Earlier this month, WikiLeaks founder and talking head Julian Assange revealed that his "insurance file"—an encrypted set of documents available for download on the WikiLeaks website and set for release should harm come to Assange or his organization—contains a series of cables on "Murdoch and News Corp." Surprising as this was to media observers, considering Aussie Assange had invoked fellow 'roo Rupert Murdoch's name in his earlier defense, we were most surprised that Assange would go after such an entrenched target. Whatever do we mean? Well, the publishing pontiff—whose empire counts the Fox networks, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Post among its holdings—owns no fewer than four regal residences around the globe, all perfect places to hole up and wait out a P.R. hailstorm. We, of course, felt compelled to leak as many of these as we could. Come and join us as we explore what $6.8B buys.
? Mr. Murdoch set an NYC record back in 2005 when he and wife Wendi scooped up the triplex penthouse at 834 Fifth Avenue. While the $44M sale price has since been eclipsed, the palace in the sky—once the NYC home of pedigreed philanthropist Laurance Rockefeller—has undergone some revamping. In December 2007, the New York Times noticed that the apartment had its windows "completely open to the weather, and it was possible to see construction lights strung around the apartment’s interior," suggesting a serious renovation was still underway some two years and $258K in monthly maintenance fees after the mogul closed. That expense pales in comparison to the largely concealed cost of the renovation. One notable fact: the gym alone cost $400K. That's one 'roided-out reno!
? While the drafty do-over began at 834 Fifth, the Murdochs holed up in their other penthouse, this one a 9,300-square-foot number at 141 Prince Street, also in NYC. When the duo tired of this ritzy pad in 2005, they tried to quietly shop it around for $30M and, when that failed to produce a buyer, listed it at $28M. Sure enough, fashion designer Elie Tahari swooped in and paid close to $25M. Not a bad haul for the leftovers.
? When Murdoch needs to retire from his hectic life of shuttling between penthouses, he heads up to this getaway in Oyster Bay, N.Y. Lately, it hasn't been getting much use, though, and it's worth noting that ol' Rupe isn't above leasing it out. Well, not to just anyone: Angelina Jolie rented the house during the Long Island filming of Salt for the low, low price of $100K per month. Murdoch was looking to offload the mansion for $10.5M, but at those rental rates, he might be tempted to keep it. Hey, four months of rent and he's got a new gym.
? Meanwhile, he's been quietly nursing this semi-circular Beverly Hills hideaway. Built in 1926, the Italianate home boasts 11 bedrooms and nine bathrooms spread over 8,700 square feet. Other than that, there's not much Murdoch has let be known about this place. And we're not saying he was planning ahead, but this looks like a mountain fortress. Even more secretive, the media baron's Beijing hideout, which is reputed to have two underground levels and a "courtyard-style" appearance. Needless to say, pictures aren't exactly plentiful.
? Rupert has also kept much about his Melbourne, Australia home a mystery, though the Australian real estate of his extended family is well publicized. In 2009, Lachlan Murdoch—Rupert's eldest son—plunked down $21M for the former French consulate in Sydney. The house was up for auction, and while famous Aussie Russell Crowe tendered a bit, there was no competing with the Murdoch scion's wallet, and young Lach walked away with the deed just 10 minutes after the gavel went up. The six-bedroom estate, built in 1926, sits on more than an acre on ritzy Bellevue Hill.
· Julian Assange Says He Has 'Insurance Files' on Rupert Murdoch [NY Mag]
· Mr. Murdoch Builds His Dream House [NYT]
· Let's Get Physical: Murdoch's $400,000 Penthouse Gym [NYO]
· All 834 Fifth Avenue coverage [Curbed NY]
· Fashion Titan Quietly Selling Rupert Murdoch's Soho Water Tower [Curbed NY]
· All 141 Prince Street coverage [Curbed NY]
· Rupert Murdoch lowers price of Centre Island home [Newsday]
· Rupert Murdoch's Home Addresses [Public Intelligence]
· Murdochs Buy Beijing Courtyard Home [BTM Beijing]
· Lachlan Murdoch’s $21 Million Outbids Crowe for Sydney Mansion [Bloomberg]
· All Rupert Murdoch coverage [Curbed NY]