David and Victoria Beckham have squashed rumors printed by Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera and others that they have purchased Casa Casuarina, the 23,000-square-foot Thirties-era mega villa where Gianni Versace lived and died in Miami Beach.
Speculation has been swirling for months that the power couple had been eyeing the property, which Gianni Versace purchased for $2.9 million in 1992 and renovated for about $33 million. A spokeswoman for Victoria Beckham on Sunday denied the couple had ever been interested in the property, and firmly dismissed the reports that they had bought it.
In September, Casa Casuarina was purchased for $41.5 million by VM South Beach LLC, whose principals include the Nakash family of New York, which controls Jordache Enterprises. Jordache Enterprises owns five hotels in Miami Beach, including the Victor Hotel, which is next door to the mansion.
Previously, the Versace family sold the edifice, which dates back to Peter Loftin, for $19 million in 2000. A protracted legal dispute with Loftin, who claimed the Nakash note was invalid, had left the property in bankruptcy and put the fate of the mansion in the court’s hands.
The Nakash family said in September that they had plans to turn the oceanfront Mediterranean-style estate at 1116 Ocean Drive into a Versace-branded hotel. They outbid Donald Trump in a September bankruptcy auction to win the property.
“The home was created long before the Versace family had it, but it’s Versace that made it famous. We’re looking into using the Versace name and intend to speak to the family and see what they have to say about that,” Steven Nakash, who supervises marketing at Jordache and oversees the family’s insurable assets worldwide, told WWD in September. “We would love to have a collaboration with them and pay proper homage to Gianni.”