TJ Jackson, the 34-year-old son of Michael Jackson's older brother Tito, has been named the temporary guardian of the pop icon's three children. A California judge today also ordered the children not to leave the state.
The judge suspended Katherine Jackson as guardian of Paris Michael, Prince Michael and Prince Michael II at a hearing, saying she is being prevented from acting as a guardian by acts of a third party.
"There are only three words I want to say: Always kids first!," TJ Jackson said outside the court. When asked if he wanted Katherine Jackson home, he responded, "That too!"
The judge ordered that singer Diana Ross, who Michael Jackson named as a backup guardian in his will, receive notice of the decision within 48 hours. Debbie Rowe, the mother of Paris Michael and Prince Michael, must receive notice as well. Rowe is not named in Michael Jackson's will.
The judge ordered another hearing to take place in 30 days.
Katherine Jackson called her grandchildren late Tuesday night, sources told ABC News, ending a days-long silence that culminated in the appointment of a temporary guardian for her three grandchildren.
In court, TJ Jackson said Katherine sounded "strange" during the call. "The way it sounded, I never heard her talk like that." He added that "some words sounded slurred" and said "I never heard her use some phrases."
Katherine Jackson, 82, remains in Tucson, Ariz., where she is staying with relatives. Janet and Jermaine Jackson are also in Tucson.
If Katherine Jackson returns to California or re-establishes regular communications with the children, she will resume being their guardian. Outside court, Perry Sanders, Katherine Jackson's estate attorney, said his client is on her way back to Los Angeles and described the situation as a "giant misunderstanding." Attorney Charles Schultz described her stay in Arizona as "similar to when a parent goes on vacation and leaves the children with a babysitter."
Sanders traveled to Tucson Tuesday night to meet with Janet and Jermaine Jackson and check on Katherine Jackson's condition. He was assured by people staying with her that she was OK, but did not see her.
"I think you have a bunch of people who have a lot of different ideas about what should happen with their mother in this situation," Sanders said. "It's a complex family dynamic."
Sanders described the place where Katherine Jackson stayed in Arizona as "a top notch facility that one would go to to decompress and drop your blood pressure." "It's a real, high-end, spa resort," he added, noting, "They won't allow anybody to use phones in certain parts of that facility."
Sandra Ribera, another attorney for Katherine Jackson, told ABC News, "The children were able to make contact with their grandmother very late yesterday evening. They are looking forward to being reunited with their grandmother very soon."
But in court, Ribera said she has "reason to believe Ms Jackson is being held against her will."