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Jermaine Jackson: Lawyers, money can't divide family

By Alan Duke, CNN
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Jackson: Money can't divide family
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Michael Jackson's siblings, their children gather for early Thanksgiving dinner
  • Jermaine Jackson: Family will "pull together" despite fight over brother's estate
  • Jermaine Jackson attends screening of "This Is It" movie for students in Los Angeles
  • Reality TV series featuring lives of four of the Jackson brothers debuts next month

Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- Michael Jackson's family gathered Tuesday for an early Thanksgiving dinner, determined not to let money and fame pull it apart, the pop icon's older brother said.

"That's really, really important because we're a family and throughout the years, the managers, the agents and Hollywood have tried to come between that," Jermaine Jackson said. "What they don't know is we were together before we came out here and we're going to continue to be together."

Jackson spoke to CNN at a Tuesday morning screening of his brother's "This Is It" movie for inner-city students in Los Angeles.

He said he has stayed away from the Michael Jackson estate legal battle, which pitted his mother's lawyer against his father's lawyer earlier this month.

"When there's a lot of fame and fortune and attorneys, accountants and advisers and managers and agents, it gets like this," Jermaine Jackson said. "But at the same time, my mother is the boss and regardless of what the executors want to do at the end of the day, she has the say."

Video: A million dots of Michael Jackson
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When family matriarch Katherine Jackson dropped her legal challenge of the men named in Michael Jackson's will to run his estate, family patriarch Joe Jackson's lawyer was launching his own challenge. This set off a bitter courtroom battle between the lawyers for the Jackson parents.

"She has now reneged on her obligation to her family," Joe Jackson's lawyer, Brian Oxman, told the judge. He said Katherine Jackson's reversal was "one of the most despicable displays" he's ever seen in court.

Oxman accused her of reaching a secret deal -- behind Joe Jackson's back -- with the men who control their son's estate.

Jermaine Jackson said despite what you may read, the Jackson family will "pull together."

"There's strength in numbers, and when there's a family like ours, we pull together," he said. "We find strength within each other."

Katherine Jackson does not celebrate holidays because of her religion -- she a Jehovah's Witness -- but the Jackson brothers, sisters, and their children do traditionally gather for one day Thanksgiving week, he said. Tuesday is the day, he said.

"And it's really tough because Michael's no longer with us, but he'll always be with us in spirit, but you just continue to move on," he said.

Michael Jackson's three children -- Prince, 12, Paris, 11, and Blanket, 7 -- are "doing great" and are "best friends" with his children, Jermaine Jackson said.

"They're doing well," he said. "They're getting their lessons done. They have wonderful tutors and programs, they're getting a chance to go out and do things. They're getting a chance to travel."

An A&E network reality TV series that focuses on the lives of four of the Jackson brothers -- Jackie, Jermaine, Tito and Marlon -- debuts next month.

Filming of "The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty" -- in the works before Michael Jackson's June 25 death -- is about to wrap, he said.

He said his main job now is to promote his brother's legacy.

Jermaine Jackson walked down the red carpet with dozens of students before the "This Is It" screening. Michael Jackson's vocal coach and several musicians featured in show also were there.

Los Angeles artist David Ilan, who is creating a Michael Jackson tribute portrait with 1 million hand-drawn dots, added a dot on his artwork for each of them.

The technique, "pointillism," allows Jackson fans worldwide to sign up online to have a dot added in their name. The charity project's Web site is www.MichaelJacksonTributePortrait.com.