By Stacy M. Brown
National Newspaper Publishers Association
Katherine Jackson, the matriarch of the famed Jackson family, is reportedly gravely ill, with family members already fighting over her share of the late Michael Jackson’s estate.
Outlets like Radar Online, the National Enquirer and even Atlanta Black Star have reported that Jackson, 88, is facing brain surgery.
Previously, the outlets reported that Jackson has had several strokes and other ailments that have left her wheelchair-bound and dependent upon caretakers.
The latest reports also suggest that several of Jackson’s children have engaged in a fierce battle to control their mother’s share of the late King of Pop’s vast estate – valued at more than $1 billion.
“Now everybody in the family is jockeying for position!” a source told the National Enquirer. Although a rep denied it, two family insiders claimed the great-grandmother has suffered from excruciating headaches, leading to a hospital visit in late summer, the tabloid reported.
“Katherine is in dire condition,” another source told RadarOnline.com. “Now everybody in the family is jockeying for position.”
“Her doctor thought she had a stroke,” another unnamed source – described as an insider – told Radar. According to another source, Katherine remained hospitalized for about a week.
“More tests were conducted to see if her condition might be something even more serious – like a brain tumor,” the source said.
The family insider said doctors discovered a golf ball-sized growth on Katherine’s brain and declared she must undergo surgery as soon as possible.
While some doubt the veracity of unnamed sources, several members of the Jackson family are well-known for speaking off the record and requesting anonymity.
Michael Jackson, who died in 2009, provided stories about himself and his family to the National Enquirer, according to his former publicist and others around the Jacksons.
Earlier this year, family patriarch Joseph Jackson died at the age of 89 after a bout with cancer.
Multiple outlets had reported that Joseph had been alienated from the family after he publicly tried to cash in on Michael Jackson’s 2009 death by employing look-a-likes and holding press conferences to push new music and other material while the family mourned the “Thriller” singer.
Battles over the King of Pop’s fortune reportedly began moments after he was pronounced dead, with Katherine, Latoya and others searching his Los Angeles home and beseeching Jackson’s former nanny to tell them where cash may have been stashed inside.
Now, sources have told news outlets that Katherine’s children are elbowing each other to ensure they get their slice of the pie before — and after — Katherine dies.
She currently pays out a combined $37,000 a month to daughters La Toya, 62, and Rebbie, 68, a source told Radar.
Katherine also forks out $12,000 to son Jermaine, 64, and nearly $10,000 to pay the rent for some of Jermaine’s and Randy’s children.
“Some of those people want her to live so they can stay on the gravy train,” a source told the tabloid. “Others would like to see her go, thinking they’ll get even more from her estate!”
Born in Barbour County, Alabama, on May 4, 1930, Katherine and Joseph married in 1949 and had 10 children together including superstars Michael and Janet.
A musician and singer, Katherine, along with Joseph, encouraged the family to pursue a career in music. She’s made very few recent public appearances – once at her grandson’s concert in Los Angeles; later at another show featuring one of her granddaughters and at Joseph Jackson’s funeral in August.
Katherine and Joseph Jackson had nearly 30 grandchildren and, despite varying media reports, the two never divorced.
On the latest news, a Jackson source told NNPA Newswire that “Katherine is in good hands. Don’t believe the hype.”