Meet The Playboy Mansion’s New Owner
LOS ANGELES — Last month, when the 32-year-old co-owner of Hostess Brands plunked down $100 million for the Playboy Mansion, the snickering was instant: Hugh Hefner’s pleasure palace had sold to the maker of snack cakes like Twinkies and Ho Hos.
But something didn’t quite add up. For a start, none of the usual suspects in Los Angeles knew this supposed mover and shaker. I called party promoters, paparazzi, neighbors (Daren Metropoulos has lived next door to the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills since 2009) and Hollywood agents who make it their business to know everyone in town with money to burn. Their repeated response: “Daren who?”
Mr. Metropoulos and his family, including the patriarch, C. Dean Metropoulos, declined interview requests. So did Mr. Hefner. Two real estate agents who worked on the sale, which includes a stipulation that Mr. Hefner, 90, and his wife, Crystal Harris, 30, can continue to live in the mansion until his death, did not respond to queries, although a third agent involved, Jeff Hyland, added an interesting tidbit: The Metropouloses had tried to buy the Playboy Mansion six years earlier and failed.