All it took was extensive repairs, a price cut, and an exorcism for singer-actress Olivia Newton-John to sell her Florida mansion.
Two years ago, Newton-John was on the cusp of closing a deal with Rosie O’Donnell, who was set to pay $5.5 million for the four-bedroom, four-bathroom Jupiter Inlet spread, when a contractor hired to do some repairs killed himself in one of the bedrooms with his father’s gun.
The contractor was apparently a friend and Newton-John’s go-to guy for repairs to the house, the Palm Beach Post wrote after the police ended their investigation. He’d been in the midst of building an addition, a new pool, a spa/deck, and a gas heater when his body was discovered by an associate. Newton-John and her husband, John Easterling, were not in Florida at the time.
“He was one of the kindest, most helpful people I’ve ever known, and we’re just in a shock over what has happened, and our hearts and support go out to [his wife] and his children,” Easterling told the Palm Beach Post at the time.
The contractor was apparently behind on work and having money troubles. He had asked the couple for a $300,000 loan for his business. They were planning on coming to Florida later that month to talk about it, Easterling told police.
Newton-John brought in a Catholic priest to perform an exorcism, the Express reported, but that didn’t persuade O’Donnell to stick with the sale.
“Rosie has decided not to buy the house,” O’Donnell’s publicist Cindi Berger told Gossip Extra at the time. “It just didn’t feel right.”
Newton-John and her husband bought the 6,000-square-foot property for $4.9 million in 2009, then sank $2 million into improvements. They began trying to sell it in 2013 for $6.2 million.
According to Florida property law, they wouldn’t have to disclose the suicide to buyers, but the notoriety would have made it hard to hide. The media called the property “cursed.”
It finally sold for $5 million.
More celebrity homes on Yahoo Real Estate:
• Al Capone’s Miami Home, Where He Schemed and Died, Is Ready for Its Closeup (38 photos)
• Selena Gomez Lists Latest Stalker-Plagued House (30-plus photos)
• Melanie Griffith’s Latest Role: Starring in Ad for Her Own House (1 video, 31 photos)