OWNER: Paul McKenna
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $48,750 per month
SIZE: 4,529 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms plus guesthouse
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: It was eagle-eyed snitch Kenya Tellsumbudee who pointed this property gossip toward a luxuriously outfitted Hollywood Regency villa perched on a slender plateau high above L.A.’s Sunset Strip that’s “steeped in Hollywood lore,” per online marketing materials, available for lease at a whopping $48,750 per month, and owned per property records by renowned British hypnotist, television presenter, and prolific self-help book author Paul McKenna. Mister McKenna, who once hypnotized Ellen DeGeneres in front of a live audience to help her give up cigarettes and who hosted the eponymous chat show “McKenna” in 2014 and 2015 on which he earnestly interviewed showbiz luminaries and other business leaders about their secrets to success, purchased the property in late 2007 for $6.6 million from film and television writer/director/producer Chris Roberts.
According to the always informative website The Movieland Directory, the property was owned in the 1970s by late British film and television director Harry Falk (“The Colbys,” Magnum, P.I.,” “T.J. Hooker,” et al) who leased or lent the city view spread to David Geffen and Mick Jagger. Current listings call the property the “John Schlesinger house” — presumably after the film director who took home an Oscar in 1970 for the iconic motion picture “Midnight Cowboy” — and additionally reveal that Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford shacked up in the house, most likely we imagine in the early 1990s when they were married. Much more recently, as in earlier this year, it was reported the property was rented to 24-year-old One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson so he could be closer to and spend time with the newborn baby he made with his L.A.-based ex-flame Briana Jungwirth. (In case anyone might be curious: Real estate yenta Yolanda Yakketyyak swears on her grandmother’s genuine pearl necklace that when in L.A. young Mister Tomlinson holes up inside the privately guarded gates of a resort-style compound on five semi-remote acres in the rugged mountains between Calabasas and Malibu that he scooped up late last year for $10 million.)
Situated at the tail end of a winding cul-de-sac that snakes its way up from the Sunset Plaza dining and shopping district on Sunset Boulevard, the gated estate spans 1.47-acres — an unusually substantial parcel for the area — and includes a 4,529-square-foot main residence with four bedrooms and five bathrooms, according to current listing details. A central gallery with an elegant grey and white checkerboard floor fashioned from unknown but likely deluxe material opens to a living room with inlaid terrazzo floor, bar set into a mirror-paneled niche, imposing carved stone fireplace that looks like it might have been ripped out of a European castle, and three decadently tall sets of French doors that open to the swimming pool. The ample if unconventionally shaped dining room also opens to the swimming pool and the generously sky-lit kitchen is expensively turned out with lacquered white raised panel cabinetry, a practical combination of marble and butcher-block counter tops, and an imported range that easily cost considerably more than a minimum wage worker earns in a year of full-time employment. An adjoining informal dining space has built-in bookshelves filled with actual books, which pleases this property gossip immensely because we remain a stalwart fan of the old-fashioned book, and floor-to-ceiling French doors that open to wrought iron railed Juliet balconies that overlook lush tropical gardens. There’s a gigantic bedroom on the upper level with fireplace and expansive views over Los Angeles along with a main floor master suite with fireplace, French doors to the pool terrace, and a sky-lit bathroom that includes a double-wide set of pocket doors that open to a wee but well-stocked and mirror-walled fitness room.
A screening room, convertible to a fifth bedroom according to listing details, ish plushly appointed with suede upholstered sofas and conveniently provides a separate entrance, wet bar and bathroom while the guesthouse is tucked away at a desirably private distance from the main house and features a private gravel patio with through-the-trees city view, barrel vaulted ceiling, and renovated bathroom where the floor, walls and ceiling are completely sheathed in tiny square turquoise tiles. The back of the main house, draped with flowering vines, angles around a basket weave pattern red brick terrace with mosaic tiled swimming pool and long, canyon-framed city lights view.
listing photos: The Agency