TJ Jackson is now PERMANENTLY sharing guardianship of Michael’s children with their grandmother Katherine Jackson, an L.A. judge has ruled.
In court, the judge told TJ to be mindful of the giant rift currently tearing apart the Jackson family, and asked TJ to make sure the children aren’t negatively affected.
Last month, TJ was awarded temporary co-guardianship of Prince, Paris, and Blanket along with Katherine. TJ has received enormous support from the Jackson family to take a guardianship role, including from Katherine herself … as well as Michael’s kids. He has been a father figure to the children since Michael died.
As co-guardian, TJ will assume many of the day-to-day tasks involved in taking care of the children, including management of household personnel and security. Many of these duties became too much for Katherine to cope with alone.
The judge made the ruling after considering a letter submitted by singer Diana Ross, who was named in Michael’s will as a potential guardian, and a letter presented by cousins of the singer who sought a delay in the appointment.
Debra Jackson and her son Anthony urged Judge Beckloff to delay his ruling, saying they were concerned that family matriarch Katherine Jackson was being coerced. The pair said they had been ostracized from the family and that the children may not be as excited about TJ Jackson’s appointment, as has been presented to the judge. But Judge Beckloff noted that all three children have said they consent to the co-guardianship, and that an independent investigation he ordered showed they “have a very strong, loving relationship with TJ Jackson.”
He urged TJ Jackson to consider allowing the cousins to visit the family, but said there was no reason to delay the guardianship question. The appointment means that Katherine and TJ Jackson will share responsibilities for raising the children. If one of them is no longer able to serve, the other would become the children’s sole guardian. Debra and Anthony Jackson declined to speak with reporters after the hearing, merely confirming their names and relationship to the family. Their letter and one submitted by Diana Ross were not filed with the court and will not be made public, court officials said.
Katherine Jackson’s attorney, Sandra Ribera, disputed their claims that her client is being improperly influenced. “Mrs. Jackson is well informed,” she said. “Mrs. Jackson is a strong woman who cannot be influenced by anyone when it comes to decisions about these children.”
TJ Jackson, 34, was appointed a temporary guardian last month when Katherine Jackson was incommunicado during a stay at an Arizona spa with relatives. Beckloff has said Katherine Jackson is doing a great job raising Prince, Paris and Blanket Jackson, but noted that having a co-guardian will allow for continuity in their lives if she is no longer able to serve.
TJ Jackson was a relative unknown to the public before the recent rift in the family. Although, many of Michael’s fans will remember his performances with the band called 3T, along with his brothers and was close to his Uncle Michael, before he died.
Today’s hearing had been expected to be a legal formality and although Beckloff made time to hear the cousins’ grievances, the judge didn’t waver in his view that the co-guardianship arrangement was appropriate. He noted that it is frequently employed in other cases.
The mother of the two eldest children, Deborah Rowe, has indicated she is comfortable with the arrangement.