Michael Jackson’s Neverland back on market after steep cut in price

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

The dramatic price cut for the iconic property 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 US media.

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

Jackson reportedly paid US$19.5 million for the property in the 1980s, but a real estate investment company bought it in 2008 for US$22.5 million after the singer defaulted on a loan.

The King of Pop died the following year.

News of the sale comes as HBO airs a damning four-hour documentary titled Leaving Neverland, which includes the testimonies of two men who claim Jackson sexually abused them as children all over the ranch, including the attic, the master bedroom and the pool.

Jackson faced multiple allegations of child sex abuse during his lifetime.

His 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 the case in 2005. - AFP