- Former American comedienne’s New York penthouse is for sale for US$38M
- Convinced it was haunted, she brought in a voodoo priestess to rid her of a ghost
- The property was last sold to a Saudi prince for US$28M in 2015
The famously caustic comedienne and actress Joan Rivers passed away in 2014, aged 81. Born Joan Alexandra Molinsky in Brooklyn during the Great Depression, she grew up to be a pioneering woman in comedy, which during the 1950s and 60s was very much a man’s whisky-guzzling, smoke-filled world.
At the time of her death, she had amassed a personal fortune of US$150 million, which was mainly left to her daughter, grandson, some staff, a few charities and her beloved dogs.
Famous for her acerbic wit, she also had a taste for the finer things in life, notably mink coats and a Manhattan apartment, where, as she joked, “Marie Antoinette would have lived if she had the money.”
She lived there for the last 28 years of her life, from 1988. Convinced at some stage a ghost of a former resident (“Mrs Spencer”) was haunting her, Ms Rivers famously brought in a voodoo priestess on a 2009 episode of Celebrity Ghost Stories TV show. According to legend, the ghost ‘disappeared’ once she hung a portrait of Mrs Spencer in the lobby.
The palatial Upper East Side New York penthouse is now back on the market, having last been sold a year after her death to a Saudi prince for US$28 million (A$36 million).
The prince has put it back on the market for a cool US$10 million more than he paid for it, six years ago. There are amazing city and Central Park views, and it’s just a stone’s throw from Fifth Avenue.
The 4-bedroom, 5-bathroom apartment at 1 East 62nd Street, is being sold through Dolly Lenz Real Estate, and is set among one of the limestone-sheathed mansions overlooking Central Park.
Designed by renowned architect Horace Trumbauer in the neo-French Classic style, the 42-foot wide mansion is one of the few remaining examples of the architect’s “great houses” in New York, according to its advertising literature.
A private elevator whisks you up to its two-storey gallery, with reception rooms, soaring ceilings, parquet flooring and a ballroom. Princess Diana was once a guest.
It’s all done up à la 18th century Versailles luxury. Quite delectable, if unabashedly tasteless taste is your thing.
To purchase this particular property, you will need US$38 million (A$49.17 million).