On Wednesday, Michael Jackson’s three children were assigned a new guardian as part of a growing power struggle over the late entertainer’s multimillion-dollar estate. The new guardian, Tito Jackson, was appointed at his request after a week of conflicting reports regarding the health and whereabouts of 82-year-old Katherine Jackson, the appointed guardian of Michael’s three children, named in his will. Katherine had been missing when the children returned from a camp, and the judge determined that a temporary guardian was necessary.
There had been rumors that Katherine had been kidnapped, among other speculations. Katherine has since come out and called such speculations “a bunch of lies.” The debacle is part of a larger dispute in which Janet Jackson and four other siblings are questioning the validity of Michael’s will, which appointed two non-family persons as executors.
Michael Jackson’s will specifies that money earned by the estate should benefit his mother and children. Last week, five siblings of the late Michael Jackson wrote a letter to the executors of Michael’s estate accusing them of fraud. According to the siblings, Michael’s will is “fake, flawed, and fraudulent.” According Randy Jackson, the executors falsified the document by forging Michael’s signature, since he was not in California on the date the will was signed.
The executors, for their part, have stated that the will is valid and that they were simply concerned about protecting the children from undue influences, as well as from bullying and greed.
The estate is, no doubt, a huge revenue generator. Since Michael’s death, the executors have approved numerous projects and releases of new and old Michael Jackson music and videos. In 2010, roughly $1 billion was generated, and around $475,000 in gross profits have been generated since his death.
It will certainly be interesting to watch the estate wind down, especially if the process is marked by dispute. And it likely will be.
Source: msnbc.com, “Katherine Jackson: ‘I am devastated’ that Michael’s kids have been taken from me,” Jill Serjeant, July 25, 2012