The Beverly Hills-area megamansion known as Fleur de Lys owned by former Houston socialite Suzanne Saperstein just sold for $102 million. In cash.
Believe it or not, that's less than the last listing price of $125 million for the property, but still seals the deal as the most expensive single family home purchase in affluent Los Angeles County, home to Hollywood movie stars and tycoons.
Now falling behind at No. 2 is the $94 million financier Gary Winnick reportedly paid for businessman David Murdock's Bel Air estate 2002 and, at No. 3, the relatively-paltry $85 million British Formula 1 racing heiress Petra Ecclestone paid Candy Spelling for The Manor in 2011.
Fleur de Lys is the Sapersteins' inspiration from Louis XIV’s Palace of Versailles and is decorated in similar opulence — and with many of the antiques part of the sale.
Three billionaires are believed to have been in on the final bidding war for Fleur de Lys, with the winner rumored to be either "a highly secretive" Frenchman or former junk bonder trader Michael Milken.
Saperstein and her former husband, David Saperstein, custom built the 50,000-square-foot mansion in 2002. He made his climb to billionaire status after selling his Houston-based Metro Networks broadcast outsourcing company to Westwood One for $1.25 billion 1999.
Suzanne, a Swedish bombshell whose penchant for haute couture fashion, along with her highly publicized divorce, made her a household name, albeit only in the swankiest of houses from coast to coast, is fondly remembered by some longtime Houstonians for the lavish parties she hosted at her River Oaks mansion before moving to California. Today, she is focusing her high-level energy on ballroom dancing and fashion design. She recently made a personal appearance at Tootsies with a trunk show of her Essera line.
Fleur de Lys is the Sapersteins' inspiration from Louis XIV’s Palace of Versailles and is decorated in similar opulence — and with many of the antiques part of the sale. Sitting on 4.18 acres in California's prime residential area, the manse includes a formal ballroom that accommodates 200 guests, library with a collection of first-edition books, 50-person screening room, 12 bedrooms and 15 baths. Saperstein has entertained such notable guests as Britain's Prince Andrew and former first lady Laura Bush in the posh formal dining room.
Formal gardens and manicured grounds surround the property that includes a huge lawn, tennis courts, jogging track and a swanky swimming pool complex with spa and fitness facilities. And there's the nine-car garage.
In the video below, you'll see more images of the exterior and interoir of Fleur dy Lys as filmed by HGTV in 2009.