Washington: Michael Jackson’s nephew TJ was appointed by a judge to share guardianship responsibilities of the singer’s three children on Wednesday.
Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff named TJ Jackson as the children’s co-guardian who will now share responsibilities for raising the siblings, who range in ages from 10 to 15.
The judge made the ruling after considering a letter submitted by singer Diana Ross, who was named in Michael Jackson’s will as a potential guardian, and a letter presented by cousins of the singer who sought a delay in the appointment.
Debra Jackson and her son Anthony urged Beckloff to delay his ruling, saying they were concerned that family matriarch Katherine Jackson was being coerced, Fox News reported.
The pair said they had been ostracized from the family and that the children may not be as excited about TJ Jackson’s appointment as has been presented to the judge.
However, Beckloff noted that all three children had said they consent to the co-guardianship, and that an independent investigation he ordered showed they “have a very strong, loving relationship with TJ Jackson.”
He urged TJ to consider allowing the cousins to visit the family, but said there was no reason to delay.
The appointment means Katherine and TJ will share responsibilities for raising the children. If one of them is no longer able to serve, the other would become the children’s sole guardian.
TJ is a cousin of the children and has remained close to them in the years since the singer``s death.
Wednesday’s hearing had been expected to be a legal formality and although Beckloff made time to hear the cousins’ grievances, the judge didn’t waver in his view that the co-guardianship arrangement was appropriate.
The mother of the two eldest children, Deborah Rowe, has indicated she is comfortable with the arrangement.
First Published: Thursday, August 23, 2012, 14:14