Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch back on market at drastic discount

A 2003 photo of Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch in California. It was raided that year as part of a child molestation case.
A 2003 photo of Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch in California. It was raided that year as part of a child molestation case.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch in California is back on the market for US$31 million (S$42 million), a steep cut from the US$100 million asking price four years ago.

The 1,093-ha estate, located near Los Olivos and renamed Sycamore Valley Ranch, features a main house with six bedrooms along with three guest houses, a 1.3-ha lake with a waterfall, tennis courts, several barns and animal shelter facilities.

The property's price cut is partly due to years of drought in the region that affected the real estate market, Mr Kyle Forsyth, one of the listing agents, told United States media.

He said the compound has been well-maintained and "with the drought ending and the Santa Ynez Valley in full bloom", it was the best time to sell.

The singer, who died in June 2009 two months before his 51st birthday, reportedly paid US$19.5 million for the property in the 1980s. A real estate investment firm later bought it in 2008 for US$22.5 million after Jackson defaulted on a loan.

News of the sale comes as HBO yesterday prepared to air a damning four-hour documentary titled Leaving Neverland. It includes the testimonies of two men who claim Jackson sexually abused them during their stay at the ranch as children.

Jackson faced multiple allegations of child sexual abuse. Neverland Ranch was raided in 2003 as part of a child molestation case against him, and police at the time seized a large collection of pornography and images of nude children.

Jackson was acquitted in 2005. He is still the US' seventh-highest certified music artist, with 84 million album certifications.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2019, with the headline 'Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch back on market at drastic discount'. Print Edition | Subscribe