Music

Michael's famous Neverland Ranch, which once housed a zoo and fairground rides, won't be auctioned off this month after all. The singer has come to an agreement with an investment group and will now hang on to the sprawling property
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King of pop Michael saves Neverland ranch from being auctioned

14 MARCH 2008
Despite not having lived there since 2005, music legend Michael Jackson has pulled out all the stops to prevent his beloved Neverland Ranch from being sold off at public auction later this month. According to his lawyer, the Billie Jean singer has struck up a confidential agreement with an investment group which means the Californian estate won't go under the hammer after all.

Originally, it was reported the reclusive musician - who now spends the majority of his time abroad - was given until March 19 to pay off $24.5 million worth of debts he owed on the property. However, it seems crisis has now been averted. "Neverland and MJ are fine," confirmed his lawyer.

The fantasy-themed ranch, which is named after the fictional island in Peter Pan and once featured a private amusement park, was bought by Michael at the height of his success in 1987. It was closed in 2006, though, after insurance on the property lapsed and staff remained unpaid.