Jermaine Jackson offers 'olive branch' in bitter family feud
After of a week of open warfare among the Jackson family, Jermaine Jackson on Wednesday said he hopes they can find peace.
On Twitter and in a statement to CNN, Jermaine Jackson said he wanted to offer an "olive branch" and begin healing in the family.
"After much soul-searching, it is clearly time for us to live by Michael's words about love not war," Jermaine Jackson told CNN in a statement. "In this spirit, I offer this statement by way of extending an olive branch."
The statement comes after a dispute over custody of Michael Jackson's three kids that culminated in a court battle.
Last week, Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff instructed a probate court investigator to prepare a report "addressing the status of the minor children" and Katherine Jackson. Before that, the judge stripped the 82-year-old of guardianship of her grandchildren after hearing allegations that some of her children were holding her against her will in Arizona.
Beckloff expressed concern during the proceeding, asking lawyers if law enforcement had been notified. The sheriff's department closed a missing persons investigation days earlier after speaking to Jackson at a Tucson spa.
In his one-page order, Beckloff directed investigator Cary Ornelas "to interview the children at their school on an unannounced basis" and deliver a written report directly to him.
"The report shall be provided to the court only and shall not be disseminated to any parties," he wrote.
The instruction seemed an acknowledgement of the infighting among members of the famous family. Michael Jackson's sisters Rebbie and Janet and brother Randy as well as Jermaine are battling with the executors of his estate over who should control his money and legacy. They have claimed mismanagement of the estate was affecting Katherine Jackson's health, and Randy Jackson insisted his mother went to the spa on doctor's orders to relax. On Wednesday, according to CNN, Jermaine distanced himself from a letter the siblings wrote criticizing the executors.
The singer's older children — Prince, 15, and Paris, 14 — have suggested on Twitter that she was purposefully kept from them. And in court papers, their cousin and temporary guardian, Tito Joe "T.J." Jackson, said one of his aunts "arranged for a person to pretend that he was a doctor" and persuade Katherine Jackson to go to Arizona.
Katherine Jackson returned to the Calabasas residence she shares with the children Thursday. Her attorney said she would ask to be reinstated as their co-guardian, alongside her grandson T.J.
The son of the Jackson Five's Tito, 34-year-old T.J. has helped his grandmother care for the teenagers and their brother, Blanket, 10, since their father's 2009 death. In a statement Friday, a lawyer for Katherine Jackson said that after meeting with him and the children, she concluded it was in the family's best interests for him to stay on as a guardian.
The joint arrangement "will essentially now legally reflect how Mrs. Jackson and T.J. have often shared responsibilities of raising the children since Michael Jackson's tragic passing," lawyer Perry R. Sanders Jr. wrote.
Under the arrangement, T.J. Jackson would oversee the children's schooling as well as the household staff and security, while Katherine Jackson would keep control of the children's financial allowance from the singer's estate, according to the statement.
--Shelby Grad and Andrew Blankstein