Joe Jackson: Michael's Children "Belong" With Us

Celebrity News Jun. 29, 2009 AT 3:17PM
Joe Jackson at the 2009 BET Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on June 28, 2009 in L.A. Joe Jackson at the 2009 BET Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on June 28, 2009 in L.A. Credit: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

Joe Jackson says Michael Jackson's three children are in good hands now that their grandmother Katherine is their temporary legal guardian.

"We're the parents. This is where they belong," he said Monday at a press conference with Rev. Al Sharpton outside the Jackson family estate in Encino, Calif. "We're going to take care of them and give them the education they're supposed to have."

Asked about Debbie Rowe (the biological mother of two of Michael's three children), Joe said, "Debbie Rowe has nothing to do with what we're doing."

He said the children -- Prince, 12; Paris, 11; Prince Michael II, 7 -- are with other young ones in the Jackson family and are "happy with the kids they're around."

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"We have kids back there, small ones like they are," he said. "They were never around other kids. They're happy."

Asked if nanny Grace Rwaramba will look after the kids, Joe said, "We're looking at that, too. She's a good friend of the family and of the kids."

He said he hasn't seen a copy of his late son's will and declined further questions on the matter, calling it a "private" issue. (On Monday, Joe and wife Katherine filed to a petition become the administrators of Michael's estate to ensure three children are its beneficiaries.)

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As for memorial and funeral plans, Joe said they are not ready to make an announcement.

"We're searching to see what happened to Michael," Joe told reporters. "I want to see how this autopsy is coming out, the second autopsy. I'm expecting to hear about it real soon."

But Joe denied rumors that they will bury Michael at his former Neverland Ranch. "That's not true," he said.

Joe promised that the family will continue to honor their late son.

"One thing I wish would have happened with Michael is that he could have been here to see all this," he said.

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"Michael was the superstar all over the world," he went on. "He was loved in every country...."

"He tried his hard to please everybody. He helped the sick, the blind... He was glad to do it. I've seen Michael go and cry about it. ... He felt sorry for the people he was helping."

Joe promised that his son's "legacy will still go on."

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