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Gooch’s 63-acre Estate Can Be Yours for $7Mil

HYDE PARK, N.Y. – Fallen porn king Bob Guccione made his millions with explicit pictures of naked women. But his estate is not a monument to sex – it’s a tribute to love.

Guccione’s business troubles have forced him out of the Dutchess County mansion where his beloved third wife is buried. The Daily News got an exclusive look inside the 10-bedroom palace that porn bought, an opulent but faded 63-acre hideaway with sweeping views of the Hudson River.

The walls are lined with mementos of Guccione’s life with Kathy Keeton, the witty blonde who stole his heart and shared his life for 32 years. Her gowns still hang in her closets. Her lotions still sit on a dressing table.

Much of the house seems frozen in time, as if Guccione lost interest in their rural manse after her death from cancer in 1997. Windows are broken, paint is peeling and weeds have reclaimed the gardens.

“Kathy actually bought the house hoping that Bob would retire up here,” said caretaker Daniel Benassutti. “He used it more as a weekend house, and she used it more during the week.”

A few copies of Penthouse are tucked on shelves, but the only erotica on display is a couple of tasteful nudes, including a signed print of a young and topless Madonna, and a copy of “Dr. Ruth’s Guide to Good Sex.”

Other than that, it looks like any millionaire’s country home – lots of antique furniture and family photos but no mirrored ceiling or heart-shaped Jacuzzi.

Guccione, 73, preferred to hole up in his palatial townhouse on E. 67th St. and seldom visited their estate, now on the block for $7 million. But Keeton loved to relax, garden and entertain there.

Now she is buried a few steps from the back door, near the swimming pool where she held fund-raising receptions for the local public library.

“It was successful, probably because people wanted to see the inside of the property,” said neighbor Judy Linville, who attended. “That was the big draw.”

Inside, visitors found countless small sculptures of turtles – Guccione’s G-rated symbol for a magazine that always raced the Playboy bunny.

In the library, they saw shelves groaning with hardcover science-fiction novels and glossy coffee-table art books. But they didn’t see the studio upstairs, where Guccione, a painter, has a paint-smeared palette next to an easel.

The house was built in the 1940s for a member of the Astor family, one of the magnificent estates for New York’s wealthy that lined the Hudson.

The 7,000-square-foot home has an elevator, a wine cellar, two kitchens, nine fireplaces, 10 bathrooms and a private beach. Guccione was worth an estimated $500 million at one point, but he squandered it on eccentric scientific ventures and bad business moves. When Internet porn eroded Penthouse’s profits, publisher General Media Inc. went bankrupt.

The company gave the property last month to Kennedy Funding, a Hackensack, N.J., private lender that was owed $17 million and had been hours away from foreclosing on Guccione’s upper East Side pad.

General Media’s parent company, Penthouse International, got the townhouse and allowed Guccione to stay there with a $1-a-year lease.

Guccione has other troubles. The bankruptcy fight may force him out of the magazine he founded, and cancer has left him unable to eat solid food or speak clearly.

Guccione is supposed to remove all his belongings from the house by Wednesday, but is trying to line up new funding to reclaim the property.

 

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