Celebrity roundup

Rumors are wrong: Beckhams didn’t buy Versace Mansion

 
Stuart C. Wilson / Getty Images

The headlines stretch from Italy to England to India, claiming soccer superstar and Miami heartthrob David Beckham and his wife Victoria bought the former Versace Mansion in Miami Beach for $60 million.

Not true, says the current owner of the iconic South Beach estate.

“We have no idea where it came from. We have a call in to our PR firm. We’re thinking about issuing a statement,’’ said Jonathan Bennett, director of real estate and investments for the New York-based Nakash family, which anted up $41.5 million for the property, known as Casa Casuarina, at a court-ordered bankruptcy auction last September. “Apparently, it started somewhere in Italy.’’

The Nakash family, which outbid Donald Trump for the iconic estate at 1116 Ocean Drive, is in the process of firming up long-term plans for the 10-bedroom, 11-bath Mediterranean-style mansion.

Already, the new owners have worked out a deal in which the popular Barton G restaurant site reopened Valentine’s Day as Il Sole.

Joe Nakash, chairman of Jordache Enterprises, who bought the place in partnership with the New York Gindi family, said at the time of the auction that his group wants to operate a boutique hotel there using the name of famed designer Gianni Versace, who was shot to death on the front steps in 1998. The hotel would operate in tandem with the Hotel Victor next door, which reopened last year after a major renovation.

“We have an ongoing dialogue with the Versace family about doing something using the name and history,’’ Bennett said.

While emphasizing “There is literally no truth’’ to reports that Beckham bought the place, Bennett added: “I’d love to talk to David Beckham about what his ideas are. There were rumors back at the time of the auction that he was interested.’’

Bennett said one plus is Victoria Beckham is tight with Donatella Versace.

Beckham, of course, is planning to launch a Major League Soccer team in Miami. Where the soccer icon will live is a Miami game unto itself.

Martha Brannigan

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