-remodeled condition. Remodeling a newly-remodeled house may sound like bizarre and wantonly wasteful behavior, right? But remember, y’all, we’re talking about couch-jumpin’ Tom Cruise here. Yolanda would be shocked if Mr. Cruise had not altered the estate to suit his no-doubt bizarre needs.
Some reports say that Mr. Cruise invested $15 million into the estate overhaul. While that number sounds absurdly high, Yolanda would not be the least bit surprised if he did, in fact, spend millions. Thus, the $38 million sale price to Mr. Black probably does not represent a huge profit for Mr. Cruise, despite it being $7,500,000 more than he paid 9 years ago.
Mr. Black, the founder of hedge fund juggernaut Apollo Global Management and long a mega-baller of the highest magnitude, maintains a $50 million+ townhouse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, a large apartment in a Park Avenue building, a large estate in rural Bedford, NY, an oceanfront condo in Miami’s much-lauded Faena House, and a multi-acre oceanfront compound in perhaps the best part of the Hamptons.
He’s also got an art collection worth many hundreds of millions of bucks and headlined by his recent, nearly $120 million splurge on “The Scream”.
Though Mr. Black is a huge baller, the decision to buy a house in Los Angeles may not have been as random as you might expect. In fact, Yolanda is a bit surprised Mr. Black didn’t buy here years ago. We think the Blacks plan to spend a significant amount of time in LA — after all, the family has many close friends and family members who reside primarily in this city.
One of Mr. Black’s closest friends is fellow billionaire Michael Milken (Mr. Black refers to him as “my mentor”). And let’s not forget that both Mrs. Debra Black’s brothers and their families reside here.
Mrs. Black’s brother is a guy named Tony Ressler. He’s also — looky here! — a billionaire himself. And he’s long been married to actress Jami Gertz. The couple currently reside on a massive estate in LA’s most fabled guard-gated community: Beverly freakin’ Park.
Mrs. Black has another brother, a lesser-known financier guy named Richard Ressler. This Mr. Ressler is clearly very rich himself. He and his family currently own and reside in the largest estate in LA’s most celebrity-studded enclave: Hidden Valley. Some of their nearest neighbors include Adele, Ashton Kutcher & Mila Kunis, Nicole Richie, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, and Jennifer Lawrence.
By the way, Tony Ressler and Jami Gertz used to live in this very same gated community before they moved up to their big spread in Beverly Park. During the 1990s, they owned a house on Lime Orchard Road, which they sold to bigshot entertainment exec Tom Freston in 2001. Mr. Freston flipped the house to our gurl Ellen DeGeneres, who flipped the house to celebrity talent agent Rick Yorn, who flipped the house to booze hound entertainer Jessica Simpson. Ms. Simpson eventually sold the house to Sumner Redstone’s ex-girlfriend Sydney Holland, who recently flipped the property at a substantial profit to J.Law.
As for Mr. Cruise, he still owns a picturesque estate in Telluride, CO that he put up for sale in 2014 at $59 million (the price where it lingers today).
And as everyone knows, crazy Mr. Cruise sold his Hollywood Hills estate last year (where he never actually lived) for $11.4 million to Eva Longoria, and our Mama was first to break that story. Our Ms. Longoria has since had the property featured on the cover of US Weekly. Poor Mr. Cruz took a major loss on that property, Yolanda believes.
By the way, just to round out this story: It may not be surprising that our pals at the LA Times reported that Mr. Black used the services of real estate agents Fred Bernstein and Sharyn Gertz in this transaction. Mr. Bernstein is Michael Milken’s son-in-law and Ms. Gertz is Jami Gertz’s mummy.
Now let’s all say a little prayer for Mr. & Mrs. Black — that they’ll have the good sense to hire some faith healers to burn incense and what-not in this house. All that crazy is gonna take some good shit to get gone.