Days after Mehmet Oz became the first American politician to ever be embroiled in a crudités scandal, he’s facing a new controversy that sheds some light on his inability to purchase and consume raw vegetables like an average Joe. The Daily Beast published a video filmed last weekend in which a Democratic campaign operative approaches the Republican Senate candidate at a campaign stop in Palmerton, Pennsylvania, and poses a seemingly simple question: “I wanted to ask you real quickly, how many houses do you own?”
“Well I, legitimately, I own two houses. But, uh, one of them we’re building on; the other ones I rent,” Oz replies.
As the Daily Beast explains, the problem with this answer isn’t just that it’s grammatically incoherent: Public records show that the former TV doctor actually owns ten residential properties (plus as many as eight commercial ones).
After Oz’s opponent, Democrat John Fetterman, hammered him on Twitter, he tried to clarify his answer.
Oz is suggesting this is all a semantic disagreement over what makes a house a home. And sure, “How many houses do you own?” is a surprisingly complex topic when you’re a celebrity doctor and TV personality with a net worth of $100 million to $500 million. Is a beachfront mansion a “home” if you’re still renovating it? What if you invite a Newsmax interviewer to stay at your Florida “hunting ranch” but never actually go? Let’s ponder these questions as we go through all the Oz-owned properties and the controversies linked to each one.
1. A “farmstead” in Pennsylvania.
In December 2021, weeks after Oz announced his Senate run, he and his wife purchased a $3.1 million property in Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County. This is probably what he was referring to when he said he was “building on” one home, but as the Philadelphia Inquirer reported earlier this month, it doesn’t seem as though there’s a lot of construction happening:
And while Oz says he’s simply awaiting renovations before he moves into his new home, there’s little sign of work at the property, and he continues to live at his in-laws’ home in the nearby borough of Bryn Athyn …
The forested, 34-acre property in Lower Moreland Township features a 7,300-square-foot, eight-bedroom manor house, according to deed records from Montgomery County.
The property has been referred to as a “farmhouse” or “farmstead” in the press, but actual Pennsylvania farmers are reportedly upset that Oz is taking advantage of a $50,000 annual tax break that is “part of a controversial state program designed to encourage the preservation of farm or forestland that overwhelmingly benefits wealthy landowners like Oz,” according to the Inquirer.
2. A mansion in New Jersey.
Oz graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1986, and two of his four children were born in the state. But for the past two decades, he’s lived in a mansion he and his wife built in Cliffside Park, New Jersey. The six-bedroom, eight-bathroom home overlooks the Manhattan skyline and features 12-foot ceilings, Mediterranean-inspired architecture, a wine cellar, a movie theater, and an indoor basketball court.
We know a lot about the house because the Ozes showed it off to People magazine just two years ago. This led to Fetterman accusing Oz of filming ads for his Pennsylvania Senate campaign in his New Jersey mansion and to the Democrat using footage from the magazine shoot for a Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous parody.
The Fetterman campaign actually skipped the most shocking part of the People video, when Oz drops an almond in the kitchen sink, fishes it out, and eats it. Doesn’t the doctor know that the sink is dirtier than a toilet bowl?
3. A New Jersey condo.
Last month, the Daily Beast reported that Oz and his wife also own a condominium in nearby Fairview, New Jersey, which they rent to “friends tied to groups involved in Armenian genocide denial” and opted not to mention on candidate disclosure forms. Per the Beast:
Candidates are not obligated to report real estate holdings that do not produce revenue—but Oz did so for his other non-revenue producing properties … It was impossible to ascertain whether Oz received rent payments from the condo, as neither he nor his tenants replied to repeated requests for comment.
What was possible to ascertain is who those tenants are: a pair of apparent longtime friends deeply involved in Turkish nationalist activism and connected to groups that have fought to prevent the United States from recognizing the extermination of Armenians on Turkish territory during World War I — which Oz himself has refused to describe as a genocide, despite a consensus among respected historians.
4 & 5. Two Manhattan condos.
One of Oz’s sisters sued him in 2020, accusing him of stiffing her on $15,000 a month in rental income from a pair of Upper East Side condos once owned by their father. In court papers filed in June 2022, one of the doctor’s attorneys described the situation as “a complex and fact-intensive family drama.” Insider explained that Oz, his mother, and his other sister, who lives in California, are fighting back against this claim:
They said in their own court papers that Nazlim is the real thief and allege Nazlim began looting their father’s bank accounts in late 2018 — as he lay dying in an Istanbul hospital.
Dr. Oz, his California sister and their widowed mother, Suna, are now of one mind in believing that Nazlim forged the father’s signature, and has secreted millions of dollars away in Holland, India, and the Cayman Islands, they said in court papers.
So Oz’s life is basically an episode of Succession.
6. A mansion in Palm Beach, Florida.
Palm Beach Post columnist Frank Cerabino called Oz out for repeatedly attacking “elites” from the campaign trail despite buying a historic mansion in Palm Beach in 2018:
It’s the one that unfolds from the 11-bedroom, 12,483 square-foot-mansion on Palm Beach he bought seven years ago for $18 million.
The yard there is about 150 wide, which is a pretty elite size for a yard, and it opens to a private beachfront on the Atlantic Ocean.
There’s a private stairway that connects the seawall at the end of the yard to the surf.
I don’t think I’m taking a giant leap of judgment to conclude that Oz has an elite yard fronting an elite body of water.
Still, this is one of Oz’s least controversial properties. When he received approval to renovate the home, one member of the Landmarks Preservation Commission gushed, “You have made this practically unlivable house into something wonderful.”
7. A cattle farm in Okeechobee, Florida.
During his Senate campaign, Oz portrayed himself as an avid hunter, and he once told a Newsmax interviewer he’d invite him to his “hunting ranch” in Florida. Florida Politics looked into this claim and determined that Oz has never held a hunting license in the state, though he did recently buy a cattle farm, where it may be legal to hunt in certain conditions:
The only possible hint at where this hunting ranch could be located lies with Oz’s ownership of Emerald Oaks, a cattle farm just purchased in December.
Okeechobee County property records show Emerald Oaks owns three pieces of property, all in the unincorporated county, and listing an ownership address in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania. One of those appears to be a residential lot with a home on it in a neighborhood. Another has no address and appears to largely be pasture land.
Another property, though, does contain substantial, pristine wilderness. A large property on 128th Avenue is zoned as a rural estate, and records show a residence and mobile home on the property.
8–10. Three residential properties in Turkey.
The Daily Beast counts three Oz-owned properties in Turkey: two pieces of residential real estate in Sariyer and another in Konya, “which appears to be used as a student dormitory.” Oz’s father was born near Konya, and his parents emigrated to the U.S. before he was born; the doctor has said he will renounce his Turkish citizenship if elected.
This isn’t the only property the Oz family owns overseas. Politico reports that Oz also included a hotel and restaurant in Arthurstown, Ireland, on the personal financial disclosure he filed with the Senate. Technically, he doesn’t own this property; it’s in his wife, Lisa’s, name, like the family’s $3.9 million mansion in Maine. But transparency is important when you’re running for the U.S. Senate.
More on Mehmet Oz
- John Fetterman Beats Dr. Oz and a Stroke, Flipping Pennsylvania for Democrats
- Oprah’s Unsatisfying Rejection of Dr. Oz Is Totally on Brand
- The Key Moments From the Fetterman-Oz Debate