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When Paris began tweeting messages of distress over the temporary disappearance of her grandmother and the battles among Michael’s siblings, TJ tweeted to her: “I know it’s completely unfair for them to do this to you and your brothers. We will keep trying. I love you.” Added a second tweet: “Make your life an act of love.”

Thomas Mesereau Jr., the former attorney for Michael who knows the family, had high praise for TJ.

“I met him some time ago and he was a very nice young man, very mature and very sincere,” said Mesereau. “It appeared to me that Katherine thought very highly of him.”

But Mesereau said the current situation was unthinkable before Michael’s death.

“Three years ago, these children had a father who loved them and gave them a wonderful upbringing,” the attorney said. “He wanted them to be highly educated, to learn about the world and the wonders of nature. It’s very tragic.”

TJ’s devotion to his uncle, Michael, has been evident. At his funeral, members of the family provided loving tributes in a glossy program. TJ’s entry read: “You taught me how to smile. You taught me how to dream. You taught me how to live. Uncle Michael, I will always cherish all of our special moments and blissful time together. I love you so much.”

Michael’s ties to TJ and his two brothers was confirmed by his will, which named them among “contingent remainder” beneficiaries, who usually gain if the main beneficiaries pass away.

Like most of the Jacksons, TJ has lived among celebrities. The Internet was ablaze this week with reports that he was the first lover of Kim Kardashian when both were in high school. There was no comment from TJ but he has acknowledged that they were close and she consoled him when his mother died.

“We became extra close when my mom passed away,’ TJ told People magazine in 1995 of Kardashian. “She dropped everything to be with me.”

TJ married his wife, Frances, in 2007 and has three children.

When he and his brothers, Taj and Taryll, formed 3T, they were encouraged by their uncle, Michael, who sang with them on their first records, The 3T group had significant success in Europe with three songs that reached No. 2 on British charts. Two of them, “Why” and “I Need You,” released in 1996, featured Michael Jackson’s voice.

In 2010, the 3T group reprised Jackson’s “We Are the World’ with various famous voices to benefit Haiti relief efforts. The brothers also have appeared on reality TV shows with other members of the Jackson clan and have toured overseas.

Last October, the family staged a tribute concert to Michael in Cardiff, Wales. But typically, the Jacksons were divided over whether it was appropriate to hold such a tribute during the Murray trial in Los Angeles. Janet, Jermaine and Randy stayed away. Jackie, Marlon, La Toya and Tito performed. So did TJ and his brothers.