Don't Count Out Debbie Rowe: "I Want My Children"

    Debbie Rowe, Michael Jackson AP Photo/Aaron Lambert,Pool, Axel/

    UPDATE: A judge has postponed next week's custody hearing until July 13 at the request of Rowe's attorney, according to the Los Angeles Superior Court public information officer. Matters pertaining to Jackson's estate will still be addressed at the originally scheduled hearing on July 6.

    At a press conference this afternoon, attorney Eric George said that Rowe "has not reached a final decision on pending custody," and she has chosen to keep silent "out of respect for Michael's children."

    It would be a "distortion of the truth" to say she is going after custody, George said, adding that, when his client makes a decision, the media will be notified.

    Debbie Rowe may have beat it from her kids' lives—and been blatantly dissed in her ex's will—but she's apparently not going away quietly when it comes to the two children she had with Michael Jackson.

    Rowe is dispatching her lawyer to attend Monday's custody hearing to make a legal play for custody of 12-year-old Prince Michael and 11-year-old Paris. Per Michael's wishes, the two children have been in the care of Michael's mother, Katherine Jackson, since his untimely death last week.

    "They are my flesh and blood. I'm going after my children," Rowe told KNBC, adding that she and Jackson "had an agreement" but "he didn't keep his end."

    The former missus also said she'd be open to raising Jackson's third child, 7-year-old Blanket, as well. And she plans to seek a restraining order against the King of Pop's father, Joe Jackson, to keep him away from the children.

    Contrary to tabloid reports that Prince and Paris were conceived via donor egg and sperm outside the womb, her attorney has adamantly insisted Rowe is the biological mother of Prince and Paris. Blanket's biological mother has never been revealed.

    View the children's birth certificates.

    The former dermatologist's nurse was excluded from Jackson's estate, with the will stipulating that Katherine should raise his spawn. And should the 79-year-old family matriarch be unwilling or unable to do so, then old friend Diana Ross would be granted custody. In fact, Jackson only name-checked Rowe by expressly stating she would not be getting any money or property from his estate.

    Of course, the will was written in 2002, two years after she received a multimillion-dollar divorce payout in which she agreed to relinquish all parental rights.

    But after the Moonwalker was rung up on child-molestation charges in 2003, Rowe sought to reinstate visitation rights with their two children. She and Jackson reached an amicable resolution in 2006, though details of the arrangement remain murky.

    While it's unclear whether Rowe will seek guardianship or visitation rights, there is a slight chance the Jackson children could be split up.

    "Courts do split up kids—not infrequently—in blended families when one parent dies," says Scott Altman, associate dean at the University of Southern California's law school.

    But he tells E! News, "It wouldn't be shocking if the court wanted to keep these kids together."

    Monday's family court session will attempt to sort all these issues out. Until then, Katherine maintains temporary custody of all three children.

    —Additional reporting by Lindsay Miller

    (Originally published July 2, 2009, at 8:55 a.m. PT)