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27 Jul 2012

Michael Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson, has vowed to return to Los Angeles and resume her role as guardian to the singer's three children.

"I am devastated that while I've been away, that my children - my grandchildren - have been taken away from me, and I'm coming home to see about that," said Ms Jackson.

The 82-year-old grandmother was reported missing at the weekend.

On Wednesday, a court gave temporary guardianship to Tito Jackson Jr.

Judge Mitchell Beckloff made the decision after concerns were raised over Ms Jackson's absence from the family home - and lack of contact.

The son of Tito Jackson, TJ, had expressed concern in court filings that Katherine Jackson - who turned out to be in Arizona with relatives - was being prevented from returning.

"There are rumours going around about me that I have been kidnapped and held against my will," Katherine Jackson told reporters on Wednesday. "I am here today to let everybody know that I am fine."

"I am here with my children and my children would never do a thing to me like that, holding me against my will. It's very stupid for people to think like that."

Katherine Jackson has been guardian to Michael Jackson's three children - Paris, 14, Prince Michael, 15, and 10-year-old Prince Michael II (also called Blanket) - since the singer's death in 2009.

But reports of a rift in the wider Jackson family have emerged in recent days, with tales of Michael's siblings, Jermaine, Randy and Janet, driving to the Jackson home and insisting they leave with Michael's children.

Police were called to Ms Jackson's home on Monday as a result of a "minor scuffle" reportedly involving two members of the Jackson family.

That came days after Ms Jackson was reported as missing. On Tuesday, Paris Jackson tweeted that she had not seen her grandmother for nine days.

Pictures emerged of her later in Arizona, amid conflicting claims about her wellbeing.

Questions were raised at the Los Angeles hearing, with Tito Jackson Jr. telling the court he had had a conversation with his grandmother in which she used strange phrases and her words were "slurred".

"One reason I haven't called is I just gave up my phone and I didn't want to have any phone calls while I was here," Ms Jackson told reporters yesterday. "My assistant, Janice Smith, has been calling back home to see how things were going."

"The ruling in court today was about the guardianship and I think it was based on a bunch of lies. But I have a good idea who's doing that and who's behind that.

"My guardianship has been taken away from me, and, but I spoke to my grandson TJ and also I spoke to Prince and Paris last night and told him I would be home today and they're waiting for me to come."

Deliberate prevention

Katherine Jackson claimed she had left the children in the care of the nanny and other staff at their Los Angeles home, but that someone had "let them go". "I don't know who did that, but they don't have the power, and they shouldn't have done it."

In addition to the change of guardian, Judge Beckloff also ordered that the children not be removed from the state of California.

However, he said there was no evidence that Ms Jackson had done anything wrong, but instead it appeared she was being prevented from fulfilling her role as guardian through the "intentional acts of third parties".

He said he would restore her as the children's guardian on her return, the Associated Press reported.

Michael Jackson died aged 50 of an overdose of the anaesthetic propofol in June 2009.


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