Earlier Monday (August 3), an important hearing on Michael Jackson’s estate gave Katherine Jackson guardianship of her son’s three children despite a surprise objection; in the second half of the day, two men named in Michael Jackson’s will have been granted control of his financial affairs.
Judge Mitchell Beckloff admitted Jackson’s 2002 will into probate Monday afternoon, naming attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain as co-executors — a decision that Jackson’s mother Katherine was not in accordance with. After a brief recess, Katherine withdrew a petition asking that she be put in charge of the estate, clearing the way for Branca and McClain. According to TMZ, Branca and Jackson’s estate have also reached an agreement with concert promoter AEG regarding the potentially lucrative possession of Michael Jackson merchandising and remaining rehearsal footage from the final concert tour that he never lived to perform.
Also at the hearing, dermatologist Arnold Klein raised what were described as “nonspecific objections” to the custody arrangements for Jackson’s children. After some tense moments in the courtroom — the doctor recently denied rumors “to the best of my knowledge” that he was the father of the children — Klein’s attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan explained that the dermatologist was merely concerned about the children’s education and other parenting issues.
Judge Beckloff dismissed Klein’s objection and insisted that he did not have a legal basis to object to an agreement forged last week by attorneys for Katherine Jackson and Michael Jackson’s ex-wife Debbie Rowe.
The second half of the courtroom proceedings revolved around a petition filed by Katherine Jackson last week accusing McClain and Branca of “keeping her in the dark” about the deals they are making on behalf of the estate, reportedly worth up to $500 million.
Attorney L. Londell McMillan explained in a statement last week that Michael Jackson’s mother was merely seeking more information on what the men have planned for the estate and that she was forced to make a legal request for discovery of business documents because they had not agreed to appoint her as co-executor of the estate. McMillan has also raised questions about what he called a “suspicious circle of relationships” involving Branca and McClain.
After Monday’s hearing, however, the duo will retain control of Michael Jackson’s financial matters until a hearing October 2.