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Jackson Beats It to Maryland

Michael Jackson is swapping Neverland for Maryland. Doing his best to keep those bankruptcy rumors at bay, a rep for the dethroned King of Pop has confirmed that Jackson is currently house-hunting in the tony Chesapeake Bay region of the state.

Jackson’s long-suffering publicist, Raymone Bain, told the Washington Post that the entertainer, accompanied by his three children, moonwalked over to the eastern shore “for about 24 hours” last week to scout out some vacation homes.

“He’s always admired the properties on the East Coast because they have a lot of land,” Bain told the paper. “Neverland has 3,000 acres–he likes privacy. You can’t find as many properties like that on the West Coast.”

While Bain also said that Jackson was looking to head east to be closer to the majority of his advisers and attorneys, she stressed that any new digs would simply be a vacation spot for the pop star and that he has yet to even make an offer on an estate.

The 48-year-old has not limited his search to the Chesapeake area. Bain told the Post that Jackson has expanded his search and “gone up the coast.”

While no specific locations of interest were named by Bain, reports have been circulating that Jackson looked at property in the 17th century waterfront town of St. Michaels, a picturesque village that already boasts big-name vacation home owners Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and Tony Snow–quite the neighborhood welcome wagon.

The local WBAL-TV reported that Jackson and his family had been staying in the town’s Inn at Perry Cabin, after capturing video of a row of white sheets covering the path from the inn’s exit to a waiting limousine. The station speculated that the makeshift shield was erected for the reclusive star.

Jackson is in the market for a vacation home after deciding not to exercise the option to purchase his part-time Las Vegas rental–a decision that prompted erroneous reports last month that he had been evicted from the pad.

In light of the ever-mounting rumors about Jackson, Bain took some time out to deny a big one to the Post: While her client is currently on the East Coast, he has no intention of getting a kidney transplant.

“It’s so much chaos and confusion,” she said.

To separate the chaos from confusion, Bain said Jackson landed in Maryland 10 days ago with his children not only to begin his house-hunt, but to tend to a “laundry list” of responsibilities. The publicist declined to specify just what responsibilities demanded Jackson’s attention, but she hinted that they were likely of a business nature.

“He’s head of a vast corporation.”

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