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TJ Jackson officially named co-guardian of Jackson children

August 22, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A judge on Wednesday appointed Michael Jackson's nephew to share guardianship responsibilities for the singer's three children.

It appeared it would be a very quick and uneventful hearing, with TJ Jackson asking to be appointed co-guardian of Prince, Paris and Blanket.

But a woman, identified as Debra Jackson, and her son, Anthony Jackson, came to court to ask the judge to delay the proceedings. They said they are Michael Jackson's cousins, and Debra Johnson claimed Michael helped raise Anthony after his father died.

In court, Debra Jackson told the judge she and Anthony were uncomfortable with what was happening with the children, and that not allowing a relationship between her son and Michael's children was not in their best interest. She said she was concerned that Katherine Jackson was being coerced, saying, "We don't think Katherine has all the information."

Judge Mitchell Beckloff asked Katherine's attorney, Sandra Ribera, if she is being unduly influenced to agree with the new co-guardianship. She said absolutely not.

"Mrs. Jackson is a strong woman who cannot be influenced by anyone when it comes to decisions about these children," Ribera said.

The judge said he felt the children have a strong loving relationship with TJ Jackson and granted the motion for permanent co-guardianship. This means if anything happens to Katherine Jackson, who is 82 years old, TJ could become the sole guardian of the children.

The new arrangement allows Katherine Jackson to focus on parenting instead of administrative duties. Earlier this month, Beckloff said he was pleasantly surprised with an investigator's report of Michael Jackson's children, saying Katherine Jackson was doing a "wonderful job."

Billie Jean Jackson, the woman who claims to be Blanket's biological mother, says she will petition the judge for guardianship of the 10-year-old next month. The judge has already found that she has no biological relationship with the child, but he told attorneys he will have to hear her arguments one more time at a later date.

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