Cousin: Paparazzi added to grief for Jackson kids

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Scrutiny by paparazzi has made it more difficult for the children of Michael Jackson to grieve for their dead father, a family cousin who serves as co-guardian of the singer’s children told a jury on Thursday.

TJ Jackson said the three children don’t like the attention, and he supports any legislative effort to curb photographers from pursuing images of the sons and daughters of celebrities.

“In my opinion, I know it’s making everything harder for the kids to grieve and recover and progress,” Jackson said.

The comments came as Jackson testified during a civil trial involving the death of the pop star about his relationship with his famous uncle and the singer’s parenting of his children.

He cited remarks made Tuesday by Halle Berry in Sacramento as the California Legislature considers a bill that would change the definition of harassment to include photographing or recording a child without the permission of a legal guardian.

Anyone convicted of a first offense could spend between 10 days and a year in jail.

TJ Jackson said he had to consider whether Michael Jackson’s youngest son Blanket should attend martial arts classes on Tuesday because photographers would be interested in getting a shot of the 11-year-old on the fourth anniversary of his father’s death.

TJ Jackson is Tito Jackson’s son and a member of the musical group 3T with two of his brothers.

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Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP

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