Judge Appoints Temporary Guardian of MJ's Kids

by Bryan Lynn 11:01 AM PDT, July 25, 2012
Photo: Getty Images

A judge has temporarily removed Michael Jackson's mother Katherine as the guardian of Michael Jackson's three children and granted temporary guardianship to Tito Jackson's son TJ. 

The move comes amid ongoing drama in the Jackson family stemming from a dispute over the late pop superstar's lucrative estate and recent confusion about the whereabouts of Katherine Jackson. The judge decided to temporarily suspend Katherine as guardian of the children -- Paris, 14, Prince Michael, 15, and Blanket, 10 -- because she has been in Arizona and hadn't spoken with the children in several days.

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An attorney for Katherine said the 82-year-old Jackson family matriarch is due back in Los Angeles on Wednesday. The attorney, Perry Sanders Jr., also told the Associated Press that Katherine had spoken with the children on Tuesday after Sanders met with Janet and Jermaine Jackson in Tucson, AZ.

TJ Jackson sought the emergency hearing Wednesday in Los Angeles, but his attorney said he was not trying to permanently replace Katherine as the children's sole guardian.

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During the hearing, TJ said he had spoken with Katherine on Tuesday, but that she was using words he'd never heard her use before and her voice at times sounded slurred.

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Last weekend, a relative reported that Katherine Jackson was missing and was cut off from contact with Michael's children. Authorities eventually made contact with Katherine, who was staying with family members in Arizona, and said they had verified that she was safe.