Michael Jackson’s mother has agreed a deal to get custody of his children.
Katherine Jackson – who became the temporary guardian of Prince Michael I, 12, Paris, 11, and seven-year-old Prince Michael II shortly after her son’s death last month – has reportedly reached an agreement with the eldest two children’s biological mother Debbie Rowe.
Katherine’s lawyer L. Londell McMillan told US TV programme ‘Early Show’: “It’s an agreement, an agreement for the best interests of the children. This is not a money deal. This is not about money. “There is no situation better for these children than for them to be raised and reared in the loving care of Mrs. Katherine Jackson.”
It is believed Katherine will be given full custody, while Debbie will receive visitation rights. Debbie will not be given any money, contrary to reports she was willing to accept a lump sump to give up her rights to the children.
The Los Angeles Times newspaper claims a child psychologist will be hired to discuss how, when and where Debbie’s visits should take place. Various reports suggest Prince Michael I and Paris have had little or no contact with their mother since she divorced Michael in 1999, when she gave up her parental rights claiming he was the best father imaginable. McMillan also responded to claims Michael did not want his father Joe Jackson – who Michael accused of physically abusing him when he was a child – to help raise his kids.
He said: “I don’t think it’s valid at all. I think Joe Jackson is the husband of Mrs. Jackson, but he’s not living in Los Angeles.”
McMillan also spoke about Michael’s 2002 will, in which he named lawyer John Branca and former music executive John McClain as the executors of his estate. Katherine is arguing she should be kept abreast of any decision made relating to Michael’s estate, even though she was not named an executor.
Howard Weitzman, the lawyer for Branca and McClain, argues Katherine and her attorneys are trying to “re-write Michael’s will” so she can be more involved. McMillan said: “He’s incorrect. Mrs. Jackson is not contesting the will. We are not trying to rewrite the will. Our concern is for anyone to have extraordinary powers, they need to have extraordinary trust and integrity.
“The question is what happened to this will in 2002? How come no one knew about it? How come Mrs. Jackson didn’t know about it? How come I didn’t know about it? How come we learned about it the day we filed a petition in court stating he died without a will? "That estate is worth, in my estimation, a couple of billion dollars. You hear $500 million. Don’t buy it."