Friday 25th December 2020
Michael Jackson’s estate
Billionaire buys Neverland ranch
Zoo, Ferris wheel and a train: With “Neverland” Michael Jackson creates his own fairy tale land. But there are also allegations of abuse against the superstar. Now the scandalous property is changing hands for a bargain price.
Pop superstar Michael Jackson’s “Neverland” ranch, who died in 2009, has been sold to a US billionaire. The property in California was acquired by businessman Ron Burkle, as his spokesman announced. According to information from the “Wall Street Journal”, Burkle is said to have paid the heavily reduced price of around $ 22 million for it. In 2015, $ 100 million had been asked for it.
Heavily indebted Jackson had sold the Neverland ranch a year before his death. It was then acquired by the investment firm Colony Capital for $ 22.5 million. According to its spokesman, the new owner regards the property as an “opportunity to do business with building land”. The business empire of the state of Montana-based Burkle is ramified, spanning from the supermarket to the entertainment industry.
After the death of the “King of Pop” the property, renamed “Sycamore Valley Ranch”, had been for sale for years. Last year the price had already been lowered to $ 31 million. The 1,100 acre property is 40 miles from Santa Barbara, Southern California. In addition to the main house with six bedrooms, there are three guest houses, a lake with a waterfall, several tennis courts and accommodation for animals.
Jackson invited little boys to stay the night
Jackson had “Neverland” designed as a kind of fairytale land. There was a zoo, railroad, ferris wheel, and other amusement park rides there in its day. The “King of Pop” wrote some of his greatest hits on the estate. But it was also the place where he invited little boys to spend the night. The location played an important role in the abuse allegations against Jackson.
Jackson was acquitted of the allegations in 2005. After the trial, however, he vowed never to return to “Neverland”. In a 2019 documentary, two now grown men reiterated their previous allegations of being molested by the singer.
The megastar died on June 25, 2009 at the age of 50 from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol. The pop singer sold around 350 million albums and was awarded 13 Grammys.