A Hollywood Hills compound long believed by property gossips around the globe to be owned by Tom Cruise has discreetly popped up on the open market with an asking price of an eyelash under $13 million. Entirely unsubstantiated rumors abound that the estate was bought as a semi-secret retreat for high-level Scientologists — there’s no evidence we’ve seen that it was — and, though we can’t confirm it, ever-in-the-know celebrity real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak says she’s 100% certain that one of Mister Cruise’s sisters lives or, until recently, lived on the property. But anyway …

The gated and heavily fortified two-parcel property, purchased by a pair of mysterious corporate concerns in two separate transactions in 2005 that totaled $11.65 million, occupies a 2.5-acre-plus promontory bounded by Mulholland Drive, with commanding 280-degree city, canyon and mountain views. The seller of the larger parcel, per property records, was Frank Zappa’s former road manager, Marty Perellis, who was reported in 2005 to have maintained a menagerie of hundreds of rescued animals, including dogs, llamas and lovebirds.

The main residence is described in marketing materials as a “European-style villa” expensively fitted and finished with wide-plank wood floors, Venetian plaster walls and an “Italian farmhouse kitchen with chef’s quality appliances.” There are three en suite bedrooms in the main house, according to listing details, while a fully detached, slate-roofed guesthouse has four additional bedrooms and four more bathrooms. Stone driveways and pathways meander the landscaped grounds and link a variety of outdoor recreational features that include numerous terraces, a children’s play yard and a wooden footbridge that spans a heated, lagoon-style swimming pool.

Mister Cruise, whose primary residence is an elegant Beverly Hills mansion he picked up in 2007 for $30.5 million, has lately been in the mood to lighten his real estate load. In 2013, he sold an almost 2,200-square-foot apartment in New York City’s East Village for $3 million, and last fall he put his 298-acre ranch near Telluride, Colo., up for sale at $59 million.

listing photos: Keller Williams

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