Michael Milken -- financier, philanthropist and once-jailed former junk bond king (see video below) -- is living in a Malibu, Calif., beachfront home recently listed for lease at $200,000 a month, sources told AOL Real Estate. The home belonged to Nancy Daly Riordan, estranged wife of the former Los Angeles mayor, Richard Riordan, until her death last year and was recently sold for about $37 million by her estate. It came on the market at $57 million and previously was dropped to $47 million.
The Carbon Beach stretch where Milken is allegedly hanging his hat is no stranger to the ultra-wealthy. Let's just say it's not nicknamed Billionaires Beach for nothin'. Count media mogul David Geffen and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison among the elite who live here. When President Bill Clinton was in Los Angeles, you'd find him stopping off at DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg's Carbon Beach place.
The house Milken is reportedly leasing is one of the nicest properties on the stretch. It's a sprawling estate on 180 feet of beachfront that Daly Riordan cobbled together over the years by
buying up adjacent lots and properties. The oceanfront home has 12,785 square feet, nine fireplaces and a double-height living room that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. There is also a rare ocean-side swimming pool and spa sheltered from the blowing sand by a transparent windscreen. A stone staircase accesses the master bedroom suite from a terrace below. Daly Riordan used the compound as a weekend retreat and threw a lot of charitable fund-raising events there, which may be Milken's intention too.
The property's ownership, however, remains a mystery. Title is held in a blind trust and some of the top high-end real estate agents in Malibu and Beverly Hills have spent huge blocks of time sleuthing around, hoping to identify the owner. There was some speculation that Larry Ellison or Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko, who parked his $300 million yacht near it last summer, were the purchasers. Beats us.
This much is known: The new buyer immediately put it on the market as a $200,000 a month lease and reliable sources have said the tenant is Milken. Most are quick to pay homage to Milken's skills as a business negotiator and suggest that he is paying less than that.
Milken, whose long history as a philanthropist is sometimes overshadowed by his two-year incarceration for violating U.S. securities laws -- has been dubbed "the poster boy for Wall Street greed of the 1980s" by his critics. He has engaged in substantial giving since the early 1980s and is chairman of the Milken Institute in Santa Monica, a think tank. He cofounded the Milken Family Foundation and pours oodles of money into research funding for cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Forbes Magazine called him the "Man Who Changed Medicine" in a cover article because of his generosity. Forbes also ranked him as the 488th richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of around $2 billion in 2010.
So maybe we just won't ask him for any stock tips.