(LOS ANGELES) — A little-known Jackson family member strongly supports making Katherine and TJ Jackson co-guardians of Michael Jackson’s children: Tanay Jackson, TJ’s half-sister.
“My brother would make an ideal father for the kids,” she told ABC News. “He knows how to be a father. He’s been doing it for a while, and it’s been in him from the beginning.”
Lawyers for Katherine, Michael’s mother, and TJ, the 34-year-old son of Michael’s brother, Tito, are expected to file a request for joint guardianship in a Los Angeles court this week. Last week, Perry Sanders, an attorney for Katherine, said, “If the court grants this joint request, it will eliminate concerns such as the ones triggered by the events of the last few days,” referring to Katherine’s recent trip to Arizona. TJ was appointed a temporary guardian of Paris Michael, Prince Michael, and Prince Michael II in Katherine’s absence. He has been integral in the kids’ lives for years.
Tanay called co-guardianship a “better idea” than having Katherine or TJ parent alone.
“At first I was saying that TJ should take guardianship because he’s a good father and the kids like him and it would be a good way to let my grandma get a rest,” she said. “But she’s very fond of the kids and she’s been raising them. This is a good idea. She’d still get to raise them and then she’d get some sort of backup.”
The last time Tanay saw TJ, he was preparing for the birth of his first child. TJ is married and now has three children.
“He was having his first child, and he just had that demeanor,” she said. “He was just like a father, like ‘No, sit here, do this, this is the right way’ — he just has that characteristic about him.”
Tanay hasn’t seen TJ in years, in part, because of her strained relationship with the Jackson family. Her mother was never married to Tito, and in 2009, Tanay filed a petition in Brooklyn Family Court to declare that the former Jackson 5 member is her father. The outcome of the petition was not made public.
Earlier this week, Taryll, TJ’s brother, tweeted “Tanay Jackson is NOT related to us.”
“I haven’t seen them in a long time,” Tanay said. “TJ was cool with me. Taryll and Taj were not. They’re probably trying to keep their loyalty to their mom — she’s deceased and I have a different mom.”
Delores Martes Jackson was the mother of TJ, Taryll, and Taj. She was murdered by a boyfriend in 1994, a year after she divorced Tito. Her sons went on to form the R&B group 3T.
Tanay’s also in the business. Her latest single, “The Spotlight,” is available on iTunes now, and she has plans to pitch a reality show “about me and what I’m going through.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Sandra Gonzalez, CNN
Lisa Respers France, CNN