Debbie Rowe Skips Memorial in Wake of Paparazzi Bum Rush

Ex-Mrs. Michael bails on memorial following paparazzi incident over the weekend

By Marcus Errico Jul 06, 2009 6:55 PMTags

Being the former Mrs. Michael Jackson ain't easy these days.

After being off the radar for years, Debbie Rowe, the mother of Jackson's two oldest children, is back in the paparazzi crosshairs.

On Sunday, as Rowe made her way to the Great Wall restaurant out in the relative boonies of Palmdale, Calif., she found herself fending off a swarm of shutterbugs, peppering her with questions about Jackson and her potential bid for custody of the kids. The onrush was too much for Rowe, who blurted out: "Are you ready to get your butt kicked? Don't [bleep]ing touch me!"

It might have also influenced Rowe to stay away from the Jackson media circus memorial Tuesday in L.A.

Rowe had originally planned on attending—Marc Schaffel, a former Jackson business associate and acquaintance of Rowe said as much during an appearance today on Good Morning America.

"Yes, Debbie will attend. We just got confirmation last night from the people who are handling the VIP seats," he said.

But then, a few hours later, her lawyer retracted the RSVP.

"Although Debbie had originally planned to attend tomorrow's Staples Center memorial service, we have concluded with Debbie that she will not be attending," said attorney Marta Almi.

"The onslaught of media attention has made it clear her attendance would be an unnecessary distraction to an event that should focus exclusively on Michael's legacy. Debbie will continue to celebrate Michael's memory privately."