On Saturday, Yale Law professors Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld’s 6,880-square-foot New Haven home appeared on Zillow for $1,080,000. The five-bedroom, five-bath house itself is, as a colleague from New Haven once put it, “committed.” There are wood corbels on the first-floor ceilings and leaded glass on the windows, and a carved stone mantel and interior columns that look like they belong in the Cloisters. I remember, on my visit earlier this year, being impressed by the frescoes in the guest powder room.
Prospective buyers might take a number of things into consideration, including that the home is located on a busy road (though the circular driveway and a stone griffon provide some shelter) and that it was the site of what Chua calls Dinner Party-Gate and figured in the sexual-harassment complaints against her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, which led to his two-year suspension from Yale Law School.
Before COVID, and before both professors had restrictions placed on them on socializing with students, the couple was known on campus for throwing parties at this house, which is well set up for entertaining. It has a formal dining room with an elaborate plaster ceiling and a stone terrace that opens to wide lawns; for more casual affairs, there is a cathedral-ceilinged top-floor room and what the listing describes as a lower-level “lounge” room, not pictured, “with original wet bar.”
The same day the house was put up for sale, it hosted the wedding of the couple’s daughter, Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, according to Chua’s Twitter account. (Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whom Chua famously heralded as a champion for women, and for whom her daughter later ended up clerking, was not in attendance, Chua said.)
The listing, which two people flagged for me the day it appeared, immediately spurred speculation: Were Chua and Rubenfeld leaving Yale? Or New Haven? In an email, Chua wrote, “Absolutely nothing has changed in our relationship with Yale. (They’ll have to drag us out, haha.) I’m back teaching; amusingly, despite (or maybe because of??) stupid dinner party gate, the waitlist for my class this Fall was *longer* than last year (100+ students bid for my seminar), and the class is awesome—extremely diverse (maybe 70% students of color, immigrants, FGP, as well as some conservative students).” She added, “Jed will be returning to teaching next Fall as planned.”
“We’re selling the house really just to downsize—it’s way too big for the 2 of us! The timing was just because we didn’t want to be having a wedding in a ‘house for sale.’ We’ll probably find a smaller place nearby, but also spend more time in NYC.”