With the Lakers leading the Miami Heat one game to none in the finals and the long-awaited Space Jam sequel in post-production, NBA legend and soon-to-be movie star LeBron James just bought a home befitting his status as L.A. royalty.
As Variety reports, King James has finally closed the deal on a 2.5 acre, $36.8 million Beverly Hills estate with grounds, architecture, and a history to rival any lavish homestead in 90210.
Built in the 1930s, the multi-structure compound featuring a Mediterranean-style villa was occupied for years by black-and-white-era leading man Charles Boyer until he parted ways with RKO in the late 1940s and studio boss Howard Hughes bought the property as part of the settlement.
Hughes then rented the place to his ex-girlfriend and longtime pal Katharine Hepburn, who lived there during the height of her career, after which Hughes sold it to non-celebrities. The property fell into disrepair until Lee Phillip Bell, creator of daytime soaps The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful with her business partner husband William J. Bell, picked it up for $2.9 million in 1986 and gave the property a makeover.
Bill Bell died 1995 and Lee remained in the manse until she, too, passed this March and the estate hit the market with a $39 million price tag.
Scooped up by James at a 6 percent discount, the storied grounds feature one of the most imposing driveway gates in Los Angeles, a long brick drive that passes between rows of mature cypresses, and ends in a vast motor court complete with obligatory stone fountain surrounded by a dozen palm trees.
Within James’s stately Xanadu is a living room with vaulted ceilings and exposed beams, a dining room beneath an enormous skylight, a carpeted library with built-in bookcases, and movie theater boasting one of the main mansion’s seven fireplaces.
After the pandemic, James’s friends can enjoy two separate guest houses, eat at various al fresco dining areas, play tennis on the compound’s lighted court, and cool off in the oval pool—overseen by a giant gold Buddha statue—before retiring to the rear grounds to take in sweeping views of the entire Los Angeles skyline.
Meanwhile, James is still hanging onto his two pedestrian Brentwood mansions, one that he bought for $21 million in 2015 and has reportedly remained mostly unoccupied ever since, and his current hilltop abode, which he picked up for a mere $23 million in 2017.