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Katherine Jackson back home amid guardianship battle

July 26, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Katherine Jackson has returned home a day after a judge suspended her role as guardian of Michael Jackson's three children.

Early Thursday morning, Katherine's granddaughter, Paris, tweeted, "grandma's here ! #thankyougod." Michael Jackson's older brother, Marlon, also tweeted that his mom is home, saying that she looks and sounds great.

The 82-year-old matriarch was reported missing by her nephew over the weekend. Katherine Jackson said she went to the Miraval Resort in Arizona earlier this month to get some much needed rest and chose to give up her phone while she was there. She had no contact with the late pop star's children for several days.

Katherine Jackson spoke out about the family drama exclusively to ABC News. She said she's devastated the court has taken her grandchildren away from her temporarily and that she wasn't being held against her will.

"People are saying that they're there with nothing to eat, and I'm sure they have something to eat, but it's not healthy because the cook is not there. One reason why I haven't called because I just gave up my phone. I didn't want to have any phone calls. And while I was here, my assistant, Janice Smith, has been calling back home, see how things have been going. She's been keeping in contact with my nephew, I mean my grandson, and he says everything was going fine," she said.

But court documents reveal details that raised the concern of the court, leading Judge Mitchell Beckloff to appoint the children's cousin, 34-year-old Tito Joe Jackson - known as TJ - to take over as guardian. The judge ruled Katherine Jackson is being prevented from acting as guardian by acts of a third party.

In court, TJ said one of his aunts, Janet or Rebbie, arranged for a person to pretend he was a doctor. That supposed doctor advised Katherine to change her travel arrangements to see her son's concert in Albuquerque. A family member was at the airport to pick her up, but she never arrived, and attempts to reach her were unsuccessful.

On that confrontation between family members at the Calabasas estate, TJ says Janet, Randy and Jermaine Jackson were not authorized to enter, and that they had to forcibly get through security gates and a secured perimeter.

A reunion early Thursday morning between Katherine and her grandchildren set off a new wave of angry tweets from the children, who believe they were tricked.

"As long as I can remember my dad had repeatedly warned me of certain people and their ways. Although I am happy my grandma was returned, after speaking with her I realized how misguided and how badly she was lied to. I'm really angry and hurt," he posted on Twitter.

Prince continued, "The following image is of a group chat I had started to several family members. This group text message I had started was replied to but they didn't know that I could see the responses. For this whole time, they denied us contact to our grandmother." He concludes with the quoted statement, "'If you continue with your lies I will continue with the truth.'"

A link following the message displayed a cellphone screen-grab of a group text messaging session from July 23 that was apparently among Prince, Janet Jackson, Rebbie Jackson and Rebbie Jackson's son, Austin. Prince texts, "This is enough so I am texting you for the simple fact that WE DEMAND TO SPEAK TO MY GRANDMA NOW!!!"

That message is followed by one identified as coming from Janet Jackson saying, "don't let them pls." However, the bottom of the text message is cut off in the screen-grab, so it's impossible to tell from the image whether there was more to the reply, and what else might have transpired in the session.

Katherine Jackson's attorney said he will be meeting with her on Thursday and plans to ask the court to reinstate her as the guardian of the three children. However, attorneys have not yet filed a petition, and there has been no request for an emergency hearing to reinstate Katherine Jackson as guardian. That means TJ is the guardian, and the earliest that could change is next week.


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