There ARE a million stories in the naked city, and this one gets my vote for containing the most Hollywood plot lines: Mel Gibson, who already owns several properties in Malibu, bought the ocean-view home of David Duchovny and Tea Leoni.
Gibson's familial home is in a guard-gated neighborhood a few miles north of the Carbon Canyon home that Duchovny and his wife, Leoni, had listed June 1 at $12 million.
The sales price was about $11.5 million, according to public records.
The main house has five bedrooms and four bathrooms in 6,578 square feet. There are unobstructed canyon and ocean views, and the property is private, sitting on 5.5 acres. There is a two-room guesthouse over the three-car garage. It also has two swimming pools, one a regulation lap pool. The property has an old-world feel to it and was considered to be fairly priced for its primo location and quality construction.
So did Gibson just snap up a deal when he saw one?
Certainly the Duchovny-Leoni situation has changed. In June, Duchovny and Leoni told neighbors they were eager to return to New York City before the opening of the school year. But then by the end of the summer, we were reading that Duchovny had entered rehab for what he described as a sex addiction.
Duchovny, 48, played Agent Fox Mulder in "The X Files" series and movies and stars in Showtime's "Californication," in which he, coincidentally, plays a writer obsessed with sex.
For her part, Leoni has been lying low. She canceled an appearance at the Toronto International Film Festival, where she was expected to promote her new movie, "Ghost Town," also starring Ricky Gervais and Greg Kinnear. Leoni, 42, was in the films "Spanglish" (2004) and "Fun With Dick and Jane" (2005).
Gibson also has been lying low -- as low as the Malibu paparazzi allow him -- since his anti-Semitic tirade after a drunk-driving arrest two years ago. His Hollywood comeback, directing Robert De Niro in "Edge of Darkness," a thriller set in Boston, hit a bump in the road this week when De Niro walked off the set after just one day of shooting citing "creative differences." Stay tuned.
Gibson owns oceanfront property in Malibu and Costa Rica and an island in Fiji. He also owns an estate called the Old Mill Farm in Greenwich, Conn., currently on the market for $35 million, according to various news reports.
In lap of luxury on Sunset Strip
Yes, the Olympics are over. But for those swim-meet addicts who didn't find the synchronized diving remotely silly, the one thing missing this time around was Lenny Krayzelburg, the four-time Olympic gold medalist whose striking good looks and self-effacing charm made him a media darling during previous Games.
Krayzelburg has listed his contemporary Sunset Strip-area home for $5,675,000.
A unique waterfall above the entryway shoots into layered pools at this three-bedroom, 3 1/2 -bathroom home. The great room is 45 feet long, with 12-foot ceilings and a glass fireplace that is visible from inside and outside the house.
Porcelain floors accent the white Venetian plaster walls. There's stainless steel in the kitchen and bathroom, and there are views of the pool and garden from the master suite.
The home has two guest suites and ample parking. The property is fenced and gated and sits near the top of prestigious Doheny Estates. The exterior and interiors were designed by Roy Sklarin of Beverly Hills.
Krayzelburg, 32, captain of the U.S. swim team at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, announced his retirement in June. He won three of his four gold medals at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, in backstroke. The fourth was in the 400-meter medley relay at Athens. But injuries plagued him, and he had several surgeries on his shoulder, preempting a return to the Games.
He has founded a swimming school in Los Angeles and was a co-founding member of SwimRoom.com, a social networking site.
Philip Buck of Hilton & Hyland, Beverly Hills, has the listing.
Not too shabby for Brentwood
Ah, those delicate teacups, quiet floral wallpapers, glittering chandeliers and, of course, the omnipresent white-on-white slipcovers on the big cushioned sofa.
Rachel Ashwell, who created the Shabby Chic style in 1989 and is the mastermind behind the stores of the same name, taught us how to live a more genteel life.
Now Ashwell has listed her Brentwood home for sale at $4,395,000 -- and why, yes, it does kind of look like one of her showrooms. The woman clearly walks the walk, dances the dance, lives like she decorates.
Except she doesn't actually live there. According to public records, she lives in Malibu Colony. And since she hasn't yet invited me over, I am unable to report on how well her white slipcovers have held up to the beach sun or red wine spills. (In the summer of 2007, she was asking $20,000 a month to rent her 1,700-square-foot ocean view-less Colony place.)