SELLER: Johnny Depp
LOCATION: Lexington, KY
PRICE: last listed at $2,900,000
SIZE: 41.32-acres, 5,944 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms plus guesthouse and numerous farm and equestrian buildings
YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: After it failed to secure a buyer on the sales market, a Kentucky hobby horse farm, about eight miles outside historic Lexington and owned by globe-trotting Hollywood heavyweight Johnny Depp, will go up for auction next month. The bucolic 41.32-acre equestrian spread first came sale late last year at $3.4 million and the price tumbled to $2.9 million before an auction, handled by Halfhill Auction Group, was set for September 15. The property has an undisclosed reserve price, the minimum price for which the property will be sold. The “21 Jump Street” teen idol turned three-time Oscar nominated movie star, born in nearby Owensboro, KY, but raised mostly in Florida, has an interesting history of ownership with the rural property that he first purchased in 1995 for $950,000 and sold in 2001 for $1 million only to buy it back in 2005 for $2 million. The property was purchased for his mother, Betty Sue Palmer.
A long, gated drive swoops and curves up to a sprawling, ranch-style main residence of 5,944-square-feet that dates to 1915 and is fronted by a genteel, Georgian-style portico that provides a sweeping view over the farm’s rolling, postcard-picturesque pastures. The interiors are certainly more prosaic and less opulently decorated than the grandiose bohemian extravaganzas of Mister Depp’s myriad residences around the world and include six bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms, formal living and dining rooms, a home office and a spacious family room that adjoins a glass-roofed sunroom. The sky light topped kitchen has been redone with sleek, modern cabinetry, butcher-block counter tops, high-end appliances and, curiously, wall-to-wall shag carpeting. The house opens to grassy backyard with a swimming pool and a children’s playground and the property additionally includes a small guesthouse or manager’s cottage, a detached four-car garage, a couple of barns with 15 stalls for horses and four automatically watered paddocks.
The timing of the sale/auction may or may not have something to do with the ongoing legal imbroglio in which Mister Depp is embroiled with his former money managers. The top earning star, who earns between $10-20 million per film plus a big chunk of the backend profits but nonetheless found himself to be $40 million in debt, contends his fortune was mismanaged by his former money handlers Joel and Rob Mandel at The Management Group who claim Depp’s weakened financial situation is due to a profoundly profligate lifestyle that cost the lavish living A-Lister about $2 million per month. Mister Depp’s jaw-dropping expenses reportedly includes as much as $30,000 a month for wine, $300,000 a month to maintain an international staff of 40, and another $200,000 a month on private planes. CNBC reported last month Mister Depp’s former business managers, who firmly claim no wrong doing, are now under investigation by three federal agencies for potential fraud and money laundering.
Oceans of high-priced wine and frequent private plane trips aside, the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise star has long presided over a vast portfolio of extraordinarily high-maintenance properties around the world. In addition to Little Hall’s Pond Cay, a largely undeveloped 45-acre private island in the Bahamas that he picked up in 2004 for around $3.6 million, since 2001 he’s owned a lavish and eclectically decorated, 37-acre village-like compound in the south of France that was for sale in 2015 and 2016 with asking prices that dipped to as low as about $26 million and soared to as high as around $63 million.
In Los Angeles the 53-year-old actor, who has numerous professional irons in the fire including a lead role in the upcoming bio-drama “LAbyrinth” about the 1996 murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious BIG, owns at least five houses along the same winding cul-de-sac just above the Sunset Strip. The largest of the residences, which are not contiguous, is an imposing 7,500-square-foot chateau-style mansion on about 2.75 landscaped acres he’s owned since 1995 when he bought it for $1.89 million. None of those homes are currently for sale on the open market but at one time Mister Depp owned five penthouses at the iconic Eastern Columbia building in downtown Los Angeles that he acquired in 2007 and ’08 for a total of about $7.2 million and put up for sale last year at a combined price of $12.78 million. Four of the units have been sold for a cumulative $10.22 million and the fifth remains available at $1,799,000.
The farm is listed for sale with Gary Denton of Rector Hayden Realtors.