3.17.2006

This Makes Me Kind of Sad


Michael Jackson has officially shut down Neverland Ranch, after controversy over payment due to employees. He eventually agreeed to pay them an alleged $306,000 in owed wages. If he didn't give them their money, he faced a lawsuit from the California Department of Industrial Relations. His spokeswoman, Raymone K. Bain, recently assured the press that Neverland was not permanently closed, saying, "Reports that Neverland have been closed or shut down for good are inaccurate...There will be no further comments regarding this matter."However, electricity had been turned off on most of the ranch, as well as the gas, resulting in no heat or hot water. What's more, Jackson no longer carries any type of commercial insurance for Neverland. He currently lives in the Middle Eastern country of Bahrain with his children, a driver, a Bentley GT, and a Rolls Royce Phantom, all of which (except the kids, duh) have been supplied by Crown Prince Abdullah.

Employees were called to the ranch on Thursday in several groups and given their back pay after being informed that the ranch had been shut down by the California Department of Labor. The state finally closed the ranch after finding that Jackson carried no worker's compensation and his staff's health insurance had run out February 28th. What really makes me sad, though is the fact that the zoo animals are now seeking a new home. Neverland was visited recently by representatives from Marine World that are considering adopting many of the animals.

Despite the lavish lifestyle Jackson lives in Bahrain, he faces several American lawsuits as well as the foreclosure of $270 million worth of loans. He also now must pay the state of California two seperate fines, one for $69,000 and one for over $100k that will be determined today.

Even though Jackson's a sicko and is largely a comical figure now, I can't help but feel sad - maybe not exactly sorry, though - for him. I loved him so much growing up. The direction his life has taken is just strange.