Back in April, we reported that supermodel and celebrated Leonardo DiCaprio ex (and current Tom Brady squeeze) Gisele Bundchen had sold her house off Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip for $3,980,000, just hours after the Los Angeles Times broke the story.
Public records show that Bundchen’s Nonnenmacher Trust had sold the 3,679-square-foot house, at 1415 Devlin Drive, to an entity called Hollywood Hills Properties, LLC, which state incorporation records show was formed on February 7. At the time we (and the Times) only wrote about the seller, and we both unwisely had ignored the identity of the buyer.
Last week, Radar Online reported what it called an exclusive: that Bundchen’s former house “is now rumored to have been bought by indie filmmaker Quentin Tarantino.” Since that time, scads of other blogs—and at least two major newspapers, the Boston Herald and the New York Post have reprinted that rumor, not apparently making much of an effort to confirm or debunk it.
There’s one major problem, however. Our information reveals that while a noted film director purchased Bundchen’s old house, it wasn’t Tarantino. Instead, public records show that the sole “owner” of the Hollywood Hills Properties LLC company is Luc Besson, the low-profile, bearded and very busy French film director, writer and producer (and ex-husband to actress Milla Jovovich). Besson and Tarantino have no obvious personal connection, and it’s our guess that the neighbors of the Devlin Drive house (or whoever it was who leaked the alleged buyer’s name to Radar) got the buyer’s profession right, but his identity wrong. Either that, or Besson is renting the house out to Tarantino these days (which we highly, highly doubt).
Another possible source for the mixup: while we noted above that Tarantino and Besson have no obvious personal connection, they do share the same management company, Rigney/Friedman/Clancy Business Management, which is at 12400 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 850, in Los Angeles. Rigney/Friedman/Clancy’s John Rigney, who is the incorporation agent for Besson’s Hollywood Hills Properties LLC company, also has represented many other celebrities over the years, including Samuel L. Jackson. And that company’s Mark Friedman over the years has been the incorporation agent for the various corporate entities that Tarantino has set up, and Friedman also has had his name on at least one property that Jennifer Lopez has owned (at 11951 Crest Place, which Lopez owned from 2000 to 2004). So while Tarantino and Besson share management companies, they appear to share little else.
So where does Tarantino live? He paid about $3 million in 1996 for a seven-bedroom, Hollywood Hills house on a 1.24-acre lot, according to a Los Angeles Times article at the time. Built in 1986 or 1987, that eight-bedroom house, at 7471 Woodrow Wilson Drive, measures either 8,733 square feet, according to public records, or 14,000 square feet, according to the Times article from 1996. Tarantino’s Wilson Trust had purchased that house in mid-1996 from singer-songwriter Richard Marx, who had owned it since 1989. And in case you’re wondering, yes, the Los Angeles Times’ Ruth Ryon wrote about Marx listing that house in early 1996, and she then wrote a different story in late 1996 about Tarantino having purchased a house with the exact same description as the one she had used in the Marx article earlier that year. However, never in any story in 1996 did Ryon explicitly mention a highly newsworthy fact: that Tarantino had purchased his place from Marx. This is yet another example of Ryon’s well-documented history of a “two-halves” style of reporting.
Tarantino also has a place in New York City as well. Public records show that his Wilson Trust paid $680,000 in the summer of 1998 to purchase a 10th-floor unit in the 18-story “15 Charles at Waverly Place” building at 15 Charles Street in Manhattan’s West Village.
As for Bundchen, we would be remiss if we didn’t also note that the New York Post’s fine celebrity real estate writer Braden Keil broke the story (http://www.nypost.com/seven/06282007/realestate/live_like_gisele_realestate_braden_keil.htm) today that the supermodel’s penthouse loft in Manhattan’s West Village is up for rental during the month of August for $30,000, while she’s apparently traveling. Bundchen has owned the 5,000-square-foot, eight-room residence, which is at 288 West Street and which also has the address of 374 W. 11th Street, since 2002. Features in that unit include water and city views, 20 windows, an 800-square-foot private exterior rooftop space, soaring ceilings, natural beams, a 750-square-foot kitchen, a wood-burning fireplace, and access to a 1,800-square-foot common rooftop area, according to listing information.
Check out Bundchen’s online rental listing sheet here (http://www.brownharrisstevens.com/detail.aspx?id=594426).