Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch ‘sold to billionaire for $22m’

Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch 'sold to billionaire for $22m'
The estate had a zoo and fairground on site. Source: Getty Images
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: Late pop star Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch has reportedly been sold to a billionaire investor for a quarter of its initial asking price.

Ron Burkle, a former friend of the pop star, recently bought the estate in Los Olivos, California, his spokesman said.

He paid $22m for Neverland, according to the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper reported it citing public records and three people familiar with the deal.

The 2,700-acre compound was first listed for $100m in 2015.

Since then Neverland has been on and off the market, listed most recently last year for the lower price of $31m.

Jackson originally paid about $19.5m for the property, which he named after a fictional island where children never grow up in ‎JM Barrie’s Peter Pan story.

The Thriller singer bought Neverland, north of Santa Barbara city, in 1987, making it his home during the height of his fame.

He turned the ranch into an entertainment complex, building a zoo and fairground on site, where he regularly entertained children and their families.

In the 1990s and 2000s, the ranch became the centre of various investigations into child sexual assault allegations against Jackson.

The singer denied allegations by Santa Barbara prosecutors that he had used Neverland as a fantasy world to groom young boys.

In 2005, the pop star was tried and acquitted of allegations he abused a 13-year-old boy at the ranch.

He never returned to Neverland. Four years later, Jackson died at another home in Los Angeles after suffering a cardiac arrest induced by a drug overdose.

You may read: California man ‘kills fellow Covid-19 patient with oxygen tank’