BUYER: Roger Ailes
LOCATION: Palm Beach, FL
SIZE: 12,747 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 7 full and 3 half bathrooms
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Looks fired Fox News founder Roger Ailes is licking his professional wounds — or perhaps shielding his considerable fortune from the various and potentially litigious women who allege he repeatedly made crude comments and unwanted sexual advances — with the $36 million purchase of a brand-spanking new, spec-built ocean-front contemporary mansion along a particularly pricey stretch of sand in Palm Beach, Florida. Neither Mister Ailes’s name nor his wife’s appear anywhere on the deeds and documents related to the purchase of the property in question — it was acquired via an inscrutable trust — but an otherwise unidentified “law source in Miami” told South Florida gossip slinger José Lambiet of Gossip Extra that the “’purchase has been very hush-hush on the island.’” The secret snitch went on to say the pioneering conservative news chief had been “’looking for real estate in South Florida very aggressively’” because Floridian courts cannot force the sale of one’s home to pay off judgments and Mister Ailes is “’worried about getting hit with a huge judgment’” related to the sexual harassment allegations made by several high-profile female on-air talent at Fox News. Mister Ailes, in his mid 70s, was pushed out of Fox News in July with a reported $40 million payout and Gretchen Carlson, once one of the news outlet’s shining stars, was paid $20 million to settle her sexual harassment lawsuit against Mister Ailes and Fox News.
Now consulting for the currently sagging presidential campaign of bombastic GOP nominee Donald Trump, Mister Ailes forewent the more customary Mediterranean style mansions that comprise much of the super-luxe Palm Beach real estate stock and instead opted for a glassy two-story ultra-contemporary of 12,747 square feet with six bedrooms and 7 full and 3 half bathrooms. Open plan living spaces, done up by Marc-Michaels Interior Design according to online marketing materials, feature pale beige stone-tiled floors, wood paneled ceilings, avant-garde light fixtures — i.e the Olympic rings like situation in the main sitting room — and floor-to-ceiling walls of glass that peel open to shaded outdoor living spaces and a resort-style swimming pool.
There’s certainly no shortage of rich and conservative residents in Palm Beach and while in town Mister Ailes can pal around with a few of his fellow firebrand birds of a feather like Donald Trump, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter. Miz Coulter owns a fairly modest if hardly inexpensive 3,000-square-foot home she snatched up in 2005 for $1.8 million; Mister Limbaugh maintains a completely landscaped 2.26-acre ocean-front compound with an 18,000-square-foot mansion and several outbuildings he picked up in 1998 for $3.9 million — it’s surely worthy many times that amount now; and, of course, Donald Trump presides over Mar-a-Lago, an extravagant 126-room mansion built in the 1920s for cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post and operated by the real estate developer turned reality television star turned presidential hopeful as a members only club.
Mister Ailes new Palm Beach spread is, by far and at least as far as this property gossip knows, the largest and most lavish home in his residential property portfolio. Along with an unassuming 3,500-square-foot ranch-style residence in Cresskill, NJ, he’s owned since 2000 when it was bought it for $1.85 million, he additionally maintains a hill-topping multi-residence compound near Garrison in upstate New York that incorporates a nearly 9,000-square-foot main house and a handful of satellite residences, at least two of which have been on the market at declining prices since 2014.
Listing photos: Lawrence A. Moens Associates (via Redfin)