Katherine Jackson gets custody
Katherine Jackson has been granted full custody of Michael Jackson’s children.
The late pop icon’s mother reached an agreement last week with Debbie Rowe - mother to the star’s eldest children Prince Michael I, 12, and Paris, 11 - over visitation rights and was yesterday (03.08.09) officially legally appointed as their carer.
She was also given custody of Michael’s youngest son - seven-year-old Prince Michael II, also known as ‘Blanket’ - who has “no legal mother”.
Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff said: “It’s not my intention to deprive the children of anything.”
Debbie - who had little contact with the children before the singer’s death - is believed to have been granted the right to see her kids four times a year, as well as continue to receive the financial support she got from Michael until his death from a suspected cardiac arrest on June 25.
Her attorney, Eric George, said afterwards: “Today the parties and the California court brought about a result that is selfless and wise through a process that was collaborative and fair.
“Everyone sought the same objective - doing what is best for the children of Debbie Rowe and Michael Jackson. Today’s result, five-and-a-weeks after the tragic death of Michael Jackson, eliminates uncertainty and offers stability to the lives of these children.”
While Debbie and Katherine - who was accompanied to court by her children Randy and LaToya - were happy with the agreement, the singer’s dermatologist Dr. Arnold Klein made an objection.
The doctor - who is rumoured to be the biological father of the two eldest children - had a claim for access rejected after the judge heard he was “not a presumed parent”.
Lawyers will return to court in January for a review hearing.
During the probate hearing, Katherine also withdrew her petition for control of Michael’s estate, leaving it in the hands of Michael’s long-time attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain until another hearing in October..
Lawyers for AEG Live - who were promoting Michael’s planned ‘This Is It’ London residency - also requested to be named a party to estate hearings and to be kept informed of business decisions.
The group reached an undisclosed settlement involving merchandise and rehearsal footage with the estate.
A closed hearing regarding the settlement has been scheduled for Monday (10.08.09).