Celebrity Real Estate

Did Joan Rivers’s “Haunted” Upper East Side Penthouse Scare Potential Buyers Away?

The late comic once described the home, which has been delisted after three years on the market, as “how Marie Antoinette would have lived, if she had money”
Joan Rivers standing on a balcony surrounded by white walls with elaborate gold detailing
Joan Rivers died in 2014 at the age of 81.Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Over two years and a $3.5 million price reduction later, the owner of Joan Rivers’s former Upper East Side penthouse has taken the allegedly haunted five-bedroom and five-bathroom dwelling off the market, the New York Post reports. The French neoclassical style triplex, designed by Gilded Age architect Horace Trumbauer, spans 5,200 square feet—plus an additional 430 square feet of coveted outdoor space, thanks to two terraces. Boasting Central Park views and soaring 23-foot ceilings, the style of the palatial interiors was once described by Rivers as “Louis XIV meets Fred and Ginger.” The actor and talk show host owned the residence from 1988 until her death in 2014.

Saudi prince Muhammad bin Fahd originally scooped up the Versailles-inspired space from the late comedian’s estate in 2015 for $24 million before listing it in 2021. Last June, he slashed the opulent dwelling’s asking price from $38 million to $34.5 million.

Joan Rivers at an event held at her Upper East Side penthouse in 2009. The entertainer was known for hosting gatherings at the home.

Photo: Patrick McMullan/Getty Images

Rivers claimed on a 2009 episode of Celebrity Ghost Stories that the abode was haunted by the niece of J.P. Morgan, who was the first to live in the 42-foot-wide limestone-clad mansion, per the Post’s reporting. The Fashion Police host alleged that the ghost would sit beside her in her bedroom while she put on her makeup.

A display of Rivers’s furnishings and home items on view at Christie’s New York, previewing the star’s private collection ahead of a 2016 auction.

Photo: Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images

Become an AD PRO member today for only $25 $20 to join the Taking Charge of Your Finances workshop with Amy Astley


Aside from the affluent apparition, the property includes a private elevator, several wood-burning fireplaces, a ballroom, a spacious yet cozy wood-paneled library, 18th-century wall panels, and parquet-de-Versailles floors. Lined with pale pink botanical wallpaper, the primary bedroom features a frilly four-poster bed and a wood-burning fireplace, much like the suite in Rivers’s Connecticut country home which she described as “the bedroom every little girl wants” in a 2003 Architectural Digest interview.

Fans left flowers and notes at the building’s entrance as a tribute to Rivers after her 2014 death.

Photo: Michael Stewart/Getty Images