“New Atheist” Sam Harris plunks down $9 million on a prime Pacific Palisades teardown

When Yolanda’s longtime friend Vlad the Revealer at Celebrity Address Aerial contacted us to inquire about a supremely-located Pacific Palisades property that had just sold for a fat $9,300,000 to a mysterious blind trust, we didn’t think it would be difficult to suss out the buyer’s true identity. After all, Yolanda is quite familiar with this particular neighborhood and most secrets out here don’t stay secrets for long. People talk. That’s just the way it is.

But to our surprise, it was quite difficult to pin a name to the purchase. The new owner did a real bang-up job of covering their tracks.

Eventually, however, Yolanda got it sorted out. The richie-rich buyer, who took title under something called “The Carter Trust” (an ode to Beyonce and Jay-Z? Hmmm…) is a fellow named Sam Harris and his wife Annaka Gorton Harris.

Sam & Annaka Harris: new Pacific Palisades homeowners

Yolanda is admittedly rather uncultured, kiddies, so we don’t mind telling y’all that we’d never before heard of Mr. Harris. Or of Mrs. Gorton Harris, for that matter. But it turns out they — he in particular, actually — are quite famous.

Our Mr. Harris, you see, is a New York Times-bestselling author, a philosopher, and a neuroscientist. He is also considered one of the “Four Horsemen” of the “New Atheist” movement. and He also has quite the interesting life story.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Mr. Harris grew up in a very wealthy family — he is the son of Golden Girls show creator Susan Harris, after all. He experimented with drugs in his teens and 20s, enrolled in Stanford University but took an 11-year sabbatical to travel to India, where he meditated and did a lot of acid, we gather.

Eventually Mr. Harris would return to Stanford, where he graduated with a philosophy degree in 2000. He would go on to receive a Ph.D in cognitive neuroscience in 2009 from UCLA. And in the past 15 years he has established himself as one of the world’s foremost critics of religion. He has appeared on numerous television shows, has over 900,000 followers on Twitter, and has a highly-popular podcast to which paid subscriptions are required. He is also an author of multiple bestselling books on organized religion, the best-known of which is perhaps “The End of Faith“, which spent more than half a year on the NYT bestsellers list.

Mr. Harris is famously critical of religions — particularly of Islam, which he has called “the motherlode of bad ideas“. He frequently attacks the political Left for its defense of Islam and forgiveness of what he calls its “inherent extremism”. Nonetheless, he himself is also a political liberal and as such has been a vocal opponent of Donald Trump’s presidency.

But on to the real estate. The new Harris residence in Pacific Palisades lies in what is perhaps the best section of the hoity-toity “Riviera” neighborhood, on San Onofre Drive.

It’s a rich ass neighborhood…

Directly below the new Harris estate is a huge spec-mansion that was built by Paul McClean of McClean Design and which sold for a record-obliterating $32,500,000 last year to Richard & Jackie Hollander. Just two houses away from Mr. Harris’s new pad is the $26,000,000 main residence of Tom Hanks, and a little further down the same street is another spec-house that was built on the former site of the Ronald Reagan estate and sold for $22,000,000 to Matt & Kathy Barrett.

Records reveal that Mr. & Mrs. Harris must have wanted this .47-acre hilltop property pretty badly, because the $9,300,000 they paid was a full $305,000 more than the asking price. Let’s see what they got for that very A-list sum, shall we?

Admittedly, the current structure — a wood-and-glass edifice built in 1949 that has been in the same family for decades — is decidedly dated and ripe for razing, but at the same time it is kinda cool. We love those wood floors, the tile floors, and the ground-to-ceiling windows, and we adore that backyard tree, which is mature yet angled just right that it does not impede the spectacular views, which stretch to the Pacific and (on a clear day!) Catalina Island.

But all of that matters little because this house — and its surrounding landscape — is not long for this world, we believe. The views and lot size alone were probably worth the $9.3 million pricetag.

Mr. Harris has been historically reluctant to divulge personal details, including refusing to say where he currently lives. But now that we’re doing a story about him, Yolanda will tell y’all because we’re a nosy beotch like that. Plus, Mr. Harris is a celebrity, and this sort of scrutiny comes with the territory. Capiche, Mr. Harris?

Our boy (and his wife, naturally) currently reside right under our very noses, in a very good area of east Santa Monica that practically borders Brentwood. And it’s an easy walk to one of Yolanda’s favorite LA places, the Brentwood Country Mart.

The main residence of Sam & Annaka Harris: a $5 million Santa Monica mansion

Property records reveal that Mr. & Mrs. Harris forked out an even-steven $5,000,000 (via blind trust) for the spec-built contemporary crib way back in 2008. The residence (it’s known as the “Marguerita House” or the “Wall House”, depending on where you look online) sits on a snug .2-acre corner lot. Despite this, the property is exceedingly private, mostly hidden behind a towering row of bamboo hedges and other assorted flora. Tax records show the house weighs in at 7,104-square-feet with 5 beds and 7 baths. The structure was built by modern-minded architect Aaron Neubert and features lots of rich wood, glass, and a floating staircase.

One of Mr. Harris’s nearest neighbors is our gal Tina Trahan. And for lots more pictures (inside and out) of the Harris family home in Santa Monica, click here or here.

One more thing, kiddies. There has been some debate (on Reddit, of all places) about how rich Mr. Harris actually is. Some folks think he’s not even a millionaire. Others swear by the Celebrity Net Worth website, which estimates his current fortune at $2 million. That, however, is obviously a gross underestimation, given that he has nearly $15 million in luxury real estate (and will likely spend millions more constructing a new Palisades mansion).

Listen kids, we don’t know exactly how rich Mr. Harris is, but this dude is loaded. And that’s no mythical belief of ours, that’s a scientific fact backed up by hard, cold, cash evidence.

Listing agentAnthony Marguleas, Amalfi Estates
Sam Harris’s agentPeter Turman, Coldwell Banker

3 Replies to ““New Atheist” Sam Harris plunks down $9 million on a prime Pacific Palisades teardown”

  1. Great article. But I wouldn’t think of tearing down a classic house such as this.

  2. Hey gurl, always love your posts but I think you got the wrong Susan Harris in that Brentwood Estates house, just a heads up, Xoxo

    1. Yolanda Yakketyyak says: Reply

      Gurl, you are so right. Yolanda was four or five sheets to the wind when we wrote this darn thing, so forgive us.

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