London: Legendary popstar Michael Jackson’s three kids are facing a new custody battle as grandmother Katherine is facing severe health issues.
Katherine was hospitalized after falling down stairs at the family mansion and relatives fear she may no longer be strong enough to raise Prince Michael, 13, Paris, 12, and eight-year-old Prince Michael II, known as Blanket.
“Katherine suffers from dizzy spells and a fall like the one she had could have had deadly consequences. Mercifully, she only suffered bruising this time,” the Daily Express quoted a family source as saying.
“But her general health is deteriorating fast and she almost seems to have aged 12 years in the last 12 months. Michael’s death broke her heart and she has never fully recovered.
The source added: “At her age any more falls could be disastrous. She adores her grandchildren. But how much longer can she cope with them?”
Jackson’s will, which excluded his father Joe, named his friend Diana Ross as guardian if his mother died. However, trustees of his estate are thought to favour two of Jackson’s nephews.
They are Tariano “Taj” Jackson, 36, and Tito “T.J.” Jackson Jr, 31, the sons of Michael’s older brother Tito, 56. Both are married with children, lead low- profile lives and are, the trustees feel, “of ideal ages to raise three children”.
“They are both great guys, but any change in guardianship will not be smooth if Katherine passes,” a family source said.
“The truth is there will be an almighty battle. Michael’s children are where the money is at. A lot of family members, especially Joe, will seek to stake their claim for custody and there is likely to be a flurry of lawsuits.
“It must be torture for Katherine to know that the children’s lives will continue to be in turmoil if anything happens to her. It’s precisely the legacy Michael did not want for them,” the source further added.