Jackson family matriarch Katherine Jackson has finally spoken publicly to give her side of the unfolding family drama surrounding her grandchildren—Michael’s three kids—and she read a statement on ABC News debunking rumors that she had been kidnapped by her children and saying she was “devastated” that her grandchildren had been taken away from her.
In an emergency court hearing in Los Angeles, Katherine’s grandson T.J. Jackson was granted temporary custody of the children by a judge. The ruling means that the $86,000 a month that Katherine was paid to care for the children, as stipulated in Michael’s will, now will go to T.J.—who is the son of Tito Jackson.
“There are rumors going around about me that I have been kidnapped and held against my will,” she said. “I am here today to let everybody know that I am fine and 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 that.”
Katherine read the statement from a piece of paper, joined by her children Rebbie, Jermaine and Janet Jackson. Also sitting next to her was Rebbie Jackson’s daughter, Stacy, and a representative from the resort, Miraval Arizona Report & Spa in Tucson, Ariz.
Katherine said she left T.J. in charge of Michael’s children, that she never leaves them without instructions for who is taking care of them. But she said somebody fired the cook, the nanny and the housekeepers without her permission.
But anyway, 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, also.
“I don’t know who did that but they don’t have that power and they shouldn’t have done it,” she said. “And now, the people are saying they are there with nothing to eat. I am sure they have something to eat but it’s probably not healthy because the cook is not there.”
Katherine said she told T.J. the night before today’s hearing that it wasn’t necessary for him to “sign for guardianship,” and that he wanted her to come home before the hearing, but somebody else gave him advice to take over custody.
“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,” she said. “But I am grateful for my children that they saw that I needed rest and they wanted to take me away for a while, just a short vacation and rest up. 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. My assistant, Janice Smith, have been calling back home to see how things were going and she had been keeping in contact with my nephew, I mean my grandson, and he says everything is going fine. But I was still thinking about the children and I still worry about them, but they are fine.”
Katherine said she had a very good time at the resort and got the rest she needed—she even gave the resort a plug by urging others to come there if they too need rest.
“There’s a lot of lies that have been put out there and I am going home to straighten them out and this kind of stuff doesn’t make sense,” she said. “So I want to say goodbye and I am on my way home.”