Today Yolanda is a bit pressed for time, so let’s have a quick peek at the just-sold LA home of the world’s wealthiest busker, a fella who made his fortune via the circus. He’s Guy Laliberté, the founder of Cirque du Soleil, which transformed street performance into high art and a business juggernaut worth billions.
Believe it or not, but Yolanda has never seen a Cirque du Soleil show in her entire 98 years of life. We know that makes us sound very uncultured and unsophisticated, but it’s true. So in lieu of personal experience, we’ll have to go by the words of friends, who say the shows — you can catch them while in Las Vegas, among many other places — are otherworldly and spectacular. Take it from Mama over at Variety, who wrote about Mr. Laliberté’s Vegas mansion several years ago and said this:
Watching a Cirque du Soleil show is a bit like partaking of an illegal substance then carelessly entering and wandering wide-eyed through a death-defying and fantastical world of freaky body benders, mystical creatures on stilts and fearless aerialists whom Your Mama thinks must have less common sense than a boll weevel to even consider pouring themselves into genitalia-revealing outfits and flinging their lithe and lust-producing bodies up into the air like they don’t have a damn bone to break.
Even if Yolanda had actually seen a Cirque du Soleil show, we couldn’t describe it any better than that.
But back to Mr. Laliberté. A long time ago, we read a quote from bazillionaire educator Lynda Weinman, who said (in part): “Success is an amplifier.” So if you’re not a nice person to start, success will make you — well, even less nice. If you’re generous, success imbues you with mega-generosity. And so forth.
In Mr. Laliberté’s case, we suspect he was always a bit eccentric. And now that he’s a billionaire, said eccentricity has been amplified. Or perhaps the correct adjective is fun-loving? Judge for yourselves.
Beginning as a penniless acrobat and street performer, the Québécois Mr. Laliberté built Cirque du Soleil into a multi-billion-dollar enterprise. At one time he owned a full 90% of the outfit, but in 2015 he sold the majority of his interest to a private equity firm for a reported $1.5 billion. Along the path to billionairedom he spent $41.8 million to become Canada’s first space tourist, held the record as high-stakes poker’s biggest loser, and currently toils as a DJ and nightclub entrepreneur.
In 2009, Mr. Laliberté — who will turn 60 this year — famously sued the publishers of an unauthorized biography which “depicts him as a bed-hopping scoundrel with an inexhaustible appetite for sex, drugs, and a rock and roll lifestyle.” (If we’re being honest, Yolanda is not sure what the outcome of said lawsuit was.)
Our boy has sired a total of five children with two ex-girlfriends — Italian model Claudia Barilla and Brazilian model Rizia Moreira. And like all proper billionaires, he’s owned luxury homes all over the globe. Including this spread in the mountains above Beverly Hills, which apparently he no longer needs/wants.
Mr. Laliberté’s former 90210 residence is located at the very end of a road in the Beverly Hills Post Office neighborhood, the very same hillside road where other residents include future billionaire computer heiress Alexa Dell and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. Other than an ivy-covered three-car garage, the entire property is obscured from the streetfront behind an enormous hedge.
Yolanda’s careful perusal of records suggests Mr. Laliberté acquired this place way back in 1996 for $2,267,000. In early 2018, he tossed it onto the market with a $5,750,000 pricetag. And though the property entered escrow within six weeks, it oddly took nearly one full year before the sale finally closed this February (2019) for exactly $5.4 million. The buyer hails from Mainland China.
Nearly all of this property’s value is in the views and location, Yolanda believes. The Santa Monica mountains, Century City skyline and Pacific Ocean are all visible on a clear day, and the home’s end-of-cul-de-sac location makes it desirably private. Unfortunately, the pool is pushed up a bit too close to the house (in our useless opinion).
The innards of the home, while not horrible, are not exactly to Yolanda’s taste. We count at least six different flooring types in this place, which is a lot of flooring drama for a spacious (but definitely not huge) 4,261-square-foot structure. At least the kitchen is outfitted with high-end appliances, and there’s an outdoor cabana/gym.
Like all immensely rich billionaires, Mr. Laliberté has a vast portfolio of luxury residences around the world. He’s got an atoll/private island in French Polynesia, a large villa near Ibiza, Spain, a mountaintop compound in Saint-Bruno, Quebec, and a Las Vegas manse.
Listing agents: David Kramer & Andrew Buss, Hilton & Hyland