If a potential new owner gets his way, Michael Jackson’s former estate will become a safe haven for victims of sexual assault.
According to the New York Post, a “local businessman” bid “in the neighborhood of $40 million” to turn Neverland ranch into a recovery facility to “help children in a serene setting recover from the trauma of sex abuse.”
“The plan is to have children come there for treatment, and they will also hire trained therapists who would help the victims through the use of equine-assisted therapy, which works to improve the kids’ self-esteem, and it helps them to become more outgoing,” a source said.
Before his death in 2009, Jackson faced various child molestation rumors. In 1994, he settled with the family of a young boy who claimed he was molested by the King of Pop, and in 2005 he was acquitted of molestation charges.
He purchased Neverland in the late ‘80s, using it both as a place to live and an amusement park. Colony Capitol seized the 2,700-acres estate in 2008.
Another bidder wants to make Neverland a shrine to Jackson, although it is “unlikely that Michael’s estate” would allow it. “They’d have to grant permission to use Michael’s likeness,” the source added.
While Jackson's daughter Paris had expressed a desire to reopen Neverland, its future remains unknown. Executors of his estate are unhappy with the uncertainty.
“We are frustrated, bitterly disappointed and saddened that it has come to this,” a rep said. “Sadly, Michael lost control of Neverland during his life as a result of advice from a former manager.”
Colony Capitol wants to sell the estate for $75 million.
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(Photo: Trae Patton/ NBC NewsWire/Getty Images)