Jackson Family Drama: Is a Dispute over Michael’s Will Causing Turmoil?

A series of tweets from Michael Jackson's daughter Paris inadvertently revealed a conflict between his executors and three of his siblings, who have accused the executors of criminal misconduct regarding his multimillion dollar estate.

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Paris Jackson appears onstage at the 'Michael Forever' concert to remember the late Michael Jackson at The Millenium Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Cardiff, United Kingdom

After several days of alleged intra-familial turmoil between the surviving relatives of Michael Jackson, his mother Katherine, who had been reported missing last weekend but was determined to be safe with a relative in Arizona, has returned home safely to the Los Angeles area. But her reappearance came only after a judge ordered Jackson’s nephew, T.J. to serve as temporary guardian of his three children, Prince, Paris and Blanket, effectively suspending the guardianship held by Katherine after Michael’s 2009 death.

Katherine Jackson expressed frustration over the judge’s decision and disputed any suggestions that she had been held away from the family home in Calabasas, Calif., against her will. “I am devastated that while I’ve been away, that my children, my grandchildren, have been taken away from me, and I’m coming home to see about that, also,” she said in a statement. “I am here today to let everybody know that I am fine and I am here with my children, and my children would never do a thing to me like that, holding me against my will. It’s very stupid for people to think that.”

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This latest revelation comes as media reports have been flooded with news of drama between family members that began when Katherine, 82, was reported missing on Saturday, before she turned up in Arizona, having been with daughter Rebbie on doctors orders. Attention quickly turned toward a tweet sent out Monday through the account of the 14-year-old Paris, expressing worry about the family’s matriarch.

A day later, another message was sent from the account: “9 days and counting… so help me god i will make whoever did this pay.” (Her Twitter account has been verified by Michael Jackson’s official website, http://www.legendarymichaeljackson.nl.) On her grandmother’s return, her account took on a different tone:

Monday, L.A. sheriff’s deputies answered a call at the Jacksons’ home to respond to a disturbance, which website Celebuzz reported to be an attempt by Randy, Janet and Jermaine, to take Michael’s children from the home. A surveillance video, shown on Los Angeles’ KTLA-TV even shows a confrontation between Janet, Randy and Paris. Although authorities confirmed a conflict took place, they said it did not involve Michael Jackson’s kids and that no arrests were made, the Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday.

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The entire conflict apparently comes from disputes over their deceased sibling’s estate, reported to be worth more than $500 million. Records show that 40% goes to Katherine while she is alive (which then goes to Michael’s children afterward), 40% goes to Prince, Paris and Blanket now, and 20% goes to charity. But Randy Jackson appeared on MSNBC to say he, Jermaine and Janet went to the home to let them know they could communicate with their grandmother, and that at least those three siblings believe there has been criminal misconduct on the part of the executors of Michael Jackson’s will, John Branca and John McClain.

“Our brother Michael was not where they said he was on the date that the will was signed and did not, in fact, sign that will,” Randy told the Rev. Al Sharpton on his evening news program PoliticsNation, saying that the three siblings have sought the executors’ resignation through a letter. “We feel that the evidence is right there, plain as day that my brother was not in Los Angeles on the day that they swore, under penalty of perjury, on that will that he was. He was in New York, so therefore the will is fake.” Sharpton himself said that the day Jackson was alleged to have signed the will, he was actually with him in Harlem.

However, Brana and McClain released their own statement on Jackson’s official website in their own defense, denying any wrongdoing.

“We are acutely concerned about the welfare of Mrs. Jackson, and most particularly with Michael’s minor children. We are concerned that we do what we can to protect them from undue influences, bullying, greed, and other unfortunate circumstances,” the statement said. “While we do not have standing to directly intervene, we have monitored the situation and will continue to do so. We believe measures are being put in place that will help protect them from what they are having to deal with.”

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The drama may also be connected to allegations beginning in April that Katherine Jackson is being exploited by family members, the Times reported. But L.A. Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steven Whitmore says that deputies interviewed Jackson, who denied any such thing. “She emphatically denied the allegations, and deputies determined she was in good health,” he told the Times.

Meanwhile, T.J. Jackson, the son of Michael’s brother Tito, may still have an uphill legal battle ahead of him. Although he has been awarded temporary guardianship over the children, Katherine’s lawyer, Perry Sanders, has said he will oppose any attempt to make him the permanent guardian, the celeb website TMZ reported.

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