Comic Mogul Billionaire Byron Allen Buys Malibu Mansion for $100 Million

The property overlooking the Pacific set the record for most expensive U.S. home ever purchased by an African-American buyer
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Billionaire mogul Byron Allen, CEO of Entertainment Studios and perhaps best known for buying The Weather Channel, purchased a Malibu mansion for $100 million, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The monster real estate deal represents the most ever paid for a home by an African-American buyer in the United States. It is also one of the highest prices paid for a residence in the U.S. this year.

Allen started as a comic who made his debut in 1979 at age 18 as the youngest comic to appear on The Tonight Show and soon gained further recognition as a host of Real People, a precursor to reality television in which he traded some of television’s worst one-liners with the likes of Skip Stephenson and Sarah Purcell. He later pivoted and made his fortune in media. Through Entertainment Studios, Allen owns local TV stations, multiple 24-hour cable channels and streaming networks, and is the producer and distributor of more than 60 syndicated TV shows.

The 11,000 square foot compound sits on 3.5 square acres, and overlooks the Pacific Ocean via a bluff. It includes a main four-bedroom house, along with two guesthouses. Amenities include a screening room and “winding path allowing the owner to drive a gold car or small vehicle down to the beach,” according to the WSJ.

Allen already has impressive homes in Aspen, New York, Maui and Beverly Hills. In March, Allen paid $32 million for two side-by-side homes in Beverly Hills, according to The Dirt. He purchased both properties from another billionaire, tech mogul and former eBay president Jeff Skoll. Those buys followed Allen’s purchase of another Beverly Hills manse in 2012 for an easy $17 million.

The residence previously belonged to self-storage heiress Tammy Hughes Gustavson and, before her, Gustavson’s dad, B. Wayne Hughes, who co-founded self-storage conglomerate Public Storage in 1972, according to WSJ.

In recent years, Allen has filed several multibillion-dollar racial discrimination lawsuits. In 2015, he filed a case against Comcast for not carrying stations and networks he owned. The case made it to the U.S. Supreme Court and was settled.

In May 2021, he filed a $10 billion lawsuit against McDonald’s for racial stereotyping when the burger mavens refused to buy what Allen felt was a fair amount of advertising from black-owned media, alleging that McD’s has a “tiered advertising structure that differentiates on the basis of race,” according to the Allen Media Group.

“I’m not a litigious person,” he told Los Angeles in August. “If I’m filing a lawsuit, it’s because I know we’re right.”

The mega mansion purchase is a high-profile move for Byron, who is usually a rather low-profile billionaire when he’s not suing.

“I’m a 61-year-old overnight sensation,” he told Los Angeles. “People just didn’t notice.”


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