Katherine Jackson, the mother of Michael Jackson and guardian of his three children, is safe and with a family member in Arizona, authorities said late Sunday, one day after another relative reported her missing. Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Pope said investigators made contact with Jackson, but he did not have specifics on her whereabouts. The agency previously said they believed she was with a relative and safe, but wanted to speak with her.
Katherine Jackson is with her daughter Rebbie in Arizona, following a doctor’s orders to “de-stress” and stay away from the phone and computers, her son Jermaine Jackson said in a statement late Sunday. He said access to his mother is not being blocked.
A member of the Jackson family had reported the family matriarch missing on Saturday, prompting a frantic plea from the late pop star’s only daughter to help locate her grandmother. “I haven’t spoken with her in a week I want her home now,” 14-year-old Paris Jackson tweeted, later providing a number for people to contact in case they see her grandmother. Katherine Jackson has been caring for Paris, Prince Michael, and Blanket Jackson since their father’s death in June 2009. It was unclear who is taking care of the children in her absence.
The incident demonstrated divisions in the Jackson family just days after five of the singer’s siblings once again claimed that the King of Pop’s will was a fake and that the executors of his lucrative estate should step down. The undated letter, signed by Janet, Randy, Tito, Rebbie and Jermaine Jackson, claimed Katherine Jackson was being manipulated by the executors, John Branca and John McClain, her health had been affected, and she suffered a mini-stroke.
The estate has denied the accusations, which have swirled since Michael Jackson died from an overdose of a powerful anesthetic. Katherine Jackson obtained permission from a judge to investigate the will’s validity, but never pursued the matter in court. “It dismays me that such an alarmist ‘missing person’ report has caused unnecessary anxiety among Michael’s children who will understandably react to what they misunderstand, hear, or are told,” Jermaine Jackson wrote.
The mystery of Katherine Jackson’s whereabouts was compounded by a visit from her son’s former physician, Dr. Allan Metzger, who examined her July 14 after being brought to her Calabasas home by someone close to the family, said her attorney, Sandy Ribera. She had been scheduled to depart on an RV trip to the Southwest to watch her sons perform. The elder Jackson never made any of the shows and Metzger apparently told her not to take the trip, Ribera said.
Metzger is not Katherine Jackson’s primary physician and her regular doctor wasn’t aware of his house call until concerns about Katherine Jackson’s whereabouts were raised, Ribera said. A phone message left for Metzger at his Beverly Hills practice was not immediately returned Sunday.
Metzger treated Michael Jackson earlier in his career and met with the singer once in the months before he died. Defense attorneys for the physician convicted of killing the pop superstar called him as a witness to try to show the singer was attempting to obtain a powerful anesthetic for home use. Despite being a defense witness, Metzger aided prosecutors by telling jurors that he refused Jackson’s request and warned him of the risks.
Paris Jackson referenced Metzger’s visit in a tweet early Sunday, writing, “the same doctor that testified on behalf of dr murray saying my father was a drug addict (a lie) is caring for my grandmother… just saying.”
Conrad Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for causing Jackson’s death at age 50.