Michael's children are said to be distraught as confusion – and anger – grips the family

By Champ Clark Lorenzo Benet
June 27, 2009 03:25 PM
Kimberly White-Pool/Getty

A day after Michael Jackson’s death, a cloud of deep sadness – mixed with growing anger – has descended on the Jackson family home in Encino, where Joe and Katherine Jackson and their children have gathered to mourn.

“We’re holding a family meeting now,” Joe told PEOPLE in a brief interview midday. “We don’t like what’s going on.”

A source close to the family tell PEOPLE that, while the adults of the family put up a brave front on Friday for Michael’s three children – Prince, 12, Paris, 11, and Blanket, 7 – the emotions on Saturday are raw and bitter.

‘The Sadness is Unreal’

“The kids have fallen apart today,” says the source. “They have taken it so, so hard. Yesterday everybody was being really strong for the kids, but today it just hit everybody. There are so many tears.”

A sharp division has opened between Michael Jackson’s lawyers and personal staff and his parents and eight siblings.

“There is so much sadness in the house today, it’s unreal. They are so confused. They are so in the dark,” says the source. “The family has no access to the will. [Michael’s lawyers] won’t let the family see the will … The family has no idea what to do. They don’t even know when to bury him. They don’t know what to do about anything. They aren’t getting any answers from Michael’s lawyers.”

Mrs. Jackson Rebuffed

Even Katherine Jackson, the singer’s mother, has been rebuffed by Michael’s camp, according to the source. “Michael’s people won’t give Mrs. Jackson anything.”

Another source of deep concern for the family: The intentions of Debbie Rowe, Jackson’s former wife and the mother of his two older children, whose lawyer yesterday confirmed that Rowe retains parental rights. The Jacksons apparently fear that Rowe, who has not lived with the children in years, may now want to raise them.

“They haven t heard from Debbie Rowe and don t know what s going on in that respect, either. Joe and Katherine really want the children,” says the source. “They for sure want the children.”

Independent Autopsy

Another source close to the family tells PEOPLE that the family is so concerned about the reliability of Jackson’s handlers that there is a possibility that patriarch Joe Jackson, now acting once again as the family chief, will request an independent autopsy.

“They’re in shock and they want answers,” the source says. “The issue is the people around him: vampires and blood suckers.

About the only positive development, says this source, is the rare sense of unity that now unites the large and fractious family. “They are coming together and Joe is running the show. It was tough for them all growing up, but the parents never stole from Michael and they had his best interests at heart.”
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