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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Return of the Yolanda: Real estate blogger posts again after unmasking

The force behind celebrity real estate blog was revealed to be a former Compass finance manager
By Natalie Hoberman | July 20, 2018 03:59PM

James McClain (Credit: Yolanda’s Little Black Book, Public Domain Pictures, PxHere, Pixabay)

UPDATED, July 20, 5:07 p.m.: The controversial real estate blog “Yolanda’s Little Black Book” resurfaced on the L.A. real estate scene Friday, publishing a fresh scoop about a multi-million-dollar Malibu sale, one week after the blogger was unmasked as a former Compass finance manager.

And in the latest post, which detailed developer Geoff Palmer’s $12.7 million buy on Carbon Beach, “Yolanda,” who was revealed by the Los Angeles Times to be James McClain, didn’t exactly avoid the elephant in the room.

“We are also majorly disappointed to hear that some rude dude named James is attempting to take credit for our fame and industry status,” writes Yolanda. “Just know that some young whippersnapper is not allowed to siphon our shine, so don’t play with Yolanda.”

Last week, top real estate executives predicted that McClain’s purported unmasking would not silence the blog, which poses a major challenge for brokerages, who are often under strict non-disclosure agreements with high-profile clients.

With the blog’s latest post, the self-proclaimed “real estate yenta” seemed to validate their concern that more than one Yolanda may be running the site.

McClain formerly worked as a finance manager at Compass, but was let go in April due to a restructuring, after working there for 18 months, a spokesperson for the company previously said. He joined Compass eight months after the blog was launched in January 2016.

Last week, Compass said the firm would prosecute McClain to the “fullest extent of the law.” The firm declined to comment for this story on the status of any legal action it may be taking against McClain.

Real estate industry professionals welcomed the news that Yolanda was outed, as the anonymous blog often put many deals in jeopardy by writing about them before they closed.

“It absolutely bothers us,” Marc Shevin, an agent with Berkshire Hathaway who represents dozens of celebrities, said of the blog last week. “I would like to see that stopped.”

In the blog’s latest post, Yolanda revealed that Palmer paid $12.7 million for a 2,700-square-foot home on Malibu’s mega-exclusive Carbon Beach. The seller was Evelyn Heyward, who acquired the home with her then-husband Andy Heyward, the former CEO and chairman of DiC Entertainment, which created the original “Inspector Gadget” cartoon.

The agents victimized by Yolanda’s latest reveal — Cooper Mount from the Agency, and Frederique Benhamou, from the Westside Estate Agency — did not return emails from TRD requesting comment.

Yolanda, in the post, did not show any concern about legal retribution. She attributed the eight-day gap between her last two posts to a “summertime siesta,” and thanked her fans for the “kind messages” received in recent days.