Monday, September 28, 2009

Anyone Got $250,000,000 for a House?

SELLER: Adnan Khashoggi
LOCATION: Boulevard Leader, La Bocca, Cannes, France
PRICE: €180,000,005
SIZE: 1,000 square meters, 16 bedrooms
DESCRIPTION: Magnificent Florentine-style villa enjoying a fabulous landscaped parkland of about 11 hectares with winter garden sculptures, waterfalls, water-jets, a superb swimming pool with poolhouse, and breathtaking views of the sea. Personalities from all over the world have enjoyed a stay in the property.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Several days ago, while sitting on the beach soaking up sunshine and sweating out the booze toxins with our visiting friend Suzee! Q., Your Mama received a missive from Madame Mobilé on our portable email machine regarding a lavish estate just outside of Cannes, France that recently hit the market with the butt clenching asking price of €180,000,005. No chickens, Your Mama's nubbins did not mistakenly add another zero to that number, the estate is actually listed at one hundred eighty million Euros. A quick consultation with and a few flicks of the well worn beads of our beloved and bejeweled abacus reveals that sky high figure converts to a diarrhea inducing $264,528,007.

The approximately 27 acre hillside estate that overlooks the Mediterranean, dubbed La Croix-des-Gardes, is owned by notorious Saudi Arabian arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi. Actually, while Your Mama knows the property was most certainly owned by Mister Khashoggi at one time, it's a bit unclear to Your Mama whether Mister Khashoggi still owns and maintains the vast estate or if it was sold in the late 1980 or early 1990s when the billionaire had some cash flow problems.

The controversial businessman and shameless publicity seeker–who once touted himself as being the richest man in the world–is (in)famous for his alleged involvements in a slew international scandals and conspiracies. He has cavorted with Muammar al-Qaddafi, was famously accused (and acquitted) of alleged involvement as a key facilitator in the Iran-Contra arms deals and was later accused (and acquitted) of assisting friends Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos loot the Philippines of hundreds of millions of dollars as well as secretly stashing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of paintings that shoe fiend Imelda allegedly swiped from the Metropolitan Museum of Manila. And that's just the tip of Mister Khashoggi's international incident iceberg.

At the apex of his fame and wealth in the 1970s and 80s Mister Khashoggi was a big baller with a high flying lifestyle. He reportedly owned a dozen or more posh properties around the world including an 18,000 square foot condo doo-plex condo that sprawled across the 47th and 48th floors at the Olympic Tower in New York City and contained 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, a ballroom, indoor gardens and an indoor swimming pool. Mister Khashoggi also flaunted his riches with at least two jet planes (a DC-8 and a DC-9) as well as a 281-foot boat he called the Nabila which was seized by the Sultan of Brunei in 1987 for non-payment of a $50,000,000 loan. The sick rich Sultan sold the 12-state room, helipad-equipped floating mansion to Donald Trump who in turn sold it in 1991 to Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud who re-dubbed it the Kingdom 5KR.

Your Mama has no idea when Mister Khashoggi purchased the Florentine style villa surrounded by extensive terraced gardens that surely require a flotilla of minimum wage men to clip, water and mow. According to listing information, the main house includes a reception hall, lounge, library, dining room, winter garden, guest crappers, walk in closets and kitchens, the plural being used in the listing. The main house includes at least six bedrooms. In addition to a study, there are two large suites on the second floor with private poopers that include bee-days for washing the naughty bits and 4 additional bedrooms, each with pooper and bee-day, on the third floor.

The basement is comprised of cellars, a lock-up garage for 6 cars, a staff apartment with living room, kitchen and terlit as well as two additional bedrooms that share a pooper. Other buildings on the property include a 4-bedroom guest pavilion, a 2-bedroom gardener's accommodation, and another studio flat. Listing information also reveals that underneath the swimming pool, near the "machine room," is another maid's bedroom. Oh larhd have mercy someone save Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter iffin we ever had the nerve to attempt to house our imperious house gurl Svetlana in a bedroom located next to a "machine room" and underneath the damn swimming pool. The south of France would surely see a hissy fit involving ear piercing screeching, hair pulling and extensive property destruction.

Anyhoo, oher luxuries for the sprawling estate include an elevator–because people this rich simply do not use the stairs–and security measures include a gate house, an armored door and an alarm system that probably rivals that of Fort Knox. Given Mister Kashoggi's reputation and access to arms we would not be surprised to hear that he employed snipers to prowl around on the villa's roof.

Your Mama eagerly waits to hear who, if anyone, buys this property at a time when Russian billionaires and wildly rich Asian potentates have lost vast amounts of their wealth during the latest global economic tail spin. Even still there are many who made billions off the losses of others so surely there are 10 or 12 people out there who still possess the means and desire to purchase this property and spend millions each ear on taxes, maintenance and staffing. We just don't know who they are.

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