In My Opinion: Planet Jackson is No Place For Kids

Filed under: Opinions, Celeb Parents

Michael Jackson

Who should raise the King of Pop's kids? Credit: Getty Images

Planet Jackson is a strange and alien world. What most of us consider the laws of reality apparently don't apply there.

And what goes on in the minds of its inhabitants -- and those trapped in its gravitational pull -- is an an even greater mystery.

So it's hard to know what to make of news that the late superstar's children will be raised by his mother. A judge honored Jackson's will Thursday by awarding custody of the three children to 79-year-old Katherine Jackson

However, she remains married to 80-year-old Joseph Jackson, the family patriarch who openly admitted in 2003 that he beat his children -- confirming a sobbing interview his son gave that same year.

Katherine Jackson may have custody of the children, but Joseph Jackson casts an ominous shadow. The couple no longer lives together, but any connection to the abusive father who might have been the major contributor to the weirdness that was Michael Jackson is still a chilling thought.,feedConfig,entry&id=541773&pid=541772&uts=1249065752
The Complicated World of the King of Pop
Michael Jackson's mother, 79-year-old Katherine Jackson, has been granted custody of the pop star's three children.
Getty Images

Michael Jackson

    Michael Jackson's mother, 79-year-old Katherine Jackson, has been granted custody of the pop star's three children.

    Getty Images

    Jackson's ex-wife, Debbie Rowe, gave up custody of her children, 12-year-old Prince Michael and 11-year-old Paris, when she divorced the King of Pop. In the wake of Jackson's death, the court has granted Rowe visitation rights, although the specific terms were not made public.

    Getty Images

    Michael Jackson, center, wearing a traditional Arabic woman's veil and all-covering gown called an abaya, with his son, Prince Michael II, also veiled, as they walk in Bahrain in 2006.

    Hasan Jamali, AP

    Michael Jackson, center, is supported by his security personnel as he walks into the courthouse with his father Joe Jackson, right, after arriving late to Santa Barbara County Superior Court, on March 10, 2005.

    Kimberly White, Pool / AP

    Michael Jackson applauds his fans while on top of his car after his arraignment on child molestation charges in Santa Maria, California on January 16, 2003.

    Hector Mata, AFP / Getty Images

    Michael Jackson's booking photo and personal information shown in this copy of a release from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department after Jackson was booked on child molestation charges in Santa Barbara, CA, on November 20, 2003.

    Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department / AP

    Michael Jackson holds his eight-month-old son Prince Michael II over the balcony of the Adlon Hotel in 2002 in Berlin, Germany. Jackson was in Berlin with his three children to accept a lifetime achievement award.

    Olaf Selchow, Getty Images

    Minders escort the veiled children of Michael Jackson as they visit the Berlin Zoo in November 2002.

    Sadek Hamaiel, Getty Images

    Michael Jackson holds an unidentified child as he stands in the window of his suite in the Adlon hotel in Berlin.

    Jockel Finck, AP

    A masked Jackson traveling in Berlin, Germany.

    Eric Richard, Getty Images

The alternative, of course, was Debbie Rowe -- Michael's ex-wife and the biological mother of 12-year-old Prince Michael and 11-year-old Paris. Then again, she never formally challenged Katherine Jackson's custody of the children. We heard that she made a bit of noise about wanting custody, but all she legally sought was an agreement defining her post-Michael parental rights. She received visitation rights in the settlement announced Thursday, but the details were not released.

Jackson's ex-wife is interesting. She legally relinquished all her parental rights to the kids in 2001. Who knows why? Cynics might say a settlement of $8 million and a home in Beverly Hills had something to do with it. Then again, maybe she was sincere when she said at the time, "Michael has been a wonderful father to the children, and I do not wish to share parenting responsibilities with Michael because he is doing so well without me."

She eventually regained her parental rights. Then, in 2003, she unsuccessfully petitioned for custody of the children, even though she said, in what was apparently a banner year for Jackson-related interviews, "My kids don't call me Mom because I don't want them to. They're Michael's children."

Michael himself, for all his artistic accomplishments, cut a bone-chilling image as a father. Never mind all the allegations of child molestation.Never mind the whole 27-year freak-show that was his public life as an adult. Can anyone forget how he dangled his infant son Prince Michael II (a.k.a. Blanket, his son from an unknown surrogate mother) from a Berlin balcony in 2002?

From that world to their grandmother's home is probably the best alternative Planet Jackson has to offer. Still, it is Planet Jackson.

Even gazing at it from an admittedly hazy distance, you shake your head.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.