Culture

Where Is Katherine Jackson Now? Update on Michael Jackson's Mother After 'Leaving Neverland'

Michael Jackson’s history of alleged sexual abuse of two young boys beginning in the 1980s was brought to light in the unsettling HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, which premiered on March 3.

The documentary, made by Dan Reed and premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, included intimate interviews with Jackson’s now-grown accusers, James Safechuck and Wade Robson, who detailed years of alleged sexual molestation at the hands of the late pop star. The men’s mothers and wives were also featured in the documentary.

The documentary premiered despite facing a lawsuit submitted by Jackson’s estate, which claimed Safechuck and Robson’s families were merely after Jackson's money, considering both men denied being sexually abused by Jackson during the singer’s infamous 2005 criminal trial.

Just as Jackson denied ever molesting children when he was alive—the singer died at age 50 in 2009—his family has staunchly refuted accusations of Jackson’s abuse of young boys. Jackson’s brothers Marlon, Tito and Jackie Jackson, and Tito’s son Taj Jackson spoke out against the documentary during an interview with USA Today on Wednesday and claimed the film’s director didn’t bother to interview any of Jackson’s family or members of his inner circle before premiering the film.

“They weren’t interested in gathering any evidence that wouldn’t corroborate what they’re saying,” Marlon Jackson said. “That wasn’t the plan. It was a one-sided documentary.”

As of late, Michael Jackson’s brothers have seemingly become the spokesmen of the singer’s estate, while their mother, Katherine Jackson, has remained silent about the documentary. It’s unclear if the Jackson family matriarch has seen the film.

While rumors regarding her health have swirled, 88-year-old Katherine Jackson has remained largely out of the spotlight in recent years. The mother of 10 was last seen attending Michael Jackson’s daughter and her granddaughter Paris Jackson’s concert in Los Angeles in August 2018. Paris Jackson, who performs in the acoustic rock duo The Soundflowers, shared a photo posing with her grandmother at the show on Instagram.

“F**k. I can’t believe my grandma made it to our second live show ever. and she actually liked it!?!!! i was shitting my pants. i love you so much grandma. i’m so happy we got to play for you and to play for such an incredible cause,” Paris Jackson captioned the photo posted on August 12, 2018.

Katherine Jackson had been the guardian of Michael Jackson’s kids following his death. Although Paris and Prince Jackson were already adult age, in 2017 Katherine Jackson appointed her grandson Taj Jackson as Michael Jackson’s youngest son Blanket Jackson’s legal guardian, citing her old age.

Joe Jackson’s widow was living in Michael Jackson’s Calabasas estate, where she was taken care of by her nephew Trent Jackson, whom she later accused of elder abuse. She filed a restraining order against him in February 2017 citing mistreatment, which led to her move to London, where her youngest daughter, Janet Jackson, was living at the time with her ex-husband Wissam Al-Mana. A judge dismissed the restraining order against Trent Jackson in April 2017.

Following Janet Jackson’s divorce, the singer returned to live in Los Angeles, where she is raising her son, Eissa Al-Mana. While it is unclear if Katherine Jackson is living with Janet Jackson, she has likely also returned back to the U.S. full-time.

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