Extravagant Celebs Who Splurged On Their Own Private Island
by Jennifer Lafferty
Some celebrities go to extraordinary lengths to get away from the limelight, even if it means buying their own private island.
It’s been said that celebrities live in a world of their own, but this is more true with some celebs than with others. A number of stars value their privacy so much, they actually purchase an island. While many people would see this as a decadent extravagance, spending time on their own private island can be a good way for entertainers to escape their very public lives. From Leonardo DiCaprio to Celine Dion, here are 10 celebrities who really are masters of their domain.
1. Leonardo DiCaprio
Blakeadore Caye Island, located off the Belize Coast, was purchased by Leonardo DiCaprio in 2005 but he’s not keeping it all to himself. The actor has plans to share it with others. Known for being a climate change activist, Leonardo Dicaprio is building an eco-conscious luxury resort there, which is due to open in 2018.
2. Diana Ross
The legendary singer/actress married into her share of an island paradise. When Ross wed shipping mogul Arne Naess in 1986, he came with his own Tahitian island. It wasn’t all his; Naess owned the isle with a business associate. When Ross and Naess divorced, a decade later, their share of the property was put up for sale.
3. Mel Gibson
Although the actor/filmmaker shelled out plenty of money on his 5,400 acre Fijian island, which he bought in 2005, he reportedly spends little time there. Considering how much bad publicity Gibson has endured over the years, you would think he’d be anxious to escape to the tropical retreat.
4. Johnny Depp
It seems only logical that the Pirates of the Caribbean star would have his own Caribbean island. Depp told Vanity Fair: “I don’t think I’d ever seen any place so pure and beautiful. You can feel your pulse rate drop about 20 beats. It’s instant freedom.” The island’s six beaches are named after people who are special to him, including his former partner Vanessa Paradis, his kids, and his late mentor, Marlon Brando.
5. Faith Hill & Tim McGraw
The Bahamas has been a popular getaway for celebs for decades, and country music superstars Faith Hill & Tim McGraw are no exception. The couple own a Bahamian island called Goat Cay where they built a 15,000-square-foot vacation home several years ago. There are also three smaller houses for a manager and staff. If Hill and McGraw want company, neighbors like Johnny Depp and magician David Copperfield are practically a stone’s throw away. That would be some party!
6. Julia Roberts
It has been reported that Julia Roberts also owns an island in the Bahamas, but the island isn’t the actress’s only piece of paradise. She also owned a luxurious beachfront estate in Hawaii.
7. Celine Dion
This pop music diva had two important things in mind when she built her dream home on a 5.7-acre estate in Jupiter Island, Florida: privacy and fun. In addition to two beaches and several buildings with amazing ocean views, Dion has what amounts to her own water park on the property. There are two giant water slides, a lazy river which flows under a series of bridges to the manicured lawns, and three pools.
8. Nicolas Cage
Located 85 miles southeast of Nassau is a tropical retreat in the Exuma archipelago, bought by Nicolas Cage in 2006. The property, which was on the market for $3 million, is one of about 365 islands in the southern Bahamas. However, Cage wasn’t as fortunate as many of his fellow celebs. The land can’t be developed because it is home to a critically endangered subspecies of the Northern Bahamian rock iguana. By 2012 it was up for sale. Luckily, he has a Bahamian home on Paradise Island.
9. Tyler Perry
The star and creator of Madea really knows how to live the good life. After purchasing Bahamian Island White Bay Cay in The Exuma Cays, he built a compound which included a large main house and a number of guest cottages. Perry also took pilot lessons so he could fly himself via private plane to the island.
The Swedish pop group ABBA helped to set the trend of celebs buying their own islands, when they purchased the isle of Viggsö in Stockholm’s archipelago during the early 1970s. But this wasn’t just a retreat for the world-famous group. It was also a great place for members Benny Anderson and Bjorn Ulvaeus to write and compose songs. The songwriting cottage is a well-known part of ABBA’a history, having been featured in many photos, documentaries, and TV shows.