Back in January, reports first surfaced that Hugh Hefner and Playboy Enterprises were finally ready to sell the Playboy Mansion, the famed Los Angeles party house that became a symbol of sexual reverie and decadence throughout much of the 1970s. Initially asking $200 million for the six-acre, 89-year-old estate, for months it seemed Hefner was struggling to find the right buyer.
We're guessing the legendary adult magazine publisher had to find a successor who would uphold the good name of the mansion—perhaps someone who also owed his wealth to one of the seven deadly sins. While Hefner clearly has the market cornered on lust, it appears the 90-year-old womanizer finally found the perfect buyer this week in Daren Metropoulos, the heir to the glutinous, Twinkie-pushing Hostess fortune. While in January TMZ speculated that the $200 million asking price was incredibly unrealistic, imagining bids closer to $80 and $90 million, according to the Guardian, Metropoulos has agreed to play close to full amount.
“We can confirm that the Playboy Mansion is in escrow with Daren Metropoulos as the buyer,” a spokesperson for Playboy Enterprises told the Guardian this week. “Due to confidentiality restrictions, we are not able to comment on any specifics, including what contingencies need to be cleared to close the sale.”
The 32-year-old "Twinkie King" is the son of a a private equity entrepreneur who's made billions over the years buying and selling major companies like PBR, Ghiradelli Chocolate, Perrier-Jouet, and, yes, Hostess. According to the Guardian, Metropoulos currently lives in an $18 million home next door, and bought the 22,000-square-foot mansion in the hopes of connecting the two properties.
While $200 million sounds like a lot of money—no matter how many packs of Ho Hos and Ding Dongs you're slinging— the house also may not be in the best shape. As Muchies points out, there was an outbreak of Legionnaires disease in the infamous grotto in 2011, causing 123 people to fall ill. A 2010 memoir from a former Playmate, Izabella St. James, also claims that the house is in disrepair, with Hefner's dog "regularly relieving himself" in the hallway.
"Although we all did our best to decorate our rooms and make them homey, the mattresses on our beds were disgusting—old, worn and stained,” she wrote. “The sheets were past their best, too.”
Still, there's even another catch. According to the Guardian, Hefner gets to continue living in the mansion until he dies. Even so, Metropoulos claims he's more interested in the estate for its history and architecture than its celebrity status.
"The heritage of this property transcends its celebrity, and to have the opportunity to serve as its steward would be a true privilege,” Metropoulos told the Wall Street Journal.
We're sure Metropoulos also reads Playboy for the articles.