YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: So the celebrity real estate scuttlebutt goes George Clooney may be in the mood to make some significant changes to his international portfolio of high-maintenance homes. The New York Post recently reported the newly married Hollywood royal, multi-talented show business power player and global-minded humanitarian might be persuaded to accept “an offer of as much as $100 million” for Villa Oleandra, an 18th century lakeside villa in Laglio on the swanky shores of Italy’s sublimely scenic Lake Como. Mister Clooney, who purchased the effortlessly photogenic and, hence, much photographed mansion from the Heinz family in 2002 for about $10 million, has apparently grown weary of the paparazzi that swarm the lake when he’s in residence as well as the all the camera wielding looky-loos who float past the place at a snail’s pace to see if they can catch a glimpse of him cavorting shirtless and/or hobnobbing with his vast contingent of famous friends. An unnamed source told The Post that if the two-time Oscar winner does dump his Como crib he would “buy another, less accessible property in another area of Italy.” Of course, this is hardly the first time rumors have circumnavigated the planet at lightening speed that the hugely popular star might like to sell the cream-colored and green shuttered lakeside property. Some of the children may recall that back in 2010 it was reported Mister Clooney had slapped an unverified £30 million asking price on the property and elicited a bidding war between Victoria and David Beckham and Russian vodka tycoon Roustam Tariko. Whether any of that was true or just celebrity property rumors run amok, Villa Oleandra was not sold.
It was the celebrity gossips at Entertainment Tonight (E.T.) who appear to be the first to hear and report that Mister Clooney might also like to part with his seven bedroom and 10 bathroom beachfront mansion outside Cabo San Lucas, at the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California. Mister Clooney’s Mexican casa is one of two modern-minded mansions that make up the so-called Casamigos compound within the fancy-pants El Dorado Golf and Beach Club development and are reported to be the last two homes designed by the late and vaunted Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta. The other residence, in case y’all didn’t already know, was built simultaneously and owned by Mister Clooney’s long time pals and business partners Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber. (So the stories go, once and if their house is sold the Clooneys plan to shack up with the Crawford-Gerbers when they want a south of the border vacación.) Local real estate experts told the peeps at E.T. the houses, which both have unobstructed 180-degree views of the Sea of Cortez and humongous beach-side swimming pools, could be worth as much as $50 million apiece but, frankly butter beans, even though the residences are both undeniably spectacular and Cabo San Lucas and the surrounding area is chock full of multi-million dollar residences that figure seems, well, wildly optimistic.
According to a 2014 article in ever-more celeb-focused shelter glossy Architectural Digest, which featured both the Clooney and the Gerber-Crawford casas, the two-time Oscar winner’s casually grand getaway orbits around a double-height central courtyard warmed by a fireplace and lit by a slew of wicker lanterns hung from the slatted ceiling. The courtyard is ringed by commodious living and dining rooms as well as a club room with travertine topped bar, a small but well-equipped fitness room and a state-of-the-art home theater with 14-foot screen and at least a dozen leather seats. Mister Clooney’s upper level master suite features a woven leather headboard in the bedroom, a roomy bathroom and a private terrace with built-in lounge bed and a spa elevated to take advantage of the over-the-planter ocean view. Indoor spaces spill out to sprawling outdoor recreation and entertainment areas that include a vegetation-shrouded outdoor lounge with fire pit and a beachside swimming pool.
Even if Mister Clooney sells both his Italian and Mexican properties he’ll still be in possession of (at least) two considerable and impressive residences, one in the United States and the other in the United Kingdom. In Los Angeles, the showbiz scion — his paternal auntie is, of course, the late, great Rosemary Clooney — has long owned a secluded, 3.16-acre compound tucked into the wooded rear end of Studio City’s celeb-favored Fryman Canyon neighborhood. Never having been invited for dinner or a tour we can’t reveal any first-hand specifics but according to the L.A. County Tax Man, the gated and heavily fortified estate was purchased for an unknown amount in 1995 and centers on a main residence of more than 7,300-square-feet with half of a dozen bedrooms and as many bathrooms. Earlier this year Mister Clooney revealed during a televised interview that he and his tri-lingual wife, Beirut born and London bred human rights attorney Amal Clooney (née Alamuddin), plan to relocate to the U.K. where last year, just after their star-studded Venice nuptials, they shelled out about £10 million for Mill House, a late 17th-century, Grade II listed Georgian mansion a semi-private five-acre islet in the River Thames in the sleepy hamlet of Sonning Eye, about 37 miles west of central London. More recent reports reveal the uncommonly and some might argue unfairly pulchritudinous couple filed plans and sought permission to make a number of alterations and improvements to the nine bedroom estate including the addition of a 16-seat cinema along with a swimming pool and adjacent pool house with wet bar, pergola-shaded dining terrace and a double changing rooms.
Photos: Björn Wallander for Architectural Digest