Katherine Jackson shocked to learn reports of her kidnapping
Katherine Jackson learned that she had been reported missing after a broken television in the Arizona spa where she was staying suddenly began broadcasting a report about her alleged kidnapping, according to court documents filed Thursday.
The 82-year-old matriarch wrote that none of her companions -- a group that according to other filings included Janet and Jermaine Jackson -- informed her that her grandchildren were trying desperately to get in touch with her. Her cellphone was taken, her room phone didn’t work and “when one of the people with me asked if I could communicate with my iPad and I replied yes, my iPad was also taken away,” she wrote.
The television set in her room didn’t work “despite repeated requests to those with me to have it fixed,” she said.
“One morning I woke up to the sound of the television. While there was no picture, I heard a broadcast that stated I was missing,” she wrote.
Her account of the trip that set off a very public family feud came in filings seeking reinstatement as guardian to her late son Michael’s three children. Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff returned guardianship to her after a hearing Thursday and agreed to her request that her grandson Tito Joe “T.J.” Jackson share guardianship.
T.J. Jackson, 34, was named temporary guardian last week after Beckloff heard family concerns that Katherine Jackson was being held against her will out of state. The judge said Thursday that T.J. will stay on as a temporary guardian until an Aug. 22 hearing where he will be named co-guardian.
The filing was accompanied by affidavits from the pop singer’s two older children, Paris, 14, and Prince, 15. The children wrote that they consented to the shared custody arrangement for themselves and their younger brother, Blanket, 10.
Paris Jackson took to Twitter to demand her grandmother’s return. Randy Jackson, her uncle, has said Katherine Jackson was on doctor’s orders to rest at the spa. In a previous court filing, T.J. Jackson has said he believes his grandmother was induced to go on the Arizona trip by someone pretending to be a doctor.
In her account, Katherine Jackson said that on July 14, “a doctor was brought to my home stating that he had been in contact with my longtime personal physician and was coming to check on me because my personal physician was unavailable.” That person, she said, suggested she fly to Arizona. One of her attorneys, Perry R. Sanders Jr., wrote that he flew to Tucson in an attempt to speak with her July 25 and met with Janet and Jermaine Jackson but was not allowed to see his client.
In their court filings, however, her lawyers noted speculation of a plot to “gain control over Mrs. Jackson as a means to get at funds” belonging to the music idol’s children.
“As co-guardian, TJ will be able to ensure that no outside forces try to divert the family allowance or any other resources … to anyone or for any reason other than the benefit of the minor children,” attorneys Sanders and Sandra Ribera wrote.
Outside court, lawyers for T.J and Katherine Jackson said they didn’t want to speak about the trip anymore and hoped the incident was behind the family. The judge also removed an order that barred the children from traveling out of state. They are to mark their father’s birthday later this month with a celebration in Gary, Ind., the family hometown.
-- Harriet Ryan at Los Angeles County Superior Court
Photo: The three children of the late pop icon Michael Jackson -- from left, Prince, Paris and Blanket -- immortalized their father in a hand and footprint casting ceremony at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in January. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times