On Sunday, Mar. 3, HBO will debut the documentary Leaving Neverland about two men's stories of alleged abuse from Michael Jackson, with Part 2 airing on Mar. 4. The stories center around their time at Neverland Ranch, Jackson's home in Los Olivos, California. It's probably one of the most famous celebrity homes in the world, but what is the status of the estate today? What happened to Neverland Ranch?
In the time since Jackson's 2009 death, Neverland Ranch has been renamed Sycamore Valley Ranch, and it's basically just sitting there. It's not open to the public. It didn't become a museum. And it's, apparently, impossible to sell.
In September 2018, Business Insider reported that the ranch was listed for $31 million, which was a steep price drop considering it had originally been listed for $100 million in 2015. In 2017, the price was dropped to $67 million, before being reduced again. Forbes reported in 2015 when the property went on the market, that it was owned, either fully or in part, by Colony Capital with which Jackson entered an ownership agreement when he was having financial troubles before his death.
Whoever ends up purchasing the property — if that ever happens — will be getting a lot of land and several buildings. The ranch, which Colony Capital has renovated in the time since Jackson lived there, according to ABC News, is over 2,700 acres (that's over four square miles). The main residence is 12,598 square feet with five bedrooms and nine bathrooms, according to a post on Coldwell Banker broker Joyce Rey's site.
There are also a number of other buildings on the property, including a house with four guest suites, a barn, a ranch house, and a dance studio/50-seat movie theater. There's a tennis court. There's a 14-foot deep pool. There's a 3,655 square foot pool house that has a wine cellar and wine tasting area in the basement. A number of pictures of the ranch can be found on the Coldwell Banker site here.
There were reports in 2017 that Neverland Ranch would eventually become a museum, but that didn't end up happening, at least not yet. That said, those who want to visit the outside of the property can do so. There are a number of "reviews" of the location on Trip Advisor with visitors noting that you can see the gated entrance to the ranch and the notes and flowers that fans of Jackson have left, but that's all.
The sellers of the ranch clearly want to distance it from Jackson now with the renovations, new name, and pretty pictures. And this makes sense. The allegations of sexual abuse against minors that Jackson faced center around Neverland Ranch, which was his home, but also basically a private theme park.
Jackson was acquitted of child molestation charges in 2005, but the new documentary explores claims from two men who previously defended the singer when they were younger. Some of Jackson's family members have spoken out against the film, and, as reported by Pitchfork, Jackson's estate has filed a lawsuit against HBO. The documentary will still air on the network over two nights: Sunday, Mar. 3 and Monday, Mar. 4.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.