As disgraced Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein was arraigned and indicted on charges of rape and other acts of criminal sexual misconduct, plans moved forward to demolish his lavish former mansion on Beachside Avenue in Westport, Conn., sold this year in a secretive $16 million off-market deal to neighbor Andrew Bentley. The producer, who has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex and plead not guilty this morning in a New York City courtroom, purchased the almost 5.75-acre oceanfront estate in two transactions, the first in 1994 and the second in 2000, for a total of just under $8.25 million.
Bentley, owner of at least three other properties on Beachside Avenue, reportedly hired a local architectural firm to develop ideas for the former Weinstein property. He has reportedly applied to demolish multiple structures, including the main residence, a stately colonial that dates to the early 1900s and measures in at nearly 9,000 square feet; also fodder for the wrecking ball are two smaller homes, a 1,000-square-foot ranch-style residence and an 1,800-square-foot Cape Cod home.
Over the past six months, Weinstein and ex-wife Georgina Chapman, co-founder of fashion house Marchesa and a judge on “Project Runway All Stars,” have liquidated most if not all of their homes for a total of more than $53 million. The erstwhile couple’s multi-acre bayfront estate in the Hamptons sold for $10 million; their downtown Manhattan townhouse, purchased in 2006 for $14.95 million, went for $25.6 million; and a Tudor cottage in Los Angeles that had been inhabited by one of Weinstein’s children traded for $1.8 million. Word on the real estate street is that Chapman, who’s denied knowledge of her husband’s behavior, is in the process of purchasing a spread north of Manhattan in poshly pastoral Westchester County.