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That's the question people have been asking ever since her ex-husband, the great Michael Jackson, passed away June 25 at the age of 50.

Rowe is mother to two of Michael Jackson's children, Prince and Paris, 12 and 11.

At the singer's memorial service, the children took the stage in one of the only public appearances they've ever made, bringing Rowe (watching at home) to tears. But her relationship with the two kids has barely existed.

In a 2003 interview, Rowe said: "Just because you give birth, because you impregnate someone, that does not automatically give you that title of mother or father."

"My kids don't call me Mom because I don't want them to."

  • Debbie Rowe, Prince Michael
  • A Debbie Rowe Picture

Will the real Debbie Rowe please stand up?

So what does Debbie Rowe, who has said she will attend any custody hearing pertaining to the children (who were entrusted to Michael's mom Katherine Jackson in his last will) want in the wake of the star's tragic death?

"At the end of the day, Debbie just wants what's best for the children," Rowe's close friend and former business partner of Jackson, Marc Schaffel, says.

"Her interest is that the children are going to be taken care of."

Rowe has said since Jackson's death that she is considering asserting her legal, parental rights and filing for custody of the children – including Blanket, 7, who was born to an unnamed surrogate after she divorced Michael.

Living on her ranch in Palmdale, Calif., where she tends to her horses and dogs, Rowe does not seek attention and "is a very simple-living person," Schaffer says. "Does she want to live in a mansion in Beverly Hills? No."

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Michael Jackson's ex-wife, Debbie Rowe, is suing Rebecca White, a woman who claims to be a close friend of Rowe's, and who went on TV last night saying Rowe made some rather offensive comments relating to custody of Jackson's children.

Rowe is the biological mother (she says) of Prince Michael Jackson, 12, and Paris Jackson, 11. But she has had almost no relationship with them in years.

The last will of Michael Jackson left his children and estate to his mother Katherine Jackson. But Rowe will attend next Monday's hearing to determine custody.

Which brings us to her lawsuit. Rebecca White told Extra she has emails from Debbie Rowe in which she says she is pretending she wants custody to look good:

"Do I want the kids? Hell no. Does it look good for me to ask for them? Absolutely," White claims Rowe wrote. Debbie claims the email is bogus and defamatory.

Rizzowe

Debbie Rowe prefers to lay low, but feels she is being defamed by false reports about her and is filing suit against Rebecca White as a result. [Photo: Fame Pictures]

Rowe's lawyer asserts that White serially asserts herself into high-profile celb scandals, claiming to have been a personal assistant to Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss (and making allegations against the models) earlier in this decade.

Finally, according to the suit, Rebecca White emerged after Heath Ledger's death, alleging she saw the late Academy Award winner use cocaine and ecstasy.

Debbie Rowe wants unspecified damages and any money White may have received for her appearance on Extra or on any other celebrity news programs.

As for Rowe's actual custody interest, reliable sources indicate that she wants her pre-determined financial arrangement with Jackson upheld and that's about it.

Numerous publications have reported that she is seeking a huge payout in exchange for not contesting Katherine Jackson's custody. Rowe has denied this.

We just hope all parties agree on what is best for the grieving, adorable children. Click to enlarge older photos of Debbie, Michael, Prince and Paris ...

  • Michael, Paris and Prince Jackson
  • Michael Jackson, Children
  • Debbie Rowe, Prince Michael
  • Paris and Prince Michael
  • Michael, Prince and Paris Jackson
  • A Michael Jackson Christmas
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Despite myriad reports to the contrary - and quoting figures ranging from $3 million to $100 million - Michael Jackson's former wife Debbie Rowe isn't seeking a payout from the deceased superstar's family, her attorney says.

Eric George refuted an article in the New York Post that quoted an anonymous source who said that Katherine Jackson paid Debbie Rowe $4 million to solidify a custody agreement in which Rowe would basically back off for good.

George's letter states unequivocally that:

  • Nagreement - legal or financial - exists between Jackson and Rowe
  • Debbie Rowe has not relinquished her parental rights with the kids
  • The two women have not negotiated any new custody agreement

"It would be easier to identify those few background facts that are accurate than to catalog the number of blatant falsehoods in your story," the letter reads.

Rowe gave birth to Michael Jackson's two elder children, Prince Michael and Paris Jackson, 12 and 11. Blanket, 7, was born to an unnamed surrogate.

A Debbie Rowe Picture

Debbie Rowe is not at all pleased with celebrity gossip photographers. Or reports that erroneously say she is out to bilk Michael Jackson's estate. [Photo: Fame Pictures]

Sources close to the case say that instead of a huge payout, all Debbie Rowe wants is assurance that the Jackson family will honor the deal she had with Michael.

Rowe and Jackson struck an agreement in which she was paid a large sum over a period of years after carrying the two children and then divorcing the star.

The agreement stays in effect after hiss death, but Rowe wants assurance the family will abide by the terms. Most likely, the negotiations between the parties center on that pact and whether the family will continue to honor it. Simple as that.

Sources say talks do not involve anything beyond what Rowe would receive under the existing agreement and she will not fight for custody.

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by Free Britney at . Comments

Just a few hours ago, we reported on a serious of stories claiming something to the effect of a deal being offered to Debbie Rowe by Michael Jackson's family.

The details are not confirmed, but reputable sources claim that the late singer's family would pay Debbie pay her $3-5 million in exchange for Rowe not contesting his mom Katherine Jackson's guardianship and full custody of Michael's children.

Debbie Rowe is the biological mother (probably) of Prince Michael, 12, and Paris Jackson, 11, but she has had little if any contact with them in recent years.

Jackson's will states that Katherine gets full custody of Prince and Paris (along with Blanket, 7) and omitted Rowe, the late star's former spouse, altogether.

Rowe has said she will appear at Monday's custody hearing in L.A. Her intentions are not known ... except, apparently, by the ultra-reliable OK! Magazine.

She wants $100 million or the kids!

100 Million or the Kids!

Apparently, $3-5 million wasn't good enough for OK! to sell large quantities of magazines, so they decided to boost the figure by $95-97 million. Details.

This headline is comical for numerous reasons, chief among them:

  • Having attempted to sign away her parental rights before, and having no relationship with the kids, Debbie Rowe has no grounds for this demand.
  • Even if she did seek out a settlement, there is little chance of her receiving even one-tenth that amount, given the singer's debts and obligations.
  • Debbie Rowe may or may not be weighing options and hedging bets, but has communicated only through a lawyer. No one knows what she wants.
  • OK!'s own blog links to an article in the New York Post claiming Rowe is negotiating a $4 million buyout to give up custody rights forever.

Then again, the magazine's previous cover was the infamous Michael Jackson death photo. So we suppose this actually is a step in the right direction.

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by Free Britney at . Comments

According to various reports, Debbie Rowe has been offered at least $3 million from Michael Jackson's family if she does not fight for custody of her two biological children with the late music icon, Prince Michael and Paris Jackson, 12 and 11.

"One family member said $3 million, another said $5 million. My guess is that it will be somewhere in between," Jackson family friend Stacy Brown told ABC.

As part of the settlement, Debbie Rowe would get visitation rights to the two kids. Katherine Jackson, the star's mother, will remain the children's legal guardian, as specified in Michael Jackson's last will, written in 2002.

Michael is also father to Prince Michael Jackson II, a.k.a. Blanket, who was born to an unknown surrogate. His parents' identities have never been revealed.

Rowe has not accepted any deal, her attorney says. But numerous reports suggest there are offers on the table and ongoing negotiations.

Another report says the proposed deal would not prevent Michael's father Joe Jackson from seeing the kids, and multiple sources told ABC News that Debbie Rowe is insisting on a clause that prevents him from ever being named guardian.

Former Mrs. Michael Jackson

Debbie Rowe is considering fighting for custody because she felt Katherine was too old to care for them and concern about Joe being around them. [Photo: Fame Pictures]

A custody hearing that had been scheduled for yesterday was recently postponed until July 20. Rowe's attorney says she will attend the hearing.

The New York Post, which reported that Debbie Rowe was to receive about $4 million in a settlement, says the proposed agreement "takes away any rights she has to challenge custody at any given time... this would be it."

It wouldn't be the first time Rowe - who insists she is the biological parents of Paris and Prince despite reports circulating that she is not their mother - was paid for for giving up custody of the children she had with her ex-husband.

In a 2005 hearing - around when Jackson was acquitted on molestation charges - his lawyer says Rowe got "about $4 or $5 million up front," and a mansion in Beverly Hills, plus $900,000 a year for a number of years if she abided by the terms.

ABC says child welfare officials recently interviewed the children at Katherine Jackson's Encino, Calif. home, which is standard in cases such as this.

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Debbie Rowe, the ex-wife and biological mother to two of Michael Jackson's three children, has kept a low profile since the icon's death on June 25.

But now that a hearing has been scheduled at Los Angeles Superior Court July 20 for temporary guardianship of the children, Rowe will be seen.

"[Debbie] says that she will definitely be at the custody hearing," says Marc Schaffel, a business partner of Jackson's and a close friend of Rowe's.

Rowe's children – Prince Michael and Paris Jackson, 12 and 11 – have been staying with their grandmother Katherine Jackson at her Encino, Calif., home since the star singer's death, along with Blanket (Prince Michael Jackson II), 7.

Jackson's youngest child was born from an unidentified surrogate.

D-Rowe Pic

Debbie Rowe is hounded by photographers. [Photo: Fame Pictures]

While Debbie Rowe famously tried to give up parental rights to Prince Michael and Paris - and still to this day extols Michael Jackson's virtues as a father - her lawyer says she will fight for custody now. Whether she'll get it is unclear.

Katherine Jackson was named guardian in Jackson’s will, which was revealed last week, and is petitioning the court to keep the children with her.

Neither party is required to appear personally in court, officials say.

What do you think? Should Debbie Rowe get custody?

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Older, never-before-seen pictures of Michael Jackson at home with his two older children, Prince Michael and Paris Jackson, have just been published by OK!

To sum them up in a word: Awww! It's so sad that their father is gone, and our hearts go out to these adorable children and their younger sibling Blanket.

The King of Pop was a music icon and a deeply troubled individual in many ways, but he was without a doubt a loving dad, and the children his top priority.

Paris Jackson's speech about him at his memorial service Tuesday said it all.

Click to enlarge the pictures below, showing MJ at Neverland, celebrating Prince's birthday in 2003, and posing with Debbie Rowe and baby Paris in 1998:

  • Michael, Prince and Paris Jackson
  • Paris and Prince Michael

[Photos: OK! Magazine]

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Debbie Rowe says she will likely fight for custody of Prince Michael I, 12, and Paris Jackson, 11 - her two children with Michael Jackson - at a July 13 hearing.

But six years ago, Rowe said she never wanted to be a mother.

"Parenting is an art; you earn it," Rowe said. "Because you give birth and impregnate someone does not automatically give you the title of mother or father."

"You have to earn that title. My kids don’t call me mom because I don’t want them to," she went on. "They are Michael’s children. It’s not that they are not my children, but I had them because I wanted him to be a father."

After she and Michael Jackson divorced in 1999 after three years of marriage, Debbie agreed to give up her parental rights, insisting he was a good father.

Debbie Rowe also lambasted critics who claimed she abandoned her kids.

"They say, 'I can't believe she left her children.' Left them? I did not leave my children. My children are with their father where they are supposed to be."

Asked why the children are not with her, she said, "I didn't do it to be a mother. Like I said, you earn that title. I did not change diapers. I didn’t get up in the middle of the night - even when I was there. Michael did it all."

"I am telling you that he is the most brilliant father. Almost before the baby needed something, he knew what it was. And that's not for me."

Rowe - who insists she is the biological mother of Prince and Paris Jackson - added that she never wanted children before she wed Michael.

"If it hadn't been for how much I love him and because of our relationship, I would never have had children," she said. "And how spoiled am I? I get to go through the whole experience with a loving, caring person. I'm the one who feels selfish."

Click to enlarge more Debbie Rowe pictures through the years ...

  • Mother of Prince Michael
  • Deborah Rowe Picture
  • Deb Rowe
  • Ex-Mrs. Michael Jackson
  • Debbie Rowe Picture
  • Debbie Rowe Flips Out
  • Deborah Rowe
  • D-Rowe Pic
  • Debbie Rowe in 2009

[Photos: Fame Pictures]

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Debbie Rowe has been totally out of the spotlight ever since she stood up for Michael Jackson at his child molestation trial in 2005 (a glossed-over part of the late star's past that was brought up by U.S. Rep. Peter King today).

How uncomfortable she is being back in it shows.

After first saying she would attend Jackson's memorial service Tuesday at the Staples Center in L.A., Rowe abruptly pulled out of the invite-only event.

Her attorney, Marta Almli, said, "The onslaught of media attention has made it clear her attendance would be a distraction at an event that should focus exclusively on Michael's legacy. Debbie will continue to celebrate Michael's memory privately."

Part of what changed her mind? An altercation with celebrity news photographers Sunday. Emerging from a Chinese restaurant near her house, Rowe yelled at the paparazzi: "You ready to get your butt kicked? Don't f*%king touch me."

Debbie Rowe Flips Out

GETTING INTO A ROWE: Debbie is far from pleased.

Debbie Rowe is the mother (supposedly) of his two eldest children, Prince, 12, and Paris, 11. The mother of Jackson's third child, Prince II (Blanket), 7, is unknown.

Last week, Rowe said she wants custody of the kids, though her attorney the said later that she "has not reached a final decision concerning custody proceedings."

Amid reports that she is not a biological parent of the children - nor is Jackson - Rowe told NBC that she is willing to submit to DNA testing to prove maternity.

A guardianship hearing has been postponed until July 13 at the request of attorneys for Rowe and Katherine Jackson, who remains their temporary guardian.

Click to enlarge more Debbie Rowe pictures from Sunday's incident ...

  • Debbie Rowe, Friend
  • Getting into a Rowe
  • D-Rowe Pic

[Photos: Fame Pictures]

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Debbie Rowe plans to fight for custody of her two children - Prince, 12, and Paris, 11 - with the late Michael Jackson, according to the star's ex-wife herself.

"I want my children," Rowe told NBCLA's Chuck Henry.

While the interview was not broadcast, Rowe allegedly told Henry that she will seek a restraining order to keep Jackson's dad, Joseph, away from the kids.

"I am stepping up," Rowe said. "I have to."

Rowe also said she was willing to submit to any testing, including DNA to prove that she is the children's biological mother in the looming custody fight.

She also said she would submit to psychological testing.

Rowe wed Jackson in 1996. He was a patient of dermatologist Arnold Klein, for whom she worked as a nurse. The children were born via artificial insemination.

Us Weekly reports that Arnold Klein is the children's biological father. Separate reports on TMZ suggest Debbie Rowe is not the real mother of the kids, either.

In his last will, Michael Jackson named his mother Katherine as guardian of his three children – Prince, Paris and Blanket, 7. If Katherine died before him or couldn't serve, Jackson nominated Diana Ross as their guardian.

Katherine has temporary legal guardianship of the children at the moment.

Rowe's lawyer sought to downplay her client's statements in the interview, but did reiterate that Rowe is indeed the biological mother of Paris and Prince, and also confirmed that she will at least be at next week's custody hearing.

Click to enlarge Debbie Rowe pictures from this week at her horse farm ...

  • Debbie Rowe and Friend
  • Debbie Rowe: Rough
  • Deborah Rowe
  • Debbie Rowe, Horse
  • New Debbie Rowe Pic
  • Debbie Rowe in 2009

[Photos: Fame Pictures]

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