THe SeDuCTion

Town & Country (Philippines) - - GREAT ESTATES -

Mikhail Barysh­nikov: it’s very sim­ple. it goes back to os­car de la Renta. in 1998 he asked me to per­form at a ben­e­fit for the or­phan­age he built in La Ro­mana. i was in Puerto Rico at the time, and he sent a plane to pick me up. i ar­rived at his home in Punta Cana in the mid­dle of the night and fell right asleep. i opened my eyes in the morn­ing and looked around at the gor­geous house and the wa­ter out­side, and i was to­tally smit­ten. os­car [who died in 2014] and his wife An­nette are peo­ple of such ex­tra­or­di­nary taste in ev­ery­thing they do—gar­den­ing, fur­ni­ture, food. You can’t imag­ine the beauty of the place. Lisa Rine­hart: i re­mem­ber you called that morn­ing. MB: i said, “Lisa, i’m in eden!” LR: Misha never calls from any­where just to talk about how nice it is. For him to say that meant quite a bit. MB: That morn­ing os­car was head­ing some­where, but be­fore he left he said, “Misha, do you think you could have lunch with Julio?” LR: That’s when this whole house thing started. Julio se­duced him! or, i should say, Julio com­pleted the seduction. MB: i had met Julio [igle­sias] be­fore and knew he was very charm­ing. At lunchtime we headed over to his prop­erty, which looks like a Ba­li­nese vil­lage with bun­ga­lows sur­round­ing a swim­ming pool. Julio’s fa­ther and a few friends were there, and we all sat down out­side. in the Do­mini­can Repub­lic, i learned, you can eas­ily spend three or four hours at lunch. There was in­cred­i­ble food and this and that. os­car and Julio were such great friends they used to break out into duets to­gether. We were hap­pily drunk by the time the sun started to get low, and then os­car, who had re­turned, said, “We would like to help you. We were just di­vid­ing prop­er­ties.” He ex­plained that there would be a com­mu­nity of homes called Co­rales built in­side Pun­ta­cana Re­sort & Club and that he and Julio had been two of the first to build. “it will be very few peo­ple,” they told me. “And we will give you a very good price.” And in­deed the price was ex­tremely gen­er­ous. i said yes.

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