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Michael Jackson's death: Joe Jackson said he and wife have sole authority to act on Michael's behalf

June 28, 2009 |  5:45 pm

Michael Jackson's father said in a statement Sunday evening that he and his wife Katherine had the sole personal and legal authority to act on behalf of "our son and his children."

Joe Jackson's publicist read the statement as she stood next to the family patriarch during a red carpet interview with CNN as he arrived at the Black Entertainment Television awards at the Shrine auditorium in Los Angeles.

He made clear that other than the family's newly hired attorney, L. Londell McMillan, no one was authorized to speak on behalf of the family.

"Our beloved son Michael Jackson loved you all. Michael's children are our first priority. We will have further announcements to discuss our plans going forward," the statement said.

"Until such time, however, we have the personal and legal authority to act, and solely Katherine and I have authority for our son and his children. We wish to handle his memory and legacy with dignity," the statement read. "The attorney for the Jacksons is L. Londell McMillan and no one has the authority to speak on behalf of the Jackson family at this time."

Joe Jackson declined to discuss the specific circumstances surrounding his son's sudden death last week at age 50 but said he had concerns.

“I can’t get into that,” Jackson said. “But I don’t like what happened.”

He said that funeral arrangements are still not finalized but that the family would release information later.

He said the family was handling things as well as possible under the circumstances.

"It has been really tough. Remember we just lost the biggest superstar in the world, so it's been tough," Jackson said.

Asked if the world recognized his son's legacy, Joe Jackson told CNN: “They seem to realize it now. I wish the world had recognized him when he were living.... But right now he’s bigger than ever right now. I wish he were here to see all this, to hear all this.”

--Andrew Blankstein