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Versace mansion’s fall from glory: One-time priciest listing heads to bankruptcy auction

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Exterior of the Versace mansion. Click on a photo to go to a slideshow. (Photo credit: Ray Smith via Flickr)

The observatory. (Photo credit: Sergio Leenen via Flickr)

The infamous Casa Casuarina on Miami Beach's Ocean Drive -- owned by fashion designer Gianni Versace until he was gunned down as he opened its front gate -- is going to bankruptcy auction, Forbes' Morgan Brennan reports. (Click here or on a photo to go to a slideshow of the home.)

The gilded over-the-top home went on the market just over a year ago at $125 million, becoming the nation's most expensive single-family listing. Its price was slashed drastically, eventually landing at $75 million in May, but it still found no takers.

The creditor reserves the right to refuse any bid below $32.7 million, Forbes reports. The auction will take place the morning of Sept. 17, and bidding will open at $25 million -- a staggering 80 percent off the original asking price.

Versace bought the home for about $10 million in 1992 and spent $33 million expanding it, adding a wing and exterior plazas as well as a 54-foot-long pool lined in 24K gold. It also boasts its own observatory. Built in 1930, the mansion has 23,000 square feet of living space on a 20,000-square-foot lot facing the Atlantic Ocean. (Click here or on a photo to go to a slideshow of the Versace mansion.)

Versace was slain there 16 years ago almost to the day, on July 15, 1997. He was shot twice in the back of the head as he returned from the News Cafe down the street, where he'd bought some magazines.

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