Entertainment

Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch sold for knockdown price of US$22m, down from US$100m

Billionaire investor Ron Burkle, a former family friend and controlling shareholder of private members club Soho House, recently bought the sprawling 2 700 acre (1 100 hectare) estate.

Michael Jackson’s famed Neverland Ranch in California has finally sold, more than 10 years after the pop star died. The singer abandoned the property following his trial on charges of molesting a young boy there.

Billionaire investor Ron Burkle, a former family friend and controlling shareholder of private members club Soho House, recently bought the sprawling 2 700 acre (1 100 hectare) estate, his spokesperson said on Thursday.

The Wall Street Journal said the ranch changed hands for $22 million, according to public records.

In 2015, the asking price was $100 million and in 2017 it was re-listed for $67 million. It was renamed Sycamore Valley Ranch several years ago.

Jackson died from an overdose of the anaesthetic Propofol in 2009 at age 50. He bought the property in Los Olivos, about 120 miles north of Los Angeles, in 1988 for $19.5 million.

Neverland, a name taken from the “Peter Pan” tale of a boy who refused to grow up, became Jackson’s favorite retreat. It famously featured a zoo, a railway and theme park rides.

It also was where he entertained children, one of whom brought molestation charges against the singer that resulted in a 2005 trial and Jackson’s acquittal on all charges. Jackson vowed never to return to Neverland after the trial.

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