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Katherine Jackson 'Devastated' to Lose Custody of Son Michael's Children

Matriarch gives first public statement since being reported missing earlier this week

July 26, 2012 9:55 AM ET
katherine jackson
Katherine Jackson
Mark Sullivan/WireImage

Reading a prepared statement on ABC's Nightline last night, Katherine Jackson said she was "devastated" to lose custody over the three children of her late son Michael Jackson. Yesterday, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge made the king of pop's nephew, Tito's son T.J. Jackson, the temporary guardian of Paris, Prince and Blanket Jackson.

"My guardianship has been taken away from me, but I have spoken to my grandson T.J., and also I spoke to Prince and Paris last night, and told them I would be home today," said Katherine Jackson. "They're waiting for me to come."

Yet as the Nightline piece points out, in court T.J. Jackson described that call from his grandmother as "strange," adding "the way it sounded, I never heard her talk like that. Some words sounded slurred."

Katherine Jackson was stripped of her custody rights after Judge Mitch Beckloff noted that while she hadn't done anything wrong, third parties had made her unable to perform her duties as guardian. Earlier this week, Katherine was reported missing by her nephew Trent, with Paris tweeting, "i haven't spoken with her in a week i want her home now." As it turned out, Katherine was resting at a resort in Arizona on doctor's orders.

"There are rumors going around about me that I've been kidnapped and held against my will," she said. "I'm here today to let everybody known that I'm fine and I'm here with my children and my children would never do a thing like that."

A lawyer for Katherine Jackson said that he would fight any action to strip the Jackson matriarch of her permanent guardianship, and that upon her return to Los Angeles he would attempt to reinstate her.

Two days ago, a fight reportedly broke out between members of the Jackson family at the home of Katherine Jackson. Though the names of those involved were not released, police confirmed that "a physical altercation had occurred, a battery." They also confirmed the fight did not involve Michael's children.

On top of this increasingly strange story is the ongoing dispute between many members of the Jackson family and the executors of Michael Jackson's estate, John Branca and John McClain, with family members claiming the executors falsified the late pop star's will.

"Our brother Michael was not where they said he was on the date that the will was signed and did not, in fact, sign the will," said Randy Jackson in a recent interview with the Rev. Al Sharpton on MSNBC.

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