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At a hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday, Katherine Jackson, 82, was reinstated as the guardian of her late son Michael Jackson's children Prince, 15, Paris, 14, and Blanket, 10. Katherine, who had been temporarily removed as the kids' guardian when she went missing for nearly two weeks at the end of July, is currently sharing guardianship with TJ Jackson (son of Michael's brother Tito), who had been acting as their temporary guardian.
Although Katherine denied last week that she'd been kidnapped during her prolonged absence, she has now admitted that she didn't go to Arizona of her own free will. In fact, she says that Michael's siblings tricked her into traveling and forced her to cut off communication from Prince, Paris and Blanket.
According to a sworn declaration filed in court, Katherine was planning a road trip to see her sons Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon perform in New Mexico, when a doctor showed up and advised that she take a plane instead. (Who was this doctor and why did she trust him? That information wasn't included in the court filing.) When Katherine got off the plane, she found that she was not in New Mexico, but in Arizona, where her children had booked her into a luxury resort. At that point, Katherine says that her phone and iPod were taken away, her in-room telephone was disconnected, and her TV was shut off.
"At the time, I trusted the people I was with to be honest with me," says Katherine in the court documents. She was reportedly told that her grandchildren were "fine," and did not know that she'd been reported missing or that the children were frantically trying to get in touch with her.
This is a very different story than the press heard last week, when Katherine claimed she'd taken "a short vacation and rest" during which she "didn't want to have any phone calls."
"There are rumors going around about me that I have been kidnapped. I am here today to let everybody to know that I am good and fine. My children would never do anything to me like that," Katherine told ABC News last Wednesday, surrounded by her children Jermaine, Rebbie and Janet Jackson.
The revised story appears in the court documents Katherine filed in order to regain custody of Paris, Prince and Blanket -- which she did on Thursday.
"I think the kids are in terrific hands," Judge Mitchell Beckloff said. "It appears from the report that Katherine Jackson has done a wonderful job and cares about the children very much."
It's great that the Jackson children will have a stable home life again, although the bizarre Arizona incident still leaves plenty of unanswered questions. RadarOnline has claimed that the plot was devised by Katherine's son Randy Jackson in order to keep his mother out of the siblings' ongoing dispute over Michael Jackson's will.
"Katherine will never speak out publicly against her children, it's just not who she is," says the website's source. "Behind the scenes, however, Katherine is extremely upset and disappointed in Randy's actions that have brought so much unwanted chaos into all of their lives."
Despite their bitter disagreements, the Jacksons are making an effort to show some unity. On Friday night, Katherine and her three grandchildren attended a Jackson brothers' concert, at which Jermaine declared, "The Jackson family is one... and we're one family. And we will heal." We certainly hope so.