Jackson's mom cut off from world in mystery Arizona stay

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 02, 2012 2:57 PM
Jackson's mom cut off from world in mystery Arizona stay

By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Katherine Jackson was unaware she had been reported missing or that her pop star son's three children were trying to contact her during a stay in Arizona last month in which she was unable to communicate with the outside world.

The Jackson family matriarch, who on Thursday was reinstated as guardian of the "Thriller" singer's children, said in a court document that she was told the kids were fine.

Her 10-day absence at a luxury resort in Arizona came as a power struggle erupted within the large Jackson clan over control of the pop star's multi-million dollar estate.

Katherine Jackson, 82, agreed on Thursday to share guardianship of Prince, 15, Paris, 14 and Blanket, 10, with TJ Jackson, the 34-year-old son of Michael Jackson's brother Tito.

Los Angeles Superior Court judge Mitchell Beckloff will hold a further hearing on August 22 to consider making the shared guardianship arrangement permanent.

Katherine returned to the family compound near Los Angeles last week after publicly denying rumors she had been kidnapped by some of her adult children.

But in a declaration submitted to the court on Thursday, she said an iPad was taken away from her, her room telephone was not working and her television had sound, but no picture. Had she known her grandchildren were trying to contact her she would not have been gone so long, she added.

"At the time, I trusted the people I was with to be honest with me," she wrote, without specifying who she was referring to.


Katherine said she had planned last month to take a road trip to New Mexico to watch four of her sons in concert. But instead an unnamed doctor ordered her to rest, told her to take a plane, and she found herself at the Arizona resort and spa.

After repeatedly asking for the television to be fixed, she woke up one morning to hear a broadcast that she had been reported missing, she said.

During her absence, five of Michael Jackson's siblings wrote to the executors of their brother's estate challenging the validity of the will found after his 2009 death.

The will left control of the estate with two non-family executors for the benefit of the late singer's mother and his children.

According to recent court documents, the estate has earned $475 million in gross profits since Jackson's death and much of his estimated $500 million debts have been paid off.

Jermaine Jackson on Wednesday called for an end to the bitter public fight, which saw an angry standoff last week between his pop star sister Janet Jackson and her niece Paris at the family compound near Los Angeles.

One celebrity media claim last week that Janet Jackson slapped Paris and verbally abused her was retracted on Wednesday.

Jermaine Jackson said in a Twitter statement that he was withdrawing his name from the letter sent to the executors, and appealed for family unity.

"It is time for us all to draw a line in the sand and move towards peace, co-operation, love and healing. I truly hope we can find it in our hearts to do so," Jermaine wrote.

Michael Jackson died in June 2009 at age 50 from an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol. His personal physician is serving four years imprisonment for administering the dose as a sleep aid.

(Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Andrew Hay)