The mystery of why Rupert Murdoch has suddenly listed for sale the quadruplex penthouse he bought last year for $57 million and has fled to a townhouse in the West Village may have an answer: the drones made him do it.
“The menace of drones to the occupants of high-rise glass boxes has become more apparent in recent months,” a knowledgeable source tells Orb. “Not only can they fly up at night, peek into your windows, and broadcast the interior of your home live on the Internet—they could be weaponized and explode into your apartment.”
Even rigorous presidential security did not prevent a drone from landing on the White House lawn in January. Last week, a small propeller-driven drone carrying a camera and possibly tainted with radioactive cesium was discovered on the roof of the Tokyo building housing the office of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, according to The Times (4/23).
Murdoch, now 84 and recently divorced from his third wife, may have realized his vulnerability all alone atop a sliver skyscraper. He had been living on the 57th floor of One Madison and had begun construction on the 58th, 59th, and 60th floors when the WSJ (4/16) reported he has put the PH on the market for $72 million. Curbed.com (4/21) says Murdoch has just paid $25 million for a 1853 Greek Revival townhouse at 278 West 11th Street.
Peter Buffet, the musician son of Warren Buffet, has sold his condo at One Madison. And Tom Brady and wife Gisele Bundchen, who forked over $14 million for a 47th-floor unit there, have moved out and put it up for rent. One Madison, which has low-rise buildings on all sides, is across the street from Madison Park, whose leafy precincts are perfect for launching drones after dark.
ORB SAYS: Just wait until one of those jittery foreign moneybags who have been paying up to 100 million dollars for apartments in the new skinny high-rises along 57th Street gazes out at Central Park and sees a drone hovering next to his window: “Get Dolly Lenz on the line!”