Several of Michael Jackson’s siblings have sent a scathing letter to the executors of the late pop star’s estate, accusing them of fraud, forgery and abuse of their mother, Katherine Jackson, and threatening legal action.
The letter was signed by Janet, Jermaine, Tito, Randy and Rebbie Jackson. Jackie, Marlon and La Toya Jackson and parents Joe and Katherine Jackson did not sign the letter, which made its way online earlier this week.
In addition to suggesting that executors John Branca and John McClain forged Jackson’s signature on his will, the letter suggests the dispute between the executors and the Jackson family resulted in Katherine Jackson suffering a “mini-stroke” — a claim that her lawyer skated around and inspired Michael’s daughter, Paris Jackson, to address on Twitter.
“I am going to clarify right now that what has been said about my grandmother is a rumor and nothing has happened, she is completely fine,” the 14-year-old tweeted on Wednesday.
That tweet has since been removed, and later that same day Paris tweeted at uncle Randy Jackson,
“I am sorry for my quick reaction this morning. It was my foolish retaliation that i do regret. My tweet was merely (contd.) … about the remark about the stroke. She did NOT have a stroke today. I sincerely apologize from the bottom of my heart.”
Perry Sanders, Katherine Jackson’s lawyer, also addressed the letter’s claims that she was in poor health, telling ABC News, “Katherine Jackson is absolutely capable of taking care of the children and does a terrific job. It’s unfortunate that anyone would paint Mrs. Jackson as anything but completely lucid and doing a great job with the children.”
Jermaine Jackson to clarified on Twitter on Thursday that his mother “DID suffer a mini-stroke some months ago. She is fine now, but the timeline doesn’t alter the fact it happened.”
The relationship between the Jackson family and Branca and McClain has been litigious for much of the three years since Jackson died from an overdose of the anesthetic Propofol.
”Since the passing of Michael, our beloved brother, you have failed to perform your duties as executors of his estate, but what you have not failed at is taking advantage of a grieving mother, father and a grieving family,” the letter reads. “The Will that you presented did not have our brother’s signature on it, nor did it have a signature page attached to it.”
The siblings claim Jackson’s signature was forged, and that he was in New York and not Los Angeles on July 7, 2002, the date the will was allegedly signed by Michael.
“According to what is witnessed in the document, it is impossible and illogical that he could have been in two places at one time. We have evidence that undoubtedly supports and proves that Michael was absolutely not in Los Angeles, California, on the date his signature reflected in the will at hand,” the letter continues. “Our brother told us, in no uncertain terms and without hesitation in the months prior to his death, that he despised both of you and that he did not want either of you to have anything to do with his life or estate for that matter.”
The allegations made in the letter are nothing new, and many of them have previously been settled by California courts.
“Any doubts about the validity of Michael’s will and his selection of executors were thoroughly and completely debunked two years ago when a challenge was rejected by the Los Angeles County Superior Court, the California Court of Appeals and, finally, the California Supreme Court,” estate spokesman Jim Bates said in a statement. “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.”
The letter, however, includes renewed threats of legal action against Branca, an entertainment lawyer, and McClain, a music executive.
“We know there is most certainly a conspiracy surrounding our brother’s death and now coarse manipulation and fear are being used to cover it up. Your heartless pursuit of wealth, fame and power is at the expense of our family, whose deepest desire is to give to the world a gift of hope, love and unity through our music,” the letter states. “Though we have lost our brother, we live and will continue to fight in unity.”