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Katherine Jackson to share custody of Michael Jackson's children

By Alan Duke, CNN
July 28, 2012 -- Updated 1422 GMT (2222 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Attorney: "Mrs. Jackson is extremely pleased" to share guardian duties with TJ Jackson
  • NEW: TJ will handle the "day-to-day tedium of items," the lawyer says
  • NEW: TJ Jackson has been close to the children much of their lives
  • NEW: Prince, Paris and Blanket approved the co-guardianship plan, lawyer says

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Katherine Jackson will share guardianship of Michael Jackson's three children with TJ Jackson under an agreement that is supported by the oldest son, Prince, her lawyer said.

TJ Jackson, the 34-year-old son of Tito Jackson, will "take joint legal responsibility for certain day-to-day duties such as the management of household personnel, including security," attorney Perry Sanders said Friday.

"Mrs. Jackson is extremely pleased with the prospect of enjoying the pleasure of raising Michael's children without the day-to-day tedium of items such as managing the large staff that goes with such a high profile family and focus her attention on being a grandmother and raising Michael's children," Sanders said.

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TJ Jackson has been close to the children much of their lives and was left in charge of them in the past when Katherine Jackson was away. "Mrs. Jackson and TJ have often shared responsibilities of raising the children since Michael Jackson's tragic passing," Sanders said.

The agreement comes two days after the Los Angeles judge overseeing the probate of Michael Jackson's estate named TJ Jackson to be the temporary guardian because Katherine Jackson might have been "prevented from acting as a guardian because of the acts of third parties."

TJ Jackson's petition to be permanent guardian that was filed Friday will be amended next week asking the judge to make Katherine Jackson and her grandson TJ co-guardians of Prince, 15; Paris, 14; and Prince Michael II, 10, who's also known as Blanket.

The 82-year-old Jackson family matriarch returned to her Calabasas, California, home early Thursday after 10 days away. Her business manager, lawyer and the children said they thought she was traveling to a Jackson concert in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but she never arrived. A missing person report was filed six days later, but she was later found to be at an Arizona spa with several of her sons and daughters.

The missing person report triggered a media storm, with Paris Jackson tweeting for people to help find her grandmother or at least to get a phone call from her.

Prince Jackson was involved in the "very productive meeting" with Katherine Jackson, her lawyer, TJ Jackson and his lawyer Thursday evening that resulted in the deal, Sanders said.

"Following reaching agreement, Margaret Lodise, the court-appointed guardian ad litem for the children, was brought into the meeting by conference call," he said. "Ms. Lodise confirmed with Prince that the agreement reflected the wishes of all the children. "

Katherine Jackson "greatly appreciates the recent love and concern that supporters have shown for her and the kids, and she hopes the court will grant this request for co-guardianship," Sanders said. "She is eager to simply enjoy her great relationship with these children, while deeding over some of the stressors that go hand-in-hand with being a guardian."

Jackson family drama an unwanted reality show

She even found humor in some of the speculation about her health that emerged in the past week, Sanders told CNN after the meeting last night. "I am pleased to report that she is fine and she laughed at the widely publicized report that she had suffered a stroke."

A letter signed by several of her children, including Janet, Jermaine, Randy and Rebbie Jackson, accused executors of her estate of abusing her and referred to a "mini-stroke," which her lawyer said never happened.

Those four Jacksons teamed up to take their mother to a spa near Tucson, Arizona, on July 15, later saying it was under a doctor's orders.

Hours after his grandmother's return, Prince criticized his famous aunts and uncles on Twitter, saying they had taken his grandmother away and kept her out of touch for 10 days.

"I'm really angry and hurt," he tweeted.

"Although I am happy my grandma was returned, after speaking with her I realized how misguided and how badly she was lied to," Prince tweeted.

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His Twitter posts included a photo of his cell phone screen, which he said showed "a group chat I had started to several family members. This group text message I had started was replied to but they didn't know that I could see the responses. For this whole time, they denied us contact to our grandmother."

The image appeared to show Prince sending a text to aunts Rebbie and Janet Jackson: "This is enough so I am texting you for the simple fact that WE DEMAND TO SPEAK TO MY GRANDMA NOW!!!"

The reply, apparently from Janet Jackson, was: "Don't let them pls."

The text exchange came three hours after Janet Jackson was seen on security camera video apparently attempting to take Paris Jackson's cell phone away in the driveway of Katherine Jackson's home. Janet Jackson's representative did not immediately reply to CNN's request for comment.

Prince's Twitter posting referred to words of caution from his father.

"As long as I can remember my dad had repeatedly warned me of certain people and their ways," he tweeted.

The tweet concluded, "If you continue with your lies I will continue with the truth." It was signed "Michael Jackson Jr."

The tweets mysteriously disappeared several hours later, replaced with a message disavowing them. That message subsequently vanished and was replaced by another saying Prince didn't know if his account had been "hacked."

He then reposted the original message about his grandmother and the image of the text exchange.

Before Katherine Jackson began the long drive back to California on Wednesday, she appeared on camera and read a statement to ABC News.

As her children Rebbie, Jermaine and Janet stood behind her, she read from a yellow notepad:

"I am devastated that while I've been away ... my grandchildren have been taken away from me, and I'm coming home to see about that," Jackson said. The network was not allowed to ask her any questions.

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