Atty: Jackson guardianship deal reached

The attorney for Katherine Jackson (l) says she's pleased with new joint custody arrangement with grandson TJ Jackson (r) of son Michael's children. / Photos: Matt Sayles/AP (l); David J. Hogan/Getty Images (r)

LOS ANGELES — Michael Jackson’s mother will share guardianship of the pop superstar’s three children with Tito Jackson’s son in a deal that will relieve her of some of the day-to-day stresses of managing a famous family, her attorney said Friday.

The decision was made after a meeting between Katherine Jackson and her lawyer Perry Sanders Jr. on Thursday. He said Michael Jackson’s eldest son has told attorneys he approves of the arrangement.

The proposed arrangement could be presented to a judge next week. If approved, it would make Tito Joe “TJ” Jackson a co-guardian of the children — Prince, Paris and Blanket — who range in ages from 10 to 15.

“Mrs. Jackson is extremely pleased with the prospect of enjoying the pleasure of raising Michael’s children without the day-to-day tedium of items such as managing the large staff that goes with such a high-profile family and focus her attention on being a grandmother and raising Michael’s children,” Sanders wrote in a statement.

“She is eager to simply enjoy her great relationship with these children, while deeding over some of the stressors that go hand in hand with being a guardian,” he wrote.

A judge on Wednesday suspended Katherine Jackson’s guardianship duties temporarily and appointed TJ Jackson as temporary guardian. He was expected to file a petition on Friday to become the children’s permanent guardian, but Sanders said that is a formality meant to abide by court orders.

The agreement came after days of turmoil in the Jackson family, including questions about Katherine Jackson’s health and whereabouts.

Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff said there were no indications the 82-year-old had done anything wrong, and he would likely re-instate her as guardian upon her return.

Katherine Jackson had been at a Tucson, Ariz., spa since July 15 with her daughter Rebbie and other relatives and had not spoken to her grandchildren during that time.

Meanwhile, Beckloff on Friday ordered an investigation into the well-being of the three children. He told a court investigator to interview the them independently and provide a report for review only by the judge, not attorneys involved in the case.

The order does not spell out a reason for the investigation, but it is likely intended to give the judge another perspective on how Jackson’s children are coping after a week of family turmoil that included the absence of their grandmother and a dispute in the driveway of their home amid a feud over the estate of the pop superstar.

— Associated Press