US & Canada

Playboy mansion for sale - and it comes with Hugh Hefner

A view of the Playboy Mansion in this January 11, 2007, file photo in Beverly Hills. Image copyright AFP
Image caption The property boasts a rare zoo licence

The Playboy Mansion, site of hundreds of wild parties, is for sale, but with a catch - it comes with its current owner, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner.

Playboy Magazine's parent company put the West Los Angeles estate on the market on Monday for $200m (£138m).

The five-acre property has appeared in numerous films and TV shows as a luxurious bachelor pad.

As a condition of the sale, Mr Hefner, 89, would be allowed to stay in his home of 45 years.

"The Playboy Mansion has been a creative centre for Hef as his residence and workplace... as it will continue to be if the property is sold," Playboy chief executive Scott Flanders said in a statement.

The mansion has 29 rooms, a wine cellar and a home theatre, but real estate experts say the home would need major upgrades to match current high-end properties in Beverly Hills.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Playboy's founder Hugh Hefner comes with the sale

However, buyers would get history. The backyard includes a swimming pool with the famous cave-like grotto where Playboy bunnies mixed with celebrities.

In addition to "bunnies", the estate is currently home to monkeys, cockatoos, peacocks, African cranes, parrots, toucans and pelicans. And the new owner could keep them - thanks to a rare zoo licence.

Mr Hefner bought the home in 1971 for $1m. The estate eventually replaced the original Playboy Mansion, which opened in 1959 in Chicago.

The proposed sale comes as Playboy has been making changes to its businesses as demand for nude pictures has dropped with online porn becoming ubiquitous.

The magazine announced last year that it would no longer publish photos of completely naked women in its US edition.

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