Diana Ross next in line to get Michael’s kids

By Alexandra Heilbron on July 3, 2009 | 40 Comments

Diana Ross and Michael JacksonIn a will signed nearly seven years ago, on July 7, 2002, Michael Jackson named Diana Ross as the guardian of his three children in case his mother was unable to raise them. Currently, Katherine Jackson, 79, has temporary custody of the three children: Michael, 12, Paris, 11 and Prince, 7. In the will she is named as the primary guardian, followed by Ross, 65, if Katherine dies or “is unwilling or unable” to act as guardian. A petition attached to the will valued his estate at $500 million – nearly all of it “non-cash, non-liquid assets” in the form of a lucrative music catalog and “interests in various entities.” However, since then, Jackson faced a number of severe financial setbacks and it’s unclear how much his estate is worth today.

Comments & Discussion

  1. tributegirl • July 3, 2009 @ 9:25 AM

    I think she would be a good choice, although she’s getting up there in years too.

  2. gypsy • July 3, 2009 @ 10:50 AM


  3. Jenny • July 3, 2009 @ 10:58 AM

    I believe that one of his uncles would be a good choice if his mother is unable to care for them.Janet seems to be also a good kind hearted person. Keep them in the family if possible and away from grampa Joe please.

  4. Jenny • July 3, 2009 @ 11:12 AM

    On second thought, having Catherine take care of the children would mean that Joe would be around and that would not be a good thing. Unless, old age has mellowed him and he has learned from his past mistakes and Catherine has also learned that she cannot condone his
    violent behaviour if it still is not under control

  5. gypsy • July 3, 2009 @ 11:15 AM


  6. lily • July 3, 2009 @ 11:47 AM

    Hope you are right, gypsy, and I like the way you write (although the caps aren’t necessary).

  7. tributegirl • July 3, 2009 @ 12:17 PM

    Jenny, from the sounds of it, Joe isn’t even upset at losing one of his children, he’s more interested in his own dealings. I don’t think he’s changed one bit.
    gypsy, I think Janet would be a great choice too.

  8. mandee • July 3, 2009 @ 4:08 PM

    i think maybe janet and the other jackson kids dont WANT these children. wouldnt they have been fighting for them by now if they did?

  9. Ray • July 3, 2009 @ 7:14 PM


  10. Carol • July 3, 2009 @ 10:52 PM

    I heard today that Joe doesn’t even live with Katherine, they are still married, but he does his own thing and has his own place. I didn’t realize that before, but even if he is not present, she was willed 40% of the estate, and if something happens to her, he could be entitled to part of that. Hopefully her affairs are in order because leaving anything to Joe doesn’t sound like it was in Michael’s plans

  11. mandee • July 4, 2009 @ 4:23 AM

    ray, the kids faces are probably covered because michael didnt want them paraded around in the public view. i doubt theres anything wrong with their faces. carol wouldnt you find that odd to still be married to someone but have separate lives? i really hope he gets nothing EVER from any of this family.

  12. Stephie • July 4, 2009 @ 12:31 PM

    Their faces are fine, their was a picture of them not that long ago without their masks, Michael was just terrified of someone recognizing them and kidnapping them, thats why he kept their faces hid.

  13. Carol • July 4, 2009 @ 7:17 PM

    Personally, Mandee, I would find that odd, but I’ve known a few people to be married and their spouse works in a different province and they basically visit each other. Different strokes for different folks. I wouldn’t want it for myself, but perhaps it is better for some people. And her generation, it might be easier to live apart than having the stigma of a divorce as there are still a lot of old fashioned people who see it happening in the world but absolutely refuse that for themselves due to religion, pride, whatever.

  14. mandee • July 5, 2009 @ 4:03 PM

    i guess religion could be a big reason to not get divorced. i still think its strange. 🙂

  15. Jo-Anne • July 5, 2009 @ 5:45 PM

    if a married couple was choosing to split, live apart, Carol, why would “pride” keep them from divorcing?

    also, to label people “old fashioned” who do not consider divorce as an option, I think is off the mark too…judging by society today, it seems far too many opt for divorce to end their “comittment” as easy as opting to change their lipstick shade….

  16. mandee • July 5, 2009 @ 8:06 PM

    joanne, i think the reason carol would think its old fashioned is because of how old MJS parents are. they are almost 80 arent they? i didnt take their age into consideration, until you just said that comment, but now im thinking back when they got married when they were young wasnt it wrong to get divorced? if they grew up in a time frame that disagreed with divorce, it would make sense for them to stay married long after they separated because its the only way they know. so perhaps old fashioned is the right word?

  17. lily • July 5, 2009 @ 8:16 PM

    insightful explanation, mandee. I agree with you.

  18. lily • July 5, 2009 @ 8:33 PM

    when you aren’t fighting, you say good stuff

  19. mandee • July 5, 2009 @ 8:57 PM

    thanks. yanno, i do actually like you. it just seems that lately we have been getting caught up in the stupid crossfire. so, lets try not to do that anymore. if nancy and tributegirl wouldnt insult me or try to make me look stupid for my view on things, perhaps i could have an adult relationship with them as well.

  20. lily • July 5, 2009 @ 9:07 PM

    the truce is on!

  21. Kate • July 5, 2009 @ 9:17 PM

    I have a long time friend who has lived separate from his wife for the last 13 years. Neither sees it necessary to go through the hassle of a divorce or want to marry again. Is just how they choose to do things.

  22. tributegirl • July 5, 2009 @ 9:19 PM

    Kate, that’s awesome, they figured out what works for them and that’s exactly what they did. If they are happy, that’s all that matters.

  23. Greg • July 5, 2009 @ 10:54 PM

    Just reading all the comments here, and not knowing all the real FACTS on the Jackson family legacy I would like to know which family member of the Jackson’s got their children involved in the music industry so that they could go from rags to enormous wealth?

    I can honestly say I’ve experienced enough trama as a child but to have the opportunity to give up my time in the play ground or with other children to have all the rewards that everyone everywhere has strived for, for eon’s, would be a choice I’d have given up in a snap.

    If the silent unrespected terriable person who got the Jackson family out of poverty in Gary Indiana didn’t do that, would any of us be here commenting over the Famed Micheal Jackson?

  24. tributegirl • July 6, 2009 @ 3:17 PM

    Well, I think if Michael had been given the choice of practicing all the time, or playing in the playground, I have a feeling he would have choosen the playground. I remember him saying he saw some kids playing baseball and he desperately wanted to join them, but wasn’t allowed, he had to rehearse.
    Also, I’m not sure they were actually living in poverty, I heard his father had worked as a crane operator before he struck gold with his kids.

  25. Carol • July 6, 2009 @ 7:26 PM

    Pride affects a lot of peoples actions. Some people don’t want to look like what they think might be considered a failure, and it is easier to explain why they live apart than getting a divorce.
    And there are still those who are old-fashioned, they try to work it out. There are many different types of people/couples in the world

  26. tributegirl • July 6, 2009 @ 7:40 PM

    Carol, actually I have to say, mandee totally got what you were saying about this, and both you & she explained it very well. Older people often would feel ashamed or whatever if they got a divorce, they are from a whole different era where divorce was considered “wrong”.

  27. mandee • July 6, 2009 @ 9:43 PM

    thanks. 😀

  28. Kim • July 6, 2009 @ 10:34 PM

    I agree with Joanne, I don’t think people go into marriage realizing what the vows are all about — it should be a serious commitment, not just something temporary. And many people still consider it wrong to divorce when there are kids involved, unless there’s abuse or addiction on the part of one of the spouses. Many kids suffer permanent emotional damage as a result of divorce.

  29. mandee • July 6, 2009 @ 10:50 PM

    many also suffer permanent emotional damage as a result of 2 unhappy people staying in a marriage just because of religious reasons, pride, or for the sake of the children. so basically, its a no win situation.

  30. Lisa • July 6, 2009 @ 11:53 PM

    I think the kids should have a say in this…I’d definately would choose Janet…

  31. mandee • July 7, 2009 @ 12:46 AM

    i dont think janet wants them. i agree though, i would like to see her with them.

  32. Silvana • July 7, 2009 @ 1:20 AM

    Personally a will is a touchy thing….I’m sure Diana Ross would be a fabulous role model and perfect guardian….but the biological mother should have the legal rights…but again when looking at the relationship of the two, her and Michael…it could have been just a business relationship…either way the children should have there say….after all there not infants…Jackon’s mother or Diana would both do a great job in parenting…what’s important is keeping the bridges open for all family members and close friends…a family loss is always a BIG BLOW….so support is key 🙂

  33. Anon • July 7, 2009 @ 10:10 PM

    mandee on July 7, 2009 12:46 AM

    Agree with you there Mandee, I don’t think Janet wants them either.

    Silvana on July 7, 2009 1:20 AM

    I don’t really have an opinion on who would be best as the whole family seems to have some sort of major problems. But I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with the comment on keeping the bridges open for all members; so important and probably their best chance at living a relatively normal life.

  34. tributegirl • July 8, 2009 @ 11:25 AM

    Well, apparently Debbie backed out of going to the funeral. I would think if she was really interested in her children, she would have gone to show support for them, if for no other reason. But I expect there was some underlying reason, maybe the family requested she not go, maybe her lawyer advised her….

  35. mandee • July 8, 2009 @ 11:48 PM

    i agree

  36. Yerraynus • July 9, 2009 @ 1:04 AM

    diana ross dont go either.suppose to be his good freind

  37. Jo-Anne • July 9, 2009 @ 2:00 PM

    actually I was surprised Diana Ross didn’t attend, and a few others as well…

  38. tributegirl • July 9, 2009 @ 6:08 PM

    I didn’t know that, I thought she was there. Weird.

  39. Nancy • July 10, 2009 @ 12:37 AM

    I know! I thought for sure that Elizabeth Taylor would have been there. I did miss a few minutes while doing dishes though but other than that I never saw or heard of her being there.

  40. lily • July 10, 2009 @ 6:55 AM

    I thought Diana and Liz were his two true, very best friends… seems really strange they weren’t there.

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