Clarendon Court has sold for a record $13,126,000 to one of Boston’s most acclaimed real estate developers Paul Roiff.
The home where the ill-fated heiress Martha Sharp Crawford von Bülow, known as Sunny von Bülow met tragic end has been snatched up by a real estate developer with a penchant for the name “Clarendon,” MailOnline can reveal.
Sunny passed away in 2008, spent the last 28 years of her life in a coma after two alleged murder attempts by her husband, Claus von Bülow, in a scandal that shook both the American and British aristocracy to the core.
Boston mogul Paul Roiff, who purchased the palatial home on Newport, Rhode Island‘s posh Cliff Walk for a cool $13,126,000.
Sunny‘s beauty once invoked comparisons with Grace Kelly, was at the center of one of the most sensational court cases in American history. Her husband, Danish aristocrat Claus von Bülow, who now lives in London, was convicted and then cleared of trying to murder her by injecting her with an overdose of insulin in 1980.
Their former home, Clarendon Court, was bought by art dealer Glenn Randall and his wife Patricia from Mr Bülow in 1988 for $4.3million. The 10-bedroom estate was purchased in July from the Randall‘s by Keith Beardsley, who claimed he was representative of the anonymous buyer.
The buyer was none other than Rhode Island native Paul Roiff, Mr Beardsley‘s boss at Heath Properties. Clarendon Court is only one of several properties Mr Roiff lays claim to, with a real estate portfolio that includes mansions in Florida and Michigan as well.
His Boston business and his Newport home, both share the name “Clarendon.”
The mansion was named “Claradon Court” by the wealthy Railroad executive Edward C. Knight after his wife Clara in 1904. Roiff‘s real estate business is based at 74 Clarendon Street in the heart of Back Bay.
The 10-bedroom, seven-acre estate with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean will certainly be a welcome relief to the hustle and bustle of downtown Boston.
Built at the height of the Gilded Age, the home has a heated swimming pool and a separate stone and brick carriage house with its own views of the Narragansett Bay.
Designed by Horace Trumbauer, every English Baroque detail is expressed in the structure, complete with marble sculptures, sweeping staircases, and gold-leaf details.
The residence also has 8.5 bathrooms including the master bath, where Sunny von Bülow was found unresponsive, seated atop the toilet with a syringe discarded nearby (she was diabetic). She never recovered from a brain trauma, doctors believe was induced by insulin.
The heiress made her husband the main beneficiary of her $100 million fortune, but she soon developed an alcohol and drug habit after moving in to the home.
In a sensational trial, her suave husband was accused of trying to murder her by giving her an overdose of insulin – being first found guilty, then dramatically (and controversially) cleared.
When Sunny‘s body was found, her children from a previous marriage hired private investigators to find out if Claus was behind it. He was charged in 1982, but released on $1million bail – gallivanting around with much younger women.
Claus maintained an icy composure during his trial, was found guilty in 1982 and sentenced to 30 years in jail. Just three years later, the verdict was thrown out and a retrial took place. Bülow hired celebrity attorney Alan Dershowitz, who would later defend O.J. Simpson, to get his conviction overturned.
Celebrities took the stand to speak in Mr Bülow‘s defense and a publicity parade ensued. The trial was the first live courtroom trial to be televised in this country.
Now freed, Sunny‘s children had Claus removed from their mother’s will and left him without a penny. Only the couple’s biological daughter, Cosima, stood by him.
Sunny von Bülow had been removed from life-support early on in her ordeal but continued to live, attended by private nurses painstakingly dressing, applying her makeup, maintaining manicures, chatting with her and washing and setting her hair twice a week. They surrounded Sunny with photographs of her loved ones. She passed away in 2008 after spending her final 28 years in a coma.
Dershowitz went on to write a book about the ordeal, later immortalized in the 1990 film Reversal Of Fortune, which starred Jeremy Irons as Claus and Glenn Close as his wife.
Claus von Bülow is a staple of the society scene in London.
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