For a few months, Jeff Bezos and his new partner Lauren Sanchez went shopping to acquire a new house in Los Angeles on a “no limit” budget. Properties of this type (over 100 million euros) for sale in California can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Most of them are intended for multi-billionaires, ads of this type are not even made public. And yet this purchase will not have even scratched the heritage of Bezos, estimated at $ 130 billion.
The last California record was held by Rupert Murdoch's son Lachan (whose complicated family history partially inspired the HBO series "Succession"). Last December, he bought the Chartwell mansion from Bel Air for $ 150 million, which served as a backdrop in the sixties for the “Beverly Hillbillies” series.
For the "Warner Estate", a villa of almost 1270 m2, on Angelo Drive, in the Benedict Canyon in Beverly Hills, the whole history of the seventh art is present within its walls. Legendary producer, Jack Warner president of Warner Bros for almost half a century, built his immense fortune in the 1920s. He bought the property in 1929 and his first wife, Irma, built a Spanish-style house there. , in the style of the time. In 1935, he left his wife to remarry with Ann Page, who more or less razed the house of his former rival to build the house of his dreams, inspired by the grand neoclassical villas that flourished in the south of the United States before the Civil War. She hires the best of Hollywood interior decorators who concoct a royal interior with period furniture and 18th century wallpapers. Until the late 1960s, Warner would invite all of Hollywood - Marilyn Monroe, Errol Flynn, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Paul Newman and even Albert Einstein - to lavish but very private parties.
The Geffen era
In 1990, after the death of Warner's widow, the house was bought by the recording industry tycoon and co-founder of Dreamworks studios, David Geffen, for $ 47.5 million (a record at the time for a residential house in the USA). Not convinced at first, Geffen makes a second visit with his friend Steven Spielberg, who as a crazy film buff is captivated by the past of the house. Geffen nevertheless sold at auction all the furniture he considered a bit dated, a sale that brought him 11 million dollars. Everything but…
A historic floor
The floor of one of the salons is nevertheless preserved: it will have witnessed Napoleon's marriage proposal to Josephine in 1795. True or manipulation of the antique dealer? If in doubt, "let's print the legend" and keep the floor.
Entrance to the Dynasty
Equally spectacular and not necessarily in the best sense of the word, the entrance to the house which irresistibly evokes the credits of the vintage Dynasty series (see above). Even if, according to the latest news, Bezos drives, not a Rolls Royce, but a 1996 Honda Accord, bought for $ 4,000. Luxury is not what it used to be.
The projection room
Luxury this time essential (we imagine that Geffen saved it): the projection room of Jack Warner. Obviously decorated with Greek columns with panels that slide revealing the screen when you actuate the head of a Buddha. With ease.
The swimming pool: shopping suite and end
The property obviously includes a tennis court, multiple bungalows and garages as well as a spectacular swimming pool. And a few days after having sold this property almost four times the price at which he had bought it, Geffen would have immediately bought another kind of pool: "The Splash" (1966), one of David Hockney's iconic paintings, for $ 30 million at an auction in London. What makes the story amazing is that Geffen had already owned this painting and sold it in 1985, according to the catalog of Sotheby's. The painting was later bought in 2006 by Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau (now a fugitive for fraud) for nearly 3 million pounds sterling. When you love (and regret a painting), you don't count.
The small bonus at 90 million dollars
That week, Jeff Bezos, was not limited to the purchase of the Warner property: his company Bezos Expeditions (which notably controls the Washington Post and its charitable foundation) acquired a 50 hectare site still in Beverly Hills for $ 90 million, nicknamed "Enchanted Hill" sold by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
But the Earth remains a winner…
A shattering announcement quickly followed these purchases (too publicized?): Jeff Bezos created the Bezos Earth Fund, his biggest philanthropic investment to date, endowed with ten billion dollars (or 7.7% of his heritage) to fight against the effects of global warming. We are reassured (?): Even if Bezos has everything to play the bad guy in a James Bond, he positions himself publicly with this fund on the side of the saviors of humanity.