After Leaving Neverland, the asking price for Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch has been slashed.


Michael Jackson named his sprawling home in California’s Santa Ynez Valley after the fictional island where Peter Pan lives.

It was a name fitting of how he was portrayed to the world: The man who did not have a childhood. The man who loved children and wanted to give them experiences he dreamed of as a child.

But it is also the alleged site of a huge number of instances of child sexual abuse, according to controversial documentary Leaving Neverland and claims from Jackson’s former staff.

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Neverland, located about 190 kilometres from Los Angeles, was called Sycamore Valley Ranch until Jackson’s purchase of the property in 1988. It had been built by a property developer in the late 70s.

Jackson first visited the ranch to shoot a music video with Sir Paul McCartney. It was during this shoot he told his sister La Toya Jackson that he wanted to buy it one day, she wrote in her 2011 autobiography Starting Over.

The 1100 hectare estate was Jackson’s home for 15 years and besides renaming the property, he also turned into a children’s paradise.

The property featured a private amusement park, basketball and tennis courts, a petting zoo, games arcade and train station modelled off Disneyland.


But according the James Safechuck, one of the men who accused Jackson of sexually abusing him as a child in Leaving Neverland, hidden within Neverland were secret rooms and secluded guesthouses.

“There was a castle in the theme park and upstairs there was a bedroom,” Safechuck explained. “You could see if somebody was coming. It had just a small bed. Up there, we would have sex.”

He also said he was abused in teepees, a secluded third floor attic, a suite in Jackson’s private movie theatre, in a guest house and in Jackson’s own bedroom.

neverland ranch
Image: Leaving Neverland.
neverland ranch
Image: Leaving Neverland.
The suite inside Neverland's movie theatre.
The suite inside Neverland's movie theatre. Image: Leaving Neverland.

Safechuck remembered the alarm system Jackson had in the long halfway that lead to the master bedroom.

"There were bells, so you would have a moment of hearing them chirp, and at least it alarmed him to when people where coming."

Michael Jackson and James Safechuck. Image: Getty.

Jackson hosted many children and their families at Neverland and former employees at the ranch have spoken of their suspicions.

Michael Jackson's former maid shares what happened at Neverland Ranch. Post continues below video.

Video by 60 Minutes

Melanie Bagnall was Jackson's former private security guard and speaking to Sunday Night's Matt Doran last month, recounted witnessing incidents that left her riddled with guilt.

“There was a child sitting on his lap and he had his hands close to his genitalia. Like, cupping his genitalia,” Bagnall said in the interview.


“It was… disturbing. It was… alarming. It was a confirmation in ways. I believe it’s time for the world to know.”

She believed Jackson transformed Neverland not to give himself the childhood he never had, but for a sinister reason.

“Neverland was built for his pleasure. I think it was part of romancing kids,” she said.

Jackson’s former maid, Adrian McManus, opened up about her experience working for the late pop star on 60 Minutes.

McManus said as she became privy to Jackson’s private domain, she saw scenes which she believed confirm his predatory behaviour towards children.

“The first time I cleaned his bedroom, I didn’t even know where to start,” she said.

“I saw a lot of fondling. Him rubbing his hands in kids’ hair, kissing them.

“I started realising, thinking, wondering, when he was taking baths with them, and they were sleeping in his bed.”

She also specified she would often find several pots of Vaseline on the property.

“There was a lot of Vaseline in Michael’s bedroom. It was actually all over [Neverland] ranch,” she said.

Neverland was raided by police in November 2003 as part of an inquiry into sex abuse allegations against Jackson.


Jackson was later acquitted but claimed he would not live their anymore as the raid had turned Neverland into a house, not a home.

Neverland narrowly avoided closure in 2008 due to debt when investment company Colony Capital bought the multi-million dollar outstanding loan on the property.

Colony Capital have been trying to sell the property, which it has reverted to its old name Sycamore Valley Ranch, since 2015.

It was originally listed for US$100 million, but in 2017 the price was lowered to US$67 million. In February, just days before the release of Leaving Neverland, it was once again slashed to US$31 million, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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