Shane Smith Bought Mansion Without Ever Setting Foot Inside

WSJ magazine showcases the splendor of Villa Ruchello.

There’s a ton of lively color in WSJ magazine’s look at how Shane Smith came to acquire the palatial Santa Monica estate known as Villa Ruchello. The property was previously owned by film director Henry Jaglom and his wife, Victoria Foyt.

Initially, per Andrew Goldman’s September issue cover story, Smith was eyeing a property closer to New York:

A couple of years ago, when he was still living in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood, Smith had hoped to find a place in upstate New York so that on weekends his 4- and 6-year-old daughters, Martina and Piper, could have a place to play in the grass. “We wanted them to go out and fall into the crick and stuff like that,” Smith says. Locusts-on-Hudson, a 76-acre estate just outside Rhinebeck where he and his wife got married in 2009, fit the bill.

Unfortunately the plan hit a snag—hotelier André Balazs already owned it. “I literally offered him a blank check,” Smith says. “He said, ‘F— you.’ ” (Balazs confirms this, adding that he delivered his reply “in the most friendly way.”)

Another highlight of the article is a revisit of the February dinner at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, which cost Smith $380,000 plus tip.

There’s a lot of history to the Villa Ruchello property. Per the piece, Smith and his wife poured a ton of money into the restoration of the property, which had been allowed over the last few decades to deteriorate. And if you ever see a guy on the westside of L.A. biking who looks like Smith, that could very well be him. Cycling is his preferred mode of transporation to Vice’s West Coast offices in Venice.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
Shane Smith Now Owns 2 Los Angeles Homes