In August 2007, after she and her first husband, Russell Simmons, split but before they were officially divorced, Miz Simmons acquired a faux-Tudor mini-mansion in a star-studded enclave in the upper Coldwater Canyon area in the Beverly Hills Post Office. She put the place up for sale in early 2010 for $5,695,000 and, after a grimly long slog and a huge hit to her designer pocketbook, she finally sold the white elephant in July 2012 for $4.55 million. In September 2008, before her divorce from Russell Simmons was finalized and also before she sold the above mentioned B.H.P.O. house but after she got with with and made a baby out of wedlock with actor Djimon Hounsou, she laid out $10,950,000 for a 9,405 square foot Mediterranean manor house just off Coldwater Canyon Beverly Hills proper.*
Just before Your Mama left our cozy way station in ice-bound Brooklyn to head to the airport to wing out way home to sunny California, word tumbled down the celebrity real estate gossip grapevine via Patsy Propertypurveyor that Miz Simmons—possibly (and probably) with her wealthy new banker boyfriend Tim Leissner**—is fixin' to shell out somewhere in the neighborhood of $40 million for Guess jeans co-founder Armand Marciano's almost 20-acre Mediterranean-style estate perched on a private ridge in the Beverly Crest area above Benedict Canyon in Beverly Hills. We told y'all this beotch wasn't playin' this time, didn't we?
Miz Simmons and Mister Leissner —along Miz Simmons's three children and her ex-husband Russell Simmons—spent the Christmas holidays and the New Year, along with scads and scores of other rich and famous types, on the fancy-schmancy resort island of St. Barts. At least part of the smoothly blended family's time in the Caribbean appears to have been spent on a 201-foot yacht with seven en-suite staterooms, an attentive crew of 17, and a winter season charter price of $325,000 per week, plus expenses that, according to industry standards, easily run an additional 25% of the base charter price. But anyways...
The estate in question, the one that is currently owned by Guess co-founder Armand Marciano, was first hoisted on the open market in mid-2011 with an in-hindsight deeply rose-tinted $63,000,000 price tag. The asking price had plummeted to $54.5 million by the spring of 2013 before it was hacked in the fall to $47.5 million, 25% less than the original figure. Not long after last year became this year Mister Marciano and his high-profile team of real estate agents dropped the price by another 9% to its final $43 million.
Digital marketing materials show the ocher-hued villa was completed in 2001, sits down a long gated driveway, and spans more than 30,000 square feet—the L.A. County Tax Man shows it at 24,260—with seven bedrooms, 13 full and 9 half bathrooms plus a self-contained staff or guest suite with three bedrooms and a full kitchen. Other numbers of note related to the four or five parcel spread are the five flat acres, the nine fireplaces, and the eight car garage, not to mention additional parking for 20 or more cars.
The grand entry, as per listing descriptions Your Mama dug up, is dressed with imported French limestone and the roomy formal living room has an 18th-century limestone fireplace mantelpiece and direct access to a deep and long loggia that runs along the rear of the residence.
The formal dining room easily seats a dozen or more and links through to the kitchen via a butler's pantry equipped with a walk-in refrigerator. Reclaimed 18th century terra cotta tiles imported from Bordeaux provide the sprawling, double-island kitchen with a patinated counter weight to modern cooking amenities that include four overs, a commercial-grade grill, and warming drawers.
Movie goers and those who like to watch their reality shows at life size will appreciate the linen-lined, main floor screening room fitted and kitted with a concealed projection screen, black-out shades, and—booze lovers take note—a sunken bar. In addition to the aforementioned three bedroom guest or staff suite, the lower level contains a home gym, a game room, laundry facilities, and an 8,000 bottle wine cellar and tasting room.
The expansive, second floor master suite encompasses a sky-lit entry vestibule, a separate bedroom and sitting room with fireplace, a canyon and city view terrace, dual dressing rooms, and two bathrooms, his accented with a masculine Rouge Griotte marble and hers equipped with a steam shower, private access to the downstairs library, and a separate hair salon. Each of the other five guest/family bedrooms on the upper floor open to private or shared balconies.
Naturally the house has all the modern bells and whistles that can and should be expected in an up-to-date $40-ish million dollar mansion: an elevator that services all floors, tootsie-friendly heated floors, a high-tech home automation system, a state of the art security system that Your Mama would bet the farm is camera-equipped, and at least one safe room.
The exterior spaces of the estate were no less painstakingly planned and addressed than the super-luxe interiors. There are city park-sized flat lawns with sweeping city views, numerous garden spaces teeming with mature plantings, meandering pathways, and several fountains. There are fruit trees and grape vines, an outdoor dining pavilion, and a brick-pave motor court. Next to the hidden and lighted tennis court there's a pavilion with lounge area and two half-bathrooms and next to the mosaic tile lined swimming pool there's a roomy pool house with full kitchen, pizza oven, and two full bathrooms.
Now keep in mind, children, until the deal goes down, the transaction records clear and/or y'all read it in one of the more respectable property gossip columns this is all just some high-end real estate rumor and gossip. Okay? Stay tuned...
*As far as this property gossip knows Miz Simmons' current residence in Bev Hills is not currently available as an on or off market listing. But, then again, what do we really know, right?
**Mister Leissner, as best as Your Mama can tell is a German fella of Brazilian ancestry who possesses a PhD of some sort and currently shakes his money maker as the vice chairman of investment banking in Asia for Goldman Sachs.