Malibu X-odus? Maybe

Times Staff Writer

It’s no secret that David Duchovny and wife, actress Tea Leoni, wanted to move back to New York. On June 1, they listed their 6,578-square-foot Malibu ocean-view home for $12 million. And then last week, they withdrew the house from the market.

Why the about-face? Depends on who’s talking.

Media reports said Duchovny and Leoni wanted to be settled back East before their children returned to school in the fall. Their agent, Ellen Francisco of Coldwell Banker Malibu West, said they simply changed their plans and, because they like the house so much, are trying to figure out what they want to do. When asked if the house was withdrawn because there’s an offer, which is another distinct possibility, she declined to comment further. Clever agents sometimes withdraw celebrity listings as a means to deflect attention. It’s an easy way to thwart the nosy public.

It’s known that Leoni has been itching to move for some time now, and the Malibu fires -- their home was not damaged but was in the mandatory evacuation zone -- tipped the scales for her, according to news reports.


The two-story house -- listed and unlisted -- has two swimming pools; one is a regulation lap pool. There are five bedrooms, four bathrooms and a separate gym. The 5 1/2 -acre property includes membership in the La Costa Beach Club. There is a two-room guesthouse over a three-car garage. The house was built in 1996.

It’s also possible that realty mood swings are just prevalant on this particular street. The property sits two doors from one bought earlier this year by country singer Kenny Chesney, who paid $7.4 million for it and then put it back on the market at $7.95 million about six weeks later. It remains unsold.

Duchovny, 47, is best known for his role as special agent Fox Mulder on TV’s “The X-Files,” for which he won a Golden Globe. He re-created the role for this summer’s “The X-Files” movie and also stars in Showtime’s “Californication.”

Leoni, 42, played Nora Wilde in TV’s “The Naked Truth” (1995-98). More recently, she was in the films “Spanglish” (2004) and “Fun With Dick and Jane” (2005).


Fast move even for Hollywood

Not everything on the market is languishing into the next millennium. Reese Witherspoon’s ex-husband, actor Ryan Phillippe, recently bought a home in the Hollywood Hills for $7,175,000.

The house, which had been listed at $7.47 million, was on the market for 34 days. (Pessimists, take note.) The five-bedroom, seven-bathroom house has 8,300 square feet, according to the listing details. There are two master suites with an office area in each, a large living room and deck for parties and a media room with 14-foot ceilings. The outdoor living area includes a spa, a sauna and steam room, a fire pit and an Asian-style gazebo overlooking a pool. There’s also a two-story gym.

Phillippe, 33, began his acting career playing a gay teenager on the soap opera “One Life to Live.”

His 2006 breakup with Witherspoon came replete with rumors of another woman. The other woman was said to be actress Abbie Cornish, 25, who starred with Phillippe in “Stop-Loss.” They denied romantic involvement at the time, but Cornish and Phillippe have since gone public.

Among his other acting credits: “Breach” (2007), “Flags of Our Fathers” (2006) and “Crash” (2004).

Mia Trudeau of Hilton & Hyland had the listing, according to the MLS/CLAW.


Designer cutting one home loose

Mossimo Giannulli -- yeah, the Target sportswear designer -- has listed his Laguna Beach house for $12,995,000. Who knew that making comfortable, affordable clothes could make you rich? Actually, I did; I just didn’t think anyone was listening to me.

Giannulli (looking in my closet, I feel like I know this man; may I just call him Mossimo?) and his wife, actress Lori Loughlin, are selling a three-bedroom, two-bathroom contemporary Craftsman just two houses from the sand in the gated Emerald Bay enclave.

The 2,000-square-foot beach house has custom-designed metal windows and doors and extensive marble. The millwork -- wood paneling, ceilings and furniture-grade cabinetry -- is master-carpenter crafted. It’s also one of those “smart technology” houses that require a teenager to operate the lights and audio and visual systems. The rear courtyard is designed for al fresco dining and entertaining.

Emerald Bay is regarded as the O.C.'s Malibu Colony. The one-level property is one of several vacation homes Mossimo owns. He and his wife live full time in Bel-Air.

In his 20s, Mossimo began his company working from his family’s garage with a loan from his father. After eight years, Mossimo Inc. became a multimillion-dollar sportswear maker, and Mossimo was reported to be the youngest CEO of a New York Stock Exchange company, according to Target Corp. (And here I pegged him as a genius just based on those seriously wonderful capri pants from two summers ago.)

Loughlin played Becky “Full House.” She was also in 2004-05’s “Summerland” and on “The Edge of Night” from 1980 to 1983.


Ex-Giant didn’t fumble the deal

There is nary a New York Giants fan alive who doesn’t know about the legendary “catch” of 1987. It was near the end of Super Bowl XXI against the Denver Broncos. Quarterback Phil Simms released the ball, which bounced off the fingers of wide receiver Mark Bavaro into the waiting arms of teammate Phil McConkey for a touchdown, helping the Giants to a 39-20 victory.

Well, McConkey just scored again with a relatively quick sale of his contemporary home above La Jolla Cove in San Diego County for $2.85 million. The 2,990-square-foot home, built in 2001, has three bedrooms and four bathrooms. There are ocean views and a stone-and-tile patio with an outdoor fireplace.

Area Giants fans needn’t fret, though. McConkey and his wife, Erin, are sticking around. They are in escrow on another home in the Beach Club Terrace neighborhood of La Jolla Shores, just a few blocks north of the house they sold, said their agent, Edward J. G. Mracek of Willis Allen Real Estate in La Jolla.

The McConkeys are purchasing a 4,000-square-foot home that they snatched up before it even hit the Multiple Listing Service. The Spanish-style house was listed at $4.5 million and has five bedrooms and five bathrooms. The two-story home sits on a 10,100-square-foot ocean-view lot. Built in 1931, it has since been renovated, though the McConkeys plan to further remodel.

La Jolla Shores fronts a mile-long sandy beach with summer waves so gentle that many novice scuba classes are conducted there. (Sure they can dive, but can they catch a pass off another guy’s fingertips in the biggest game of the year? Didn’t think so.)

Mracek and Karen Rockwell, also of Willis Allen Real Estate, represented the McConkeys.


Saddle up or write a film score

Every once in a while, a “breathing-room” property comes along in the Los Angeles area -- one of those special places with enough room to stretch. You have neighbors, but if you prefer, you can wait until the next natural disaster to meet them. And though you are living in nature, you’re just 10 minutes from a latte.

This is one of those places.

Grammy Award-winning music producer Danny Bramson and wife Julee are selling their hacienda-style 40-acre horse ranch in Topanga. Listing price: $4,195,000. And if breathing room isn’t your thing, the land can be subdivided into three parcels.

The 3,425-square-foot house oozes charm: stone floors, archways, shady verandas. There is a sun-filled center courtyard. The property has five bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms; a separate guesthouse contains two of the bedrooms. There is a large pool and spa. And it’s a serious horse facility with stables, an arena, a large lawn and miles of trails.

Bramson, whose 2001 Grammy was for the compilation soundtrack for the movie “Almost Famous,” also worked on “Vanilla Sky” and two of the “Austin Powers” films.

Carol Bird of Westside Estate Agency, Malibu, has the listing.