Michael Jackson saves Neverland
- Bang Showbiz
- 14 March 2008
Michael Jackson has managed to save his Neverland ranch from being auctioned.
The 'Thriller' singer - whose 2,800 acre Californian estate was due to go under the hammer on March 19 unless he could raise a staggering $24.5 million - worked out a deal with Fortress Investment Group LLC to refinance the property.
Jackson's lawyer L. Londell McMillan said: "They've sorted out a confidential agreement. Neverland and Michael Jackson are fine."
Fortress Investments originally loaned Jackson $300 million to pay off his debts and threatened to sell the property through a Santa Barbara real estate broker if it wasn't sold at auction.
Jackson hasn't lived at the Neverland ranch since June 2005, when he moved to Bahrain.
In 2006, authorities ordered the property to be boarded up after it was revealed Michael had not paid his employees or kept up with insurance payments.
The eccentric pop star bought the property in 1987, intending to turn it into a "paradise for children".
After installing a parade of fairground rides and a zoo, which included elephants, snakes, giraffes and llamas, Michael opened up his fairytale home to children.
Jackson was acquitted of sexual molestation in a harrowing court drama in 2005.
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