Jussie Smollett has sold his San Fernando Valley view home in the foothills above Studio City, Calif., to a non-famous couple in a clandestine off-market deal valued at $1.655 million. Unfortunately for the legally beleaguered former “Empire” star, fired in the wake of a controversially dismissed, 16-count felony indictment brought for allegedly staging a fake hate crime with him as the victim, didn’t have much luck on the real estate merry-go-round. Not counting carrying costs, improvement expenses and real estate fees, Smollett took a $30,000 loss on the hillside contemporary bungalow that, as was sussed out by the Blast, he scooped up during better professional days, a bit more than two years ago, for $1.687 million.
Because the deal happened on the down low, not much is known about the current configuration and condition of the property. Tax records, digital marketing materials from the time of his purchase and other available resources, however, indicate the house is invisible behind secured gates and a towering row of privet hedges with three bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms in close to 2,600 square feet. At the time of Smollett’s purchase, the upper level of the two-story home encompassed a combination living/dining room and open kitchen with an over-the-treetops, north-facing mountain view along with two guest bedrooms and a couple of renovated bathrooms. Downstairs, in addition to a private study/office and another bathroom there was a spacious master suite complete with two walk-in closets, a marble-tiled bathroom and French doors to a slender deck with a through-the-telephone wires view across the valley. According to listing descriptions from the time, the property was also equipped, with a camera-equipped security system, built-in surround sound and a Nest thermostat.
Smollett, who has understandably laid low the last several months and was recently reported to be “camping out in New York while working on a ‘new project’ and ‘lining up work’”, was cleared of all charges in March but is still mired in the tangled legal aftermath of the ugly imbroglio. He’s not only staring down a $130,000 lawsuit brought by the city of Chicago to recover money spent investigating the alleged hoax, but a special prosecutor’s review was called by a Cook County judge and, back in March, Donald Trump weighed in by tweet to say the FBI & DOJ would also review the case, although it’s not clear if that is happening.