When most people draft a will, they choose guardians for their children from their peer group, like siblings and friends. This ensures a easier transition for the kids, who will be raised in families with similar world views, by substitute parents in the same age group as their own. Bonus if the prospective guardians have children who are friends with your kids.
As in life, the norm just doesn't apply to pop stars like Michael Jackson, who chose his aging mother and Motown diva extraordinaire, Diana Ross to raise his kids in his stead.
Predictably at 82, Katherine Jackson, matriarch of the musical family, has developed health issues that impair her ability to care for the children. Her mysterious, week long disappearance sent Paris Jackson into a tailspin, prompting the 14-year-old to broadcast her panic on Twitter. "Yes, my grandmother is missing. I haven't spoken with her in a week," the frantic teen confirmed.
It's difficult to imagine a non life threatening condition that would have made it impossible for Katherine to pick up the phone and call her granddaughter, or for Aunt Rebbie (with whom Katherine was reportedly staying) to have handled communications for her. There's definitely more to this story than we've heard.
So, for awhile, Tito's 34-year-old son TJ (Tito Joseph) had temporary custody of the kids, and now we've learned he will share responsibility for them with Grandma Katherine and the fabulous Miss Ross. While Ross has advocated for the children, by issuing a request that the media respect their privacy, some have questioned why she hasn't made a more aggressive move to claim her rights to them.
Perhaps she realizes they're better off with TJ. Here's why.
She's too old - At 68 Ross has already put in her parenting years, raising five children. It takes a lot of energy to see teenagers successfully into adulthood, and the Diva may, understandably, not feel up to the task.
TJ brings a stable, family environment to the trio of orphans. He's been married to his wife Frances since 2007, and they have three children together. "A family in harmony will prosper in everything," he recently tweeted .
He's been there - TJ lost his mom to a drowning accident when he was 16, so he understands exactly what these kids are going through, and can offer them the support they need to move forward.
Compromise leads to harmony - TJ may also be hoping to reunite the Jackson clan, which has been divided over the validity of his famous Uncle's will. There are already signs that this custody arrangement has smoothed some of the ruffled feathers among the King of Pop's siblings.
At least his own father, Tito senior, has dropped out of the protest by retracting his signature from the letter officially contesting the will.
Hopefully this "shared" custody agreement is just a cover allowing Ross and Grandma Katherine to publicly save face, while TJ actually takes on most of the child rearing duties.
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- Family & Relationships
- Arts & Entertainment
- Katherine Jackson
- Michael Jackson
- Diana Ross