When Debbie Rowe got engaged to music producer Marc Schaffel earlier this month, few knew the man's connection to her late ex-husband Michael Jackson.
Formerly the official videographer at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, he was named as a co-conspirator in Jackson’s 2004 child molestation indictment.
Their bond was such that despite Schaffel’s total lack of experience, Jackson handed him the reins to oversee his 9/11 single “What More Can I Give.”
As Schaffel’s relationship with Jackson came under the spotlight, however, gay porn director Paul Barresi took notice and revealed his own link to Schaffel.
Working under the name “Marc Frederics,” the man who would one day get engaged to Debbie Rowe directed dozens of gay porn videos in the 80s and 90s.
Barresi claims he reported Schaffel to the Juvenile Crimes Division of the LAPD and the FBI in hopes that he would be “under investigation for child pornography.”
No such investigation materialized, but Schaffel’s porn past soon came to light and the single he was working on with Jackson was quickly scrapped.
“It’s no secret that my background is in the adult film business,” Schaffel insisted at the time the news broke. “I don’t keep anything in my life hidden.”
Ensuring that all his secrets were out in the open, Dateline aired footage of him with two young men but dismissed it as “bad judgment” on Jackson’s part.
By July 2002, the King of Pop's camp was publicly disowning the former gay porn king as having "no relationship with Michael Jackson" whatsoever.
But two years later, when Jackson was indicted for child abuse, false imprisonment and felony extortion, Schaffel was named as one of his co-conspirators.
Jackson was later acquitted of all charges, and Schaffel was never charged, resulting in his name being redacted from the officially filed documents.
But another lawsuit that year, brought by Schaffel against Jackson, exposed just how enmeshed he was in the music icon's personal life and affairs.
Schaffel sued Jackson in 2004 for $4 million he claimed the pop star owed him for unpaid loans, cash advances, producing fees, and other expenses.
He also claimed during the trial that he had once made a $300,000 delivery to mysterious South American businessman “Mr. X” on Jackson’s behalf.
He said Jackson had once asked him to find boys to adopt there. A jury awarded Schaffel $900,000 and Jackson got $200,000 in a cross complaint.
Rowe met Schaffel when he was working for Jackson, so it’s likely she’s fully aware of all this, but with her seeking custody of Michael's kids, you have to wonder ...
Should Debbie be the kids' guardian?