Katherine Jackson vows to fight back against 'bunch of lies'
Katherine Jackson is vowing to straighten out days of bizarre allegations that ended with her temporarily losing custody of her son Michael Jackson's three children.
"I am devastated that while I've been away, my grandchildren have been taken away from me," she told ABC News in an interview.
She vowed to address the various allegations, which she said were "based on a bunch of lies."
On Wednesday, a Los Angeles judge stripped Katherine Jackson of custody of the late pop icon's three children. Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff transferred guardianship temporarily to a cousin after hearing allegations that Katherine Jackson was being "held against her will" at an Arizona spa and had sounded "strange" in the one phone call she made to relatives since leaving L.A. on July 15.
"I've never heard my grandmother talk like that," the cousin, Tito Joe "T.J." Jackson, told the judge about the phone call. "She wasn't sharp. Some words seemed a little slurred."
An attorney for Katherine Jackson, Sandra Ribera, told the judge that after staying with Michael Jackson's children this week in the Calabasas home where they live with their grandmother, "I have reason to believe she is being held or has been held against her will."
In naming T.J. Jackson temporary guardian, Beckloff said he was responding to "the intentional acts of third parties" rather than any misconduct by Katherine Jackson. He said that the law required T.J. Jackson, 34 — son of Michael's brother Tito — to file paperwork seeking permanent custody but that Katherine Jackson could be reinstated if she returned.
The relatives involved in arranging her out-of-state trip — her sons Randy and Jermaine and daughters Janet and Rebbie — were not in court. In television interviews, Randy Jackson has said his mother left town "under doctor's orders" to rest and relax.
The fight between family factions became public over the weekend when relatives in Calabasas filed a missing person's report. Sheriff's deputies later closed the case after speaking with Katherine Jackson in Arizona, where she was staying with Rebbie.
That finding didn't dissuade 14-year-old Paris Jackson, Michael Jackson's daughter, from taking to Twitter to declare her grandmother missing.
"9 days and counting," she wrote. "So help me god i will make whoever did this pay."
On Monday, deputies were called to break up a fight at the Calabasas residence between family members, and a video shot from inside the home subsequently surfaced online showing Janet Jackson swiping at a cellphone held by Paris.
On Thursday, Michael Jackson's son Prince Jackson posted a lengthy message on Twitter about 5 a.m.: "I would first like to start off this tweet by thanking the fans that have always stood by me and my family..."
He also linked to an extended tweet that said: "As I am sure everyone is well aware of the events that have been going on. I have been holding off on backing up my sister and her tweets avidly because I was waiting for the time to reveal my side. 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."
-- Kate Mather, Harriet Ryan and Andrew Blankstein