Tour de Lawsuit
Lance Armstrong sells Austin mansion to pay legal bills
It appears that Lance Armstrong’s tour of lawsuits and legal troubles is just beginning — and he is already starting to downsize.
The disgraced cyclist, who was stripped of his seven Tour De France titles after a drug confession, has sold his lavish Austin mansion. Local oil and gas businessman Al Koehler has taken out a $3.1 million dollar loan to purchase Armstrong's home, according to a report by the Daily Mail. Koehler hasn’t revealed the actual amount paid for the 1.7-acre property, but it’s likely short of the $3.9 million price listed in previous tax filings.
Bought by Armstrong in 2004, the 7,850-square-foot mansion has been renovated for several years at a considerable sum by Armstrong and was featured in a 2008 article for Architectural Digest. However, the house reached wider notoriety after Armstrong invited Oprah Winfrey to tape an interview in January, but soon moved the taping due to the massive media presence in front of the residence.
The taping would instead take place at the Four Seasons hotel, where he confessed to years of using performance-enhancing drugs.
The sale of the property is expected to assist covering the massive legal fees Armstrong is facing in the coming months due to lawsuits from his former sponsor, insurer and teammate.
Armstrong’s entire fortune — conservatively estimated at $60 million — is at risk as he faces a lawsuit from former sponsor the U.S. Postal Service, as the government could seek damages that are triple the $30 million paid to Armstrong.
Insurer SCA Promotions, which insured his Tour de France bonuses, is seeking $12 million in damages, although Armstrong’s lawyer asked a state district court in Dallas to dismiss that lawsuit.
Former teammate Floyd Landis, who was stripped of his trophies after testing positive for synthetic testosterone use, filed a “whistleblower” lawsuit and seeks to receive damages as an informer if it is ruled that Armstrong did indeed defraud the government.
While the famous estate has been sold, a spokesman for Armstrong stated that he will continue to live in Austin. Although there are no further details as of where Armstrong might call home, it looks like Austin will still serve as the center of the coming legal drama.