TJ Jackson Emerges as Katherine's Co-Guardian
- Photo: David Fisher/Rex USA1 of 9
- Photo: Pacific Coast News2 of 9
- Photo: Pacific Coast News3 of 9
- Photo: Matrix/Flynet/Fame Flynet4 of 9
- Photo: Matt Sayles/AP5 of 9
- Photo: Lester Cohen/WireImage6 of 9
- Photo: Sharpshooter Images/Splash News7 of 9
- Photo: Jesse Grant/WireImage.com8 of 9
More Celeb News
- 'Daily Show': John Oliver, Mick Foley Join WWE's Shockingly Articulate ImMSNEntertainment 6/19/2013 7:23:38 AM
- 'Nightline' anchor Moran heading to London for ABCMSNEntertainment 6/19/2013 7:01:29 AM
- Brad Pitt tries to build a better blockbusterMSNEntertainment 6/19/2013 6:51:31 AM
- 'Anchorman 2' Trailer: Ron Burgundy Takes Manhattan (and Cable News)MSNEntertainment 6/19/2013 6:35:30 AM
- Critics hail Daniel Radcliffe's latest stage turnMSNEntertainment 6/19/2013 6:17:30 AM
- 'Daily Show': John Oliver, Mick Foley Join WWE's Shockingly Articulate Im
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- TJ Jackson was one of Michael Jackson's favorite nephews. An heir to the family's musical talent and striking good looks, he is the son of Tito, one of the original Jackson 5. Largely unknown to the American public until now, he has been anointed as co-guardian of Michael's most prized treasures: his three children.
Suddenly, TJ is the chosen Jackson, the one designated to work beside Michael's mother to look after the welfare of his cousins Prince, 15, Paris, 14 and Blanket,10, who will inherit the King of Pop's fortune.
He's stepping into a sensitive situation just days after a family feud went viral. But he appears to have only the children's interest at heart.
"He has been very dedicated to these kids since Michael Jackson's death, and he was involved with them before that," TJ's lawyer, Charles A. Schultz, said at a Thursday court hearing.
Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff, who appointed TJ to work with Katherine Jackson, said there is a strong bond between the 34-year-old TJ and the children.
"They have a very significant relationship with TJ Jackson and they love him very much," said the judge. "There are things about his past that the kids can relate to."
Schultz agreed, saying outside court, "He had a loss early in his life of a close personal relative, and they can identify with that."
RELATED: Hollywood's Nastiest Custody Battles
In 1994, six years after his parents divorced, TJ's mother, Dolores, died in a drowning at her home swimming pool. Her boyfriend was later convicted of causing her drowning and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
When Michael Jackson died in 2009, Dr. Conrad Murray was accused of causing his death and was convicted of manslaughter. He is currently serving a four-year prison term.
Now, three years after his death, Michael's children are at the center of a familial battle and TJ's role has become even more important. Recently, Katherine Jackson was reported missing and Beckloff replaced her with TJ as the children's guardian. Now she's back, telling a story of having been held virtually incommunicado at a resort in Tucson, Ariz., unaware that she was the subject of a missing persons report.
In the court hearing Thursday, with neither of the parties present, the judge ruled that TJ and Katherine will share guardianship on a temporary basis. The arrangement could be made permanent later.
Beckloff had appointed an investigator to look into the domestic situation at the suburban Calabasas mansion where the young Jacksons have been living with their 82-year-old grandmother.
The result was a glowing report: "It appears from the report that Katherine Jackson has done a wonderful job and cares about the children very much," the judge said. "I think the kids are in terrific hands."
No mention was made of the Jackson siblings who were at the center of a family dispute last week that broke into a public shouting match on the driveway of Katherine's home. What one lawyer called "the chaos" ended with Jermaine Jackson calling for a truce.
TJ, who is movie-star handsome and has a band with his brothers called 3T, is named Tito Joseph for his father and grandfather. Always known as TJ, he appears to have emerged as a welcome stable force in the family.
When Paris began tweeting messages of distress over the temporary disappearance of her grandmother and the battles among Michael's siblings, TJ tweeted to her, "I know it's completely unfair for them to do this to you and your brothers. We will keep trying. I love you." He added in a second tweet, "Make your life an act of love."
Thomas Mesereau Jr., a former attorney for Michael who knows the family, had high praise for TJ.
"I met him some time ago and he was a very nice young man, very mature and very sincere," said Mesereau. "It appeared to me that Katherine thought very highly of him."
But Mesereau said the current situation was unthinkable before Michael's death.
"Three years ago, these children had a father who loved them and gave them a wonderful upbringing," the attorney said. "He wanted them to be highly educated, to learn about the world and the wonders of nature. It's very tragic."
TJ's devotion to his uncle, Michael, has been evident. At his funeral, members of the family provided loving tributes in a glossy program. TJ's entry read: "You taught me how to smile. You taught me how to dream. You taught me how to live. Uncle Michael, I will always cherish all of our special moments and blissful time together. I love you so much."
Michael's ties to TJ and his two brothers was confirmed by his will, which named them among "contingent remainder" beneficiaries, who usually gain if the main beneficiaries pass away.
Like most of the Jacksons, TJ has lived among celebrities. The Internet was ablaze this week with reports that he was the first lover of Kim Kardashian when both were in high school. There was no comment from TJ but he has acknowledged that they were close and she consoled him when his mother died.
"We became extra close when my mom passed away," TJ told People magazine in 1995 of Kardashian. "She dropped everything to be with me."
TJ married his wife, Frances, in 2007 and has three children.
When he and his brothers, Taj and Taryll, formed 3T, they were encouraged by their uncle, Michael, who sang with them on their first records. The 3T group had significant success in Europe with three songs that reached No. 2 on British charts. Two of them, "Why" and "I Need You," released in 1996, featured Michael Jackson's voice.
In 2010, 3T reprised Jackson's "We Are the World" with various famous voices to benefit Haiti relief efforts. The brothers also have appeared on reality TV shows with other members of the Jackson clan and have toured overseas.
Last October, the family staged a tribute concert to Michael in Cardiff, Wales. But typically, the Jacksons were divided over whether it was appropriate to hold such a tribute during the Murray trial in Los Angeles. Janet, Jermaine and Randy stayed away. Jackie, Marlon, La Toya and Tito performed. So did TJ and his brothers.
- Brad Pitt's Changing Looks
- Hollywood's Hottest Dads
- Mark Wahlberg's Shirtless Looks
- Prince William & Duchess Kate's Cutest Couple Moments
- Stars with tattoos of other celebs
- Brooke Shields' Changing Looks
- Carrie Underwood's Evolving Looks
- 'Fast & Furious 6' Cast Yearbook Photos
- Worst Celeb Sunburns
- Celeb Twins
- Celebs Who Work Out on the Beach
- Country Music's Hottest Couples
- Worst spring wardrobes
- Leonardo DiCaprio's Romance Retro
- WATN: 'Boy Meets World'
- Tim McGraw's changing looks
- Craziest Kim Kardashian pregnancy rumors
- Celebs Who Look Like Their Pets
- Mariah & Nick's Matching Style
- Hollywood's Tomboys
- The Royal Couple's Favorite Sports
- Kim Kardashian's Curvy Maternity Style
- WATN: 'Jurassic Park'
- January Jones' Retro Looks
- The Rock's Soft Side
- WATN: 'Veronica Mars'
- WATN: 'Beetlejuice'
- Fergie's Changing Looks
- Star Twitter Quitters
- Hollywood's Hottest Ryans
- Insured Celebrity Body Parts
- Most Expensive Celeb Engagement Rings
- Sweetest Celeb PDA
- Kim Kardashian's Tightest Looks
- Olivia Wilde's Best Street Style
- Justin Timberlake's Many Looks
- Hottest Royal Beach Bodies
- Celebrity Pets with Famous Names
- Michelle Williams' Best Fashion Moments
- Lindsay Lohan's Changing Looks
- Justin Bieber's Changing Hair
- Most Awkward People on the Red Carpet
- WATN: '7th Heaven'
- Ke$ha's Worst Looks
- Worst Oscar Fashion
- George Clooney's Oscar Dates
- Most Embarrassing Celeb Splits
- Stars Before They Were Oscar Nominees
- Jennifer Lawrence's Best Fashion Moments
- Rihanna's Sexiest Grammy Style
- Drew Barrymore's Craziest Looks
- Jennifer Aniston's Changing Looks
- Worst Dressed Celeb Designers
- Anne Hathaway's Oscar Looks
- Grammy's Hottest Couples
- Taylor Swift's Best Grammy Fashion
- WATN: 'Wonder Years'
- Destiny's Child's Most Iconic Looks
- Best Off-Season Bikini Bods
- Emma Stone's Best Red-Carpet Looks
- Celeb Flashers
- Mariah Carey's Biggest Feuds
- Mariah Carey's Wacky Wardrobe
- Britney Spears' Wackiest Red Carpet Poses
- Celeb Makeup Mistakes
- Ryan Gosling's Leading Ladies
- Nicole Kidman's Golden Globe Fashion
- Katy Perry's Year as a Single Gal
- Celebs Who've Removed Romantic Tattoos
- Most Memorable Celeb Holiday Cards
- Five of the Worst Celeb Winter Wardrobes
- Jennifer Aniston & Justin Theroux's Romance Retro
- Stars Who Are Aging in Reverse
- Christina Aguilera's Worst Looks
- 2012's One Hit Wonders
- Celebs Without Makeup
- Best and Worst Beach Bodies of 2012
- 2012 Fashion Don'ts
- Craziest Beauty Trends of 2012
- Celebs Who Survived Cheating Scandals
- The Turkeys of 2012
- Kristen Stewart's Best Red Carpet Moments
- WATN: 'Less Than Zero'
- Star Couples Who Went from Friends to Lovers
- The Most Famous Celebrity Pets
- The Hottest Celebrity Halloween Costumes
- WATN: 'I Know What You Did Last Summer'
- Jessica Biel's White Hot Red Carpet Style
Demi Lovato drops some major newborn scoop about Selena Gomez's family on today's Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »
Check out some of Kim Kardashian's tightest outfits.Watch Video »
Best Bikini Bods
From Jennifer Lawrence to Rihanna, see the best off-season celeb bikini bods.Watch Video »
Two months after major marital problems, Ozzy and Sharon do a Hollywood date night on Celebs gone Social.Watch Video »
See how this country cutie has changed her looks over the years.Watch Video »
See how this former Calvin Klein model's looks have changed over the years.Watch Video »
From Videos of Wonderwall
From Crowd Ignite