Mike Tyson, Omar Sharif, Nicholas Cage: The mansions that the famous lost
Omar Sharif lost his mansion in Lanzarote in a bridge game. Mike Tyson's indoor pool in Ohio is to be turned into a church altar. And Nicholas Cage has had to sell most of his 15 houses.
Real estate investments are often very tempting for those whose good work performance begins to add zeros and zeros to the right on their payroll. Athletes, actors, singers... Many of them let themselves be seduced by splendid villas with dozens of rooms, large swimming pools, superb finishes and other frills. The same ones that later require a series of security and maintenance expenses that make them impossible for many of those celebrities who fall from grace. That as long as they don't lose it outright in a card game. This is a tour of three of those magnificent properties that had a fleeting posh owner.
There was a time when boxer Michael Gerard Tyson, better known as Mike Tyson, was king. He was the youngest boxer in history capable of winning a world heavyweight title on November 22, 1986, when he was just 20 years, 4 months and 22 days old. Shortly after, he unified all boxing crowns, before falling from grace in 1992 when he was jailed for the rape of an 18-year-old model. He went from charging 30 million dollars (25 million euros) per fight to having to face the red numbers once he ruined his career after biting Evander Holyfield's ear.
One of his most outstanding possessions is a brand new mansion in Southington, Ohio, a whole palace with a dozen rooms, gold doorknobs, a room for his tigers and his name forged on the entrance gate, among other stridencies. Two years ago, the photographer Johnny Joo accessed the interior of this property valued at three million euros (two and a half million euros) and undersold for less than half. His photographs went around the world showing the contrast between luxury and abandonment. After a decade without being touched, it is now preparing for its reopening, converted into a church. The indoor pool has become the altar, while the garage where Tyson kept his high-end cars has been transformed into a nursery.
In 2007, Tyson had already had to ditch another mansion, located in the upscale Phoenix suburb of Paradise Valley. The former boxer had bought the 715.3-square-meter property for $2.1 million (€1.8 million) in 2005. Two years later, after shocking his posh neighbors by building a dovecote in the backyard, He sold the house, although this time he made a profit of $200,000 (170,000 euros). Of course, the company that processed the sale, Equitable Real Estate Co, was quick to report that the loft was removed before putting the mansion up for sale.
They say that when Omar Sharif landed in Lanzarote in 1973 to film The Mysterious Island, an adaptation of Juan Antonio Bardem's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, he was more interested in playing bridge than acting. Sharif rebound played Captain Nemo-James Manson could not repeat the role- in a co-production between Spain, France, Italy and Cameroon that would later be released both in series and as a film, accumulating numerous problems between the director and the producers.
Oblivious to the disputes surrounding Jules Verne's novel, the protagonist of Doctor Zhivago continued to play cards with passion, not for nothing was he considered one of the ten best players in the world in the 70s. The Egyptian actor was treated like a king on the island, being constantly invited to numerous events and dinners. One of them was a spectacular mansion built under the Nazareth volcano, inside an old rofera -rofe and volcanic sand quarry-, whose organic shapes molded by lava created a mystical air that was powerfully reminiscent of The Thousand and One Nights. . Sharif fell in love with the complex instantly and according to the promoters - who were also from another rabbit village, Oasis de Nazaret - he bought it that same night.
That is when the legend is born. Because such a purchase was celebrated with a bridge game - of which there are graphic documents - in which, apparently, the tension was increasing to such an extent that Sharif, unaccustomed to losing, was raising the level of the bets, not hesitating to include his brand new mansion in the final rounds. The same one he would lose minutes later. The winner was his own real estate agent, who was indeed an approved bridge champion.
Be that as it may - other sources indicate that everything was a set-up by the civil governor of the time to make a profit on the actor's visit - the truth is that the mansion is still open today and pays tribute to the legend. Acquired by the Uruguayan architect Beatriz van Hoff in the 1990s -without card games involved-, she built a bar and a restaurant inside with the help of the famous César Manrique and Jesús Soto. The complex, which now also houses a museum, is called LagOmar. And inside, among the volcanic rock, water and vegetation, stands out -of course- a photo of Omar Sharif... Playing bridge.
Delphine Marie Macarty, known as Madame LaLaurie, was a prominent member of New Orleans high society in the early 19th century. She was married to the Spaniard Ramón de López Angulo, knight of the Royal and Distinguished Order of Carlos III and when she was widowed, she married on two other occasions, with the prestigious banker and lawyer Jean Blanque and with the distinguished doctor Leonard Louis Nicolas LaLaurie, of who would take the surname with which he would macabrely go down in history. Guillala had a fire that affected her home in the central street of Royal Street in 1834 in New Orleans. The fire forced the intervention of the firemen, who behind its doors discovered her macabre secret: LaLaurie had dedicated three years of her life to torturing and murdering her slaves in the most savage way possible. In front of the public he was all kindness to them, but in his rooms he hung them from the ceiling, pulled out their nails and eyes, fed them insects and skinned and mutilated them alive, without differentiating between men and women, old people or children.
Madame Lalaurie fled to Alabama first and Paris later. She earned the nicknames The Monster of Louisiana and The Butcher of New Orleans, but she never paid for her crimes. The mansion was considered cursed, bearing the legend that in its rooms the laments of the 75 slaves who lost their lives inside can still be heard. A terrifying place, difficult to sell, unless the buyer is... Nicholas Cage.
And it is that the famous actor not only collects shrunken heads of pygmies, dinosaur skulls, the Lamborghini of the Shah of Iran or the comic where Superman first appeared. He has also been a great real estate investor, hoarding more than 15 luxury homes around the world. A $12 million (€10 million) Gothic-style mansion in San Francisco; a farm valued at more than 15 million dollars (13 million euros) in
Rhode Island; a mansion of 25 million dollars (21 million euros) in California or a castle in Germany have been some of his possessions. But none as sinister as the LaLaurie Mansion.
The winner of an Oscar for his role in Leaving Las Vegas acquired it in 2007 for 3.45 million dollars (2.95 million euros). But his erratic career in the world of acting and his inability to save made his fortune drop rapidly from 150 million to just 25. In this way, the lack of liquidity caused him to get rid of the mansion just two years later. , without time to find out if she really was as enchanted as they said. The company Regions Financial Corporation, based in Alabama, acquired it for a million dollars less (857,000 euros) than what Cage paid.