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Katherine Jackson is no longer considered missing -- but she's been out of touch so long that her guardianship of Michael Jackson's children has been suspended. On Wednesday, a judge appointed Tito Jackson's son TJ, 32, as the temporary guardian of Prince, 15, Paris, 14, and Blanket, 10.
Right now, Michael's mother Katherine, 82, is staying with Jackson family members in Arizona, who have stated that she is resting under a doctor's care. However, she has been uncharacteristically out of touch with her grandchildren, which led to a missing-persons report being filed this weekend. Things got even stranger on Monday afternoon, when siblings Jermaine, Randy and Janet Jackson arrived at Katherine's California home with a camera crew and allegedly tried to take Michael's three children with them.
Although TJ told the judge that spoke to Katherine on Tuesday, he said that she sounded strange and unlike herself, and that her words were slurred. For the safety of the children, he has stepped in as a temporary guardian, although he reportedly does not plan to replace Katherine permanently.
"They are trying to protect the kids from the other family," a source tells E! of TJ and Katherine. "TJ didn't step in to remove her. He stepped in because she is not there."
Michael's mother and children are at the center of a family feud that is currently raging between the Jackson siblings. Janet, Jermaine, Tito, Randy and Rebbie recently sent a letter to the executors of Michael's estate, accusing them of falsifying their late brother's will (which leaves everything to Katherine and his children) and covering up the circumstances of his death. They also claimed that Katherine is in poor health and an unfit guardian for the children (which her attorney has denied). Tito has since changed sides in the dispute, retracting his signature and stating, "I don't want any part of that letter whatsoever."
As confusing as the Jackson family feud is from the outside, it seems that it's even worse for the children. On Tuesday, 14-year-old Paris tweeted that she had not spoken to her grandmother for "9 days and counting," adding, "so help me god i will make whoever did this pay." (She later apologized "for the attitude," explaining, "there's just a lot going on.") On Wednesday, she tweeted some telling lyrics from her late father's song "Will You Be There": "Everyones taking control of me, it seems that the worlds got a role for me... im so confused will u show to me you'll be there for me."
For a while there, against all odds, Michael's kids seemed to be living a normal life. It's sad to see their childhood thrown into upheaval once again -- and even worse that their own family is responsible.