The Manor as seen from the air in 2005. (Photo by Shane Gritzinger/FilmMagic)
Well, that didn't last long.
Twenty-five-year-old billionaire heiress Petra Ecclestone -- daughter of Formula One tycoon Bernie Ecclestone and wife of gold-mine owner James Stunt -- bought the famed Los Angeles mega-mansion known simply as the Manor in 2011. It was built by legendary TV producer Aaron Spelling for wife Candy and their children in 1991, and his widow listed it at $150 million. Ecclestone paid $85 million.
Now, according to Forbes and news outlets worldwide, Ecclestone is "quietly" shopping it around for, you guessed it, $150 million. (When we say "quietly," we mean that it's not on the open market, but obviously word has leaked out. The so-called pocket listing was reportedly given to five of Los Angeles' top agents.)
If it sells at that price, it will be the most expensive home ever sold in the United States. She has let it be known that she "will not take a penny less than $102 million," reports Variety's venerable Mark David, aka the Real Estalker.
The billion-heiress is said to have poured $20 million into nine weeks of renovations (preceded by three weeks of planning) with the help of interior designer Gavin Brodin and a crew of 500. Forbes' source "confirms that she is looking to gross $65 million for her handiwork, on a home she has owned for three years."
Alas, post-Ecclestone photos of the interior are scarce. They seem to have been posted and then stripped from the Internet recently, so although we were able to find a few lingerers when we did a Yahoo search at the time of this publication, we don't have the rights to publish them here. We gathered from them that:
• Ecclestone likes a glamorous vibe, with plenty of lush, velvety details.
• She also prefers dark decor, particularly plummy grays and blacks. But although she professes to have "quite masculine taste," she also has a weakness for hearts and sparkles, including a giant heart-shaped mirror in the master bath.
• True to her word -- "I need space," she's said -- her walk-in "closet" is in fact an enormous two-tiered room.
• She's fond of Marilyn Monroe, whom Ecclestone faintly resembles. A Monroe portrait -- the same one that graces the cover of some editions of Norman Mailer's biography "Marilyn" -- gazes expectantly over the hair salon and mani-pedi stations that Ecclestone installed in the room formerly occupied by Candy Spelling's doll collection.
• She isn't afraid to flaunt her wealth. A huge photograph of a lusciously lipsticked woman's mouth biting on a baguette diamond hangs over a desk in the master suite.
• She definitely doesn't share Candy Spelling's design sense.
In addition to those observations, you'll also find some tantalizing tidbits from W magazine's 2012 peek inside the "Petra-fied" estate:
• She gave the foyer -- with its Spelling-era twin staircase inspired by "Gone With the Wind" -- a high-drama black-and-white striped marble floor and liquid-like black carpets up the steps.
• Although she acknowledges that the house is "huge" and really "quite overwhelming" -- at 56,500 square feet, it's bigger than the White House and is thought to be Los Angeles' biggest residence -- she finds it "warmer and cozier" than other houses she looked at.
• Even billionaire heiresses worry about spills. A "vast white-on-white-on-white space" is the only light room now; she says "everything else is very dark and kind of sexy, with, like, a boudoir feel to it. You're not scared if you stain something."
• Her taste in artwork runs less toward her husband's Old Masters and more toward the bronze Marc Quinn sculpture of twinned and bikinied Pamela Andersons that she introduced to the house. "I think it's so fun," she told W.
• Candy Spelling's gift-wrapping room became an office for Ecclestone's assistant.
• The master suite is 7,000 square feet with a kitchen and living room in addition to its bedroom. And husband and wife each has a personal bathroom and closet.