The pop singer's iconic estate is expected to fetch over $50million
Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch has been put up for sale on the open market. The 2,700 acre property in Santa Barbara, California, was bought by Jackson in 1988 at the height of his fame, a place where the pop legend was reputed to have found sanctuary and happiness away from the illness and controversy that plagued his adult life.
The opulent property had everything – a theme park complete with amusement rides and a petting zoo, but as Jackson was dogged by child molestation allegations throughout the 2000s, the attractions became tainted by accusations. Slowly but surely they were removed from the estate.
Jackson left the ranch in 2005, describing Neverland as tarnished by the extensive searches that took place on the property, as police investigated the allegations of child abuse.
In 2008, heavily in debt, Jackson was forced to hand over ownership rights to Tom Barrack's Colony Capital and since then, as well as paying off $23million of unpaid debt, the company has coughed up $5million per year just in upkeep for the property.
The time has come for the company to sell, but a anonymous representative of Jackson's family told Forbes: "We are frustrated, bitterly disappointed, and saddened that it has come to this. Sadly, Michael lost control of Neverland during his life as a result of advice from a former manager."
The Neverland Ranch is expected to be sold for somewhere between $50-75million.