Jackson estate concerned about 'bullying' of children
By Piya Sinha-Roy, Reuters
July 26, 2012, 12:13 am TWN
LOS ANGELES--The executors of Michael Jackson's estate on Tuesday attempted to stanch reports they plan to seek guardianship of the late singer's children, but did express concern for protecting the three kids from "undue influences, bullying and greed."
John Branca and John McClain said in a statement on Tuesday that they were mindful of the well-being of 82-year-old Katherine Jackson, mother of the late singer and legal guardian to Jackson's children, but had no method of direct influence in matters concerning the children.
Katherine Jackson was awarded guardianship of the late singer's three children, Prince Michael, 15, Paris, 14 and Blanket, 10, following Jackson's death aged 50 from an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol in 2009.
The Jackson matriarch was reported missing last week to authorities, but older Jackson family members said on Sunday she was resting in Arizona with family. A missing persons report filed at Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department was closed after officials checked into the matter.
"We are acutely concerned about the welfare of Mrs. Jackson, and most particularly with Michael's minor children. We are concerned that we do what we can to protect them from undue influences, bullying, greed, and other unfortunate circumstances," Branca and McCain said.
"While we do not have standing to directly intervene, we have monitored the situation and will continue to do so. We believe measures are being put in place that will help protect them from what they are having to deal with," the administrators said in a statement.
Michael's daughter Paris tweeted on Tuesday that she hadn't spoken to her grandmother in nine days, and celebrity website TMZ.com reported that Branca and McClain would head to court to support a move for temporary guardianship of Jackson's children on behalf of Tito Jackson Jr., 34, the son of Tito Jackson and cousin to Jackson's children.
ABC television morning chat program "Good Morning America" posted a video taken from what it claimed was a security camera of what appeared to be a confrontation among family members in the driveway of the Jackson's Los Angeles-area home.
A spokesman for the estate said the administrators had no comment beyond the statement that was released.