After a legal dustup with his ex-wife (and her new husband), veteran English rocker Phil Collins has sold a posh estate in Miami Beach, Fla., for $39.25 million, a wee bit under its unquestionably elephantine though clearly quite realistic $40 million price tag.
The now 70-year-old Genesis drummer/singer was married in 1999, for the third time, to Swiss-born jewelry designer Orianne Cevey. They had a couple of kids before they divorced in 2008 and Cevey was granted a then record-breaking cash payout of nearly $47 million. Alas, life sometimes takes unexpected twists and, in the case of Collins and Cevey, a U-turn. After Cevey was married and divorced a second time, to real estate developer Charles Fouad Mejjati Alami, she and Collins reunited sometime after Collins had shelled out $33 million over the summer of 2015 for a celeb-pedigreed waterfront estate along one of the most prestigious roads in Miami Beach. Enshrouded in a lush tangle of tropical foliage, the 1.2-acre spread and its more than 11,000-square-foot mansion was owned for a few years in the early aughts by Jennifer Lopez, who pocketed a cool $4.4 million dollars when she sold up in 2005 for $13.9 million.
The relationship between Collins and Cevey eventually soured for a second time. Cevey remained in the Miami Beach residence and, at some point, moved her now third husband, Thomas Bates, into the house. As recounted in a couple of juicy reports in The Real Deal last fall, the “Sussudio” and “In the Air Tonight” singer decided to sell the estate but ran up against the wishes of his newly married ex-wife who claimed that Collins had promised her a 50% stake in the North Bay Road residence. Things got messy. In legal filings Collins alleged Cevey Collins Mejjati Alami Bates changed the security codes, covered up surveillance cameras and hired armed guards to patrol the property. In a statement to TRD, Cevey Collins Mejjati Alami Bates’s attorney said that’s all a bunch of poppycock — though in somewhat more legal terms — and that instead of a “Trumpian disinformation campaign” Collins should “honor the commitments he made to Orianne when they moved in together.”
Whatever discussions were had or (alleged) commitments honored since those reports last fall, the house has now been sold and Cevey Collins Mejjati Alami Bates and her new husband have, presumably, packed up and moved on.
An imposingly gated drive passes through a dense grove of royal palms and opens up to a Dominican coral stone paved motor court at the front of the alluringly restrained and almost, dare it be said, austere front facade of the 1929 residence that evokes what marketing materials construe as “the architecture of Spain & Italy w/ exquisite arched arcades and covered terraces.”
Inside, there’s 150-year-old reclaimed hardwood detailing and a two-story rotunda topped by labor-intensively-arched wood beams and a huge octagonal skylight. With dark tiled floors and arched windows, the gymnasium-sized formal living and dining rooms are divided only by several stoutly sturdy square columns. A family room is casually appointed with chunky, pillow-strewn leather sofas and gussied up with vermillion drapes over a trio of floor-to-ceiling arched windows, while the adjoining kitchen is elegantly outfitted with white marble counters and expensively equipped with chef-grade appliances that include a gigantic imported range that costs almost as much as a Range Rover.
The estate’s six bedrooms and 8.5 bathrooms include a serene primary suite in a soothing neutral palette that works hard not to compete with the glimmering water view though the floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open to a huge, breeze-licked loggia.
At the front of the house verdant and meditative gardens include a 6,000-gallon koi point as well as a great sweep of lawn perfect as a palm-shaded soccer pitch. A vast expanse of coral stone terracing peppered with palm trees surrounds a simple rectangular swimming pool and spa behind the house before it gives way to a thick strip of lawn and 180-some-feet of bulk-headed waterfront with sweeping, mesmerizing views of the sun as it sets behind the downtown skyline across Biscayne Bay. Backyard amenities also include an open-air poolside pavilion with outdoor kitchen and a private boat dock for sunset cruises on Biscayne Bay.
Collins was represented in the transaction by Jill Hertzberg and Jill Eber, a powerhouse pair collectively known as The Jills of The Jills Zeder Group at Coldwell Banker Realty, while the as-yet unknown buyer was handled by Judy Zeder, the Zeder in The Jills Zeder Group at Coldwell Banker Realty.