Decision on Michael Jackson’s children to be made by Court
THE living arrangements and guardianship of Michael Jackson’s three children are expected to be determined by an upcoming court hearing.
A lawyer representing Katherine Jackson, the pop superstar’s 82-year-old mother, said he would file legal documents that would make the children’s cousin TJ Jackson a co-guardian.
The plan appeared designed to remove pressure from Katherine Jackson who was named in her son’s will as the children’s sole guardian.
Perry Sanders, Katherine Jackson’s lawyer, has said the arrangement would allow his client to focus on the children’s upbringing and not on financial or logistics issues.
Legal papers outlining the plan were expected to be filed on Thursday in Los Angeles.
TJ Jackson, 34, was appointed as temporary guardian in a court hearing after Katherine Jackson was reported missing but later turned up at an Arizona spa.
The judge in the hearing said he did did not believe Katherine Jackson had done anything wrong but suspended her guardianship duties because she had been out of contact with her grandchildren for 10 days.
She returned from her trip hours after last week’s hearing replaced her with TJ Jackson as guardian of Prince, 15, Paris, 14 and Blanket, 10.
The new agreement would call for TJ Jackson to remain a co-guardian, with control over the staff and day-to-day operations of the home where Katherine Jackson and her grandchildren live.
The changes in guardianship come on the heels of family dissension over Jackson’s will, which left nothing to his siblings when he died three years ago.
Several of them signed a letter which was leaked to the press alleging the will was a fake and calling on executors of the estate to resign.
The dispute at one point led to a driveway confrontation involving several family members at the Calabasas mansion where Katherine Jackson and the children have been living.
On Wednesday, Jermaine Jackson issued a plea for peace in the family and withdrew his support of the letter.
In a statement first released to The Associated Press, he said he regretted the public turmoil that resulted from his mother’s recent trip and believed subsequent matters regarding his mother and the children should be handled privately.
“Mistakes have been made and irrational things have been said on both sides in a highly charged emotional environment,” Jermaine Jackson wrote. “It is time for us all to draw a line in the sand and move toward peace, co-operation, love and healing.”
Jermaine Jackson wrote that the family was still raw from Jackson’s death, and his mother had endured incredible stress and pressures since then. “After much soul-searching, it is clearly time for us to live by Michael’s words about love not war,” he wrote.
Another party to the Jackson family drama, singer Diana Ross, who was named by Jackson in his will as a potential guardian of the children if Katherine Jackson was not available, issued her own statement saying the recent turmoil was a private matter.
Jermaine Jackson said in his statement that by the time of the driveway confrontation on July 23, “it was clear that mutual suspicions had allowed events to spiral out of control”. He said that he, Randy and Janet Jackson went to the Calabasas home to try to talk to the children.
“I regret that events were ever allowed to reach such a stage,” he wrote. “I regret any distress caused to Prince, Paris and Blanket. That was never, ever the intention of myself, Janet, Rebbie or Randy.”