The 86-year-old matriarch elaborates on abuse in new court declarations alleging her nephew monitors her home with hidden cameras and listening devices

By Jordan Runtagh
March 02, 2017 07:15 PM
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Michael Jackson‘s mother Katherine Jackson recently claimed that she was the victim of prolonged abuse and financial improprieties at the hands of her nephew and driver, Trent Lamar Jackson. Now the 86-year-old matriarch of the famous music family is elaborating on the supposed misdeeds in new court declarations filed Wednesday, alleging that Trent monitors her home with hidden cameras and listening devices.

In the documents, which have been obtained by PEOPLE, Katherine stated the belief that her residence, including private areas and even phone lines, are under Trent’s surveillance. “The only place I can try and have a private conversation is in my bathroom, pretending I am using the restroom so I can make a call,” she said in her declaration.

She also claimed Trent, who is the son of her husband Joe’s half brother, has copied the key to her home, and that she dresses in her closet for fear that he will enter without warning. However, Katherine said Trent neglected to call 911 when she thought she was suffering a stroke or a seizure, instead believing that he could care for her.

“I needed a doctor, and he neglected my health needs,” she stated in her declaration. “I have spoken to adult protective services in the past, but I have not had the strength or courage to follow through because Trent manipulates and bullies me into backing down. Trent … will speak harshly and make threats to me, or will cry and beg me to changed my mind. He knows I don’t want to hurt anyone, especially family. I am extremely tired from the stress I am under due to Trent’s constant manipulation of my life. I need peace and rest.”

Two of Jackson’s children, Jermaine and Rebbie, filed additional declarations in support of their mother. Rebbie, 66, alleged that Trent blocked her number on Jackson’s phone, and attempted to remove her from Jackson’s medical directive.

Jermaine, 62, claimed in his declaration that he witnessed an incident in which Trent became violent with one of the Jackson sisters—throwing her against a wall–as well as both Jermaine himself and his nephew.

The former Jackson 5 singer also corroborated his mother’s claim that Trent stole money from Katherine—Jermaine put the figure at around $40,000—by using her credit cards and putting his name on her business ventures.

“[Trent] makes her pay for everything for him, including airfare and vacations,” Jermaine alleged in his declaration. “He has access to all her computers, bills, documents. My mother has no privacy, personally or in her business affairs.”

In prior documents filed on Feb. 8, Katherine said she tried to fire her nephew and order him to move out of her guest house, but he has refused. Trent’s lawyer, Ron Rale, denied these claims Thursday, pointing out that the paperwork was not signed by Jackson but instead by her legal representative.

“The initial request for a restraining order was signed by Katherine Jackson’s lawyer and not Katherine herself,” Rale tells PEOPLE. “This request was done on an emergency basis without any notice to Trent. At the hearing Wednesday, the court agreed with my objection that this initial request, signed under penalty of perjury by Katherine’s lawyer, did not have evidentiary value and could be disregarded in preparation our defense.”

On Wednesday, Rale continued, “Katherine filed several declarations, and it’s the first time we had a declaration from her directly. It also includes declarations from various other individuals, none of whom reside in the house on a daily basis. The evidence will show that anybody who is there all the time will attest that he’s never been abusive to Katherine. He’s only been caring and respectful and has only put her first.”

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Katherine is currently in London visiting her daughter, Janet Jackson, but is “afraid to go home with Trent there” and “fears he could physically harm her for terminating him.”

“I am currently in London, England, under a doctor’s care in part because of the stress this situation with Trent is causing me,” Katherine, who did not appear in court Wednesday, said in her declaration. “I am fearful that my decision to terminate his employment, and request for this restraining order … will cause him to try and cause my further harm.”

The declaration continued: “I have been afraid to fire him out of fear of his retaliation, or he has convinced me that he will change and that he cares for me. This time I am clear and resolute … I don’t want to return to Los Angeles until this restraining order is in place because I know he will try to have contact with me to try to and manipulate my emotions into changing my mind … Trent does not have my best interest in his heart, through he claims he does.”

Rale also rejected Jackson’s assessment of her nephew’s character. “Trent was hired originally by his first cousin, Michael Jackson. Michael, as we all know, loved his mother dearly, and he is the one who brought Trent in to take care of her. Trent has been there for years and years.”

In her recent declaration, Jackson described Trent’s employment in less glowing terms. “Trent become my driver, imposing himself upon me and maneuvering himself to live in my house, while my son Michael was alive,” she said. “Since he died in 2009, Trent has fraudulently infiltrated himself into my affairs.”

A judge granted Jackson’s request for a restraining order and ordered her nephew to move out of her home and return all keys, passwords and combinations to the property. A follow-up hearing has been scheduled for March 23.

“I want Katherine at the hearing,” Rale said, “because if she were able to tell this story, I believe the only thing that’s going to come out is that Trent was never abusive to her.”