Longtime television personality and psychic medium John Edward is most famous for his purported ability to communicate with the dead. But did he also foretell his recent good fortune in the high-end real estate market? Perhaps that shall remain a professional secret — at least for now.
In any case, Edward (born John Edward Magee Jr.) did indeed experience property-related good luck. Last month, he coughed up $5.5 million for a massive compound in the increasingly swank San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Encino. That’s a lot of money, of course, but it also represents a multimillion dollar loss for the seller, television actress Alex Meneses.
Meneses and her former husband — investment banker John H. Simpson — paid a whopping $8 million for the property back in 2006, just before the last economic recession. Following the couple’s acrimonious divorce, Meneses attempted to unload the “San Miguel de Allende-style” estate for $6.75 million.
At some point last year, Meneses leased the home to actress Holly Peete and her husband, former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete. At long last, Edward and his longtime wife Sandra Magee (née Coelho) strolled in with their lowball offer, and the deal was done.
The hacienda-style estate is enviably private, secreted up a long gated driveway (it’s more like a private road, really) shared with two other large mansions, one of which is owned by “Friday the 13th” creator Sean Cunningham. Beyond that, the property has its own towering (and camera-watched) driveway gate for maximum security.
A spacious motor-court features an ornate fountain and garage parking for four luxury vehicles. As for the rouge-tinted mansion, it is liberally festooned with off-white columns — there are no fewer than 18 on the front facade alone. Well-tended gardens, grassy lawns, and mature trees lend a park-like vibe to the .72-acre spread.
Originally built in 1947, the structure underwent a major remodel/expansion in 2004, per records, and now features a main house spanning more than 7,800 sq. feet, plus a two-bedroom detached guesthouse and separate one-bed guest unit. In all, there are nine bedrooms and a whopping 12 bathrooms on the compound.
The grand entryway features a custom chandelier handcrafted by artisans in Mexico. Elsewhere are luxury accents galore: Venetian plaster walls, custom tiles from Morocco and Spain, antique doors, and intricate coffered ceilings.
Nifty rooms include a dine-in wine cellar, a gym/playroom/media room combo, and a lavish master suite with spa-style bathroom and dual walk-in closets. The guesthouse sports its own kitchenette and sitting room.
The resort-style backyard is loaded with nearly every amenity imaginable. There are mosaic fountains, covered outdoor dining areas, formal gardens, an outdoor kitchen/BBQ pavilion, a fire pit with circular seating surround, and even a stream trickling into a manmade pond. The huge swimming pool features multiple fountains, akin to a very mini version of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, but unfortunately is surrounded by an ungainly (if necessary and practical) child-safety fence.
Edward rocketed to fame in the late 1990s, on the heels of his bestselling book “One Last Time” and a subsequent “Larry King Live” appearance. By 2001, his successful sci-fi show “Crossing Over with John Edward” had hit television sets worldwide. The Edward-produced program, which ran for several years, eventually (and lucratively) entered syndication. And from 2006-2008, the TV series “John Edward Cross Country” was broadcast on We TV.
The former ballroom dancer has earned a massive following, though his purported mediumship abilities have long been disputed by noted skeptics, including James Randi and Jim Underdown. At times, Edward has been publicly lampooned, most notably by “South Park” on their subtly-titled “The Biggest Douche in the Universe” episode.
These days, Edward maintains his large fanbase by touring nationwide, performing readings at stadiums and the like. For those interested in something more discreet, he also offers private readings for $850 a pop.
And this is not Edward’s first time on the L.A. real estate rodeo. Back in April 2015, the New York native forked out about $2.1 million for a ranch-style Sherman Oaks home that was once owned by Richard Dreyfuss. Just eight months later, Edward dumped the property at a slight loss to its current owner, Bravo’s “Flipping Out” star Jeff Lewis.
In August 2015, Edward paid $2.55 million for another ranch-style home in Sherman Oaks. Records reveal he quietly sold that property in April 2019 for just under $2.7 million to a non-famous married couple.