Drawing a brief but intense legal drama to an end -- at least for now -- the King of Pop's mother, Katherine Jackson, and nephew, Tito Joe "TJ" Jackson, have been granted co-guardianship of Michael's three children.
Los Angeles Superior Court judge Mitchell Beckloff issued the co-guardianship order Friday morning.
In late July, Beckloff granted T.J. -- the son of Michael's brother Tito -- temporary guardianship of Prince, Paris and Blanket Jackson. That order came amid the mysterious disappearance of family matriarch -- and, up until then, the children's guardian -- Katherine Jackson, 82, who was holed up at an Arizona resort for nearly two weeks under still-unclear circumstances.
"After careful consideration of the investigation the judge ordered, he stated from the bench that the report showed that Mrs Jackson has been a great guardian and he immediately reinstated her as permanent guardian," Katherine's attorney told TheWrap in a statement. "I of course totally agree and never had one moment of doubt about Mrs. Jackson being a perfect guardian for these kids."
The custodial maneuvering was matched by a scramble by Katherine's children to wrest control of Michael's trust from its current executors, John Branca and John McClain. Michael's siblings Randy, Janet, Jermaine, Tito and Rebbie signed a letter alleging that the "Beat It" singer's will was "fake, flawed and fraudulent." (A number of the siblings, including Jermaine and Tito, have subsequently disavowed the letter.)
Following Katherine's return to California, Michael's oldest child, 15-year-old Prince Michael Jackson Jr., took to his Twitter account to complain that he and his siblings were prohibited from contacting their grandmother during her absence.
"For this whole time, they denied us contact to our grandmother," Jackson wrote.
The co-guardianship is currently temporary, pending an Aug. 22 hearing to make it permanent. (However, it is likely to be made permanent, as Katherine has filed a consent and request that T.J. be appointed as co-guardian on that day.)
Jackson died on July 25, 2009 at the age of 50, of acute propofol intoxication.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.
- Katherine Jackson