The only thing more riveting than buying astoundingly expensive Manhattan real estate is receiving anonymous letters about multimillion-dollar deals. Last week, The Observer received an unsigned note—in cursive—with the tip that superstar hedge-fund manager Scott Bessent had bought the late Patricia Kennedy Lawford’s 11-room duplex at One Sutton Place South.
At the end of the letter, it says: “Price $12 million.” That sounds correct: This April, the apartment was reported to have sold near its $12.75 million price tag, though a buyer wasn’t named.
After the letter was received, a source with knowledge of the deal confirmed that Mr. Bessent, a former George Soros protégé, is the buyer. Last year, city records show, he sold his 75th-floor apartment at the Time Warner Center for $12.5 million; public deeds have not been filed yet for this Sutton Place South deal.
Mr. Bessent’s assistant said he wouldn’t comment on the apartment—nor would Brown Harris Stevens listing brokers Edith Tuckerman and Ann Jeffery, or the Corcoran Group’s Robby Browne, named in the letter as the buyer’s agent.
Ms. Kennedy Lawford, who died last year at age 82, was the sister of President John F. Kennedy and married the Rat Pack actor Peter Lawford in 1954. She filed for divorce 11 years later and became a lithe local fund-raiser. (Mr. Bessent has been known to throw a lucrative benefit or two, too.)
According to the co-op listing: “The soaring ceilings, the stately circular staircase, the beautiful views, the marble in the hallways, and the decorative molding throughout make this apartment unique and reminiscent of a bygone, more gracious era.”
“She’s got the prettiest apartment in here,” neighbor and decorator Betty Sherrill has told the author Steven Gaines. “It once belonged to Madame Balsan, you know, the duchess of Marlborough? Who married Jacques Balsan? And it’s beautiful, a duplex like this.”
This means there are three maids’ rooms, three bedrooms plus a massive master bedroom—with dual his-and-her baths, a dressing room and a balcony that stretches past the paneled library. “Well, he loves beautiful paneling, and he loves duplexes, and he’s most acceptable to boards,” said boutique broker A. Laurance Kaiser IV. “He has impeccable taste.”