Netflix PR Chief Rachel Whetstone Settles in Laughlin Park06/05/2019
Longtime Silicon Valley mover and shaker Rachel Whetstone, Netflix’s newly anointed Chief Communications Officer, is decamping her residential stronghold in the ritzy NorCal town of Atherton for a new Tinseltown frontier. The extraordinarily well-connected public relations guru has selected a surprisingly modest — if still quite pricey — Los Feliz house within the historic, celeb-favored gated enclave of Laughlin Park. Some of her new neighbors include Angelina Jolie, will.i.am, Natalie Portman, David Fincher, Ellen Pompeo and Kristen Stewart. Just to name a few.
The clapboard-sided Traditional features an attached two-car garage and an open floorplan with honey-colored hardwood floors. Oversized windows flood the formal living and dining rooms with light, while the vintage-look kitchen has all-white cabinetry and medium-grade stainless appliances.
Unusually, the home’s master suite is located on the main floor, while the two family bedrooms (and additional bonus room) are tucked away on the upper level. Somewhere on the ground level is a potential maid’s room currently outfitted as a library/office, while one of the upstairs bedrooms has been converted into a gym/massage room hybrid. While the $3.42 million property does include a spacious backyard patio and generous swath of grassy lawn, there is not currently a swimming pool on the premises.
Records show the 3,057 sq. ft. structure was originally built in 1946 and underwent a significant remodel in 1972. From 2002-2008, the house was owned by “Shameless” showrunner John Wells, who sold the property to “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” producer Dan Patterson and his wife, Mitzvah Day creator Laura Marks OBE. It appears Patterson and Marks eventually leased the Laughlin Park abode to fashion designer Charlotte Ronson and singer/songwriter Nate Ruess before selling to Whetstone.
Born into a wealthy and influential British family — her grandfather was the multimillionaire entrepreneur Antony Fisher — Whetstone was reared in East Sussex graduated from the exclusive Benenden boarding school in Kent. She eventually became a trusted advisor to British Home Secretary Michael Howard, in whose office she met her future husband Steve Hilton, the right-hand man of former UK prime minister David Cameron.
After leaving politics in the mid-aughts, the famously hardworking Whetstone landed at Google, where she rose to become senior vice president of communications and public policy. In 2015, she left to become Uber’s head of communications, but departed the firm two years later following several high-profile company scandals. A short stint at Facebook, as VP of communications of its WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger products, followed before she jumped ship to Netflix late last year.
While Whetstone’s $3.42 million Los Feliz casa is still unattainable to financially “normal” folks, it’s a dowdy shack in comparison to her place up north. Back in 2015, she forked out a whopping $12.5 million for a lavish Tudor-style tennis court estate in Atherton, on one of the perilously pricey town’s most fashionable avenues. That property’s guesthouse alone is nearly as big as the Laughlin Park house, and some of her nearest Atherton neighbors include WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum and Oracle CEO Mark Hurd. And just a few doors up the road is a $35 million mansion recently purchased by Yasmin Lukatz, the stepdaughter of multibillionaire casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson.
Brett Lawyer of Hilton & Hyland had the Los Feliz listing, while Tamar Aintablian of Keller Williams repped Whetstone.
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