The Jackson Family Drama: Missing Mom and Money Disputes
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The Jackson Family Drama: Missing Mom and Money Disputes

It’s been a whirlwind week for the Jackson family, with a missing persons report, money-grubbing schemes, and custody evaluations.

On Saturday, Katherine Jackson – the matriarch of the Jackson family – was publicly declared missing by her nephew Trent, who filed a missing person report.

This was confirmed by MJ’s daughter Paris via Twitter, where she wrote the message “yes, my grandmother is missing. i haven’t spoken with her in a week i want her home now.”

Katherine’s son Jermaine, however, tweeted to the contrary, writing  “I want to reassure everyone (inc all sudden medical experts) that Mother is fine but is resting up in AZ on the order of a doctor, not us.” 

The 82-year-old was located just two days after the report was filed. Monday’s Today show reported that she was, in fact, on a planned vacation in Arizona with her daughter, Rebbie.

All of the drama came just days after five of Katherine’s children accused Michael Jackson’s estate managers of taking advantage of Katherine. They claim that Michael’s will was fraudulent and that the estate managers should step down from their positions.

But ABC reports that “they [executors of the will] will not stand down because the siblings who were left out of Michael’s will want them to,” according to Zia Modabber, the attorney of the Jackson estate.

Here are some controversial facts, as corroborated by TMZ and People:

1. Michael Jackson’s estate is currently valued at over $1 billion (and the money continues to trickle in.)

2. Katherine Jackson is currently the guardian of Michael’s three children.

3. Michael’s will left no assets to any of his siblings.

An insider told People Magazine: “It’s a house divided,” and this certainly seems to be the case. There has been no other evidence to suggest that Michael’s will was a fake. In fact, even if his latest will was proved to be a fraud (which is unlikely), this would hardly benefit Michael’s siblings, as they were also left out of previous versions.

Now, there has apparently been a “scuffle” at the Jackson estate, in which MJ’s siblings attempted to take his children from the home. ABC reports that sources say Michael’s siblings have been working on a plan over the past three years to gain guardianship of his three children. TMZ has stated that John McClain and John Branca, the executors of Michael’s estate will file for custody of the children, but this has not been confirmed.

Meanwhile, Zia Modabber, the attorney of the Jackson estate, has faced off in court against Katherine’s business partner, Howard Mann in a dispute over Mann and Katherine selling Michael Jackson merchandise without gaining permission from the estate.

A house divided? It’s hard to disagree with the sentiment. It looks like money has torn the Jackson family apart and pitted relatives against one another.

Media sources admit that at this point, it’s pretty difficult to determine what exactly is going on within the Jackson family as evidence, claims, and counterclaims are thrown around liberally. The only certainty is that this situation is far from resolved.

UPDATE: 25 JULY 2012

According to PEOPLE, Michael Jackson’s children are being moved into the custody of his 34-year-old nephew, TJ Jackson (son of Tito). In an emergency court hearing on Wednesday, the judge decided that until Katherine, who was the guardian until her recent disappearance to Arizona, becomes capable of caring for the children, TJ will be their guardian.  

Both TJ’s lawyer and Katherine’s lawyer (who believes the Jackson matriach is being held against her will in Arizona) agree that it is in the children’s best interest to put them into TJ’s care.  

“There’s immediate harm to the minor children, there was a potential abduction at the house, in addition to a phone call from Katherine last night that gave us real concern,” said Charles A. Schultz, attorney for TJ Jackson. “We are looking at this as a Band-Aid until Miss Jackson returns or re-establishes contact with the kids.”

Judge Beckloff, who handled the case, clarified that Katherine’s temporary suspension as guardian is “not based on any wrongdoing on her part,” and ordered that Debbie Rowe (mother to Prince and Paris Jackson) and singer Diana Ross be informed of the temporary switch in guardianship. In the event of Katherine’s death, Diana Ross was named as successor guardian.

Have you ever been involved in a family quarrel over an inheritance?

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