More than two years ago, in July 2015, a freshly renovated contemporary residence located in the Beverly Hills Post Office neighborhood sold for $5,470,000. The hidden property, which is situated at the end of a dead-end street and tucked behind a long gated driveway, was acquired by a mysterious corporation called “32 Wheeler LLC” with links to a prominent LA law firm.
Naturally, Yolanda was curious about the buyer and so we immediately began researching the entity that purchased the place. But our efforts were stymied! The owner’s identity is locked up real tight. And then we got distracted by other big transactions. Eventually, your gurl completely forgot about the property.
Fast forward to June 2017, when the Traditional-style house immediately next door to the aforementioned contemporary sold for $5,050,000 in a secret off-market deal. The buyer was a different corporation that links to an entirely different address — a New York City-based law firm this time. Some extensive digging, however, reveals that both properties were definitely acquired by the same mystery individual. But who?
At first Yolanda suspected that the buyer was some prominent foreign national or shady businessman. But thanks to a stroke of good luck (and much to our surprise), we have finally discovered that the secretive owner is none other than Hollywood actress Kerry Washington.
Though Ms. Washington has been bouncing in Hollywood since she was a teen, success did not come easy or overnight. Far from it. In fact, homegurl was a real late bloomer in the business. It wasn’t until she turned 35 — at which point most A-list actresses’ careers have already begun a slow, sad descent — that her own professional highway ride got kicked into high gear and the big bucks began rollin’ on in. It was in 2012, you see, when Ms. Washington landed the plum role of Olivia Pope in the ABC series Scandal, a runaway hit TV show that is currently airing its seventh (and final) season.
Ms. Washington’s role as Ms. Pope garnered her numerous award nominations and worldwide fame, plus additional recognition for her role as a style influencer.
Ms. Washington is married to a retired NFL star turned actor named Ezenwa Nnamdi Onyekachi Asomugha, who usually (and thankfully) goes by the shorter name of Nnamdi Asomugha. Our Mr. Asomugha played for the the Oakland Raiders, the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers during his professional football career, which ended in 2013. Since then, he has kept busy by transitioning to Hollywood, where in 2017 he produced and starred in the Amazon Studios film Crown Heights. For his role in the film, Mr. Asomugha was nominated for a prestigious Independent Spirit Award.
It should be noted that Mr. Asomugha and Ms. Washington deliberately strive to keep a low profile and have rarely been photographed or even seen together since their 2013 marriage. We do know, however, that the couple have two young children (one boy, one girl) and both are frugal, $10.5 million compound be damned. Our boy Mr. Asomugha still drives his 20-year-old Nissan Maxima (he’s also got a used Range Rover, but we digress) and Ms. Washington was once ridiculed by Page Six when she moved to New York and admitted in an email to friends that she was hoping to find a furnished NYC apartment to rent at the price of $3,000 per month. For those of y’all who don’t know, it’s near impossible to find a furnished dumpster in Manhattan for $3,000 per month.
Keep in mind that this letter was written in 2009, way back when Scandal was just a twinkle in Shonda Rhimes’ eye and long before Ms. Washington became a multi-millionaire. Back then, she was just your average C-list actress lookin’ to stay employed. Can y’all really blame a gal for trying to find a deal?
So while pampered folks may have gotten a chuckle outta her email, guess who got the last laugh? The lady with the $10.5 million compound, that’s who. Now let’s check out her A-list-style digs in the 90210. First up is the flag lot-sited house she bought two years ago.
An exceedingly narrow driveway leads between two neighboring properties — both of which are obscured by tall hedges — to a compact motorcourt with a handy turntable to assist in maneuvering vehicles. Property records say the concrete edifice was originally built in 1963. While the house seems unique, it is the car in the upper right photograph that commands Yolanda’s attention. That is a 1991-1994 Alfa Romeo Spider, a buggy little beast that Yolanda likes to think of the Italian spiritual predecessor to today’s Mazda Miata. We love it. And you can still find a decent example for less than $10k, so what are y’all waiting for? Get collecting!
The glassy front door opens to a double-height entryway with one of them pokey new-fangled chandeliers. From there, a glass divider sets off the dining room, which has another pokey chandelier and opens to the living room and sitting area. All of the interior spaces have views of the lush backyard, and most also feature distressed white oak flooring. The kitchen features expensive Thermador appliances and solid walnut cabinetry.
While no doubt expensive, all that walnut looks a bit too dour and 80s (in Yolanda’s useless opinion). If we were Ms. Washington, we would paint those cabinets a lighter, brighter color.
The 5,153-square foot home is definitely big but not mega-sized, and the residence features a total of 5 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms. The master suite is clearly meant to wow with its verdant, forest-like views, fireplace, and separate sitting/reading area. The master bath features a party-sized shower/spa combo with all marble walls.
The exceptionally private backyard is compact but still features a groovy triangular (or is it quadrilateral?) pool, a dog-run-sized patch of grass, and an outdoor BBQ station.
Yolanda happens to know that Ms. Washington and Mr. Asomugha are living in the contemporary house — the one we just discussed — and have so far done nothing with the property next door, the one they bought six months ago. And while there’s no telling what their plans may be, Yolanda would guess that they’ll either level their latest acquisition to add more yard space, or they’ll keep it vacant to act as a buffer property. Or perhaps a guest house?
In any case, the Traditional property has a bit of a celebrity history: it was home to actor Charles Starrett in the 1940s and was also owned for many years by Dynasty actress Linda Evans, who sold it in 2011 for just $2,700,000.
Although only slightly smaller — 3,904-square-feet of living space with 4 beds and 5 baths — the house next door is a much different flavor. Instead of a two-story contemporary, this place is a single-story Traditional with red brick facade. The property is double gated and features a nicely-landscaped front yard that is somewhat ruined by the ugly asphalt driveway.
Indoors, the front entryway leads to a compact kitchen with a hooded center range that looks more like a torture device or the long-lost top to King Tut’s sarcophagus. Out back, the sloped backyard is quite small — especially for a $5 million house — but it does feature loungin’ space and a brick patio. Just don’t go outdoors after you’ve knocked back a few. One false step and y’all will be bobbing for apples in Ms. Washington’s pool.
The B.H.P.O. area has long been popular with famous folks. And indeed, some of Ms. Washington’s nearest neighbors are also heavyweights in their own arenas. Directly next door to her compound is a house that has long been owned by Golden Globe-winning actress Linda Cristal. Next door to Ms. Cristal is a much larger mansion that was recently sold by billionaire heir Kevin Washington (no relation to Kerry Washington) for $13,500,000 to financier-turned-film producer William Sadleir.
Also within sugar-borrowing distance are the homes of Queen Latifah, Amy Adams, and Steve Martin. And just behind Ms. Washington’s compound — a quick skip up the hill — is a massive mansion that for nearly 20 years has been home to billionaire Do Won Chang, founder of Forever 21.
In addition to their new 1-acre 90210 compound, Ms. Washington and Mr. Asomugha maintain an extensive real estate portfolio: a $3 million house in Manhattan Beach; small homes in Alameda and Hawthorne, CA; and commercial property in Inglewood and Torrance, CA. Last year, they sold a celeb-pedigreed Hollywood Hills compound for $2.68 million. Not bad for that gal who couldn’t find a flop house in NY within her budget.