Michael Jackson's will is 'a fake,' brother says
In a interview with Rev. Al Sharpton, one of Michael Jackson's siblings ratcheted up the rhetoric against executors of the pop star's estate and accused them of exploiting the singer's children and faking the will -- the latest twist in the family's increasingly public drama.
Randy Jackson called MSNBC's "Politics Nation" on Tuesday afternoon to update the public on the situation with his mother, Katherine Jackson, who had been reported missing over the weekend by another family member.
"Mother is doing great. She's relaxing; she's having fun," Randy Jackson said.
Sheriff's officials closed their missing persons case after Katherine Jackson was located with relatives in Arizona. Even though her whereabouts are now known, Michael Jackson's daughter, Paris, has tweeted that she is not being allowed to speak directly with her grandmother.
In the interview, Randy shifted blame to the estate's executors, John Branca and John McClain. He alleged that Michael's will is fake, questioning the date it was signed.
Michael was in New York with Sharpton on the date the will was allegedly signed, Randy said.
"He cannot be in two places at one time," Randy said. "He did not sign that will."
Randy also accused the executors of using the children to "put pressure on my mom ... to get her to say things in their favor to clean up their image."
"This is not about money for us," he said. "This is not about being left out of the will. The will is a fake. They are trying to turn family members against family members."
The will, which was accepted by a Los Angeles probate court shortly after Michael’s death, put his assets in a trust overseen by Branca and McClain for the benefit of charitable causes, his children and his mother. Upon Katherine Jackson’s death, her portion passes to the children. Michael's father and siblings got nothing.
The co-executors and the family, including Katherine Jackson, have clashed on a number of issues over the last three years, including whether the matriarch should have a formal role in the estate management.
In a statement, Branca and McClain wrote, "We are saddened that false and defamatory accusations grounded in stale Internet conspiracy theories are now being made by certain members of Michael’s family whom he chose to leave out of his will."
The men later released a second statement saying that they were "concerned" about protecting the singer’s three children "from undue influences, bullying, greed, and other unfortunate circumstances."
-- Andrew Blankstein and Harriet Ryan