*Janet Jackson’s attorney has released a statement on behalf of the singer, her brother Randy and sister Rebbie strongly denying that they are trying to benefit financially from their late brother Michael’s estate, reports the Los Angeles Times.
They accused the executors of trying to divide the family and distract from questions about the legitimacy of Michael Jackson’s will.
“They stand to gain nothing financially by a finding that the will is invalid,” Blair G. Brown, a Washington attorney for Janet Jackson, wrote in the statement released Friday. “What will be gained … is that the executors will be replaced and the estate and the guardianship will be managed in a manner that is in the best interest of the children, which is what Michael wanted.”
Allegations that the siblings were holding their 82-year-old mother against her will in Arizona drew worldwide attention last week and resulted in a new custody arrangement in which the family matriarch shares guardianship of Michael Jackson’s three children with Tito’s son, Tito Joe “T.J.” Jackson.
The 2002 will accepted by a probate judge after Jackson’s death three years ago gave music industry veterans John Branca and John McClain control of an estate with an estimated worth of $1 billion. The court-approved compensation plan gives the executors a 10% cut of some earnings.
The siblings have said the will was faked and cited evidence that Michael Jackson was out of town on the day the will indicates he signed the document in Los Angeles.
A spokesman for the estate said Friday evening that the legal window for challenging the will has closed, but that two prior wills also named Branca executor and gave no power to Jackson’s siblings.
In his statement, Brown accused the executors of barring the three siblings from visiting their mother at the Calabasas home where she lives with her grandchildren.
“The effect … not only is to damage fundamental family relationships, it is also to isolate Katherine Jackson from anyone questioning the validity of the will,” Brown wrote.
The executors’ spokesman said Katherine Jackson and T.J. have the final say on who is allowed at the residence.
According to the website, the judge ordered that MJ’s kids must not be removed from California without a court order. The judge added that TJ should file a petition for permanent guardianship, and he must give notice to both Diana Ross and Debbie Rowe.
TJ’s lawyer also told the court about a phone conversation that TJ had with Katherine Jackson yesterday that gave him serious pause.
According to TMZ, TJ said, “I’ve never heard my grandmother talk like that.”TJ added, “She wasn’t sharp. The pauses, choice of vocabulary … she has not used certain phrases like that before.” TJ thought she was talking in code. As TJ addressed the court, he was choking up.
Judge Beckloff ruled this was not a power play by TJ and ordered the Michael Jackson Estate to give TJ the funds necessary to take care of security and anything else that’s needed for the children. Also, the lawyer for MJ’s kids said they all support TJ getting temporary guardianship.
Also, the judge said Katherine was not suspended for wrongdoing, but that she was prevented from doing her guardianship duties by “intentional act from third parties.” According to TMZ, the judge was referring to Katherine’s kids Randy, Jermaine and Janet.
Additionally, Katherine’s lawyer, Sandra Ribera, told the court that she has been to Katherine’s house several times recently and she believes Katherine has been held against her will. TJ’s lawyer Charles Schultz co-signed, saying there was an “incident” at Katherine’s house last night that escalated. He added TJ is unsure Katherine is acting voluntarily.
Katherine’s lawyer, Perry Sanders, tells TMZ, “This is a very tense time when of course we don’t feel Mrs. Jackson should be removed as guardian and we would vigorously oppose that on anything other than an extremely short-term basis, until she returns home.”
TMZ is also reporting that Katherine had high blood pressure before she skipped L.A., and the reported spa visit in Arizona did her good. But TJ doesn’t think it did the kids any good, as things have completely unraveled at her home within the past week.
(L-R) Blanket, Prince and Paris
At the root of the drama is Michael’s will and whether or not his legal team forged the signature on it. Also, last week, reports surfaced that family matriarch Katherine had gone missing, but Jermaine Jackson insisted she was alive, well. Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives closed their missing persons case opened for Katherine when she was found to be with her daughter Rebbie in Arizona.
“Katherine Jackson has been located and she is fine and with family,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said. “Our missing persons case is closed.” Deputies talked to two family members and were satisfied, he explained.
A lawyer for Katherine Jackson, however, was not satisfied, saying the sheriff’s deputies who tried to talk to her in Arizona Monday were blocked from seeing her.
Janet Jackson (L) and Paris Jackson clash. Janet and her brothers Jermaine and Randy Jackson attempted to convince Michael Jackson’s two oldest children, Paris and Prince, to leave Katherine Jackson’s home with them Monday, but Paris and Prince resisted
As we reported yesterday, TMZ caught footage of a physical confrontation between Jackson’s daughter Paris, her aunt Janet Jackson and uncle Randy Jackson at Katherine’s home. At the root of that incident was Paris’ tweeting about being unable to reach her grandmother for several days. The tweets of their family business didn’t sit well with Janet. This morning, it was reported that Janet actually slapped Paris during their altercation, and Paris slapped her back.
According to TMZ, the incident started when Randy, Jermaine and Janet Jackson followed another vehicle into the Calabasas compound. They were not permitted to enter the property themselves . The car in front was apparently carrying Michael Jackson’s three children.
Once they were inside, Janet, Jermaine and Randy reportedly tried to grab the children and put them in their own SUV in order to take them to Arizona, where Katherine Jackson had been resting. At one point, Janet tried to grab Paris’ mobile phone and called her a “spoiled little bitch.” Paris reportedly said to Janet, “This is our house. Not the Jackson family house. Get the f**k out.”
Meanwhile, cousin Trent Jackson (who works for Katherine) and Randy Jackson had a separate dust up, with Trent allegedly putting Randy in a headlock and punching Jermaine in the mouth.
Back to the issue of Katherine’s whereabouts… Marlon Jackson broke down and walked out of an interview at “The Insider” yesterday during talk of Katherine. He was filming the segment with Jackie and Tito [See below.]. Jermaine continues to insist that the 82-year-old is “fine.” Marlon, however, says they haven’t seen her in over a week.
Marlon told The Insider: ”We’ve been told that our mother is safe. She’s doing well. But we have not spoken with her. We have not talked with her and I don’t know where my mother is.” He then wept on camera as he added angrily, “All I know is she is in Arizona, and whatever doctor is saying I can’t talk to my mother you call me!” before storming off the set in tears.
In another clip, separate to that, Marlon commented “All I know is that there is somebody who made the decision that my mother cannot talk to me and whoever that person is they’re going to answer to me because I’m going to see my mother and I’m going to bring her home.”
His brother Jackie had words too, saying “We would love to talk to her and speak with her. The children haven’t spoken to my mom and whenever my mom goes anywhere she always calls back and talks to the kids, Michael’s kids… At this present time we haven’t spoken to her. It’s been nine or 10 days. We hear that she’s somewhere in Arizona but at this time we haven’t spoken with her.”