Katherine Jackson loses custody of Michael’s children temporarily to grandson
Ten days after Katherine Jackson inexplicably cut off communication with Michael Jackson’s three children and took off for Arizona without them, she has lost custody of them. A judge ruled on Wednesday that the 82-year-old be stripped of her guardian duties and has handed over the responsibility to her grandson, Tito’s son Tito Joe “TJ,” temporarily. At the emergency hearing, the 34-year-old told the court that during a phone call with his grandmother on Tuesday, “she wasn’t sharp. The pauses, choice of vocabulary … she has not used certain phrases like that before.”
TJ, who was choked up throughout much of his testimony, added that he thought perhaps Katherine was talking in code to him, since she has been closely monitored in Arizona by her oldest daughter Rebbie, who has been in cahoots with her siblings Jermaine, Randy, and Janet to convince their mother to contest Michael’s will … which left them nothing. During the hearing, the judge made it clear that he didn’t feel Katherine had done anything wrong, but he felt she was being prevented from being the guardian of Prince, 15, Paris, 14, and Blanket, 10, by an “intentional act from third parties.” The matriarch’s own lawyer, Sandra Ribera, also said she had visited her client several times recently and believes she was being held in Arizona against her will.
In addition to awarding TJ guardianship, the judge also ruled that the three children are not to be removed from California without a court order and the permission of both Diana Ross (the guardian successor to Katherine when she dies) and Prince and Paris’ biological mother Debbie Rowe. On Monday, Janet and Randy reportedly ambushed their car as they returned home and tried to take them to Arizona as well. In a video posted on TMZ, Janet can be seen trying to snatch Paris’ cell phone out of her hand twice before chasing after her, but she was restrained by Randy. It was also reported that Janet was scouring the Calabasas home looking for the kids’ passports before Paris demanded she leave “our house.”
TJ plans to file within the next 48 hours to become his cousins’ permanent guardian, a source tells TMZ. But outside the courthouse following the ruling, Katherine’s lawyer Perry Sanders said he would oppose that and added that the whole mess over the past 10 days is just one “giant misunderstanding” and that Katherine will return home to California on Wednesday. And when she does, Perry said he would file a motion to reinstate her as guardian of the children.