Who will get custody of Michael Jackson’s kids?
Though Katherine Jackson, Michael Jackson’s 79 year old mother, filed for and won temporary guardianship of his three children, and made some moves to take over his estate according to sources, she may not end up as the final guardian of both the estate and the children.
The three children, Michael Joseph Jr.(12), Paris Michael Katherine (11), and Prince “Blanket” Michael II (7), could inherit millions of dollars, depending on the settlement of the estate. The three children, virtually unknown to the public, have been living a secluded and sheltered life with their pop star father.
In an interview with NBC’s “Today” show, Jackson family attorney Londell McMillan had this to say about Katherine Jackson’s custody: “I don’t think there will be anybody who thinks that there is someone better. She is a very loving host of her grandchildren.” Katherine Jackson is no longer married to Joe Jackson. Fans of Michael Jackson know full well about the father that Michael hated so much. The two formally separated in the 1980s. Joe Jackson has yet to be heard from — in fact, on the custody filing, Jackson’s address was listed as “to be provided”.
The mother of Jackson’s two oldest children, Debbie Rowe, made a statement that has created a media frenzy. According to Rowe, Michael Jackson is not the father — rather, she was a surrogate for Jackson, and the semen came from an anonymous sperm bank donor. Reports that Rowe has had no involvement in the children’s lives is unconfirmed at this point, though Rowe went on to say “I know I will never see my children again.” Doesn’t sound like Debbie Rowe wants anything to do with the two children she birthed for Michael Jackson.
What about the other mother? The name of the mother of Jackson’s youngest child is unkown. Until someone comes out of the woodwork to admit they had a child with Jackson, there’s not much chance that Prince Michael II would be taken back into the custody of the mother.
Michael Jackson died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. This was an unfortunate time for Jackson, as he was scheduled to make a series of performances in London to earn a large amount of money and earn back the affection of millions of fans. Those concerts would have started on June 13.
The three children are currently staying with their grandmother, Katherine Jackson, in the family’s large home in the San Fernando Valley of California. A court hearing on Katherine’s temporary guardianship, to decide if she should become the permanent guardian, will be held August 3rd, 2009 in Los Angeles Superior Court. Before Katherine Jackson learns the fate of her three grandchildren, she will have learned the value of her dead son’s estate — her case for guardianship of the Jackson estate (which is of “unknown” value) will be heard on July 6, 2009.
Katherine Jackson raised nine children with her husband Joseph, and is considered by many to be the likely candidate for guardianship.
Debbie Rowe’s claims for custody grow even more complicated. During her divorce from the King of Pop, she gave up her custody rights to the three children, but then petitioned to have her custody rights restored in 2003. This was a dark time for Jackson — after he was arrested on child molestation charges that year he became a figure of public scorn, and temporarily lost many of his parental rights. After Jackson was acquitted of the charges, the two were forced to come to a custody agreement. Legal analysts across the media have said that Debbie Rowe has a strong claim to the two oldest kid’s custody should she choose to fight for it.
It doesn’t seem likely. Debbie Rowe’s attorney, Marta Almli, issued a statement Saturday to say that Debbie’s only thoughts “at this time” have been about the “devastating loss Michael’s family has suffered.” According to her release, Debbie Rowe requests that Michael’s family, and particularly the children, be spared harmful media attention, and that they “be able to say goodbye to their loved one in peace.” Debbie Rowe, who is a former nurse for Jackson’s dermatologist, married Michael in 1996 but filed for divorce in 1999.