Jackson purchased the property in 1988 for an approximate $17m (£12.6m), naming it “Neverland” after the magical kingdom in Peter Pan, about a boy who never grows up. The Neverland Ranch was once Michael Jackson’s pride and joy; it was a dreamland where he could act out all his fantasies.
The Michael Jackson’s Neverland featured a 12,500-square-foot Normandy-style residence, guest quarters, a 3,700-square-foot pool house, barn, and a 50-seat movie theater building. After Michael Jackson’s death, the Neverland ranch has remained closed and has fallen into disrepair.
Mr. Jackson bought the ranch, a 2,700-acre property in Los Olivos, Calif, about 125 miles northwest of Los Angeles, for about $17 million in 1988. Some of the events that took place at the Ranch included the wedding of Elizabeth Taylor and Larry Fortensky in 1991 and the live Oprah Winfrey interview of Jackson in 1993.
In 1995, Jackson and his then-wife Lisa Marie Presley hosted children from around the world for a three-day World Children’s Congress, a series of seminars and workshops on issues facing kids around the globe, as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the United Nations.
When in 2003 Michael Jackson was charged with multiple counts of molesting a minor (charges were later dropped), the Neverland Ranch was searched multiple times by police. As a result, Jackson stated he would never live at the property again as he no longer considered the ranch a home.
He lived there until 2005, secluded from intense public scrutiny that stalked him his entire life. Jackson faced several allegations that he molested young boys, with some of the acts occurring at Neverland. After the 2005 trial, Mr. Jackson never returned to live at his ranch.
By 2006, the facilities were closed and most of the staff were dismissed. In 2007, foreclosure proceedings commenced against Neverland Ranch, however Michael Jackson remained the majority stake holder of the property. Until his death in 2009, the King of Pop came close to losing ownership of the ranch multiple times due to debt.
In May 2015, it was announced that the Neverland Ranch, renamed Sycamore Valley Ranch, would be put up for sale with an initial price tag of $100 million. In December 2020, Billionaire businessman Ron Burkle purchased Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. The property in California has been sold for US$22 million (£16.2m) – less than a quarter of its original asking price.