Out Of The Frying Pan

Michael Jackson’s three children are in the temporary – and possibly permanent – custody of their grandmother Katherine Jackson, moving them from the fantasyland their father lived in to the crazy collective that is the Jackson clan.

And what an eccentric bunch they are. From Grandpa Joe, who is accused of beating all of his children, all the way down to cousin Jermajesty.

ABC News’ Susan Donaldson James decided to take a closer look at la familia Jackson and uncovered some pretty crazy stuff.

For starters, the family includes nine aunts and uncles and 20 cousins. Among the aunts is Joh’Vonnie Jackson, whom Fox New claims is the illegitimate daughter of Grandpa Joe. And if you were wondering about cousin Jermajesty, that’s Uncle Jermaine’s son, who was saddled with the odd name because MJ named his eldest Prince Michael.

Photo: AP Photo
Michael, front right, Marlon, front left, Tito, back left, Jackie and Jermaine, back right.

Speaking of Uncle Jermaine, he’s the father of eight children with four different women – two of whom he had with Uncle Randy’s wife – and has “more than $5 million in liens against him from 1995 bankruptcy filing.” And Donaldson James reports he told viewers of the CMT reality show “Gone Country” that he sees people “from the 1800s” when the lights are off.

And what about the rest of the Jackson 5? Well, only Uncle Tito is still performing – with his blues band for “$500 to $1,500 a gig.” Uncle Randy works as an auto mechanic, Uncle Marlon works in a grocery store and Uncle Jackie runs an Internet clothing business. According to Donaldson James, the family claims their financial troubles are part of MJ’s plan because he “hated his family – with the exception of Katherine and Janet – and wanted them broke.”

Besides Janet (who seems to have her life together much of the time), the Aunties also include LaToya (who – never mind) and Rebbie (the oldest and apparently the most balanced of the Jackson siblings, with a happy 40-year-plus marriage, three grown children and a healthy distance from the rest of the clan).

There’s plenty more, but you get the idea. These folks are like a cross between “The Brady Bunch” and a Fellini film. Makes you glad dad left Prince Michael, Paris Michael and Prince Michael II enough money for therapy. Lots and lots of therapy.

Read Donaldson James’ complete analysis of the Jackson clan here.