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Gallery: Michael Jackson’s inner circle

The late singer had eight siblings, three children and two ex-wives, plus numerous doctors, advisers, and famous friends. Here's a look at who's who.

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msnbc.com contributor
updated 7/15/2009 9:09:19 PM ET 2009-07-16T01:09:19

Next week’s courtroom showdown, in which Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, and ex-wife Debbie Rowe are expected to vie for temporary custody of two of the late pop star’s children, could come with an unexpected twist.

According to a new report, the kids in question, Prince Michael, 12, and Paris-Michael Katherine, 11, along with their 7-year-old brother Prince Michael II (aka Blanket), have made their own decision. They want their late father's sister, Janet Jackson, to raise them.

“Janet has completely bonded with those children in the last two weeks,” a family friend revealed to OK! magazine. “She has been their rock. It’s clear to everyone that they are looking to her for comfort and guidance.”

Though Michael Jackson named his 79-year-old mother as the guardian of choice in a 2002 will, a source assured the magazine that Janet Jackson, 43, is prepared to step in if she’s the children’s choice.

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“Janet is not only willing to raise those children, she is also the only relative who knows how to protect them,” the source explained. “Janet knows the value of a private life and knows how to keep her personal life out of the news. She is determined to do that for Michael’s children. She is saying that he would want no less for them, pointing out how far he went to shelter them.”

The custody hearing is scheduled to take place at Los Angeles Superior Court on July 20.

Jon minus Kate plus new fiance?
Relationship fast-tracker Jon Gosselin flaunted his rebound romance with Hailey Glassman in the French Riviera this week, but there might be more to the whirlwind hook-up than any “Jon & Kate Plus 8” fan could have guessed. While the reality TV dad’s soon-be-ex-wife, Kate Gosselin, still wears her wedding ring, In Touch reports he gave Glassman a ring of her own.

“Jon has been telling everyone that he loves her and she loves him, so why waste time?” said an insider. “They started dating two months ago and they both just knew the other was the one instantly.”

Jon Gosselin allegedly gave Glassman a black diamond engagement ring to seal the deal. The ring, designed by Edouard Nahum, is said to be valued at $180,000.

In an interview with People magazine, Gosselin denied the story, stating that there were no wedding plans in place. Then again, that was news to one of his pals, who in the same issue referred to Glassman as Gosselin’s fiancé.

Former ‘Friends’ stars can’t get along
They played BFFs on-screen and off, but there’s a rift growing between former “Friends” stars Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox.

Slideshow: Celebrity Sightings

According to a source, the two simply can’t find common ground.

“It seems like Courteney and Jen's close friendship has chilled in recent months, and it comes down to their lifestyles not gelling anymore,” the source told the National Enquirer. “Jen is almost a workaholic who spends her free time dating and hunting for Mr. Right, while Courteney is happily married and busy juggling work and motherhood.”

While the insider remained certain “Courteney and Jen will always be friends,” for now it’s said to be a distant friendship.

Dish on the fly
Actor Brad Pitt enjoys a revealing Tweet as much as the guy, but in the new issue of Wired magazine, the “Inglourious Basterds” star jokingly took Ashton Kutcher to task for posting a shot of Demi Moore’s backside on Twitter. “Don't take a picture of your wife's butt,” Pitt cautioned. “That's silly. Take pictures of other people's wives' butts.” … It seems Lindsay Lohan and her sometimes-girlfriend Samantha Ronson are on the outs again. Well, maybe. It all depends on how one interprets Lohan’s latest cryptic Tweets. “If someone u took a chance on loving-after 3.4.5.7.8.9 times.lied to you tonight..what would u do? even though u love them..?” LiLo asked before adding, “Being lied to after being my father's daughter.... is miserable, especially when you're finally back on track. … thanks s********.” … Former boybander Lance Bass is ready for his one-man space race. In 2002, Bass prepared for a trip to the International Space Station with a crew of Russian cosmonauts, but a lack of funding left him stranded on terra firma. Monday night, while celebrating the 40th anniversary of the lunar landing, an optimistic Bass boasted that he’s ready for his ride. “I’m a trained astronaut,” he told the New York Daily News, “and it’s my time to go.”

Tabloid Tidbits is compiled by Ree Hines.

© 2013 msnbc.com.  Reprints

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