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Culture

Pop star's father was 'excluded' from will

Video by Catherine VIETTE

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-01

Michael Jackson's father Joe was excluded from a will drafted in 2002 by the pop star, the Wall Street Journal reported, saying he divided his estate between his mother, children and favourite charities.

AFP - Michael Jackson's father was cut out of a will drafted by the pop icon seven years ago it was reported Tuesday as investigators widened their probe into the superstar's death.

As the Jackson family were granted temporary control of the singer's affairs on Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported a 2002 will divided his estate between his mother, three children and one or more charities.

However Joe Jackson, who had an uneasy relationship with his son, does not feature, the Journal report said.

A lawyer for Jackson could submit the will, which was believed to be his last, to Los Angeles Superior Court as soon as Thursday, it added. The singer's parents have not seen the will, their lawyer said in a statement to the daily.

Joe Jackson, a former steelworker, raised his nine children into musical sensations. Michael Jackson said his father would beat him if he missed a note and tell him he was ugly, contributing to the tragic pop icon's fragility.

On Monday a judge named the star's 79-year-old mother Katherine temporary guardian of his three children and his estate, which includes the Neverland ranch and rights to songs by The Beatles.

"This is where they belong," Joe Jackson, also 79, told reporters after the decision. "We're going to take care of them and give them the education they're supposed to have."

Jackson's former wife of three years, Debbie Rowe, is the mother of the two eldest children -- Prince Michael, 12, and Paris, 11. The third, seven-year-old Prince Michael II, was born in 2002 to a surrogate whose identity has never been made public.

Rowe, a dermatologist who met Jackson when he was under treatment, has kept a low profile since their divorce. But she appealed through her lawyers to let the children mourn their father in peace.

Rowe "requests that Michael's family, and particularly the children, be spared such harmful, sensationalist speculation", lawyer Marta Almli said.

Another attorney expected Rowe to make a decision on her next step in the coming days.

Legal experts say that Rowe, as the biological mother, would have a strong chance to gain custody of her two children.

Joe Jackson said no funeral date would be set until results of a second autopsy on his son were complete.

The size and complexity of Jackson's assets and debts is expected to pose a challenge in unwinding his estate, the Journal said, estimating his debt at 500-million-dollars.

The Los Angeles Times meanwhile reported Tuesday that Los Angeles Police Department detectives are seeking to identify and interview "multiple doctors" who treated Jackson in the years before his death.

Attention has so far focused on the role of Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray, who was with the star just before his death last Thursday.

Lawyers for Murray and law enforcement sources have said he is not suspected of wrongdoing and has co-operated with the investigation.

On Monday, coroner's office investigators removed several plastic bags of medication from Jackson's rented mansion in Holmby Hills, described as "additional medical evidence."

It was part of an effort to build a full profile of Jackson's medical history, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Jackson's death has sparked a worldwide outpouring of grief and tributes which continued on Tuesday with crowds gathering at New York's famous Apollo Theater for a celebration of the star's life.

Date created : 2009-07-01

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