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Tuesday
Mar052013

La Toya Jackson Denies Control over MJ’s Kids

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- La Toya Jackson is denying published reports that she has signed her late brother’s children to her talent management agency and is managing their careers.

The New York Post reported Sunday that Jackson, 56, had signed Michael Jackson’s children, 16-year-old Prince, 14-year-old Paris and 10-year-old Blanket, to Ja-Tail Enterprises, a talent agency which reportedly has no other clients.

The story also claimed that Jackson gets a 15 percent commission on each deal she negotiates for the three children, and that bidding for a reality TV series featuring the children and the family matriarch, Katherine Jackson, had approached $10 million.

La Toya Jackson sharply rejected the claims. In a statement she labeled the Post's story, “completely and unequivocally false” and said she was she seeking legal advice.

The statement added that Jackson provides the children advice and support but further said: “Neither La Toya nor her company represent any of MJ’s children in any legal capacity nor has she received any commissions or payment as a result of their individual ventures.”

She also denied shopping a reality show for the three children, but said in the statement that she had been “diligently” assisting Prince with his career at his request. Prince Jackson is a special correspondent on Entertainment Tonight and also has a guest-starring role in the series finale of 90210 on the CW.

Custody of Michael Jackson’s three children and a dispute over his estate led to a very public feud in the family last year.

Life With La Toya, a reality show starring La Toya Jackson, will premiere on the Oprah Winfrey Network later this year.

 

La Toya Jackson’s Full Statement:

“The story in the NY Post is completely and unequivocally false.  Neither La Toya nor her company represent any of MJ’s children in any legal capacity nor has she received any commissions or payment as a result of their individual ventures. As a loving Aunt, when the children ask for help or advice she supports them 100%, and will continue to do so.

Furthermore, there is no shopping of a reality show for the children. Paris did her movie deal over a year ago directly with the production company and La Toya had nothing to do with it. Over the past year Prince has continuously asked his Aunt for her help in starting his career because of the infrastructure she has.  When she asked her nephew what he wanted for his birthday he replied, “He just wanted to work,” It was at the time that she diligently started to assist him with his career and that’s when Entertainment Tonight was booked and then 90210.

La Toya is currently consulting with her attorneys on how to proceed against these false and derogatory statements made by the NY Post and other participating publications.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar042013

Report: La Toya Jackson in Charge of Michael Jackson's Kids' Careers

Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Michael Jackson’s son Prince recently signed on to be a correspondent with Entertainment Tonight -- reportedly under the watchful eye of his aunt La Toya Jackson.

Writing for the New York Post, a close friend of the Jackson family, Stacy Brown, says La Toya has signed all three of Michael’s children exclusively to her Ja-Tail Enterprises talent agency.

Brown claims that while La Toya's siblings battled over the King of Pop’s $2 billion estate following his death, La Toya took Prince, Paris and “Blanket” to the family’s Calabasas, Calif., mansion where, according to a family insider, “they needed comfort with everyone showing their wild side, so they watched television together, they listened to music and they talked about what Mike would want.  Mostly, it was Toya doing all the talking.”

As well as the ET gig, Prince has signed a deal to appear on the CW's 90210.  His sister Paris, meanwhile, has a movie deal that will see her shooting later this year in London.  It’s believed that La Toya will get a standard 15 percent commission on each deal.

She reportedly is also currently negotiating a reality TV show deal, featuring all three kids.  Insiders claim bidding has approached $10 million, with Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network leading the pack.

One potential problem for the 56-year-old La Toya is Paris’ refusal to shoot a reality show, but insiders say La Toya’s power of persuasion over the children is strong.

One source is quoted as saying, "Prince wasn’t exactly eager to do ET, but could you tell?  When the money is on the line, Toya is going to cash in.  I wouldn’t bet against her.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep032012

Paris Jackson Tweets She’ll ‘Move To Africa’ If Romney Wins

Marcel Thomas/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Paris Jackson has thrown in her two cents about the presidential election, tweeting that if Mitt Romney wins, she’s “moving to Africa.”

Jackson, the 14-year-old daughter of the late Michael Jackson, is an avid Twitter user, with more than 900,000 followers. Sunday, she tweeted her thoughts on President Obama, and his challenger, Republican Mitt Romney.

“k i hate politics , but at least i care about this country…if Obama wasn’t president , America would be flushed down the toilet#voteobama” Jackson tweeted Sunday morning.

The outspoken teenager urged her followers to vote for Obama, blaming former president George W. Bush for the problems facing the country.

Shortly after tweeting that she would move to Africa should Romney win the election, she tweeted that she’s not sorry for airing her political opinions.

“spoke my mind , said my opinions.. don’t reeeallyy care if you disagree with me… #sorrynotsorry #voteobama”

Jackson’s Twitter account got a lot of attention earlier this summer, when she lashed out at her famous family members on the website for not letting her and her siblings see their grandmother.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug222012

TJ Jackson Granted Permanent Co-Guardianship of Michael Jackson Kids

Dave J Hogan/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A California judge Wednesday made Tito "TJ" Jackson permanent co-guardian of Michael Jackson's children along with their grandmother Katherine, but not without some unexpected drama.

A woman claiming to be the cousin of Michael Jackson showed up in court Wednesday to ask the judge to delay the appointment of TJ Jackson as permanent co-guardian of the singer's children.

Despite a plea from the woman, Debra Jackson, Judge Mitchell Beckloff granted TJ Jackson the motion to share guardianship with Michael's mother, Katherine Jackson, of the three children.

The judge made the ruling after also considering a letter submitted by singer Diana Ross, in which the singer said she has met TJ and thinks he has good intentions in caring for Michael's kids.

Beckloff said Ross mentioned in the letter that she is very interested in what happens with the children and that she takes her role in the will as the next guardian in line very seriously.

Earlier, Beckloff heard from Debra Jackson, who arrived with her adult son Anthony Jackson, whom she says the singer helped raise after Anthony's father died. Earlier, Debra and Anthony Jackson submitted a letter to the court expressing their concerns with appointing TJ co-guardian.

Debra Jackson told the judge that she and her son were abruptly cut off from the lives of Michael's three children and that their relationship with the kids had been curtailed. Debra said that not allowing a relationship between her son and Michael's children is "cruel and not in their best interest and well-being."

She described an incident at a birthday party for one of the children in which she and Anthony were asked to leave. She said Katherine Jackson was very unhappy with that order and neither Katherine nor the kids wanted them to leave.

Debra added that she's asked several times for an explanation as to why they have been cut off from the children, but she was never given one.

The letter Debra and Anthony submitted to the judge Wednesday was written last year around Christmas time. It's unclear why they waited so long to file the letter.

Beckloff said he had read and taken their letter into consideration, since the two are relatives. However, he added that he has a very good understanding of what's going on with Michael's children based on the report written by his investigator.

"It's clear to me that the children have a very strong, loving relationship with TJ and that they love the grandmother very much," the judge said.

He then granted the motion for permanent co-guardianship to TJ.

The son of Michael's brother Tito Jackson, TJ had been appointed temporary guardian after Katherine Jackson was suspended amid a bitter family dispute over Michael Jackson's estate. Days later, Katherine Jackson was reinstated as guardian and announced she would be seeking joint guardianship with her grandson, TJ.

Responding last month to the announcement, Randy Jackson, one of Katherine's sons, told ABC News that the agreement was based on "lies."

"In order to obtain temporary guardianship, TJ lied to the court. Rebbie, Janet, Jermaine and I would never harm our mother and we are doing our best to protect her and the Estate knows that," Randy said in an exclusive statement to ABC News.

"The same people that are trying to manipulate my mother are the same people that were involved with my brother when he died," Randy said in the statement. "The Estate is trying to isolate my Mother from her family JUST LIKE THEY DID TO MICHAEL, in order to propagate their lies, financial agendas and to protect a fraudulent will."

He concluded his statement with, "It is my fear and belief, that they are trying to take my mother's life."

In court Wednesday, Beckloff asked Katherine's attorney Sandra Ribera if she was being unduly influenced to agree with the new co-guardianship agreement, to which Ribera replied "absolutely not! Ms. Jackson is well informed, makes her own decisions and wholeheartedly supports this arrangement."

The judge also ordered TJ to consider visitation between the kids and Anthony and Debra. However, he told Debra that the final decision lies with the co-guardians.

"You have a right to be heard as relatives, and I'm going to be mindful of what I heard," the judge said. "There have been lots of conflicts within the family, and the duties of the guardians consist of navigating through these conflicts and helping the children maintain important relationships."

Only TJ and the attorneys were present for the hearing. Beckloff had previously excused Katherine and the children from having to appear.

Also not present in court was a woman named Billie Jean Jackson, who claims she is the biological mother of Blanket. Judge Beckloff said she filed a petition requesting guardianship of Blanket and that he scheduled a hearing for the end of September.

TJ's attorney, Charles Shultz, argued that the judge had already found Billie Jean has no biological relationship to Blanket, but Beckloff said he will have to hear her arguments one more time.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug012012

TMZ Retracts Story Claiming Janet Jackson Slapped Her Niece Paris

D Dipasupil/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- One of the most shocking developments in the ongoing Jackson family saga was the claim made by TMZ that Janet Jackson had publicly slapped her niece Paris Jackson and called her a "spoiled little bitch," and that Paris had slapped Janet back.  At the time, Janet's brother Randy Jackson denied such an altercation had taken place, and now TMZ has retracted its story.

TMZ has issued a statement saying, "Janet Jackson did not slap or verbally abuse Paris Jackson during a confrontation at the Jackson family home in Calabasas last week. … Although we believed the story to be true when we published it, we have now determined it was not correct ... Janet did not slap or otherwise touch Paris, nor did she verbally abuse her."

The alleged incident took place last Monday night, July 23, when the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department responded to a "family disturbance" at the Jackson family home.  There were reports that Randy, Jermaine Jackson and Janet showed up, broke through a security gate and apparently tried to take Paris and her brothers Prince Michael and Blanket.  At the time, Sandra Ribera, a lawyer for Katherine Jackson, described the scene as "chaos," and also claimed that Janet grabbed Paris' cell phone.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul262012

Marlon, Paris Jackson Tweet That Katherine Jackson's Home

Lester Cohen/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- A day after Katherine Jackson told ABC News she’s “devastated” her grandchildren have been “taken away” from her, her son Marlon Jackson and granddaughter Paris tweeted that the Jackson family matriarch has arrived home.

A Los Angeles judge on Wednesday suspended Jackson's rights as guardian of Michael Jackson’s three children -- Paris, Prince Michael and Prince Michael II -- in an emergency hearing, declaring that she had been unable to serve in that capacity because of an "intentional act from third parties."  TJ Jackson, son of Tito Jackson, was named temporary guardian.

After Katherine was reported missing and Paris tweeted about not hearing from her grandmother for days, it was revealed by Jackson siblings that their mother was in Arizona.

In an ABC News exclusive from a spa in Arizona, the 82-year-old said the court hearing was “based on a bunch of lies," adding, "but I have a good idea who’s doing that.”

Katherine read from a prepared script while surrounded by several family members, including her children Janet, Jermaine and Rebbie. 

“There are rumors going around about me that I have been kidnapped and held against my will.  I am here today to let everybody know that I am good and fine and I’m here with my children.  And my children would never do a thing like that, hold me against my will,” Jackson said.

The 82-year-old continued, “It’s very stupid for people to think that but anyway I am devastated that while I’ve been away, that...my grandchildren have been taken away from me.”

The matriarch said she spoke to her grandson TJ Tuesday night and told him it wasn't necessary for him to assume guardianship of Michael Jackson's children.

"I don't know who instructed him to do that," Katherine Jackson said.

Katherine Jackson described her visit to the Miraval Resort and Spa in Tucson, Ariz., as a “short vacation,” saying she was “grateful” that her children saw that she “needed rest" and wanted to take her away for a while "for just a short vacation to rest up.”  It had been reported that Jackson was staying at her daughter Rebbie's home in Tucson.

When asked about not calling Paris, Prince Michael and Prince Michael II for several days, Katherine said, “One reason I didn’t call is I just gave up my phone and I didn’t want to have any phone calls while I was here.”

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Jackson said she would be returning to her home in California, although she didn't specify when.  However, her son Marlon Jackson tweeted early Thursday morning, "my mom is home she look and sound great. thank you everyone for your support, Study Peace."

Granddaughter Paris also tweeted minutes later, "grandma's here ! #thankyougod <33."

Two hours earlier on Thursday, Marlon tweeted: "Hello everyone Thank you for your support. I'm tired of not knowing where my mom is. I did speak with her last night but she didn't sound like herself. I was told by Janet, Randy and Jermaine that I could not see my mom. Doctor's order. But I see them on television with her. How come they could not call me so I could be with her as well."

For her part, Paris tweeted early Thursday morning, “they promised my grandmother would be home YESTERDAY. Why isn’t she home?

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul252012

Exclusive: Katherine Jackson Says Court Hearing 'Based on a Bunch of Lies'

Paul Warner/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Katherine Jackson said she is "devastated" her grandchildren have been "taken away" from her and she's returning to Los Angeles to be reunited with them Wednesday.

"I am devastated that while I've been away, my grandchildren have been taken away from me, and I'm coming home," she said.

The 82-year-old Jackson family matriarch also addressed rumors concerning her whereabouts.

"There are rumors going around about me that I have been kidnapped," she said. "I am here today to let everybody to know that I am good and fine."

"My children would never do anything to me like that," she added.

Katherine Jackson said Wednesday's court ruling that made TJ Jackson the temporary guardian of Paris Michael, Prince Michael and Prince Michael II was "based on a bunch of lies." She explained that her stay in Arizona at the Miraval Resort & Spa was a "short vacation and rest."

As for not calling her grandchildren for days, Katherine Jackson said, "One reason I didn't call is I just gave up my phone and I didn't want to have any phone calls while I was here."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul252012

Judge Revokes Katherine Jackson's Custody of Michael Jackson's Kids

Kevin Winter/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- TJ Jackson, son of Tito Jackson, has been named temporary guardian of Michael Jackson's three children.

Los Angeles Judge Mitch Beckloff made the decision late Wednesday morning after Charles Schultz, representing TJ Jackson, made an emergency appeal on behalf of the children.  The judge suspended Katherine Jackson's rights as guardian, declaring that she'd been unable to serve in that capacity because of an "intentional act from third parties."

Katherine Jackson has been staying at her daughter Rebbie's Tucson, Ariz., home for some days, though the circumstances that brought and keep her there remain unclear.

"There are only three words I want to say: Always kids first!" TJ Jackson said outside the court. When asked if he wanted Katherine Jackson home, he responded, "That too!"

TJ Jackson told the court that he'd spoken with Katherine Jackson the night before and that she sounded "strange…the way it sounded, I never heard her talk like that. … I never heard her use some phrases."

Earlier Wednesday, Randy Jackson said his mother had spoken on Tuesday night to her grandchildren Paris Michael, Prince Michael, and Prince Michael II.

The appeal and decision came at a previously-scheduled hearing to address unrelated estate matters.

Judge Beckloff also ordered that the children's mother, Debbie Rowe, and singer Diana Ross, be informed of the decision within 48 hours.  Ross is reportedly named in Michael Jackson's will to succeed Katherine Jackson as custodian.

The judge also ordered Michael Jackson's children not to leave California, and ordered that another hearing be scheduled in 30 days.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul252012

Jackson Family Feud: Randy Jackson Says Katherine Jackson to Head Home

Lester Cohen/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Katherine Jackson, apparently struggling with bad health, is headed back to Los Angeles from Arizona after she was reported missing last week, her son Randy told ABC’s Good Morning America this morning, also denying reports of a physical altercation among family members.

"My mom is on her way back to Los Angeles," Jackson said. "It was under doctor's orders that she go [away from L.A.]. Her health was really bad, and he wanted her to go somewhere where she couldn't be on the phone, and be cut off from the outside world for a few days."

Katherine Jackson, the 82-year-old legal guardian of her late son Michael Jackson's three children -- Prince, Paris and Blanket -- was reported missing Saturday after her grandchildren hadn't heard from her in days. She was found "resting" with her daughter in Arizona. X17Online obtained a photo of Jackson smiling and playing Uno with family in Arizona.

Speaking by telephone, Randy Jackson this morning also raised questions about Michael Jackson's second will, and whether the executors of Michael Jackson's estate, John Blanca and John McLain, are telling the truth about when and where the pop star signed it.

Some of the Jackson siblings have called the will "fake" and want Blanca and McLain to step down.

"The question is on July 7, 2002, they swore under penalty of perjury that the will was signed by Michael Jackson in Los Angeles," he said on Good Morning America. But there is footage that shows on July 7 that my brother was in Harlem with Al Sharpton.

"He was there the day before and the day after. I want some answers. How come John Blanca and John McLain have not answered that question?" Randy Jackson asked. "Anything other than that is the estate using my mother, my nephews and nieces as pawns to protect their own financial greed and gain."

He also denied reports of physical altercations among family members, which include an unsubstantiated TMZ story that Janet Jackson slapped her niece, Paris Jackson, in the face Monday while trying to take away her cellphone.

"We started to film on our cellphones ... this has been sensationalized out of control," Randy Jackson said this morning. "There was no slapping, no calling of names. This is all meant to take attention from the question that has not been answered [about Michael Jackson's will]."

As for the Monday incident, Sandra Ribera, Katherine Jackson's attorney, said Randy, Jermaine and Janet Jackson showed up Monday, broke through a security gate and apparently tried to take Michael Jackson's kids away. No arrests were made after police arrived, but Ribera said the scene was "chaos."

Ribera, who on the scene Monday, believes the issue was about Paris Jackson's tweeting. Paris had been updating her Twitter account in the past few days, asking for help finding her missing grandmother. Ribera said the children did not know where their grandmother was.

Paris Jackson, 14, tweeted Tuesday, "9 days and counting ... so help me god i will make whoever did this pay."

Ribera said Tuesday that while the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department considered the case closed, she and Michael's children were "exhausting other options" to find Katherine Jackson, including seeking help from the FBI and local law enforcement in Arizona. She said Jackson is being preventing from contacting her grandchildren "by the people that she is staying with," but she declined to name anyone specifically.

There are a few different sides to the story, and Randy Jackson also gave his to the Rev. Al Sharpton on MSNBC Tuesday. "We did go to the home, to let Paris and Prince know that they can visit with or talk to their grandma at any time," Jackson said.

Brother Marlon Jackson broke down into tears when he told The Insider he doesn't know where his mother was.

"We don't know where she is," attorney Ribera told ABC's Nightline Tuesday. "We know that she is in Arizona, allegedly, but we don't know where because law enforcement won't give us the address, because it is an ongoing investigation."

Moves were being made to secure the kids' access to their grandmother and appoint a temporary guardian -- most likely one of brother Tito Jackson's children -- while she was still out of the picture.

"All I can say is that efforts are being made as a result of what happened on Monday to make sure that the children are safe and well protected," Ribera said. "These kids love her. ...They want her home."

The drama has been building to a crescendo in recent weeks and it's not just about the children. Michael Jackson's estate is also being disputed by his siblings, who want the executors of his will to step down. The late King of Pop left his entire estate to his mother and three children.

In response to a letter from Michael Jackson's siblings, the Jackson estate put out a statement saying, "We are saddened that false and defamatory accusations grounded in stale Internet conspiracy theories are now being made by certain members of Michael's family whom he chose to leave out of his will. We are especially disheartened that they come at a time when remarkable progress has been made to secure the financial future of his children by turning around the estate's finances as well as during a time when so many of Michael's fans, old and new, are enjoying his artistry through exciting new projects."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul242012

Michael Jackson's Kids Meet with Court Appointed Guardian

Kevin Winter/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A court appointed child advocate met with Michael Jackson's children Monday night, sources told ABC News, and is working with them to gain access to Katherine Jackson, Michael Jackson's mother and their legal guardian.

Court papers will likely be filed this week to demand Katherine Jackson access to the children. Sources told ABC News that the filing will likely include a request for a temporary guardian and this is expected to be someone already around the children.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department responded to a "family disturbance" at the Jackson family home Monday after, sources said, Randy, Jermaine and Janet Jackson showed up and apparently tried to take Michael Jackson's kids away.

Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said Monday there was a "scuffle" between two family members at the Calabasas home of family matriarch Katherine Jackson, but no arrests were made.

TMZ posted a photo of siblings Janet and Jermaine Jackson standing outside the home around the time police were called, according to the website.

Katherine Jackson's lawyer, Sandra L. Ribera, issued a statement saying "Jackson family members ambushed Katherine Jackson's home after their vehicle tore through security gates on the tails of the SUV containing Michael Jackson's children."

Ribera said Prince, Paris and Blanket Jackson were taken to safe location. "An altercation ensued shortly thereafter and law enforcement arrived at the scene," according to the statement.

This has been the latest drama that has plagued the Jackson family in the past few weeks. Katherine Jackson was reported missing Saturday only to be found "resting" with her daughter in Arizona.

X17Online obtained a photo of Jackson smiling and playing Uno with her family in Arizona. Her children released a statement Monday saying the missing person's report was "created by the very person and persons we are trying to protect our mother from."

Trent Jackson, Katherine Jackson's nephew and confidante, reported her missing. TJ Jackson, Tito Jackson's son, wrote a message to Paris Jackson on Twitter saying the ordeal was unfair: "I know it's completely unfair for them to do this you and your brothers. We will keep trying. I love you."

Paris Jackson tweeted Monday, "8 days and counting. Something is really off, this isn't like her at all. I wanna talk directly to my grandmother."

Katherine Jackson is the legal guardian of her late son's three children and there is no word on who is watching them in Jackson's absence.

Jermaine Jackson released a statement earlier this week about his mother's whereabouts, saying this is all "a conspiracy to deflect attention away from a letter we wrote asking for the resignation of executors" of Michael Jackson's will.

Five of Michael Jackson's siblings last week said his will was fake and the executors of his lucrative estate, John McClain and John Blanca, should step down. Jackson's entire fortune was left to his mother and three kids.

"They [executors of the will] will not stand down because the siblings who were left out of Michael's will want them to," said Zia Modabber, who is the attorney of the Jackson estate.

Howard Mann, Katherine Jackson's business partner, believed money is pulling the family apart.

"I believe that Katherine and the children who are benefactors of the estate fall on one side, and then Randy, Jermaine and Rebbie and Tito fall on the other side," Mann said. "They're a group of people who have a great deal of questions about the administration of the estate."

Modabber said, "I can't speak for them. I don't know what's motivating Jermaine and Randy and some of these others, but money is not a bad guess."

Modabber and Mann faced off in court Monday in a dispute over Mann and Katherine Jackson's selling Michael Jackson merchandise.

"It doesn't matter that it's Howard Mann and he may give some of the money to his family, to Katherine Jackson or anybody else," Modabber said. "You can't take property that belongs to the estate, make money from it, without getting permission from the estate."

Mann's attorney argues the material is and always was owned by Katherine Jackson and her husband, Joe, and not the late King of Pop.

Michael Jackson's estate is now worth about $1 billion and counting.

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