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Jackson's '02 will gives his mom control of kids

Michael Jackson's will gives guardianship over his children to the singer's mother and leaves all his assets in a trust fund, a person with knowledge of the document told the Associated Press on Tuesday.

The word came just a day after the family said in court documents it believed the entertainer had died without a valid will and moved to take control over his estate.

The will was created in July 2002 and it named as executors Jackson's longtime lawyer John Branca and John McClain, a music executive and a family friend, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the topic. The Jackson family and its lawyers are reviewing the document, the person said.

Judge Mitchell Beckloff granted 79-year-old Katherine Jackson, the singer's mother, temporary guardianship of his three children, who range in age from 7 to 12.

In other Jackson news on Tuesday:

• The Associated Press revealed documents that show Jackson claimed to have a net worth of $236 million as of March 31, 2007. Jackson had $567.6 million in assets, including his Neverland Ranch, his share of the Sony/ATV Music Publishing catalog that includes the rights to songs by the Beatles, and an assortment of cars, antiques and collectibles, according to a statement of financial condition prepared by accounting firm Thompson, Cobb, Bazilio & Associates of Washington. The five-page report says Jackson had debts of $331 million, leaving him with a net worth of $236.6 million. Highlighting his shaky financial health, the singer known for his lavish shopping sprees had just $668,215 in cash, according to the report.

• Both TMZ and Us reported that Jackson's children with Debbie Rowe — Michael Jr. (the one known as Prince) and Paris — are not his biological children. Us says the father is apparently Dr. Arnold Klein, Jackson's dermatologist and Rowe's former employer. TMZ says that Rowe was simply the surrogate mother for Michael Jr. and Paris, and that the surrogate for the youngest child, Prince Michael II (the one known as Blanket), never knew who the receiving parent was, and Jackson wasn't the biological dad of that child, either.

• Jackson was so distraught over persistent insomnia in recent months that he pleaded for a powerful sedative despite warnings it could be harmful, says a nutritionist who worked with the singer. Cherilyn Lee, a registered nurse, said Tuesday that she repeatedly rejected his demands for Diprivan, which is given intravenously. But a frantic phone call she received from Jackson four days before his death made her fear that he somehow obtained Diprivan or another drug to induce sleep, Lee said. While in Florida on June 21, Lee was contacted by a member of Jackson's staff. "I said, 'Tell him he needs to go to the hospital. I don't know what's going on, but he needs to go to the hospital … right away.' " Jackson did not go to the hospital.

• Fans converged on Harlem's Apollo Theater for a public tribute to the performer, clutching photographs, cheering and dancing to his music at the legendary venue that launched the onetime child star's career. "Michael made young men and women all over the world imitate us," the Rev. Al Sharpton said, adding that Jackson "smashed the barriers of segregated music."

• Internet video research firm Visible Measures said Jackson's music video for Thriller has been watched more than 8.5 million times online since his death.

• The promoter who booked Jackson for a sold-out comeback tour in London said footage of the singer's rehearsals may be released, and an all-star tribute show is likely to take place.

• Jackson and Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas had completed work on a new album shortly before the singer's death, Britain's Mirror reported. "It's something Michael has never done before — a dance music album," Will.i.am told the Mirror.

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Jackson's '02 will gives his mom control of kids 06/30/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 11:11pm]

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