Michael Jackson’s former Neverland ranch in California has been sold to American billionaire Ron Burkle, his spokesman has reported, for about $ 22 million (about 18 million euros), a price that only reaches a little more than one fifth of its valuation five years ago. He King of Pop He turned his massive mansion into a fairytale-themed haven, complete with a toy railway, Ferris wheel, and orangutans, and wrote some of his top hits there. But Neverland was also the infamous place to which Jackson invited children to visit him and sleep, and the scene of alleged sexual abuse of minors, according to accusations against him. Following Jackson’s death, it was renamed Sycamore Valley Ranch in 2009.
Burkle, a Montana businessman with investments ranging from supermarkets to the entertainment industry, bought the ranch “as an opportunity.”land banking [inversión en propiedades inmobiliarias a largo plazo con la intención de venderlas posteriormente]’”His spokesman said. The price of 22 million dollars, published by The Wall Street Journal, sIt ignites a forceful reduction in the initial price of the ranch, of 100 million dollars in 2015 (82 million euros). That juicy figure, considered “bullish” by real estate agents even at the time, was cut to $ 31 million (€ 25 million) last year, but the ranch remained unsold and was taken off the market.
Burkle was flying over the region recently to explore a neighboring property, likely to host a new branch of his Soho House network of private clubs, when he spotted the ranch and decided to contact its owner, according to the spokesperson. Michael Jackson reportedly paid $ 19.5 million for the property in the 1980s (€ 16.2 million). Thomas Barrack Jr.’s investment firm Colony Capital bought the ranch from the singer, then heavily in debt, for 22.5 million the year before his death (18.5 million euros). Burkle had previously served as the singer’s advisor on business matters, including settling debts incurred from his lavish lifestyle in the years leading up to his passing.
The 1,100 hectare farm, located 65 kilometers from Santa Barbara, features a main house with six bedrooms and three guest houses, a lake with a waterfall, tennis courts, several barns and animal shelter facilities. Jackson’s ranch was searched by the police in 2003 as part of investigations into a case of child abuse, of which Jackson was accused. The police then seized a large repertoire of pornography and images of naked children. Jackson was acquitted of the case in 2005.
Last year, the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland issued testimonies from two men who claim that Jackson sexually abused them as children on the ranch, including the attic, master bedroom, and pool. Jackson’s estate, who sued HBO for $ 100 million for the “posthumous murder of a character,” deny all the allegations, as Jackson did in his lifetime.
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.