Sally Jessy Raphael Is Selling Bucks Inn

Posted: April 07, 1992

Talk-TV queen Sally Jessy Raphael is selling her Bucks County bed and breakfast, along with the adjacent family weekend retreat where her daughter died two months ago.

The TV talk-show host is asking $1.8 million for the inn where her oldest daughter, Allison Vladimir, 33, took an assortment of prescription and over- the-counter painkillers for her bad back and accidentally died Feb. 2 from respiratory arrest.

Neither Raphael nor her manager-husband, Karl Soderlund, has visited the 155-year-old Isaac Stover House since that day, but Raphael spokeswoman Cindy Schneider denies that Vladimir's death was the reason the inn is for sale.

"Sally and Karl have just decided to spend some time traveling . . . They'd been thinking about selling long before this happened."

The federal-style inn sits on 10 1/2 acres in Tinicum Township, overlooking the Delaware River. It has 15 rooms, a mansard roof and a Victorian gingerbread porch. Also on the property is an old barn that Raphael converted into a seven-bedroom, seven-bathroom retreat for her eight unmarried children. The remodeling cost $250,000.

On Jan. 11, the couple's 19-year-old adopted son, J.J., rammed his car into a tree in the New York suburbs and nearly died. He was comatose for a week and will require a year of convalescence.

The People magazine cover story about the trauma, headlined "Sally Jessy Raphael's Ordeal," appeared in the issue of Feb. 3 - the day Vladimir died.

"The loss of a child, whether you're a celebrity or just a regular person, is the greatest loss a parent can bear," Schneider said. "It's been very hard for Sally and Karl. I'm not going to tell you it wasn't. And it's been especially hard for them to go through all of this publicly."

Raphael went into seclusion for a couple of weeks after Vladimir's death. But she returned to TV with a photographic montage memorializing her daughter and another big story in People magazine.

Raphael and Soderlund bought the Stover House property in 1987 for $550,000. The couple plowed vast sums into it for restoration and repairs. They rent rooms in the inn, but once spent weekends and summer vacations in the 5,200-square-foot barn.

Schneider said the couple hasn't spent much time in the property since last summer.

"The show is demanding more of their time now than ever, now that they have their own production company," said Schneider. "It's never been much of a money-maker. But they just loved it. They bought it on the toss of a coin and ran it out of love for it."

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