Bidding on the land occupied by the late Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch has begun, with proposals ranging from turning the area into a shrine of Jackson to a state park. One local businessman has other plans though, and reportedly wants to turn the mansion into a sexual-assault rehab center for children who faced abuse in the past.
“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 told Page Six. The exact details of the bid aren't known, but it is thought to be in the $40 million range.
Throughout his career, Michael Jackson faced accusations that he sexually abused children at the Neverland Ranch. After a 2005 trial, Jackson was found not-guilty on 14 charges relating to molestation. The mansion was originally seized a year before Jackson's death in 2008, when Colony Capital took over the property from the debt-plagued singer.
While the other bidders want to turn the mansion into a shrine, it will be difficult to do so without the consent from Jackson's family. “We are frustrated, bitterly disappointed and saddened that it has come to this,” a family rep said in a statement. “Sadly, Michael lost control of Neverland during his life as a result of advice from a former manager.”
We will continue to update this story as more information is released.