Editor’s note, November 24: On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that a story it published about a German shepherd selling a mansion in Miami was the result of a publicity stunt designed to mislead reporters.
The AP had previously reported that the dog, Gunther VI, was selling a mansion that had once been owned by the pop singer Madonna. Insider published a story based on this previous AP report.On Wednesday, however, the AP replaced its original story with an article about how the tale of Gunther was a “ruse.”
The mansion was owned by the Gunther Corp., the AP reported, but no dog played a role in the company. Claims that Gunther VI was part of a long line of dogs that initially inherited wealth from a Germany countess were in fact a decades-long joke, the AP reported.
Insider is leaving up the original copy, below, for transparency.
A German shepherd called Gunther VI is selling a Miami mansion that was previously owned by the pop singer Madonna, the Associated Press reported.
The 1.2-acre waterfront property went on sale on Wednesday with an asking price of $US31.75 ($AU44) million — a huge jump from when Madonna sold the villa to Gunther’s trust in 2000 for $US7.5 ($AU10) million, Miami’s property appraiser showed.
The dog’s wealth can be traced back to his ancestor Gunter III, handlers who manage the estate said, the AP reported. Gunther III inherited millions of dollars from his owner, Karlotta Liebenstein, a German countess who died in 1992, the AP reported.
Since then, the dog’s bloodline has been looked after by handlers, the AP reported.
Gunther VI’s trust is worth almost $US500 ($AU698) million, the AP said.
The listing on the real-estate agent’s website said the dog’s mansion overlooks Biscayne Bay and has nine bedrooms, eight and a half bathrooms, and a swimming pool. The property is one of six waterfront homes and is minutes away from Miami Beach, the listing said.
“He lives in Madonna’s former master bedroom,” Ruthie Assouline, the real-estate agent who’s managing the sale of the property along with her husband, Ethan Assouline, told the AP.
Ruthie Assouline did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Carla Riccitelli, one of Gunther’s caretakers, told the AP that she’s part of a board that oversees the trust. The board makes decisions about when to buy and sell real estate in the trust, the AP reported.
The German shepherd, whose main home is in Tuscany, joins in with the real-estate agents’ meetings and travels on private jets. He also has meals cooked by a chef, Riccitelli told the AP.