Roger Friedman, who pens the mighty Fox 411 gossip fest, included a wee blurb in his column today that reports that the much publicized May 14 foreclosure auction for Neverland Ranch is full speed ahead.
Now children, we got no reason to disbelieve the typically very well informed Mister Friedman...except for what we hear from Mister Plum, a seemingly well connected informant who whispers something a different in Your Mama's big ear.
According to Mister Plum, The White Lady has miraculously managed to get Fortress Investment Group to once again restructure his massive loan on the forlorn and falling apart Neverland Ranch so that the former King of Pop can sell it privately to a group of LA based investors. Now go put on your thinking caps children, because this is where it gets even more confusing. Mister Friedman has repeatedly reported that an L.A. based investor named Jason Castero has put $46,000,000 into an escrow account and will likely be one of the bidders standing on the steps of the Santa Barbara County courthouse on May 14.
However Mr. Plum, who claims to have connections at Fortress, says he's quite certain the foreclosure sale won't happen and there is another LA-based investment group that is NOT headed up by Jason Castero who is also making a play to purchase the property directly from The White Lady...that is IF the beleaguered and financially strapped Gloved One will sell the property.
Here's the thing: Your Mama has a very, very difficult time believing that Fortress would be in any mood to want to work with Mister Jackson on this long defaulted on $24,500,000 loan. We simply can't figure out how a refinance on the 2,600 acre ranch is in their best interest particularly if they know that this Castero fellow and perhaps another group of cash rich investors are chomping at the bit to buy the property.
Mister Plum tells Your Mama that it's going down this way because "Mister Jackson does not play that way," referring to the foreclosure and auction bizness. But with all due respect to Mister Plum, Neverland Ranch is already in foreclosure and Mister Jackson really isn't in any position to pull the real estate strings and play any way anymore. It all seems to have moved far beyond his ability to control the situation and call the shots, much as he might like to, of course
So then we'll all have to sit tight until the scheduled May 14 auction draws near and then see how all this rumor and gossip will sort itself out and into a place of truth and reality.
Photo/Sculpture: Jeff Koons' Michael Jackson and Bubbles (1986) via World of Art