Michael Jackson cut his father out of his will, it was reported today. The singer had accused Joe Jackson of regularly beating him as a child.
Jackson, estimated to be worth $1bn following his death, leaves his money to his mother, Katherine, his three children and at least one charity, says the Wall Street Journal, which adds that his 80-year-old father is not mentioned in the 2002 will.
Mrs Jackson, 79, was yesterday given temporary custody of the children Prince Michael, 12, Paris, 11, and seven-year-old Prince Michael II. She is estranged from her husband because of his adultery.
Although Jackson died up to $400m (£240m) in debt, since his death the value of his estate has soared. His most valuable asset is believed to be his 50 per cent stake in Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which includes the back catalogue of The Beatles.
Several days after the pop star's death at his Los Angeles home, questions remain. He may have been injected with painkilling drugs. His doctor denies administering any such injection. Jackson's former lawyer says the star would never have injected himself.
Photographs published today show Jackson looking relatively fit while rehearsing for his O2 shows in London. They are a far cry from reports — dismissed by the LA coroner — that his postmortem revealed a man grossly underweight and riddled with needle marks where he was allegedly injecting painkillers.
An ex-coroner's officer in LA, well-connected to the official investigation, says Jackson, 50, may have taken his own life. Police think he may have overdosed on prescription drugs as a cry for help brought on by the pressure of the impending concerts.
A spokesman for the LA coroner confirmed today that Jackson was taking prescription drugs at the time of his death. Last night, police took two large plastic bags of medication from the star's rented house in Holmby Hills.