Michael Jackson's attorney said Thursday the pop singer has made the Middle Eastern nation of Bahrain, not Neverland ranch, his permanent home.Attorney Thomas A. Mesereau Jr. declined to comment on local speculation that Jackson planned to sell Neverland ranch, but said the singer is very happy in his new home.
"He's looking much better. He's with his children, and he's moving on in life," Mesereau said. "He's living permanently in Bahrain. He has friends there who have been very loyal and helpful to him in a difficult period of his life."
Jackson spent four months earlier this year in a Santa Maria courtroom before a jury acquitted him in June of charges that included sexually abusing a young recovering cancer patient.
Within weeks, the singer traveled to Bahrain, where he has been a guest of the royal family. He has been a houseguest of Sheik Salman ibn Hamed Khalifa, the crown prince of Bahrain, staying in a palace in the desert kingdom. The singer's brother, Jermaine Jackson, reportedly has close ties with Bahrain's royal circle, earlier this year announcing plans to unveil a charity theme song written by a son of the nation's king.
As for the King of Pop, he appears to have won a warm reception in the Persian Gulf. In August, according to press reports, Jackson visited the Gulf region's trade and tourism hub of Dubai, where he hob-knobbed with friends and local celebrities.
Mesereau said he saw Jackson a few weeks ago in London, where the singer is reportedly working on a charity single to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
"He looks really well," Mesereau said of the singer, whose already slight frame became even more brittle-looking during his trial.
In the Santa Ynez Valley, Jackson's departure has met with a decidedly mixed reaction. Some will miss his largesse, but others are glad to see the crowds, the media and the weirdness go.
Felicia Cody, a gallery owner in Los Olivos, said she will miss the entertainer coming in to buy art, and his friendship.
"He's definitely going to be missed, no question about it. He's a beautiful man," she said. "He's an artist, and he understands the life of an artist."
An employee of a nearby school would only say that "the ranch has always been very good to us."
Others were all but saying "good riddance," noting that Jackson's ranch had become a media circus after he was charged with molestation in 2003, reports Los Angeles Times I.L.