Split: Joe and Katherine Jackson, pictured supporting their son Michael as he defended child molestation claims, have split after 60 years of marriage.

Michael Jackson’s parents are set to divorce after 60 years of marriage, after the King of Pop’s mother Katherine became tired of her husband Joe’s cruel behaviour.

The pair became estranged five years ago, and live apart, but the family matriarch reportedly decided to file for divorce after Joe, 81, suggested she was to blame for their son’s shock death last year. Jackson, who was accused of abusing Michael as a child, said in June: “I begged her to go over and stay with him, but she insisted he needed his privacy.” Katherine retaliated, saying through her spokesperson: “Joe Jackson’s statement and conduct toward Mrs Jackson are outrageous.” Referring to the abuse of their children, the spokesperson then said: “The world also knows who Joe Jackson is and he seems bent on never letting us forget.” According to the Daily Star, she considered the attack as the final straw.

Katherine has sole custody of her late son’s three children: Prince Michael, 13, Paris, 12, and Blanket, 8, in Encino, California while Joe resides in Las Vegas. Despite already being separated, Katherine was said to be reluctant to officially end the marriage because as a Jehovah’s Witness she does not believe in divorce.

The couple is parents to nine children including Jackson 5 members Michael, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon, married in November 1949 and have 26 grandchildren. They put on a united front to support Michael during child abuse accusations against him and mourned side by side at his funeral after his death in June last year, aged 50. In 2007, Michael accused his father — who he does not mention in his will — of beating him when he was a child.