Have property prices officially entered the real estate twilight zone? A house on Malibu’s Point Dume has just sold for nearly $50 million in an off-market transaction, far besting the $40 million record paid three years ago by vape mogul Riaz Valani for the idiosyncratic — and significantly larger — former Point Dume estate of Johnny Carson.
Located on exclusive Birdview Avenue, a blufftop street famed for its unobstructed westward views of Malibu sunsets, the mansion was acquired in a cash deal by an entity linked to Charlie Anderson, a Knoxville, Tennessee-based businessman who controls the Anderson Media Corporation — with its 4,000 employees and nearly $700 million in annual revenue — and his wife Moll Anderson, an interior designer.
It’s perhaps unsurprising that this transfer was inked very quietly, without the typical media fanfare. The seller was Julia Lebedev, a Los Angeles-based film producer who is also the elder daughter of billionaire Russian oil trader and former politician Leonid Lebedev, a onetime senator. Leonid, once a veteran member of Russia’s elite, was “exiled” from the country in 2015, accused of embezzling hundreds of millions. (He has denied wrongdoing.)
Despite the Russian exit, controversy has followed Lebedev. At some point, he obtained Cypress citizenship; last year, he was named in the Pandora Papers leak for allegedly using Cypriot law firms to disguise his ownership of multiple companies and offshore accounts.
In any case, the Malibu sale price is a huge win for Julia Lebedev, who acquired the estate just over five years ago for about $27.3 million. Because the deal occurred off-market, current imagery of the estate is not available — photos below show how the property appeared in fall 2016, when Lebedev bought it. She’s believed to have recently given the rather dated interiors a full remodel, though recent aerial shots show that the home’s exterior architecture and gardens appear all but untouched. Reportedly, Lebedev spent little time at the house, and the property was often left vacant.
Built in 1995, the Mediterranean-style estate sits on a 1.2-acre bluff directly overlooking Malibu’s Zuma Beach. Large gates guard a long driveway, which meanders past a two-story guesthouse and full-size tennis court on its way to the motorcourt, which can easily accommodate upwards of a dozen cars. The roughly 9,000-square-foot main house is awash in marble and pricey hardwood, and there are ocean views from nearly every room. In addition to a massive upstairs “view deck” off the master bedroom, there’s also a wine cellar, media room and a fireplace-equipped office on the premises. Out back lie an oversized swimming pool, vast patios and manicured gardens that lasciviously dangle over the clifftop.
Now in her late 30s, Lebedev was born in Los Angeles and raised between L.A. and Moscow, graduating from USC in the mid-2000s. She’s since become a filmmaker; through production companies like her Sight Unseen firm, she’s helped bankroll projects such as Netflix’s “Dear White People” series, which won widespread critical acclaim.
With her husband Jonathan Moss, Lebedev continues to reside in Los Angeles. Today, the couple owns a multimillion-dollar house in the affluent Los Feliz neighborhood, where some of their nearest neighbors include Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman, will.i.am and Ashley Benson.