It now looks as if matriarch Katherine won't fight for sole guardianship of Michael's children. The 82-year-old grandmom lost custody of the late singer's three kids when she took off for an Arizona spa—apparently to escape bickering over Michael's estate—and Prince, Paris, and Blanket couldn't reach her. The children's 34-year-old cousin, TJ, was granted temporary custody. Now, in a deal backed by Katherine, lawyers will file a court request that TJ serve as co-guardian with her. The arrangement would put him in charge of staff and the day-to-day operations of the Calabasas home where the children live with Katherine, freeing her up to concentrate on her grandkids. Papers requesting the arrangement are expected to be filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court.
The family is being ripped apart by bickering over Jackson's will, which left nothing to his siblings, some of whom have called the document a fake. Jermaine Jackson issued a plea for family peace in a statement released to AP. "Mistakes have been made and irrational things have been said on both sides in a highly charged emotional environment," he wrote. "It's time for us all to draw a line in the sand and move toward peace, co-operation, love and healing. I regret any distress caused to Prince, Paris, and Blanket. That was never, ever the intention."