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‘Queen of Versailles’ Jackie Siegel on building America’s largest single-family home
The Florida mother along with her children, who were the theme of the document “The Queen of Versailles,” returns to be the subject of”The Queen of Versailles Reigns Again” on Discovery+ docuseries “The Queen of Versailles Reigns Again.” The series explores the difficulties the 56-year old and her spouse David Siegel have endured in building their house, a venture which has been over two decades in creation.
The massive mansion of 90,000 square feet is a tribute to Versailles, the Versailles Palace in France it has 6 kitchens and a garage that can hold 35 cars as well as a 150-person dining area as well as a huge ballroom featuring floors with gemstones, and an upscale British pub. Siegel is also pursuing big goals to get an Benihana hibachi grill and an aviary complete with Flamingos and toucans. If all is done she thinks that the house could be worth around $200 million.
The Jackie Siegel have had to overcome many obstacles through the time. After purchasing the land to build the house in 2000 the construction was stopped during the economic recession that affected the patriarch David Siegel, founder of Orlando-based Westgates Resorts. The family also experienced personal loss as their 18-year-old daughter Victoria Siegel, passed away in 2015 after an excess dose of methadone as well as antidepressants.
The day is now, Siegel is feeling hopeful about the future of her family and her home. Then, she’s inviting cameras follow her for the journey. Siegel spoke with FOX Business on when her house will finally be finished, and how she has dealt with public attention following her daughter’s passing and the issues she’s currently confronting.
Jackie Siegel It’s had a bumpy path since the documentary first was released. Many offers were made to us over time however we were cautious about how we were going be presented. We had to lose our child. My world fell apart from that point on. It was as if there was nothing to be concerned about anymore. I felt such sadness. I was no longer awed to be a part of anything. It was a depressing and dark period for me.
My husband and me started our foundation because we believed that we could have a positive impact. We believed we could assist others. I felt ready. As we approached the second time I was sure that the timing was just right. The foundation was now an integral element in our daily lives… and the truth is, wherever that I travel, I meet people who call me to ask the same question: what was going on with the house? This is the answer. It provides everything that people want to learn about.
The series traces the challenges in building a house larger than yours. What is the reason to continue building the largest single-family residence in the nation?
jackie siegel :We’ve invested over $50 million in the property. There’s no reason to buy it just as it is. It’s also my husband’s passion. We’re not getting any older and our children are getting into their teens. I’d like to do this for him. The house definitely has the royal touch. I’d like to stay here as a family , and the house is already in place. We currently live on an island with a private entrance situated in central Lake Michigan, which we purchased during the time. If we had purchased this property in the first place it would have been a lot easier to have constructed this home. However, it’s currently under construction.
Additionally, Jackie Siegel said that my children are becoming involved. They’re very enthusiastic about this project. I’m also considering the possibilities. I’m planning to build an impressive ballroom that could accommodate 500 people. I could hold a variety of events in order to increase awareness and help save lives from the drug crisis. I could use the house to attract the attention we require to spread awareness. I could organize fundraising events, organize an retreat or invite people to a charity event to inform the attendees. It would also be beneficial for our children, our grandkids , and the ones we love. We already have the house and have it. Why not take it to the next level? I’m trying to figure out the way.
My goal is to get the house completed on May 3rd 2023. This is my husband’s birthday. He was close to missing his birthday in the past because it was the time he underwent back surgery and was in the hospital. He was diagnosed with pneumonia, and at the age of his, it’s very frightening. He is entitled to realize his dream and I’m determined to take care of him.
What have you found to be been the most difficult challenge you’ve encountered recently in finishing the house?
jackie siegel :The most significant issue is the multi-faceted issue *laughs*. The house was in a state of dormancy for a long time and was not maintained. This is why I am having issues with the natural aging process that took place in the house. It was leaking marble off of the exterior and some parts were exposed, and the rust was everywhere. It was necessary to repair structurally many things, something I was not anticipating. It’s like it was being renovated in the same time that we’re building it.
We had to tear down walls and other things as I’m redesigning my children’s bedrooms. They don’t need an nanny’s bedroom that is attached to their room. They have a big closet. In the wake of COVID, the COVID pandemic that has seen a variety of things have been slowed down terms of supply chain. For instance the floor in my ballroom is set to be made of semi-precious stones. They are stunning stones that come from 22 different countries around the globe. We were required to ship the stones to Indonesia. I was in Indonesia to inspect the floors and to do some quality control. I’m happy I did as we needed to make some changes.
There’s a lot to see. As with our library. It’s likely to be an incredibly elaborate hardwood floorings you’ve seen. We’re planning to make an artwork by an artist to us and this is his final project before retirement. He’s currently in the country away from Paris creating our floors for us. We must find the perfect style for everything. And every piece is a work of art. This is much more than an apartment. It is an entire palace.
The house you live in is likely to include an British pub as one of its options. Did you have an initial idea but it did not work out?
jackie siegel : I wanted a bigger space for my closet… however, I didn’t want to have two stories. I would like to get a wardrobe equipped with an elevator to climb or descend from my home. It’s a difficult task. I had originally planned to figure out a way to connect my house with the island to perform some zip-lining. However, there are many strict restrictions, and everything has approval. There are code violations too. However, if the sprinklers shut off, for instance it would result in the artwork being destroyed. I needed to construct an fireproof stairwell, which is unappealing and takes up a lot of space however it was needed.
One of your biggest dreams among others, is having the luxury of a Benihana constructed inside your home. What’s the status?
This is a great example. It’s time to get the food away… However, my husband is really wanting to have it. Our family is particular when it comes down to food But one thing that they all enjoy is Benihana. Everyone will show up for it. All of us can gather at the table with each other and everyone’s laughing. This is the primary reason the man wants it.
What is the biggest misconception that you think that the media or public has of you?
People I’ve never met Naturally, they believe that I was were married for money. When they finally meet me I am the first to exclaim, “Oh my God, we love you.” *laughs*. My life isn’t all about flashing cash around and flaunting. All of this is to serve ourselves. We’re private , but our story gets exposed in the press.