Among the many unresolved issues that have emerged since Michael Jackson’s death on Thursday is what will become of his three children, Prince, 12; Paris, 11; and Prince Michael II, 7. The children were under the full custody of their father, and since his death, they have been staying with their grandparents, Katherine and Joseph Jackson, at the couple’s Encino, California, estate.
A short time later, The Associated Press reported that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff approved her request for temporary guardianship of the children but did not grant her authority to serve as guardian of the children’s estate.
In making the case for guardianship, the petition filed on Monday reportedly states that the children have “no relationship with their biological mother” and that they are currently in the care of Katherine, with whom they have a “long-established relationship.” Debbie Rowe, the mother of the two elder children, was briefly married to Jackson but gave up her custody rights after she and Jackson divorced in 1999, and the petition lists her whereabouts as “unknown.” The identity of the mother of Jackson’s youngest child, commonly referred to as “Blanket,” has never been publicly revealed, and on the petition, the box next to mother is checked as “none.”
The petition says that the value of Jackson’s assets is not known yet and does not mention if he left a will, but it states that Katherine would be the best guardian for the children because they are “currently residing with paternal grandmother. They have a long-established relationship with paternal grandmother and are comfortable in her care.” According to the petition, it is “not known at this time” if Rowe agrees with the action. A hearing to determine whether Katherine will be the children’s permanent guardian is set for August 3.
UsMagazine.com reported that Katherine Jackson was spotted at a Los Angeles Target store over the weekend, stocking up on toys, sleeping bags and other supplies, and an attorney for the family said they had not yet heard from Rowe in the wake of Jackson’s death. Her former attorney told the magazine last week that she was “inconsolable” about the death of her ex-husband.
For complete coverage of the life, career and passing of the legendary entertainer, visit “Michael Jackson Remembered.”
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[This story was originally published at 1:08 p.m. ET on 6.29.2009]