A Los Angeles house on a 4.6-acre lot in the city’s wealthiest neighborhood has now sold, after six years on the market, for a cool $102 million. The price is the highest ever paid for a house in Los Angeles County — home to movie stars, pro athletes, studio bosses and plenty of other super-rich bigwigs — and the buyer reportedly paid cold hard cash for the 50,000 square-foot, 12-bedroom, 15 bath, ultra-decadent mansion.
The sale comes at time when approximately one of every 1,110 homes in the country still faces foreclosure and the nationwide unemployment rate still stands at 6.7 percent. While Los Angeles is dotted with expensive, indulgent homes, a cash sale of $102 million has to raise the question, how much is too much to spend — on yourself?
The $102 sale price was actually a bargain compared to the seller’s asking price of a staggering $125 million. Located in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles, adjacent to both Beverly Hills and Bel-Air, the new owner’s neighbors — if the owner of a $102 million house on nearly five acres, with a 600-foot driveway can be said to have “neighbors” — include entertainment mogul David Geffen, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and actress-producer Sandra Bullock.
But who is the new owner?
When The Los Angeles Times first reported the $102 million house sale, the paper said only that an anonymous “French billionaire” slapped $102 million on the table for the house. But after some snooping, the paper speculated that the real purchaser might be 1980s junk bond king Michael Milken, whose insider-trading crimes helped cause the 1987 stock market meltdown and in 1990, led to a 10-year prison sentence.
Milken served just two years, mainly because he ratted out his Wall Street co-conspirators.
The Times found that paperwork for the $102 million house transaction was mailed to Milken’s non-profit Milken Institute in Santa Monica, and the real estate agent for the anonymous buyer is the 67-year-old Michael Milken’s son-in-law.
But Milken’s spokesperson sent the Times an e-mail saying the paper was on wrong trail. “I did a quick check and can tell you that neither Mike Milken nor the Milken Institute is the purchaser,” said Milken flak Geoffrey Moore.
The $102 million house, which goes by he name Fleur de Lys, was built starting in 2002 by radio network entrepreneur David Saperstein and his wife Suzanne. But when the couple divorced not long after the house was complete, Suzanne Saperstein put the mansion on the market.