LOS ANGELES -- Michael Jackson's mother gained permanent custody of her late son's children during a hearing Monday that included a surprise objection from the pop icon's former dermatologist.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff made a series of key rulings during the morning portion of the Monday hearing. In addition to approving Katherine Jackson's guardianship petition, he also granted monthly stipends to the 79-year-old and the three young grandchildren she is now charged with raising.
The ruling came after a few tense moments in which an attorney for Beverly Hills Dr. Arnold Klein, Michael Jackson's longtime dermatologist, raised nonspecific objections to the custody arrangements.
Beckloff ultimately determined Klein didn't have legal standing to object to the care of Jackson's children, but said he could raise objections later. Klein has repeatedly denied tabloid reports that he is the biological father of Jackson's children.
Diane Goodman, an attorney for Katherine Jackson, told Beckloff that Jackson's youngest son, Prince Michael II, was born through a surrogate who has no parental rights.
Katherine Jackson's approval as permanent guardian is in accordance with the wishes of her son, who named her in a 2002 will as the person he wanted to raise his children. Beckloff noted that the singer's two oldest children, 12-year-old Prince Michael and 11-year-old Paris Michael, filed declarations stating their wishes for who would raise them. He did not indicate what they said.
Last week, Katherine Jackson and the singer's ex-wife Deborah Rowe reached an agreement over custody issues. Rowe, never formally petitioned for custody, but will receive some visits with Jackson's two oldest children, to whom she gave birth while the couple were married in the late 1990s.
Beckloff also ruled that Jackson's longtime attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain will continue to administer the singer's estate until at least October.
Branca and McClain were named as co-executors of Jackson's 2002 will, and have already received millions of dollars in the singer's money, property and a life insurance payout, court filings show. The money is being placed into a private trust, which designates that 40 percent of the estate goes to Katherine Jackson, 40 percent goes to the children and 20 percent goes to various charities.