King of Pop selling tix for two at $5K
Pop star Michael Jackson has announced plans to temporarily open his carnival-style Neverland Ranch estate to 500 guests.The invitation-only event, set for Sept. 13, is a one-time-only gathering, complete with dinner, magicians, games and a tractor-trailer full of stuffed animals, according to Jackson publicist Stuart Backerman. Tickets for two people cost $5,000, with $1,000 from each sale being divided among three charities, he added. Jackson will keep the rest — Backerman said it would pay for the costs of the party. Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, located in Santa Barbara County, includes an amusement park with bumper cars, a merry-go-round and Ferris wheel. Guests would also receive a “goodie bag” worth about $1,000 and an original painting by Brazilian artist Romero Britto. Backerman said 250 tickets will go on sale, potentially worth $1.25 million. The maximum $250,000 charitable donation will be split between the Make-A-Wish Foundation for sick children; Oneness, dedicated to erasing racism through art and music; and E Ai Como E Que Fica, a Rio de Janeiro group that provides food, clothing and medical care to impoverished children. Jackson’s former financial advisers settled a lawsuit against him in June that suggested he was overburdened with debt and near bankruptcy. That has led to speculation that the Neverland property, recently assessed at $12.3 million, would be placed on the market.