Katherine Jackson was officially named the permanent guardian of Michael Jackson's children at a hearing yesterday at which she also dropped her appeal to gain control of Michael's estate, MTV reports. As Rolling Stone reported last week, Katherine had come to terms with the oldest children's biological mother, Debbie Rowe, outside of court, clearing the way for yesterday's ruling. However, an objection to Katherine's custody came from Dr. Arnold Klein, the rumored biological father of Michael's two oldest children.
According to TMZ, Klein voiced concerns that Michael's father, Joe Jackson, would be involved in raising the children and deciding how they would be educated. When Judge Beckloff asked Klein if he had any legal standing to object the ruling, giving Klein an opportunity to confirm rumors about the children's paternity, Klein declined. As a result, the judge rejected Klein's objections and under the terms of Jackson's 2002 will, named Katherine permanent guardian.
Yesterday's hearing was also expected to feature a showdown between Katherine Jackson and the co-executors named in Jackson's will, John Branca and John McLain, over control of Jackson's estate. However, after custody was resolved and a brief 30-minute recess, Katherine withdrew her petition, noting that she just wants more information about matters like the AEG Live deal, which the judge ordered that Katherine be given access to. As Rolling Stone reported yesterday, Katherine argued that the will's executors had kept her in the dark about some of Michael's recent financial decisions.
Branca revealed during the lunch break that the co-executors had reached a deal with AEG Live over the merchandising and rehearsal footage from Jackson's This Is It concert rehearsals, TMZ notes, paving the way for the film, soundtrack and TV special the company is expected to roll out by year's end. Branca and McClain will remain at the helm of the Jackson estate until at least October 2nd, when another hearing is scheduled.