By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated October 14, 2003 07:34 AM

Katharine Hepburn’s home may get a very unusual new owner: basketball bad boy Dennis Rodman.

That, at least, is the word among the real-estate community in Fenwick, Conn., where Rodman is interested in purchasing the estate of the late, great Kate, reports The New York Times.

All told, says the paper, there are at least six prospective buyers who have toured the 7,100-sq.-ft. house with its 10 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms and 3 acres of beachfront property on Long Island Sound. (It has been home to the Hepburns since 1912.)

The asking price: $12 million. Estimated property tax: $30,000 a year, though it could go as high as $88,000, depending on new assessments in the area, says the paper.

The Times describes the house as being like its late owner, who died last June at age 96: “an unpretentious beauty.” Hepburn’s belongings are no longer inside, however.

At the same time, Hepburn’s Manhattan townhouse is also on the market, for $4.95 million.

Meanwhile, a scathing portrait of Katharine Hepburn emerges in the soon-to-be-published diaries of the late British photographer and designer Cecil Beaton, best remembered for his Oscar-winning costumes for another Hepburn, Audrey, in 1964’s “My Fair Lady.”

As recounted in “The Unexpurgated Beaton,” which Vanity Fair excerpts in its November issue, at the time Beaton designed Kate’s costumes for her 1970 Broadway musical “Coco,” the star was “the egomaniac of all time … and she is ugly.”

He goes on to say: “Her skin is revolting … her appearance is appalling, a raddled, rash-ridden, freckled, burnt, mottled, bleached and wizened piece of decaying matter. It is unbelievable, incredible, that she can still be exhibited in public.”

In conclusion: “I hope never to see her again.”