T.J. Jackson has been awarded temporary guardianship over Michael Jackson's three children by a Los Angeles court, TMZ reports. Katherine Jackson has been suspended as guardian, though the judge presiding over the case has made clear that the suspension is not due to wrongdoing on Katherine's part, but rather because she has been prevented from her duties by an "intentional act from third parties."
The 34-year-old son of Tito Jackson, regarded as the only true father-figure in the lives of Paris Jackson, Prince Michael Jackson and Blanket Jackson, is requesting the court to make the move permanent. The judge informed him that he would first need to obtain consent from Diana Ross, who is next after Katherine in the line of succession for guardianship of Michael's kids, and also their biological mother Debbie Rowe.
The judge has encouraged T.J. to file the petition for permanent guardianship and obtain the necessary permissions. In the meantime, the judge has issued an order that Michael's kids not be removed from California without a court order.
During the hearing, a lawyer for T.J. described a phone call between T.J. and Katherine. "I've never heard my grandmother talk like that," T.J. told his attorney, adding, "She wasn't sharp. The pauses, choice of vocabulary ... she has not used certain phrases like that before." According to TMZ's sources, T.J. was holding back tears in describing the conversation.
Meanwhile Katherine Jackson's attorney Sandra Ribera told the court that she has been to the Jackson residence in Calabasas, California, several times and believes Katherine is being held against her will.
Earlier today, Randy Jackson called in to Good Morning America repeating that he and his siblings intend to fight Michael Jackson's will, and claims his mother is doing fine.
Information is coming in at lightning speed in this escalating Jackson family civil war. Keep it locked on BET.com for all the updates.
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(Photos from left: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images, Kevin Winter/Getty Images)