Jackson Mom Reveals ‘Disappearance’ Details
By Alan Duke, CNN
LOS ANGELES (CNN) — Michael Jackson’s mother confirmed details previously reported by CNN that suggest she was tricked into flying to an Arizona spa instead of attending a concert by her sons in New Mexico last month, court documents reveal.
Katherine Jackson’s cell phone and iPad were taken from her at the spa and the TV and phone in her room were disabled, preventing her from calling home or knowing about the public controversy about her disappearance, Jackson said in a sworn statement filed in court Thursday.
The 82-year-old Jackson family matriarch was out of touch with Prince, Paris and Blanket Jackson for 10 days, leading to a missing-person report and the suspension of her guardianship of Michael Jackson’s children, whom she’s raised since their father’s death three years ago.
“At the time, I trusted people to be honest with me,” Jackson said. “While I was away, I had no reason to question whether the people whom I placed the trust would inform me that Prince, Paris and Blanket were trying to reach me.”
Those people included four of her children — Janet, Jermaine, Randy and Rebbie Jackson — according to her lawyers and others involved in the events. Her other children, including La Toya, Tito, Marlon and Jackie, have said they did not know where their mother was taken.
A judge restored her as guardian in a hearing Thursday, based partly on her sworn statement explaining why she was out of contact, a description that mirrors what CNN reported after her nephew filed a missing-person report on July 21.
The drama began on July 14, a day before she was to leave in an RV to see the Jackson’s “Unity” show in Albuquerque on the next Tuesday, she said.
“A doctor was brought to my home stating that he had been in contact with my longtime personal physician and was coming to check on me because my personal physician was unavailable,” Jackson said. “The doctor advised that it was better for me to fly and not drive to New Mexico. Believing that the doctor was sent at the request of my longtime personal physician, I followed what I understood to be doctor’s orders and boarded a flight as opposed to driving in the motor home.”
The doctor, identified as Dr. Allan Metzger, was not sent by Jackson’s personal physician, Jackson lawyer Sandra Ribera told CNN.
“We came to find out that the doctor has no association with Dr. Metzger,” she said.
Metzger’s previous connection to the Jackson family included his treatment of Michael Jackson over nearly two decades for insomnia, according to his testimony last year at Dr. Conrad Murray’s involuntary manslaughter trial. A call to Metzger’s Beverly Hills, California, office went unreturned Friday.
Instead of landing in New Mexico, the plane went to Tucson and Katherine Jackson was driven to the Miraval Spa, according to her affidavit.
“Based on what I believed to be the orders of the office of my longtime personal physician, my phone was taken away,” Jackson said. Her iPad was also taken, she said.
“While there was a telephone in my room, the telephone was not functioning and I could not dial out,” she said. “In addition, there was no picture on the television in my room. Despite repeated requests to those with me to have it fixed, the television was never fixed.”
Without a TV, phone or iPad, she was unaware that her granddaughter was posting desperate pleas on her Twitter account for help in finding her.
“yes, my grandmother is missing,” Paris Jackson, 14, tweeted on July 22. “i haven’t spoken with her in a week i want her home now.” Hours earlier, nephew Trent Jackson filed a missing-person report for Katherine Jackson.
She did have one clue something was amiss, though. “One morning I woke up to the sound of the television,” she said. “While there was no picture, I heard a broadcast that stated I was missing.”
“When I asked about Prince, Paris and Blanket, I was informed by those who I was with that they had been in contact with others concerning the well-being of my grandchildren,” Jackson said. “I was never informed that Prince, Paris, Blanket and TJ were trying to reach me.”
If she had known, she said, “I would never have gone for such a long period of time without communicating with them.”
Executives at the Miraval Resort, where Jackson stayed, did not immediately respond to CNN calls for comment about their role in the events.
When Katherine Jackson returned home early July 26, she learned the details of what was happening at home and in the worldwide news media from Prince, Paris and Blanket.
“Although I am happy my grandma was returned, after speaking with her I realized how misguided and how badly she was lied to,” Prince Jackson tweeted that morning. “I’m really angry and hurt.”
Katherine Jackson is planning another trip this month, but the children will go with her, she said in her statement.
The family will travel to Gary, Indiana, for a celebration of Michael Jackson’s 54th birthday.