Michael Jackson’s former home could be set to be turned into a rehab centre for sexually abused children after one potential buyer of the lavish property detailed their plans for the venue should the become the owner of the $75 million home of the late superstar in a bidding war over it.
Whilst some of the would-be owners are keen to just turn the star’s former home into a shrine to his memory, one individual wants to put it to good use and transform it into a therapy camp for young victims of sexual abuse according to a new report. A local businessman in the area has apparently put in an offer “in the neighbourhood of $40 million” make the transformation.
A source told Page Six.com: “His goal is for the place to be used 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.”
In the past the 2,700-acre property featured an amusement park, a two-storey arcade, candy stores, a cinema, and orangutans, llamas, a lion, snakes, horses and elephants. Michael died at the age of 50 in 2009. The previous year Neverland was seized from him by Colony Capital after he fell into debt. Many members of the family including his 16-year-old daughter Paris still visit the home.
Previous reports suggested that officials in Californai wanted to turn the ranch into a state park, but the huge price tag was a hindrance to that plan. Other bidders have big plans to immortalise Michael in his former home. However it is felt the Jackson family would not support the use of his image.
A source revealed: “We know of two bids, one with multiple partners, who want to make it a shrine to Michael Jackson, a Graceland-type thing. However, it’s unlikely that Michael’s estate would allow that to happen because they’d have to grant permission to use Michael’s likeness.”
A representative for the Jackson estate revealed that the family feel devastated at the loss of his home. They explained: “We are frustrated, bitterly disappointed and saddened that it has come to this. Sadly, Michael lost control of Neverland during his life as a result of advice from a former manager.”