Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009. Three years later, his family were embroiled in a short lived but bitter battle over his estate and the custody of his three children - Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket - who were being cared for by their grandmother, Katherine Jackson. The Jackson drama had all the ingredients of a television soap, including a missing person and accusations of kidnap. Here's your cheat sheet of how the acrimony started, and how it ended.
1. It all began with a tweet from Randy Jackson, MJ's younger brother, which authenticated a leaked letter from him and Jackson siblings Janet, Rebbie, Tito and Jermaine, that claimed MJ's will was a fake. The letter also claimed that Katherine, the 82 year old Jackson matriarch, had suffered a mini-stroke and demanded the resignation of John Branca and John McClain, executors of Michael Jackson's estate. And indignant Paris Jackson, MJ's 14 year old daughter, lashed out at her uncle on Twitter: "@randyjackson8 hello dear FAMILY member I don't appreciate you telling everyone things that aren't true thank you very much." She denied that her grandmother was ill and responded to suggestions online that she treat her uncle with respect by saying that "he should have respect for his mother." That was the first the world became aware that all was not well among the family Jackson.
2. On July 21, Katherine Jackson was reported missing. She was meant to have travelled by road from Calabasas in California to watch her sons perform at a concert in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mrs Jackson never made it to the concert. Her attorney, Sandy Ribera, said she had been told not to take the trip by Dr Allan Metzger, MJ's former physician, who had given her a medical check up on July 14. Paris Jackson confirmed on Twitter that her grandmother was missing and provided a telephone number for people to call in case they had news of her.
3. One day after she was reported missing, Katherine Jackson was declared to be safe and sound and staying with her daughter Rebbie, the eldest of all the Jackson siblings, in Arizona. Jermaine, the fourth Jackson sibling, said his mother was following doctor's orders to "de-stress" and stay away from phone and Internet contact. A Los Angeles police official said that investigators had made contact with Mrs Jackson but did not know her specific whereabouts.
4. It then emerged that local police had met and questioned Katherine Jackson at her daughter Rebbie's home in Arizona. This met with disapproval from the Los Angeles Department of Homicide and Missing Persons who believed Mrs Jackson should have been questioned alone and not in front of her daughter. Two detectives from Los Angeles were deputed to travel to Arizona and meet Mrs Jackson separately. A tweet from Paris Jackson said she hadn't seen her grandmother in over a week.
5. July 23 - Jermaine and Janet Jackson arrive at the family's Calabasas home to take Paris, Prince and Blanket to Arizona to meet their grandmother. The visit reportedly ended in a physical fight. MJ's three children refused to go anywhere with their uncle and aunt, accusing them of arranging a publicity stunt. "The kids were going to be paraded into the house in Arizona where Katherine is staying and those photos would be published on a website favored by Randy Jackson," a source said. Janet Jackson was reported to have slapped Paris and called her "a spoiled little b***h." Tito Joe Jackson, Michael's cousin, is believed to have punched Jermaine and later increased security for the three children, citing fears of a kidnap attempt. Police were called but no arrest was made.
6. Randy Jackson appeared on a TV show on July 24 to say that the family battle was not about money. He told MSNBC's Rev Al Sharpton on PoliticsNation: "Let me just say this. This is not about money for us. This is about a family that has questions that has lost a family member and we feel the evidence is right there that my brother was not in Los Angeles on the date they swore that he was."
7. On July 25, a court granted Tito Joe Jackson, also known as TJ, temporary guardianship of Paris, Prince and Blanket. The judge advised TJ, who is Katherine Jackson's grandson, to apply for permanent guardianship. He said he was suspending Katherine Jackson's guardianship because "intentional act from third parties", thought to be her children, was stopping her from carrying out her duty of care to the children. Randy Jackson hit out at TJ on Twitter, claiming that Mrs Jackson had told TJ she was coming home that day and asked him not to go to court.
8. On the morning of July 26, Paris Jackson tweeted: "grandma's here! (hash)thankyougod." Marlon Jackson, Jackson sibling number 6, also posted a note on Twitter saying his mother had returned, adding she looked and sound great. Mrs Jackson released a statement saying the court ruling that had suspended her guardianship was "based on a bunch of lies.". She denied that she had been held in Arizona against her will, saying: "I am devastated that while I've been away, that my children, my grandchildren, have been taken away from me, and I'm coming home to see about that, also. I am here today to let everybody know that I am fine and I am here with my children, and my children would never do a thing to me like that, holding me against my will." But later that day, Prince Jackson posted a photo of what he claimed was a group text message involving Rebbie and Janet in which he demanded contact with his grandmother and to which Janet allegedly responded: "Please don't let them."
9. On July 27, a lawyer for the Jackson family said that Katherine and TJ Jackson would be filing for joint guardianship of MJ's three children based on the wishes of the children themselves. The decision had been taken to avoid a repeat of the family drama, the lawyer said. Joint guardianship would empower TJ to share legal responsibility of the children as well as oversee certain duties such as security and management of household personnel.
10. Endgame: As the Jackson family drama began winding down, Janet Jackson was reported to be sorry she ever got involved. Janet is said to have regretted her role and actions - which included having reportedly slapped her niece - and also to have followed Randy's advice. LaToya, possibly the only Jackson sibling not to have gotten involved in the ugly mess, is believed to have urged her family to stop fighting in public and keep their affairs private.