The only thing your gurl Yolanda finds more fascinating than a real-estate-crazy billionaire is a billionaire with a wild and wacky love life. We just can’t help but hoover up every salacious detail we read in one of those tawdry supermarket gossip rags. Oh, and did Yolanda mention she loves cars? Well, she does. Hence we find kooky mega-mogul businessman Elon Musk to be a near-perfect object of obsession.
For those keeping track, Mr. Musk, now in his mid-40s and currently the second-richest full-time resident of LA, has been married three times to two different women. His first wife Justine Musk, with whom he has five sons, indulged us all by writing a scathing and juicy exposé of Musk Marriage Numero Uno.
Following that hot mess, Musk hitched his wagon in 2010 to a 25-year-old British actress named Talulah Riley. Her most memorable role, in Yolanda’s opinion, was playing the dowdy Mary Bennet in 2005’s Pride and Prejudice film adaption.
Soon after their marriage, Musk, Riley, and his squadron of kids settled a big leased manor house on a posh street in the western part of Bel Air.
The hulking 20,000+ square foot mostly-traditional oinker was built in 1990, sits on approximately 1.7 extensively-landscaped acres, and has 7 beds/9 baths plus a five-car garage and a host of luxury features including a two-story library, wine cellar, gym, and tennis court. Musk eventually decided that this property suited his and the little Musks’ needs just fine because he plunked down $17,000,000 to buy it in late 2012.
By that time, his marriage had swirled down the porcelain pooper of love and the couple were officially divorced. We’re not really sure where Riley lived during the split. Maybe she bunked up back home in the UK? Or perhaps she rented something fancy in L.A. with her $4.2 million settlement. That’s right, she negotiated a $4.2 million settlement. From Elon Musk. Gurl, please!
Sometime in early 2013, though, the stars re-aligned and the erstwhile couple started shacking back up in the big Bel Air estate, eventually re-tying the knot in July of that year. Just three months later, Musk snapped up his second Bel Air spread.
The low-slung contemporary was the longtime residence of legendary comedian Gene Wilder. Mr. Wilder dumped the property in 2007 for $2,725,000 million to a hedge-fund rich couple who needed a place to live while they completed construction on their big new mansion right next door. They flipped the house – to Musk six years later for a profit-generating $6,750,000.
One might have thought that Musk would knock down this rather-unsightly shack, which lies almost directly across the street from his main residence, but as always The Musk had much more unconventional and grandiose plans for the property. After a lickety-split remodel, the house was converted into a private school. That’s right, a school. Complete with 3 teachers, 20 students (Musk’s and children of his associates), and a playground/backyard that directly overlooks the Bel Air Country Club. It’s really like a typical homeschool group, just done billionaire-style. For our part, we heavily applaud Musk for this. Pardon us, but the majority of schools our there are absolute crap today. Oh gosh, and do not get Yolanda started on that steaming turd bucket labelled “Common Core“. Oh gosh, oh gosh.
By summer 2014, about the time he was readying another predictably outlandish invention for the world, Musk’s love life was once again booking it for the water closet. Settlement talks began in secret and this time Miz Riley did a bit better: a $16 million settlement. We assume that figure includes the shit-brown Tesla Model S and a new Brentwood house that he gave her. Records show Musk paid $3,695,000 in August ’14 through something called “Ganymede November LLC” for the mid-century modern (above) that sits on a ridge overlooking Mandeville Canyon.
But lo, sometimes Cupid just won’t abandon hope. In August 2015 the divorce was called off and the pair were back in each other’s arms. Well, sort of. Rumor has it the reconciliation included an agreement they would inhabit separate homes at least part of the time.
To that end, Musk and Riley went sniffing around his Bel Air neighborhood for a house for her. The Brentwood crash pad was fine for an ex, but as Mrs. Musk, she’d need a proper baller-style place to call her (part-time?) home. Anyway, they found a perfectly private property that just happens to be on the very same street as both Musk’s current mansion and his “school house”.
The deal was totally off-market, so no listing photos are available, but the mid-century modern home was originally built in 1954 and remodeled and expanded sometime in the early 2000s. Today, it sports 6 bedrooms and 8 baths in 7,000+ square feet of living space with a bird’s eye view of the Bel Air CC across the street. The lot is a hefty 3.4 acres but very little of it is usable due to the steep hillside.
Aerial images of the property show that the original home and the addition were not combined in the most cohesive manner. At least from the outside. Looks rather like a couple of double-wides that got tossed together during an Akron, Ohio tornado. But that didn’t stop Musk from laying out $20,000,000 in cold hard cash for the place way back in July 2015. (The sellers were a low-profile couple named Jim & Jackie McKenzie – he’s the son of a very successful Greenwich, CT-based financier).
Yolanda happens to know that Miz Riley is currently living in this house or will be very shortly, and that under the LLC front, the property is registered in her name.
But wait, there’s more!
The $20 million sale went completely unnoticed by the press because Musk used a corporate veil, “Camellia Ranch LLC”, to shield the gift to his wife. What also went unnoticed was that another fancifully-named Musk entity (“Duck Duck Goose 100 LLC”) threw down another $4,300,000 in cash for a modest 2,963-square-foot house (loaded with Pepto Bismol-pink walls and blue carpets) located on a ridge directly above the $20 million pad. There appear to be oblique sightlines from certain angles down to the property below.
So what’s this place for? Just to give Riley more privacy? Staff/security housing? Or is there some other more sinister purpose for the purchase? It appears that it’s a just a quick rocky slide down the hill to land directly in Miz Riley’s backyard – let’s hope Musk doesn’t store any of those ultra-rare Indian Swamp Adders in this house. Oh, we tease.