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The Many Homes of John Kerry

Netlore Archive: Forwarded email (complete with photos) purports to enumerate the millions of dollars worth of real estate holdings owned by Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, including an Italian villa he supposedly sold to a Hollywood movie star.

Description: Forwarded email
Circulating since: March 2004
Status: Roughly accurate (see details below)

Email contributed by Cheryl, March 30, 2004:

Subject: John Kerry, man of the common folk.... he understands your pain, really... trust him - lol, yeah - right

The many homes of Democrat Presidential candiate, John F. Kerry.

Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania (Assessed value: $3.7 million)
The many homes of Democrat Presidential Candidate John F. Kerry

Ketchum, Idaho ski getaway/vacation home (Assessed value: $4.916 million)
The many homes of John Kerry

Washington, D.C - Georgetown area (assessment: $4.7 million)

Nantucket, Massachusetts waterfront retreat on Brant Point (Assessed value: $9.18 million)

Boston, Massachusetts - Beacon Hill home (Assessed value: $6.9)

oh, and he sold this estate in Italy to activist actor George Clooney, just before announcing his running for president. I guess he thought it might not sit well with the common man. ($7.8 million)
The many homes of Democrat Presidential Candidate John Kerry

other foreign property ownership by John Kerry is unknown... because he denied repeated requests for this information.

Please e-mail to at least 5 people.

Analysis: Apart from one glaring falsehood — namely that John Kerry sold an Italian mansion to actor George Clooney just before announcing his run for the presidency in 2004 — all the facts and figures stated above were lifted directly from an Associated Press story dated March 22, 2004, and are presumably accurate. According to that article, the combined value of the properties then owned by the candidate and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, was nearly $33 million (in addition, the Los Angeles Times reported that Teresa Heinz Kerry's total net worth was $1 billion).

Please note, however, that all but one of the aforementioned properties were deeded solely to Teresa Heinz Kerry, or to the Heinz family. The only residence in which candidate John Kerry owned a personal stake at the time was the Beacon Hill brownstone in Boston assessed at $6.9 million. It was reportedly Kerry and Heinz's main residence.

By way of comparison, Forbes magazine estimated the total net worth of President George W. Bush in 2004 at $15 million. His 1,600-acre ranch near Crawford, Texas had been appraised a few years earlier at $988,353.

As to that Italian estate and mansion Kerry allegedly unloaded, contrary to Internet gossip disseminated during the presidential campaign by Matt Drudge, it was never owned by Kerry and/or his wife in the first place, let alone precipitously sold off on the eve of Kerry's presidential bid. According to the Boston Herald, the property belonged to Teresa Heinz Kerry's stepmother-in-law, Drue Heinz, who did sell it to George Clooney — in 2002. The Villa del Balbianello, situated on Lake Como in northern Italy, was reportedly used during the filming of both Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones and Casino Royale.

As of 2015, the Boston brownstone townhouse, still reportedly the primary Kerry-Heinz residence, was valued at $11,540,475.

Sources and further reading:

Five Kerry Homes Valued at Nearly $33M
Associated Press, 22 March 2004

Wealth of the G7 Leaders
Forbes, 26 February 2004

A Look at the Homes Owned by John Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry
Associated Press, 22 March 2004

Kerry Unloaded Italian Mansion Month He Decided White House Run
The Drudge Report, 18 March 2004

Drudge Homes in on Error
Boston Herald, 19 March 2004

Money Talk
Warwick Boar, 11 November 2002

Town Near Bush's Ranch Gains Notice
Associated Press, 23 December 2000

Last updated: 06/28/15

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