LOS ANGELES (AP) - Michael Jackson’s mother says she was hurt by a court ruling that temporarily took away her guardianship of the deceased singer’s children.
Katherine Jackson spoke after a judge on Wednesday appointed the son of Tito Jackson to serve as temporary guardian amid a feud over the pop superstar’s estate.
Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff issued the ruling because she was in Arizona and hadn’t spoken with the children in several days. He appointed Tito Joe “TJ” Jackson to serve as temporary guardian with the ability to control the hilltop home where the children live and to take on other supervision duties.
Katherine Jackson told ABC News that the court ruling was “based on a bunch of lies.”
“I am devastated that while I’ve been away, that my children, my grandchildren, have been taken away from me, and I’m coming home to see about that, also,” she said reading from a prepared statement.
She denied the suggestion made in court and in court filings to support TJ Jackson’s appointment that she was being held against her will.
“I am here today to let everybody know that I am fine and I am here with my children, and my children would never do a thing to me like that, holding me against my will,” she said while her children Randy, Janet and Rebbie were seated next to her. “It’s very stupid for people to think that.”
Beckloff said there was no evidence that Katherine Jackson had done anything wrong but instead it appeared she was being prevented from fulfilling her role as guardian through the “intentional acts of third parties.” He didn’t elaborate but made the decision after reading court filings in which TJ Jackson expressed concern that Katherine Jackson was being prevented from returning
“This was odd and disturbing to me and (the children) and heightened our concern that our grandmother was being prohibited from returning home,” TJ Jackson wrote in a sworn statement. The incident turned into a confrontation between two male adults at the house and sheriff’s officials say it remains an ongoing battery investigation.
TJ Jackson’s attorney Charles Shultz also revealed in court filings that the children were forced to miss school Wednesday because of concerns about their security.
Beckloff ruled the Jackson children could not leave California without court approval.
Katherine Jackson’s attorney Perry Sanders Jr. said after the hearing that he spoke with his client as she was driving back to Los Angeles from Tucson, Ariz., where she had been since July 15.
“She sounded absolutely fine, lucid and her normal self,” he said.