By Mandi Bierly
June 29, 2009 at 08:19 PM EDT

Katherine Jackson, mother of the late Michael Jackson, filed a petition today in Los Angeles asking to be the legal guardian of his three children and was granted temporary custody. The news comes after Jackson family lawyer Londell McMillan made it clear to the Today show’s Matt Lauer this morning that Katherine, who’d already been caring for the children, wanted them to remain with her and husband Joe. “The fortunate reality is that they have a long-term relationship with their loving grandmother, Ms. Katherine Jackson, who I think the world knows and appreciates as just an amazing woman. A very, very loving and strong woman,” McMillan said. Asked if Debbie Rowe, mother of two of the children, had approached the family since Michael’s June 25 death, McMillan said, “To my knowledge, she has not. And I have no knowledge to suggest that she would do anything to uproot the best interest of these children, which is to stay together in a family that they’ve known and that they love, and that they feel very, very comfortable in.”

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