Tennis star is holding court in a Westside high-rise

Times Staff Writer

Serena Williams, the world’s top-ranked women’s tennis player, has purchased a condo in a Westside high-rise for $1.4 million.

The unit, on one of the higher floors of the tower, has two bedrooms in an estimated 2,000 square feet. The building has security, valet parking, a concierge, a fitness center and a pool.

Williams--the reigning French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open champ--and her No. 2-ranked sister, Venus, also had a nine-bedroom home built in Florida, according to Ebony magazine.

The sisters were raised in Compton before their father sent them in 1991 to the Florida academy of tennis coach Rick Macci, who was known for his work with Jennifer Capriati and Mary Pierce.


Serena, 21, wanted to have a California condo so she could have a second home closer to the entertainment industry. Pursuing an acting career in her spare time, she appeared as a kindergarten teacher in an October episode of the ABC sitcom “My Wife and Kids” and has an acting coach, sources said.

In November, Venus, 22, launched her V Starr Interiors, an interior design and decorating company, but there was no word on whether she will decorate her sister’s condo.

‘Crossing’ to a redesigned home in Laurel Canyon

Jill Hennessy, who stars as the unconventional medical examiner Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh in the TV series “Crossing Jordan,” and her husband, actor Paolo Mastropietro, have purchased a Laurel Canyon-area home for close to $950,000.


The home has two bedrooms and a great room with soaring ceilings in about 1,900 square feet. There is also an office in a converted garage. The grounds have meandering pathways. The house was built in 1923 but was redesigned by the seller, who is an artist.

Hennessy, 34, formerly played Assistant Dist. Atty. Claire Kincaid in the NBC drama “Law & Order.” She later appeared in the movie “Autumn in New York” (2000) and played Jacqueline Kennedy in “Jackie, Ethel, Joan: The Women of Camelot” on NBC (2001).

Aundrelyn Knott of Coldwell Banker handled both sides of the deal, sources said.

For sale again, but more chic now

Actor Christian Slater and his wife, Ryan Haddon, sold their former home in Brentwood in October, and it’s on the market again, this time at $3,295,000. The asking price when the current owner, designer Rachel Ashwell, bought it was slightly under $3.1 million.

Ashwell, owner of the Shabby Chic stores, redecorated the house, which has four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms in about 4,300 square feet. The gated estate, built in 1938, has Old World charm and up-to-date amenities.

The house also has a master suite with city views, an upstairs family room and park-like grounds with a pool and spa.

Two years after opening her first store in Santa Monica in 1989, Ashwell opened stores in Chicago, San Francisco and New York City. Her clients have included Madonna, Tracey Ullman and Whoopi Goldberg.


Slater, who co-stars with Val Kilmer in the 2003 movie “Mindhunters,” and his wife bought another Westside home earlier this fall for about $4.5 million.

Loraine Silver, with Pence-Hathorn-Silver, Coldwell Banker in Santa Monica, has Ashwell’s listing and represented her in buying; Deborah Moore of DBL Realtors, Sunset Strip, had the listing when Ashwell purchased the home, sources said.

‘Flyte’ behind Malibu gates

Terry Lewis, who has produced hit songs for such entertainers as Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey, and his wife, Endora, have purchased a Malibu home for about $3.5 million.

The Mediterranean-style home, behind gates, has five bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms in 7,000 square feet. The house is on about an acre with ocean views and a pool. The home, built last year, also has travertine floors, alder wood interior doors and custom cherry cabinetry.

Terry Lewis, 46, and Jimmy Jam have produced many top-selling albums and are a Grammy-winning team. The pair met in high school in Minneapolis. Lewis played bass in a band called Flyte Tyme. Jam earned his nickname as a local DJ but joined Flyte Tyme, jamming on keyboards.

Lewis and Jam formalized their songwriting partnership by 1981 and called their Edina, Minn., production company Flyte Tyme. They helped shape the pop sound of the late 1980s and in ’91 founded their L.A.-based label, Perspective, in conjunction with A&M; Records. They have since continued to produce hits and were honored at the Essence Awards in June.

Maurice Frazier of Private Banking Realty Group represented the Lewises in buying. The seller, an East Coast investment banking executive, was represented by Bob Hurwitz, president of Hurwitz-James in Beverly Hills, and Eytan Levin of Pritchett-Rapf in Malibu.


Bankruptcy forces sale in Bel-Air

Sukamto Sia, a former Honolulu developer and banker who filed for bankruptcy protection in 1998 with debts of nearly $300 million, has owned a Bel-Air home that will be sold Monday, subject to bankruptcy court approval in Honolulu.

The former banker, a 43-year-old Indonesian businessman also known as a high roller in Las Vegas, was sentenced in March to three years in federal prison on bankruptcy and wire fraud charges.

The Bel-Air home, built in 1983, has seven bedrooms and eight bathrooms in about 9,000 square feet. The nine-acre grounds also have a guest house, a tennis court, a monorail, waterfalls and a pool.

The four-car garage has space for a stretch limo. The compound is in a gated community.

There was an opening bid of $4.6 million on the Mediterranean-style home after it was listed at $4.75 million. The offer could be overbid in court.

Christophe Choo of Coldwell Banker’s Beverly Hills North office represents the bankruptcy court trustee for Sia.


To see previous columns on celebrity transactions visit