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Michael Jackson’s siblings, kids and mom battle over reopening his will

Michael Jackson's mother Katherine Jacksbrother Jermaine Jacksleave after sentencing Conrad Murray convicted involuntary manslaughter death pop star Michael JacksLos Angeles

Michael Jackson's mother Katherine Jackson and brother Jermaine Jackson leave after the sentencing of Conrad Murray, convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of pop star Michael Jackson, at the Los Angeles Criminal Justice Center Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011. Murray was sentenced to four years in prison, the maximum allowable penalty. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

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Updated: August 21, 2012 6:28AM



Once again there’s turmoil in Michael Jackson’s family — but this time it seems more intense than ever. At the bottom of it all? Basically a desire by certain Jacksons to increase their share of Michael’s estate.

The latest dustup is over the very strongly worded letter — one source called it “insulting” — sent by Jackson siblings, led by Randy and Jermaine, the executors of the Michael Jackson estate. At the root of their missive is an ongoing desire to reopen Michael’s will and direct a larger amount of funds to his mother, Katherine Jackson, his children and other family members.

However, Michael’s mother is not in favor of those particular changes — nor are Michael’s children, particularly his daughter Paris and older son Prince.

A longtime family source said Thursday, “This is yet another power grab by Randy and Jermaine. … Another grab for money as well.”

Paris went so far as to call her uncle Randy a liar in a tweet — something he has countered by saying everything in the letter is correct.

† On top of all this a wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by the family against AEG Live, the company that produced Michael’s ill-fated London concerts and related projects.

The suit claims that it was AEG’s hiring of Dr. Conrad Murray (who administered the doses of Propofol) that led to Michael Jackson’s death. The company is vigorously fighting the lawsuit, arguing that it was Jackson himself who demanded the hiring as Dr. Murray as his personal physician.

† In addition, Paris and Janet Jackson have become somewhat estranged in recent days. “Aunt Janet” reportedly locked horns with her niece, trying hard to dissuade Paris from launching her career in the entertainment biz too soon. Janet Jackson knows all too well the price of lost childhood paid by becoming a professional performer at too young an age.

ANOTHER PEE-WEE? In the wake of veteran comedian and actor Fred Willard’s arrest Wednesday night for allegedly being caught with his pants down in a Hollywood adult film theater, the 78-year-old entertainer and Second City alum has been fired by PBS, where he narrated the network’s “Market Warriors.”Willard, however, is on the offensive. His attorney

Paul Takakjian released a statement Thursday claiming “with all due respect to the individual officer, our belief is that Fred did nothing in violation of any law.

“We will be working vigorously to clear his name in this matter.”

The incident is reminiscent of the 1991 case involving

Paul Reubens, best known as children’s TV personality Pee-Wee Herman. That arrest in a Sarasota, Fla. adult theater ruined Reubens’ career until the end of that decade.

TMZ caught up with Willard on Thursday as he and

Mary, his wife of 40 years, left his attorney’s L.A. office. The comic called it all a “big misunderstanding,” claiming it was “a strange situation” that led him to the theater and “it’s all being straightened out.”

OLYMPIC FERVOR: On top of all the big security worries and transportation problems plaguing the upcoming London Olympics, there’s a dispute threatening the games’ opening ceremony. The opener’s director, Oscar-winning fimmaker Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire”), has locked horns with Olympic organizers over all sorts of artistic and broadcasting issues. Boyle sees the ceremony as more an entertainment extravaganza than a sporting event, which has put him at odds with the games’ honchos.

On a much happier note, applicances honcho Mike Abt, co-president of the iconic Abt Electronics on the North Shore, got a huge thrill earlier this month as he had the chance to carry the Olympic torch for a 300-meter run in Luton, England, as it made its way toward London. Now home in Chicago, Abt will display the torch he carried in the relay of that famous flame in the Abt store in Glenview throughout the upcoming games.

RISING INDEED! No question about it, “The Dark Knight Rises” will make a big splash at the box office this weekend — as leading online ticket seller Fandango reports 91 percent of all tickets sold Thursday were for the third film in Christopher Nolan’s “Batman” trilogy.

Among the lucky few who got to see the movie at the Navy Pier IMAX before it officially opens everywhere Friday were such local lights as the Bears Israel Idonije and Charles Tillman, ex-Bears Anthony Adams and Jerry Azuma, Michigan Avenue mag publisher Dan Uslan (whose cousin Michael Uslan is a producer of the “Batman” flicks) and David Martinez, one of seven remaining finalists on “Master Chef.”

FASHION FLASH: A group of local lovelies over age 50 modeled in the “50 & Beautiful” show Wednesday at the Drake Hotel — showcasing the designs of Chicago designer Mark Roscoe, who also is an attorney, actor and model. Among those working the runway were top amateur golfer M.K. Zordani; Gibsons’ Kathy O’Malley; songbird Denise Tomasello; Vince Vaughn’s mom, Shea Vaughn, and Margaret O’Connor — who reports proceeds helped benefit the Silver Lining Foundation’s cancer screening programs.

Bill Zwecker reports on “Good Day Chicago” and “Fox Chicago News at 9” on WFLD-Channel 32.



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