Though it hasn’t been owner-occupied since the September 11 terrorist attacks, a major estate in prestigious lower Bel Air is on sale for the first time in decades. The “land value only” ask is a steep $28 million, but the Los Angeles property spans more than two acres in the area’s poshest pocket, just a short walk from the Hotel Bel-Air and Bel-Air Country Club.
The home’s current owner is Ibrahim bin Laden, an older half-brother of Osama Bin Laden. Like Osama, Ibrahim was one of 50+ children born to Saudi Arabian construction tycoon Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, who had 22 wives and served as the patriarch of the multibillionaire bin Laden clan, a family with longstanding business ties to Al Saud royals.
Records say Ibrahim, a onetime USC student who by his own admission “never worked a day in [his] life,” purchased the Bel Air house in 1983. The 20-something-year-old paid just under $2 million — roughly $5.5 million in today’s money when accounting for 38 years of inflation — and lived there with former wife Christine Hartunian Sinay, a longtime Los Angeles socialite with whom he shares daughter Sibba Hartunian. (Sinay was later married to — and divorced from — Jason Sinay, an L.A. musician and son of billionaire Fiji Water founder Lynda Resnick.)
During their time at the property, Bin Laden and his wife employed “full-time groundskeepers, household help, chauffeurs, and private security.” They also kept two Rolls Royces and a Lamborghini in the garage, though Bin Laden would sometimes rent other luxury cars to avoid driving his prized Silver Spurs in the rain.
Bin Laden divorced Sinay in the early ’90s but continued living in Bel Air until 2001, splitting his time between Los Angeles and Jeddah. After the September 11 attacks, which occurred while he was vacationing abroad, Bin Laden reportedly never returned to the U.S., fearful of the notoriety his last name would bring. The house has remained essentially vacant ever since, though in the late aughts it was occasionally rented out to local film productions. By 2010, the place was reportedly being used as a location shoot for pornographic movies.
Today, photos reveal the estate has entered a sorry state of neglect and disrepair.