Eileen Ford Cuts Price of New Jersey Mansion Where Kim Basinger and Jerry Hall Were Frequent Dinner Guests

Eileen Ford, who co-founded the Ford Modeling agency with her husband, Jerry Ford, in 1946 (Mr. Ford died in January), has cut the price of her New Jersey mansion from $8 million to $6.5 million; it’s been on the market for two years.

The couple built the house in 1990 and after it was nearly destroyed in a fire in 1993, they rebuilt in 1995 to look exactly as before with Dutch tiles and French doors. The house, located on a colonial estate that sits on 20 acres in Hunterdon County, has seven bedrooms and six bathrooms, which were of course often used to host guests like Jerry Hall and Kim Basinger, among other high-profile beautiful women invited for a visit to the estate. New girls who showed promise at the Fords’ agenecy were especially frequent guests for dinner or a weekend before being sent out to work.

In 1992, The New York Times‘ Bob Morris recorded one such visit: 

Six astonishingly beautiful teen-age girls, who were sequestered at the Ford compound for the weekend before a week of photo sessions in Manhattan, had come down for dinner from their rooms upstairs. They had been watching Johnny Depp in “Edward Scissorhands” on the VCR, even though Mrs. Ford had recommended “Roman Holiday” with Audrey Hepburn.

“Put your napkins in your laps,” Mrs. Ford said, breaking an awkward silence that had instantly settled over a table set with giant silver candelabra and little flags that represented the girls’ homelands — New Zealand, Canada, Denmark, France, Belgium and the United States.

But the Fords were sometimes quite eccentric, and the young models often seemed to not understand the enviable honor of being invited for a weekend at the mansion. 

Then Mrs. Ford, who uses a little glass bell at her side to summon the staff, announced she was going into the kitchen. “I’m going to eat the meat off the bone,” she said. “My whole life I’ve been a barbarian. I love meat off the bone.”

“You’re not allowed in the kitchen,” Mr. Ford said to her as he rose to go in and carve the steaks. Paying him no mind, Mrs. Ford followed him out of the room, and as the door swung shut behind her, a wave of relief crossed the faces of her investments.

“This is like a convent,” one of them said, getting a few giggles out of the others.

“You could die here,” another said in a whisper that silenced the table.

Eileen Ford Cuts Price of New Jersey Mansion Where Kim Basinger and Jerry Hall Were Frequent Dinner Guests