Six-foot-tall fashion model turned serial fashion entrepreneur and pioneering reality TV personality Kimora Lee Simmons is looking for a profligate renter to shell out a mouth drying $55,000 per month for her palatial former mansion in the convenient and sought after lower Coldwater Canyon area of Beverly Hills. Once and famously married to disgraced hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, later partnered with two-time Oscar nominated actor Djimon Hounsou and married since 2013 to legally embattled former Goldman Sachs banker Tim Leissner, Simmons purchased the grand Mediterranean villa in 2006 for $8.5 million. With a total of about 13,000 square feet and all but invisible behind secured gates and a slightly untidy tangle of trees and foliage, the main house contains eight bedrooms and seven bathrooms while a poolside guesthouse offers two more bedrooms, one bathroom and full kitchen.
An elegant and imposing if relatively restrained exterior belies a peacocky opulence that reigns supreme throughout interior spaces festooned with flamboyantly swagged and liberally tasselled window treatments, showy and sometimes gilded ceiling moldings, a handful of fireplaces with ornate carved mantelpieces and a meretricious plethora of columns including those from the Tuscan, Ionic and Corinthian orders. Almost as big as a hotel ballroom, the skylight topped double-height foyer features high-polished inlaid marble floors and leads to cavernous formal living and dining rooms, the latter wrapped in glimmering, Chinoiserie-style red and gold wallpaper.
An unusually windowless, mahogany paneled library/office opens to a beige marble-floored winter garden; A vast family room with dark-stained herringbone pattern hardwood flooring spills out to the swimming pool through full-height French doors; And the kitchen, fitted at tremendous expense with premium-grade appliances and elaborately carved and embellished bespoke cabinetry, adjoins an octagonal breakfast room with floor-to-ceiling French doors and built-in media equipment set into a carved wood cabinet.
There are two bedrooms and bathrooms on the main floor for staff and/or guests plus five more guest and family bedrooms on the second level along with a roomy master suite replete with French doors to a private terrace, a mirror-lined corridor between two extravagantly fitted dressing rooms and a super-luxe bathroom so garishly lavish even Marie Antoinette might feel perfectly at home.
Between the main house and guesthouse, atop of which there’s a partly sheltered terrace, a swimming pool and spa sits next to a vine draped open-air pavilion while a broad set of stone steps leads down to verdant and grassy if not exactly meticulously groomed formal gardens planted where there was once a tennis court.
Simmons and Leissner, scheduled to be sentenced later this year after he pled guilty last year to money laundering charges in association with a multibillion-dollar Malaysia-based corruption scheme, additionally maintain exorbitantly expensive, high-maintenance homes in both Los Angeles and New York City. In 2014 the couple shelled out $19 million for a meticulously tailored pre-war condominium of more than 4,600-square-feet in a dignified Beaux-Arts Revival style apartment house just off Fifth Avenue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. And in the spring of 2017 they plunked down $25 million for a roughly 20,000 square foot Mediterranean villa on about 3.75 landscaped acres behind the guarded gates in the illustrious, proudly pretentious Beverly Park enclave in the mansion laden mountains between Beverly Hills and Sherman Oaks.
Listing photos: Douglas Elliman