Bernie and Arnold and Hef, Oh My!
We hope young Petra Ecclestone is taking good care of her papa this Father's Day. It's not every day that a dad buys his 22-year-old daughter a house listed at $150 million (that's it above). Not even Hugh Hefner has been that generous with his daughters -- er, we mean ex-fiances.
On this Father's Day weekend, we'd like to single out a few dads who deserve special recognition, at least in the real estate world, for being generously spirited in the giving of houses. We pass no judgment on the wisdom of other choices they've made in the course of their lives.
1. Bernie Ecclestone reportedly purchased Candy Spelling's 56,000-square-foot Holmby Hills Manor, listed at $150 million, for his daughter Petra, described as the Paris Hilton of Britain. Kind of says it all. Young Petra, who fancies herself a fashion designer, already has homes in Britain, and this 123-room mansion will just be a part-time abode for her. It has plenty of closet space -- Spelling added a whole floor of closets. And we hope she'll avail herself of the multiple gift-wrapping rooms to thank Papa Bernie appropriately. Of course, since the deal hasn't closed escrow yet, she better not be naughty lest Bernie change his mind.
2. Tiger-blooded Charlie Sheen says he just wants his kids near him, so he bought a house around the block from where he lived. We were down with that until we learned that he has listed his first house. So is Charlie moving into the new place, which he bought from producer Mike Medavoy? Or is he heading out, figuring no one was really going to ride their bikes over after school for milk and cookies at Dad's?
Inquiring minds want to know whether the financial crunch of two mortgages was too much for Charlie (who we admit has been much quieter lately) who is waiting for an arbitrator to tell him if he is out of work? Anyway, we like the idea of a dad who wants to be involved in the lives of his kids, so all references to Charlie being crazy have been deleted from this post.
3. Hugh Hefner would prefer you not see him so much as a dad, or granddad, or great-granddad. At 85, he would prefer you see him as the stud he sees when he looks in the eyes of his almost-married and now ex-fiance Crystal Harris, age 25 (pictured) -- to whom he gave a Tiffany six-carat diamond engagement ring valued at $750,000.
Too bad it wasn't a house, which is a lot harder to demand back. Still, Mr. Playboy does have a bunch of kids and he very thoughtfully bought the mansion next door to the Playboy Mansion when they were growing up so that he could conveniently visit them. Something about the arrangement felt Middle Eastern sheik-like, but what do we know? The Playboy Mansion-adjacent house was listed for sale in 2009 at $28 million -- and sold for $18 million -- when his two sons with Kimberly Hefner went off to college.
4. Arnold Schwarzenegger, California's ex-governor who's heading toward become Maria Shriver's ex-husband, has been the Master of Naughtiness. Fathering a child with his long-time housekeeper and neglecting to mention it to the Missus is just so '50s.
But since he manned up to fathering this now 13-year-old boy, financially supported him from the get-go and helped buy a $270,000 house for the housekeeper out in the boondocks far-far-away from Maria's eye, we figure it's up to Maria, not us, to pull the guillotine on him.
That said, Schwarzenegger is a rich man and he maybe could have gotten them a nicer house. Skip the Father's Day card.
5. We're adding Mel Gibson to our Dad Hall of Shame here. He not only walked out on his long-suffering wife Robyn (that marital house in Malibu known as the Lavender Hill Farm, left, is still on the market for $11.75 million), he also tried to give his Russian pop star girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva and their infant daughter the old heave-ho from a Sherman Oaks house he bought for them for $2.4 million -- but kept in his name.
Nice dads don't do that.