Michael Jackson's dad called family's "strength"

Joe Jackson generic AP

Joe Jackson, once thought by many to be a family outcast, is actually his family's "rock" two years-to-the-day after Michael Jackson died and with Dr. Conrad Murray's trial approaching, according to Jackson family friend Brian Oxman.

Murray is charged with manslaughter in Michael's death, at age 50, from an overdose of the powerful sedative Propofol.

Joe is, in fact, very much a part of the family now, Oxman told "Early Show on Saturday Morning" co-anchor Russ Mitchell. "I think," Oxman said, "Joe Jackson is about as misunderstood as Michael Jackson was. It seems that he's now inherited Michael's misunderstanding.

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"Joe Jackson is a really fine man. I have liked him for, well, 23 years I've been associated with this family. And he is the founder of this family. He is the one -- it's been the strength of this family now.

"It's devastating to Catherine Jackson, the mother. It's hurtful to the kids, to the brothers and sisters ... but it's Joe Jackson who is the rock holding this family together now."

Jackson's children are apparently faring well, two years after their father's death, Jackson biographer and CBS News consultant J. Randy Taraborrelli told correspondent Priya David-Clemens points out.

"They're having a different kind of life now," Taraborrelli said. "I don't know that it's a better life. But it's definitely different. And it definitely works for them. ... It's tough, you know; they really lost the heart and soul of the family."

Oxman says he "talked to Joe Jackson last night, and saw the family at their home about three weeks ago, and (the children are) doing remarkably well. I think that most of us would be surprised at how well Prince, Paris and Prince Michael II, who we know as Blanket, how well they are doing, but those who are part of the family, we're not surprised at all. They were Michael's greatest work. And they have turned out remarkably well, and they're handling this very, very well."

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