While rumors circulate that pop singer and one-time Santa Ynez resident Michael Jackson has allegedly made a deal to sell the Neverland Ranch on the reality show Million Dollar Listing, Jackson’s public relations representatives have denied both that he is planning to sell the estate and that his financial affairs are in such a state as to require the sale.
Jackson’s home in Santa Barbara County since 1998, the Neverland Ranch has been vacant since Jackson’s acquittal in a widely publicized molestation trial in June 2005, whereupon Jackson relocated with his children to Bahrain. Mark Geragos, Jackson’s attorney, has repeatedly denied that the star is suffering from a diminished fortune in the wake of the trial and recent poor album sales, yet those with an eye cast on celebrity life claim money is the primary motivation. The same sources claim that the 2,810-acre estate will reportedly sell for about $50 million. No information is yet available regarding when the ranch might sell.
Raymone Bain — Jackson’s spokeswoman and a partner in Davis, Bain and Associates, the public relations firm that represents the singer — released a press statement delcaring that the rumors were false and a ploy to further besmirch Jackson’s reputation. “Reports that Mr. Michael Jackson is seeking to sell his Neverland Valley Ranch in California on the Bravo television network’s reality show Million Dollar Listing are totally untrue and ludicrous and yet another malicious attempt to damage Mr. Jackson’s character and misrepresent his financial affairs,” she said in the statement. “We have said this time and time again, but rather than believe the source, there are those who consistently rely on unsubstantiated reports from unnamed sources.”
Million Dollar Listing premiered on the Bravo cable TV network in August. The show stars various Hollywood-area real estate agents, whose attempts to sell high-profile properties form each episode’s plot.
Arguably one of the most famous plots of land in Santa Barbara County, the Neverland Valley Ranch includes amusement park rides, working trains, a zoo, and — reportedly — a water fort with giant water guns and a large-scale mural of Jackson being flanked by Disney characters.