Last year, amid a torrid rash of publicity, the onetime Beverly Hills (Post Office) estate of both Cher and Eddie Murphy exploded onto the market with a fat $85 million asking price. Although that buzz certainly generated interest among the well-heeled jetset who can afford to write a nearly nine-figure check, the palatial spread did not sell. And so, after a brief hiatus, it returns. And it looks much the same, albeit now it has received a $17 million price chop — it can be yours for the bargain bin ask of $68 million.
It’s been awhile since Yolanda wrote about this place, so we thought it might be fun to take another (virtual) tour, especially since this is undoubtedly one of the largest and most lavish compounds in all the 90210. Plus it has a unique, only-in-LA sort of history.
The current seller of the colossal 14-acre estate is not a Hollywood celebrity but rather a widowed socialite named Vicki Walters. Our Mrs. Walters (and her late husband) spent untold tens of millions cobbling together this compound beginning in 1997. But we’ll come back to her in a moment — first, a quick rewind.
It was way back in the ’70s, shortly after her divorce from Sonny Bono, that uni-named superstar Cher selected a hidden 4-acre parcel deep in Benedict Canyon as a place to build a monument to her success. As y’all might expect, Cher didn’t just built a normal big ol’ mansion — that would never do. Instead, she commissioned a 10,000-square-foot Egyptian pyramid-themed edifice with a gym and a retractable glass roof. The house was not complete until 1980 and likely cost millions to construct, though Yolanda is only guessing about that last part.
Unfortunately for her, Cher might not have the most fond memories of this place — she later commented that “there were times I was nearly bankrupt in that house,” and “whenever I wanted to sell it, I couldn’t“. But in 1988, she eventually did succeed in unloading it. The buyer — who paid $5.9 million, FYI — was Eddie Murphy. However, Mr. Murphy also didn’t stay here very long — he sold the house in 1995 (at a massive loss) for $4 million.
From there, Mr. Murphy moved to his new mega-mansion in the nearby guard-gated community of Beverly Park, where he continues to reside to this day. But we digress.
The buyer of the Egyptian-themed house was a Mexican businessman from Acapulco named Roberto Trouyet. He added square footage to the existing house and then lucratively flipped it in 1997 for about $6.4 million to a couple from Columbia, Missouri. Their names were Raul & Vicki Walters.
Our Mr. Walters — may he rest in peace — was a prominent Midwest real estate developer who earned a massive fortune through his friendship and partnership with Walmart founder Sam Walton. Many of Walmart’s early stores were built as the centerpieces of Mr. Walters’ development sites. Upon Sam Walton’s sorta-retirement phase, Mr. Walters continued his developments in partnership with billionaire Stan Kroenke. In 1985, however, Walters and Kroenke reportedly had a falling-out and ceased speaking to one another. A ten-year legal battle over how to divide their joint holdings ensued.
Anyway, in the mid-90s Mr. and Mrs. Walters decided to permanently relocate to LA after Mrs. Walters fell in love with the area during an extensive shopping trip here. (Sounds fun!) Mrs. Walters once joked (at least we think she was joking) that the couple actually moved from Columbia to Beverly Hills because “we had no Neiman’s in Missouri … Our version of exotic was Taco Bell“. Aw, shucks! We can’t imagine the pain of no Neiman’s, Mrs. Walters. But don’t hate on Taco Bell.
At the time of the Walters’ purchase, the estate still measured “just” four acres. But the lavish-living pair soon purchased several of their neighbors’ homes, razed the existing residences, and expanded the property into a 14-acre kingdom, surely at massive expense. Today, the old Cher/Eddie Murphy house still stands, but the estate additionally features a 7,000-square-foot guesthouse, a large stable/horse-house facility, a full-size riding rink, a guard house, acres of emerald green lawns and gardens, and meandering hiking trails that encircle and overlook the entire property.
The estate immediately impresses guests/vendors with its uber-grand entryway: elaborately carved gates, sculpted hedges, and an ivy-covered guard shack. Once cleared by security, cars wind up a long driveway that eventually ends at the main house. Several turn-offs lead to the guest quarters, stables, and riding rink.
Naturally there are also staff quarters on the property — an absolute necessity since Mrs. Walters once revealed that the she and her late hubby employed at least a dozen full-time staff members: eight gardeners, two housemaids, a Moroccan chef, and a gate guard. Yowza!
Though the Walterses extensively renovated the main house after they purchased it in the 1990s, Mrs. Walters has the now 20,000-square-foot structure under renovation yet again. For unknown reasons, she has opted to not complete the redo — maybe she assumes the next owner will want to put their own stamp on it anyway — and thus there are no interior pictures provided with the current listing.
Anywho, there is a full-size sunken tennis court just behind the main house with a covered (and fan-cooled, naturally) viewing pavilion. Elsewhere, the stables have five large stalls for horseys.
The stringently manicured grounds include numerous additional outdoor dining, lounging, and recreation options.
Yolanda can’t help but think that whoever buys this property — even at its reduced price — will have to be a billionaire. Just think of the money required to maintain this incredibly luxurious place! We would be shocked if Mrs. Walters does not spend upwards of seven figures each and every year just in upkeep costs. Heck, the edging on the ivy covering the guard shack alone must take hours to trim.
Perhaps the wildest part of this whole story is that Mrs. Walters no longer resides on this property — and has not for the last three years or so. That’s right, kiddies, the house has been vacant, save for whatever staff members continue to live here.
Back in 2015, Mrs. Walters paid a smashing $22,500,000 for a full-floor penthouse apartment in LA’s deluxe The Century condo building, arguably the most expensive high-rise living facility in LA. Other residents in the ivory-and-glass tower include Rihanna and Friends actor Matthew Perry.
Mrs. Walters’ new mansion in the sky has 9,343 square feet of interior space with 4 beds/5.5 baths, wrap-around terraces with 360-degree views, a private elevator lobby, a formal dining room capable of seating 25, floor-to-ceiling windows, and carries whopping HOA fees of $7,338 per month. Those fees provide Mrs. Walters access to all the building’s additional amenities, including the Pilates studio, yoga studio, “Equinox design gym”, lap pool, spa, 24-hour doorman, guard, valet, and concierge.
As for her old 90210 compound, Yolanda isn’t sure who is in the market for something of that size and scale. But in our opinion, the estate looks very much like the sort of fortified thing that would work well for an equestrian-loving royal family member in need of privacy and security. But with all the turmoil in Saudi Arabia these days, we somehow sorta doubt that anyone from that part of the world is looking to make a big property splash at this moment.
But we shall see.
Listing agents: The Altman Brothers, Douglas Elliman