The three children of Michael Jackson are currently being taken care of by their grandmother, Katherine Jackson. Katherine filed a guardianship petition in court today for custody of her three grandchildren. According to the Associated Press, the family hasn’t heard from two of the children’s biological mother Deborah Rowe about custody. “I don’t think there will be anybody that thinks that there is someone better than Katherine Jackson to have custody,” said family attorney Londell McMillan. “She is a very loving host of her other grandchildren.” Legally, Deborah Rowe has the most legal claim to her children, 12 year old Prince Michael and 11 year old Paris Michael Katherine. The youngest child, Prince Michael II a.k.a. Blanket is the child of a surrogate mother. Blanket’s mother was never identified and even if she does come forward, it’s likely that she signed away her rights to the child.
The details of Michael’s will including who he picked to be guardians for his children have not been released. Debra Rowe’s attorney wrote in a statement Sunday that ,“Ms. Rowe’s only thoughts at this time have been regarding the devastating loss Michael’s family suffered. Ms. Rowe requests that Michael’s family and particularly the children be spared such harmful, sensationalist speculation and that they be able to say goodbye to their loved one in peace.”
Deborah Rowe is a former nurse for Jackson’s dermatologist. They married in 1996 and filed for divorce in 1999. She gave up her rights to the children but petitioned to have them restored in 2003 during Michael’s child molestation case. Jackson and Rowe apparently came to an agreement on her rights in 2006 but those details were never disclosed to the public. Their divorce case from the Los Angeles Supreme Court remains closed as well.
Adding to the confusion around MJ’s death is a recent statement from the last person to see him alive, his doctor, Conrad Murray. According to the doctor’s lawyer, “He just happened to find him in his bed, and he wasn’t breathing, Mr. Jackson was still warm and had a pulse.” The lawyer also denied claims that Murray gave Jackson Demerol and Oxycontin. Despite his claims, unidentified prescription medicine was found in Jackson’s system after an autopsy Friday. So the question remains, what really happened? That’s a question that will remain unanswered for at least another four weeks until toxicology reports are completed. Until then fans will have to wait and speculate on their own.