July 3, 2009 1:47:27 pm
Michael Jackson’s former wife Debbie Rowe has indicated that she will challenge his mother in court over the custody of their two elder children even as her lawyer insists that she is yet to reach a final decision.
Rowe,an Australian nurse,who married Jackson in 1996 and divorced him three years later,is the mother of singer’s two elder children– Michael Joseph,12,Paris,11.
Jackson’s third child Michael Jackson II,known as Blanket,7,was delivered by an unknown surrogate mother. The pop star died at the age of 50 last week.
“I want my children. They are my flesh and blood. I’m going after my children,” Rowe,50,said in an interview to NBC in her first official comment over the issue.
Rowe gave up her rights to her two kids after her divorce in 1999,with Jackson getting the full custody and Rowe is said to have had little contact with them after her divorce and Jackson’s 2002 will cuts her out from any parental rights.
But Rowe said that she would seek a restraining order to keep Jackson’s father,Joe Jackson,away from the children.
“I am stepping up. I have to,” she told the reporter. However,her attorney,Eric M George later clarified that Rowe had not made a final decision to fight the case.
He did not refute the interview but said,”It would be a distortion of the truth to allow that single snapshot of a single conversation to stand as the truth of Debbie’s position on these sensitive matters.”
“So once again,the truth is that Debbie has not reached a final decision,” he added.
Jackson’s mother Katherine Jackson,79,has the temporary custody of the three children. A hearing on the case has been postponed until July 13 by the Superior Court.
Rowe’s lawyer told the Los Angeles Times he planned to be at the upcoming custody hearing to represent his client.
Earlier,a 2002 will of Jackson purposefully excludes his former wife from the custody of children and his property.
The will says Katherine Jackson be named guardian of the children,but in the event of her death,soul diva Diana Ross be appointed the guardian.
“I have intentionally omitted to provide for my former wife,Deborah Jean Rowe Jackson,” the will states.
The former nurse’s flip-flop comes amid reports that she may not be the biological parent of the children but Rowe said she was ready to go through DNA test to prove her parental claim.
Rowe said she was willing to take care of Jackson’s third child as she did not want to split the children but said it was unlikely that the court will award her the custody of the third child as well.
Meanwhile,entertainment website TMZ,which first broke the news of Jackson’s death,claims that the three children want to live with their grandparents,Joe and Katherine at their home in Los Angeles.
The website quoted a source as saying that the children have “no relationship” with Rowe,who reportedly handed the custody to Jackson in return of USD 1 million a year for nine years,plus a house in Beverly Hills and a car.
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