YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: With their first baby on the way, R&B star John Legend and his bodaciously curvaceous swimsuit model wife Chrissy Teigen have splashed out $14.1 million for a family sized residence in the Beverly Hills Post Office area that was once owned by uni-named pop music cynosure Rihanna. Digital marketing materials show the three-story contemporary, behind gates on a partly flat, .86-acre parcel at the tail end of a little-known cul-de-sac with 270-degree canyon, mountain, and distant ocean views, has five bedrooms and eight bathrooms in 8,520-square-feet.
Long-time celebrity real estate watchers will recall Riri, just a 21-year-old whippersnapper at the time, acquired the then freshly renovated residence in September 2009 for a very grown up $6.9 million. Alas, a few months after the Umbrella singer moved in the house flooded during a mild rainstorm and a big ol’ celebrity real estate brouhaha ensued. The Barbardian born and bred superstar filed a sharp-tongued lawsuit against just about everyone who had anything to do with the deal — seller, home inspection firm, her own big-name real estate agent, and other related parties — that alleged negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, breach of contract and other such legal improprieties. Iffin we’re being honest — and we always are, we’re not exactly sure what came of the lawsuit but whatever the outcome the waterlogged property popped back up for sale in November 2011 at $4.5 million and quickly sold for $5.03 million, well over asking but still nearly $2 million less than the eight-time Grammy winner paid. (Rihanna later won a $10 million settlement against the accountant who advised her the purchase of the property would be a good investment even though she was experiencing financial difficulties.) Presumably with the moisture and mold issues rectified, the long-troubled if impressively sited mansion was put up for sale again in early 2013 at $8.395 million but didn’t sell until June 2014 when it finally went for $7.645 million. After what our entirely unscientific online research suggests was a cosmetic refurbishment that included but was not limited to the variegated wood floors receiving a darker, ashy-brown stain and alterations to the cabinetry and counter tops in the kitchen, the property was yet again thrown up for sale in early 2015 with a huge and hugely sanguine asking price of $16.895 million. The price plummeted to $14.895 million before the Legend-Teigens came along and scooped it up for $14.1 million.
Theatrically voluminous, 30-plus-foot ceilings and towering expanses of windows in define the over-sized entry and adjoining step-down living room where a wide bank of wall-to-wall glass sliders open to directly to the swimming pool. (Listing details indicate plans and permits for a fancy new infinity-edge swimming pool were in place and available to purchase but it’s not known to this property gossip if the Legend-Teigens bought them.) The double-sided fireplace in the living room is shared with an adjoining lounge/dining area that’s entirely open to a spacious and well-equipped if somewhat uncomfortably angled kitchen that features two large islands — one with a cook top and the other with a six-stool snack counter — two-tone cabinetry, and a walk-in pantry. A glass-railed bridge that might easily fray the nerves of anyone with even a mild case of vertigo spans the soaring expanse of the entry and living room to link the two wings of the upper level that include a number of guest/family bedrooms and a sprawling master suite replete with extra-high ceiling, fireplace, sitting area, and a wide bank of glass doors that peel back to one of the suite’s two private balconies. The master bathroom, equipped with glassed-in steam shower, is slathered in shimmering stainless steel tile and the boutique-style walk-in closet/dressing room, lined with shoe shelves and glass-fronted wardrobes, is large enough to make a fashionista clothes horse go murderous with envy. A flexi-use third floor space has a floor-to-ceiling windows with broad canyon views and elsewhere in the house are a billiard-party room with full bar, a den/media lounge with built-in entertainment center, fitness room that opens to the grassy part of the backyard, and a state-of-the-art home theater with tiered seating.
The nine-time Grammy winning pop-crooner and his missus, currently the charming co-host of the kind of hokey but none-the-less quite popular celebrity lip sync show “Lip Sync Battle,” have been much in the real estate gossip columns the last couple of years. The unfairly comely couple sold a fetchingly updated 1,998-square-foot ‘60s modern in the Cahuenga Pass area of the Hollywood Hills in December 2014 for exactly $2,000,000 — it had been featured in 2013 in Architectural Digest — and the couple’s Big Apple pied-a-terre, a 1,969-square-foot loft featured Architectural Digest in 2015, is currently available on the open market at $3.995 million.
Listing photos: Hilton & Hyland