Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Sex and Sunninghill

Prince Jefri’s former Long Island estate on the market again

 

The purchaser of Prince Jefri of Brunei’s Long Island estate, Sunninghill, is plainly keen to offload it as it is currently for sale for £494,000 ($800,000) less than they paid for it. Perhaps its links to the somewhat colourful royal could be part of the reason.

 

Sunninghill, 873 Cedar Swamp Road, Old Brookville, Glen Head, NY 11545, USA
Sunninghill, 873 Cedar Swamp Road, Old Brookville, Glen Head, NY 11545, USA

An aerial view shows the spectacular setting of Sunninghill
An aerial view shows the spectacular setting of Sunninghill

His Royal Highness Pengiran Digadong Sahibul Mal Pengiran Muda Jefri Bolkiah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien and his former fiancee Micha Raines outside a New York courtroom in 2010
His Royal Highness Pengiran Digadong Sahibul Mal Pengiran Muda Jefri Bolkiah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien and his former fiancee Micha Raines outside a New York courtroom in 2010

Two of the statues that Prince Jefri would have preferred a jury not to have seen
Two of the statues that Prince Jefri would have preferred a jury not to have seen

The statues of Prince Jefri and Micha Raines are not especially great resemblances
The statues of Prince Jefri and Micha Raines are not especially great resemblances

The house – which is just 26 miles from Manhattan – came to public attention in a 2010 court case Jefri brought against former advisers when he unsuccessfully asked a judge to bar a jury from seeing photographs of pornographic statutes of himself and his former personal assistant and former fiancée, Micha Raines. Created by sculptor J. Seward Johnson Jr., these “sexually graphic works” had been commissioned at a cost £617,000 ($1 million) and were housed at Sunninghill. Of them, Seward Johnson’s spokesman commented:

 

“The sculptures were a commission specifically featuring positions of the ancient public domain Kama Sutra”.

 

“Artists’ models were used and there was no reference to any collector, buyer, or other individual in the making of the pieces. The project was commissioned anonymously via a holding company and the sculptor was not told the identity of the buyer”.

 

Thomas Derbyshire and Faith Zaman celebrate as they leave court in 2010
Thomas Derbyshire and Faith Zaman celebrate as they leave court in 2010

The action brought against Jefri’s British lawyers Faith Zaman and her husband Thomas Derbyshire ended after a six week trial when a jury returned a unanimous verdict against the Prince on all but one count. The Prince and the New York Palace Hotel, one of his businesses, were ordered to pay Zaman and Derbyshire £13 million ($21 million) in total in damages.

 

Built in 1928 to the designs of Roger H. Bullard, Prince Jefri bought Sunninghill in 1998 and kept it largely “empty save for a caretaker (and his ‘X-rated statues’)”. Situated on a plot of 27.88 acres, the 10,000 square foot 16-room “Georgian manor” was restored in 1990 and offers an option for “possible subdivision”.

 

The property's study is especially masculine in its decor
The property’s study is especially masculine in its decor

As is the decor of this reception space
As is the decor of this reception space

The kitchen is fitted in an equally masculine style and features mahogany units
The kitchen is fitted in an equally masculine style and features mahogany units

Whilst the dining room is decorated with pastoral scenes
Whilst the dining room is decorated with pastoral scenes

This bedroom has plainly been designed for entertaining
This bedroom has plainly been designed for entertaining

One of eight rather lavish bathrooms
One of eight rather lavish bathrooms

The estate boasts a suitably grand pair of entrance gates
The estate boasts a suitably grand pair of entrance gates

 

An eight car garage could be especially useful for a car collector
An eight car garage could be especially useful for a car collector

A large swimming pool is another impressive feature
A large swimming pool is another impressive feature

Naturally there's also a tennis court
Naturally there’s also a tennis court

The grounds of Sunninghill extend to 27.88 acres in total
The grounds of Sunninghill extend to 27.88 acres in total

As well as a 6 bedroomed main house with 8 bathrooms, there is a 3 bedroom cottage, a 2,000 square foot swimming pool with pool house and an 8 car garage. Little sign of Prince Jefri’s tastes remain. Gone are his legendarily famous gold plated hot tubs and gilded loo roll holders.

 

Sold by the Prince in April 2006 for £7.3 million ($11.8 million), Sunninghill is being marketed by Debra Quinn Petkanas of the Daniel Gale brokerage for just £6.8 million ($11 million) now. It looks like it’s “all gone tits up” for this property.

 

Update: July 2014: The price has been reduced by £1 million to £5.8 million ($9.9 million). Who said super-prime property prices never collapse?

 

 

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