Band-Aid Heiress Libet Johnson Buys and Sells in L.A.

SELLER: Elizabeth Ross ‘Libet’ Johnson
LOCATION: Santa Monica, Calif.
PRICE: $4.6 million
SIZE: 3,102 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Mondays sometimes bring funny moods, so today we veer slightly from the real estate affairs of celebs, movie moguls and unimaginably rich business folk for a wee look-see at some of the recent and numerous real estate activities of Elizabeth ‘Libet’ Johnson, the fortunately born great-granddaughter of Johnson & Johnson co-founder Robert Wood Johnson. The Band-Aid heiress’s all-but-unlimited purse coupled with her frequent and sometimes mercurial residential real estate acquisitions and purveyances have long made her property gossip column catnip and the always reliable real estate yenta Yolanda Yaketyyak swears she quietly acquired a $4.2 million house in L.A.’s posh Pacific Palisades community and, a few weeks later, surreptitiously sold a residence in Santa Monica for $4.6 million.

Records show the Santa Monica property, a fully updated circa 1950 Monterey Colonial on a plummy street just a couple of blocks from the beach, was last purchased for $2.85 million via an inscrutable corporate entity in August 2011, and digital marketing materials from the most recent transaction show the eclecticly decorated, 3,102-square foot house has four bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms and at least three fireplaces plus a detached guest/pool house with another fireplace and a steam shower-equipped bathroom.

The main floor living spaces include a combination foyer/living room, an adjacent den and an adjoining, bookshelf-lined library office. The galley-style kitchen has butcher-block countertops, industrial-grade stainless steel appliances and a pizza oven while a roomwide bank of French doors in the oversized dining room open to a pergola-shaded red brick patio that overlooks the swimming pool, spa and backyard.

Yolanda swears and property records suggest that just before she sold the Santa Monica property, Miz Johnson, via the same inscrutable corporate entity used to purchase the Santa Monica house, forked over $4.2 million for an expensively tailored if ordinary abode of no particular architecture vernacular in a low-key but prime part of Pacific Palisades. Listing details for the PacPal house show it measures in at just over 3,500 square feet with five bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. Not that it matter a lick, but iffin Your Mama were the betting type — and we’re not — we’d wager the proverbial farm Miz Johnson won’t hang on to this house for more than a couple of years.

While the abovementioned properties are wildly expensive by just about any reasonable real estate standard they are, none-the-less, downright cheap compared to some of the other properties that have passed through Miz Johnson’s perpetually in flux property portfolio. In late 2007 a corporate entity long known by property gossips to be associated with Miz Johnson shelled out $23.5 million for a nearly 11,000-square-foot mansion on 2.47 landscaped acres in the same guard-gated enclave in L.A.’s Brentwood community where 2015 Super Bowl quarterback Tom Brady and supermodel Gisele Bündchen custom built a humongous faux-chateau they had photographed for Architectural Digest and sold last year for $40 million to Dr. Dre and Nicole Threatt. After years on and off the market, Miz Johnson finally dumped the gated Brentwood spread (above) in July 2012 got $18 million, a hefty $5.45 million loss not counting carrying costs, improvements and real estate fees.

In New York City, where she trades premiere properties like she’s playing Monopoly, Miz Johnson currently owns a red brick Neo-Georgian townhouse mansion that she purchased in July 2011 for $48 million from beauty industry tycoon Roger Barnett and telecommunications heiress Sloan Lindemann Barnett, who’d had the interiors of the approximately 12,000-square-foot pile done over by justifiably lauded — and S/M garb wearing — architect Peter Marino. The Barnetts went on to throw down $33 million on the 17,000-square-foot San Francisco mansion of iconoclast international socialite and generous philanthropist Dodie Rosekrans while Miz Johnson was stricken with an almost immediate case of the Real Estate Fickle and soon floated the Upper East Side townhouse as a whisper listing with a desired sale price reported in 2012 to be somewhere in the mid-50 millions. (So the stories went at the time, Miz Johnson had set her always-roaming real estate eyes on the two, eighth floor apartments at 907 Fifth Avenue of the late and famously reclusive copper mining heiress Huguette Clark. Alas, the larger of the two apartments — along with a couple of rooms cadged from the smaller neighboring apartment — went to private equity honcho Frederick Iseman for $22.5 million.)

As impressive as it is, the massive Upper East Side mansion — originally built in 1887 and the home of Alice Vanderbilt’s sister, Cettie Shepard, for the first three decades of the 20th century — is really only the tip of Miz Johnson’s fascinating Big Apple real estate iceberg. In June 2013 she sold a four-bedroom and 5.5 bathroom condo at the Trump International Hotel and Tower for $21.85 million. The 48th floor corner apartment was once part of a collection of contiguous if not necessarily combined units that all together spanned about 20,000 square feet and, as far as we know, have now all been sold off. In June 2008, a corporate entity linked to Miz Johnson paid young adult author Patricia McCormick and her financier husband $11.95 million for a Perry Street townhouse that she sold — again at a multimillion-dollar loss — in May 2012 for $8.55 million Previous to that, way back in October 2005, Miz Johnson made a well-documented purchase of another West Village townhouse, this one West 12th Street, for $9.1 million from Hollywood royal Meryl Streep. The capricious heiress, however, never moved in — she reportedly lent it to Michael Douglas’ ex-wife Diandra — and instead put it on the market in spring 2007 for $14.995 million and sold it that fall for $12.8 million. (The buyer, interestingly enough, flipped the property less than a year later for $13.5 million and our thorough if entirely unscientific research suggests the current owner is countess and frozen food entrepreneur Elisabeth de Kergorlay.)

The generally quite private Miz Johnson — who established an orphanage in Cambodia in 2003 and, some may recall, was shortly thereafter launched into tabloid noteriety in the mid-2000s when her now deceased niece Casey Johnson publicly accused her of seducing her boyfriend — clearly has a long-standing propensity for buying and selling high-priced properties that might easily suggest a chronic and all-consuming case of the Real Estate Fickle. However, Your Mama and Yolanda’s combined research indicates the itchy-footed Miz Johnson has owned at least a couple of swank properties for a very long time, including a 10,000-square-foot house in Vail, Colo., that she picked up in 1994 for $5.6 million as well as a vast country estate in Millbrook, N.Y., that has long been her bucolic if high-luxe refuge and — fun tidbit — has its own, FAA-sanctioned heliport.

Listing photos (Santa Monica): Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
Listing photos (Pacific Palisades): Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
Listing photo (Brentwood): Coldwell Banker
Exterior photo (New York City): Nicholas Strini for Property Shark

Popular on Variety

More Dirt

  • The Miz House Thousand Oaks

    WWE's The Miz Picks $6.4 Million Thousand Oaks Mansion

    A plus-sized manor house in the decidedly posh — if somewhat far-flung — Thousand Oaks, Calif., enclave of North Ranch Estates was “sold before processing” earlier this week, and the proud new owners are veteran reality TV and WWE Raw stars Mike “The Miz” Mizanin and his wife Maryse Mizanin, records reveal. The colorful couple, [...]

  • Thomas Laffont House Malibu

    Hedge Funder Thomas Laffont Scores $13 Million Malibu Ranch

    Less than a year after being ravaged by 2018’s Woolsey Fire, Malibu’s star-studded Point Dume neighborhood has seemingly made a full real estate market comeback. Witness this inconspicuous ranch-style home on one of the area’s best streets, tucked discreetly away behind gates and hedges. Despite any feigned or perceived modesty, the low-key property has traded [...]

  • Justin Roiland House

    Justin Roiland Scores Sherman Oaks Estate

    An estate in Los Angeles’San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Sherman Oaks, sold by high-powered music executive Zach Katz, was snapped up by a mysterious trust for a bit more than $3.7 million — and an always-in-the-know real estate snitch swears the new owner is 2018 Emmy winning “Rick and Morty” co-creator Justin Roiland. Tax records [...]

  • Claire Forlani House

    Claire Forlani Seeks Hollywood Hills Tenant

    English film and television actress Claire Forlani, who co-stars with husband Dougray Scott on the 2019 Canadian-British conspiracy series “Departure,” seeks a deep-pocketed temporary tenant who can shell out $16,500 per month for a fully furnished home above Laurel Canyon in L.A.’s Hollywood Hills. Also available without the furnishings, the unassuming, hacienda-inspired residence was purchased [...]

  • Leeza Gibbons House

    Leeza Gibbons Picks Up Hancock Park Cottage

    Emmy winning entertainment news mandarin, mineral makeup mogul and indefatigable philanthropist Leeza Gibbons has splashed out almost $5.5 million — a bit more than the just under $5.4 million asking price — for a historic home in L.A.’s historically hoity-toity Hancock Park neighborhood. Fully restored and thoroughly updated in a manner that seamlessly mixes and [...]

  • Jon Voight House

    Jon Voight Seeks $20 Million for Beverly Hills Spread

    After almost 25 years in residence, Oscar-winner Jon Voight, also known to the world as Oscar winner Angelina Jolie’s father and a conservative political firebrand, has hung a $19.75 million price tag on his longtime spread along a famously celeb-favored gated enclave in the mansion-strewn mountains above Beverly Hills. The “Coming Home” and “Midnight Cowboy” [...]

  • James Gunn House

    James Gunn Sheds Secluded Celeb-Pedigreed Pad

    Superhero specialist filmmaker James Gunn has sold a secluded estate nipped away the rolling foothills above Malibu’s Big Rock Beach for not quite $6.9 million. Now at work on the upcoming “Suicide Squad” sequel and the long-planned “Starsky and Hutch” reboot, the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise filmmaker acquired the showbiz-pedigreed retreat almost three years [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content