Yolanda is going to apologize in advance for the clickbait title. Yes, it’s clickbait. Hey, a gurl’s gotta pay her mortgage somehow. Now that we have you here — no, Taylor Swift did not actually buy or gift Megan Ellison a $13.5 million house. Although Megan Ellison does have a new $13.5 million house, Miss Swift has never set foot on the property in question. At least as far as we know.
But hold up. While the tagline might be deceptive, Yolanda is not exactly lying, either. Miss Swift unwittingly played a critical role in this acquisition. Without her, we doubt Miss Ellison would have a $13.5 million new house, or at least not this $13.5 million new house.
Let your gurl explain. By the end of this story, if you’re somehow able to sit through and decipher all our rambling nonsense, we promise everything will be wonderfully clear.
Back in early September (2015), Taylor Swift paid a ludicrous $25,000,000 in cash through a shell company (“Leo Realty Ventures LLC”) for the legendary, Hollywood-pedigreed “Goldwyn Estate”, which is tucked into a barely-there cul-de-sac in a very posh pocket of Beverly Hills.
Though Miss Swift initially denied the purchase and attempted to make Yolanda and Your Mama sound like some sort of liars through a Tweet, Yolanda knows for an absolute fact that she did, in fact, acquire the property. Our homeboys over at TMZ also rather awesomely called her out over all that.
Taylor, gurl, we really don’t appreciate your disrespectful twittering. You should know better than to dismiss your chick Yolanda in 140 characters or less. But, baby, it is in Yolanda’s heart to forgive and she will keep you in her prayers. Namaste.
Miss Swift’s new old mansion was commissioned in 1934 for Hollywood luminary Samuel Goldwyn, Sr. Following his death, the house was occupied by his Academy Award-nominated son Samuel Goldwyn Jr. until his own death in early 2015, soon after which the impressive but run-down estate popped up for sale with an obviously far-too-optimistic $39 million pricetag. The 7-bed, 6-bath, 10,982 square foot house sits on nearly 2 acres of super-prime Bev Hills land.
One of the folks who received a big chunk of that $25 million in cash was occasional producer John Goldwyn, one of Mr. Goldwyn Jr’s six children.
Flush with Miss Swift’s millions (and whatever additional inheritance he received from his wealthy late father), Mr. Goldwyn and his hotelier husband Jeffrey Klein decided to go looking for a residential upgrade. The couple found what they were looking for in a historic and extensively celeb-pedigreed estate tucked into a Beverly Hills Post Office‘s Coldwater Canyon. They closed on the property just 10 days after Miss Swift bought her $25 million crib, paying $7,300,000 for the house through their rather unimaginatively-named “Bowmont Trust”.
The 1927 estate, located at 2320 Bowmont Drive and essentially invisible from the street thanks to thick hedges, trees, and the generous .95-acre lot, has been home to a slew of Tinseltown legends over the past 90 years. In 1932 until 1934, a young Katharine Hepburn resided at this address, reportedly with her very married agent Leland Hayward. Escándalo!
Even in those early days, supposedly according to Ms. Hepburn herself, the house was haunted — reportedly by a ghost who liked to rearrange the furniture. Frankly, Yolanda could use a ghost like that with interior design sensibilities in her own house, but oh well.
From 1934 to 1945, the home was owned and occupied by Boris Karloff, best-known for his iconic portrayal of Frankenstein in the 1930s series of horror films. So the story goes, Mr. Karloff planted the estate’s rose gardens, which still exist today.
Over the decades the house continued to acquire a peculiar, only-in-LA roster of famous owners and residents. According to Yolanda’s inspiration (the late, beloved celeb real estate agent Elaine Young), the house had a “quasi-demonic” history and was owned through most of the 1980s and 1990s by a big-shot producer named Fred Jordan, who leased it to whack-a-doodle Scottish singer Donovan and actor Elliott Gould (at different times, obvi).
In 2003, Mr. Jordan sold the estate for $3,350,000 to smoky-voiced actress Peri Gilpin of “Frasier” fame and fortune. Ms. Gilpin flipped the pedigreed crib in 2007 for $5,600,000 to writer/producers Scott Silveri and Shana Goldberg-Meehan, who have a boatload of money thanks to their work writing and producing on the astronomically-successful sitcom “Friends“. It was Ms. Goldberg (and Mr. Silveri) who sold the house for $7,300,000 last year to Mr. Goldwyn (and Mr. Klein). We sure hope the Silveri-Goldberg-Meehans sent Taylor Swift a nice “Thank You” card for all that cash.
And for what it’s worth, Mr. Silveri and Ms. Goldberg-Meehan have relocated to a big turn-of-the-century Craftsman pile on a very prime street in Santa Monica. They splurged big-time on that one, laying out an impressive $7,600,000 for the pool-less crib.
Following so far?
A month after purchasing their uber-celeb-pedigreed B.H.P.O pad (October 2015), Mr. Goldwyn & Mr. Klein hoisted their longtime Hollywood Hills home on the market with an ask of $6,395,000.
The lovely John Woolf-designed residence, sited just above the westernmost Sunset Strip, was photographed in all its swoopy glory for Architectural Digest in early 2014. During their ownership tenure, Mr. Goldwyn and Mr. Klein hired noted LA-based interior designed Madeline Smith to do up the bowels of the house in a perfectly decadent and correct manner.
But unfortunately for Mr. Goldwyn and Mr. Klein, it wasn’t until March (2016) that the property finally sold for $5,350,000, more than a million bucks less than they originally wanted. Yolanda personally believes that’s more due to the initial price being far too aggressive for a positively-puny .14-acre property located on the corner of a fairly busy Hollywood Hills street than any architectural or design fault of the house itself. (Still, they probably made bank on the house — records show they purchased it in 2006 for just $2,815,000.)
The new owner of Mr. Goldwyn & Mr. Klein’s cozy Sunset Strip crib is a very rich socialite lady named Lynne Wasserman, the only child of the late showbiz kingpin Lew Wasserman.
Mr. Wasserman, in case you’re not studied up on the Golden Age of Hollywood, was a successful talent agent turned controversial Universal Studios head honcho who basically controlled Hollywood for many decades, nearly until his death in 2002 at the ripe ol’ age of 89. It’s more complicated than that, of course, but that’s the gist of it. Mr. Wasserman was a seriously influential guy. The Old Grey Lady herself even referred to him as “the last of Hollywood’s moguls“. Oh, and Ms. Wasserman is also the mother of Tinseltown baller and media group owner Casey Wasserman. But oh dear, we digress yet again.
Anyway, Ms. Wasserman and her longtime partner Michael Powell quickly moved into the former Goldwyn-Klein house. As it turns out, their new place is only a half-mile or so as the crow flies from their former (& much larger) home in Beverly Hills.
We’re not sure exactly when Ms. Wasserman originally acquired her ranch-style Beverly Hills residence, but it was a very long time ago. Based on our research, Yolanda is quite certain it was not later than 1972.
The multi-winged single-story sprawler has, per tax records, 5 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms in 5,603 square feet and was originally built in 1955. The house sits low-slung on a generous .87-acre walled, gated, and extremely high-hedged flat lot — and is situated in what (in Yolanda’s humble opinion) is the very best area of Beverly Hills.
There are so many billionaires and other notable richie-riches within walking distance of Ms. Wasserman’s former home that we couldn’t possibly list them all here. But whatever, we’ve done our best anyway for y’all. Directly across the street is the house where the Osbournes filmed their — ahem — iconic reality TV show and which they sold to Christina Aguilera in 2007. (Ms. Aguilera subsequently sold the house in 2012 to a Chinese billionaire and his actress wife/mistress). Also just around this or that corner are the homes of Stewart & Lynda Resnick, Russ Weiner, Eric Smidt, Solomon Lew, Howard Marks, Guilford Glazer (may he RIP), Jerry Weintraub (may he also RIP) Max Mutchnick, Byron Allen, Ellen DeGeneres, Jeff Bezos, Pamela Skaist-Levy, Nathalie Marciano, Stavros Niarchos, Isaac Oberfeld, Sam Gores, and many more.
Whew. That’s a lot of big-name neighbors. Must be more like trying to keep up with the Waltons than the Joneses. Oh, and also in the hood is Casey Wasserman himself, who is currently mid-construction on a massive compound sitting on a three-parcel property where his grandfather’s home once stood.
We can only speculate about this next point, but we assume it must have been tough for Ms. Wasserman to let go of her home of 40+ years. After all, this must have been where her son was born and raised, where she spent the majority of her life. She must have made sure it went to a buyer she liked. Or was she beyond ready to get the heck outta the 90210 and only concerned about the cash? Hmmm. We don’t know.
But either way, records show Ms. Wasserman quietly sold her long, long, longtime residence for a very A-list $13,500,000 in April (2016), just weeks after purchasing her new Woolf house above the Sunset Strip. Unfortunately, the house never hit the public market so there are no photos to discuss. Pity. Not only that, but the buyer’s identity is well-cloaked behind something called the “514 Doheny Trust”.
However, Yolanda has a happy ending for this tale and y’all because your gurl just happens to know who is lurking behind that particular trust. The new owner of Ms. Wasserman’s house is none other than Miss Megan Ellison, and that’s a fact.
And yes, we were baffled when we first found out about the purchase, too. We’re perfectly aware that Miss Ellison has only recently finished assembling her $35 million+ compound on top of the Hollywood Hill’s Mount Olympus. We don’t have the slightest idea why she would want a $13.5 million modest ranch-style crib in Beverly Hills, but apparently that’s what she wanted because that’s certainly what she got.
Miss Ellison’s current abode is about as unlike the Beverly Hills crib as they come. Suffice to say she paid $20,000,000 for the spaceship-looking porn palace (seriously, they filmed porn flicks here) in December 2013 and simultaneously forked over another $10,000,000 for some land on the hillside below. A year later, she coughed up $5,250,000 for the much smaller house next door, which is probably used to house guests, security guards, or other staff.
Our gurl also used to own a 3-house compound near the top of the “Bird Streets” neighborhood of the Hollywood Hills (below). She acquired the three contiguous houses you see below in three separate transactions for a total of about $33 million. All three homes have since been sold off for a total of $46,750,000, one to billionaire Ted Waitt and two to billionaire Ashley Tabor. And, as Yolanda recently related, they’ve all recently been demolished.
So why would Miss Ellison want Ms. Wasserman’s old Beverly Hills crib? Of course Miss Ellison has the money to buy whatever she wants — she’s the only daughter of the 7th richest guy in the world, according to Forbes — but it’s still a very odd sort of purchase.
Maybe it’s a new compound-in-the-making? Maybe this is where her production offices will be headquartered? Maybe she’s trying her hand (again) at being a real estate flipper? Maybe it’s a gift for her girlfriend Robyn Shapiro (damn, what a lucky lass)? Who knows? Not Yolanda. At least not yet.
Whatever the case, Miss Ellison has a new house in Beverly Hills. And that is that.
See how this works? Taylor Swift bought from Mr. Goldwyn, Mr. Goldwyn bought from Mr. Silveri & Ms. Goldberg, Ms. Wasserman bought from Mr. Goldwyn, and Miss Ellison bought from Ms. Wasserman. And on it goes. The cycle, the circle, the ring of life.
Remember that the next time you’re purchasing that hot new Taylor track where she’s ranting about her latest ex-boyfriend. Your money isn’t just going to Miss Swift and her team. It’s getting all sorts of folks new houses and fatter wallets.
Hey, you should be honored to contribute to so many folks’ happiness — all with the simple click of a button! Philanthropy has never been so painless. Or at least that’s the way Miss Swift might like you to see it, as she gallops off to her next man, next mansion, next Monday.