Y’all have no idea how many tears Yolanda has shed over this next house. Lord have mercy. It was just so, so, so sad. A true tragedy for the ages. Oedipus has nothin’ on this. This house, this poor, mangled box of sorrow. Eons it sat — unloved, unwanted, forever alone.
We’re talking about the Beverly Hills manoir of British bazillionaire (and Idol creator) Simon Fuller and his wife Natalie. For years, Mr. Fuller labored in vain attempt after vain attempt to sell the ol’ clunker. This started way back in summer 2013 with an asking price of $21,900,000. And it lingered. The price chops happened. And it lingered. Mr. Fuller began begging, wailing in the streets. Still, it lingered…
As the years passed, the price cuts became deeper. Desperation reared its ugly head. And Mr. Fuller slowly began to fade. He began blubbering and heaving, so overcome with rage and sadness and confusion was he. Eventually he couldn’t even walk. He actually had to be carried everywhere, a la Bodyguard.
“We’re losing him…!!” a doctor snapped sternly as Mr. Fuller’s sad eyes lolled back in his skull and he involuntarily began muttering last rites over himself. Things were looking final. Funeral homes were contacted. Casket designers were consulted. A prime burial plot in a trendy cemetery entered escrow. Should the wake be minimalist or more Kelly Wearstler-style with a full marching band?
But lo! Look outside! From yonder faraway lands gallops a white stallion (how racist!) Who is this phantom rider? It is our buyer, Mr. Fuller’s savior!
Well, sort of. The “savior” paid Mr. Fuller just $14,600,000.
Now, kiddies, $14.6 million is still a ton of money. More than 99% of folks will make in their entire lives, probably. But still. That’s $7.3 million less than the starry-eyed Mr. Fuller originally wanted.
Ooh. Ouch. Burn. Rich people problems!
Now for the record, let’s keep it all real here. The estate was not actually acquired by a rabbit on a fat white stallion. Rather, it was sold to a corporate entity (“1020 Ridgedale LLC”), and the merciful new owner’s identity is locked up real tight The only clue in public records is a Chicago law firm address.
You know what Yolanda did, right? We had to call up the brigade and open up an old-fashioned real estate investigation.
Imagine our surprise, pumpernickels, when we found out that the buyer is a low-profile Silicon Valley tech CEO named Gregory S. Clark, or simply Greg Clark for short.
Our Mr. Clark has been top dog at Symantec since July (2016). For those who don’t know, Symantec is the largest security company in the Silicon Valley with $3.6 billion in 2016 revenue. And it is also most definitely one of the largest in the whole wide world. Mr. Clark was previously CEO at Blue Coat, a smaller web security company that Symantec snapped up for $4.65 billion in cash this past summer.
Other than that, and despite the fact that he runs such a huge company, we don’t know too much about our Mr. Clark, other than he was born in Australia. And as to why he needs (or wants) a house in LA? Well, we’re not sure, but we do know that Symantec has a very large facility in the LA neighborhood of Culver City. Perhaps that has something to do with it; perhaps not.
Reasons aside, let’s have a look at the Fuller-cum-Clark mansion.
Stats: The Tudor-style house was originally built in 1925 and is located on a lightly-traveled dead-end street in one of Beverly Hills’ poshest neighborhood pockets, near the intersection of the BH, Holmby Hills, and the Beverly Hills Post Office area. Although marketing materials indicate the home has 8,000 square feet with 5 bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms, tax records peg it at just 5,084 with 3 beds/4 baths. Yolanda is unable to explain the significant discrepancy, but it might have something to do with the detached guest house. Lot size measures a sizable (but not huge) .88-acre. The property was acquired by Mr. Fuller in 2005 for $8,500,000.
Now kiddies, we know what y’all are thinking. You’re imagining that Mr. Fuller still walked away with millions in profit from his $14.6 million sale, right? But not so fast. Yolanda happens to know that Mr. Fuller spent years and a vast amount of money to transform this structure into the glamorpuss modern pad it is today.
Whatever you think of the result, let’s get one thing clear. This house was done up with only the finest materials and finishes available. Yolanda is absolutely, positively, 100% certain of that fact. Just look at these photos — normally we wouldn’t just let pictures talk — they lie far too often, those little bastards — but the craftsmanship on this place just screams money.
Now everyone will have their own opinion on style and architecture, of course. But just because the quality here is top-notch doesn’t mean we love the look. We don’t. It’s all a bit too slick and impersonal for Yolanda’s persnickety tastes. Looks a bit like a five-star boutique hotel.
Floors are of lustrous ebonized wood (probably imported from the Himalayas or some such nonsense), the gourmet kitchen features an island that appears carved from a solid block of marble, and those leopard-print chairs in the living room certainly cost more than a base Mercedes C-class.
That circular velvet couch is part of the screening room, which also features a full wet bar.
Surprisingly, however, the bar is not Yolanda’s favorite feature of this house. That honor goes to that sultry staircase. For some weird reason we just wanna lick it from the bottom to the top. My oh my.
The bedroom suites stay minimalist.
Clearly Mr. Fuller (and maybe Mrs. Fuller, too) is fond of imbibing. The wine cellar — and yes, that’s a real damn wine cellar, not one of those fake closet things — features space for thousands of vintages. And it looks quite full.
There’s also a rather lovely terrace with views over the surrounding treetops and a library (with gold books, natch) overlooking the front garden. Elsewhere on the premises is also a “fitness center”.
The landscaping and grounds were designed by Marmol Radziner, which means the greenery and terracing alone probably cost seven figures. But it sure looks pretty, don’t it?
Other residents on the same tiny and low-key but fearsomely expensive street include hedge fund honcho (and real estate baller) Jon Brooks, who lives in a house he bought from Jennifer Aniston & Brad Pitt about 100 years ago. Then across from Mr. Brooks lives the (allegedly) corrupt Indonesian politician/businessman Aburizal Bakrie. And at the very end of the street is a large Wallace Neff mansion that is being overhauled by Stuart Liner & Stephanie Hershey Liner, who bought it from Danny DeVito & Rhea Pearlman last year for about $26,600,000.
As for Mr. & Mrs. Fuller, they’ve already moved on to more expensive pastures. Way back in June 2014, they paid a baller-style $24,000,000 for a red brick mansion in the middle of stuffy ol’ Bel Air. The home was long owned and sold by Dole Foods billionaire David Murdock.
So dry your tears, Mr. Fuller. Your net worth is still somewhere in excess of $500 million. We know you want to blame the world for not appreciating your Beverly Hills masterpiece. You think — nay, you know that the house is worth far more than that. These uneducated slobs just couldn’t see it. We know.
But baby, don’t live a life of blaming others. For we were once in your position, too. Blaming the world for letting life escape us. We moped around, all cold and dark and elderly. But now the winds have changed! Yolanda is filled with a strange, bubbling new confidence, and we drive our Caddy so fast, the smoggy skyline of the city fading to dust behind us, our cigarette smoke dissipating in the strands of our plastic hair.
Simon Fuller’s agents: Drew Fenton & Trista Rullan, Hilton & Hyland
Greg Clark’s agent: Vangelis Korasidis, Coldwell Banker