Debbie Rowe, Michael Jackson's Ex-Wife, Will Fight for Custody

Her stated goal defies Jackson's last wishes on who will care for kids.

ByABC News
July 2, 2009, 2:38 PM

July 2, 2009— -- "I want my children," Debbie Rowe, Michael Jackson's ex-wife and the estranged mother of his two oldest children, told KNBC-TV in Los Angeles today.

Though in the last decade she has had very little contact with the two children she had while married to Jackson, the former nurse vowed to fight for custody, defying Jackson's last wishes that the children be cared for by their grandmother.

A source close to Rowe told ABC News that she is worried about the guardians Jackson named for the children in his will and believes the "kids would be receptive to her."

An attorney for Rowe plans to attend an upcoming custody hearing in Los Angeles scheduled to review the order of temporary guardianship a judge granted the children's grandmother Katherine Jackson on June 29.

"[Rowe] is looking at a situation where the primary guardian is now 80 years old, the back up is Diana Ross who the children do not know," said a source close to Rowe who was not authorized to speak for attribution.

Getting custody of the children would also come with a lot of money, said the source.

"If she does request custody and that request is granted, she would obviously get all the money for their care, and it would require that she receive money from the estate because she would take over as guardian," he said.

Despite Rowe's comments to KNBC, her lawyer Eric George said Thursday that Rowe had not come to a final conclusion about seeking custody.

"The truth is Debbie has not reached a final decision on pending custody proceedings," he told reporters.

On June 29, four days after Michael Jackson, 50, suffered an apparent cardiac arrest in his Los Angeles rental home, a court granted temporary guardianship of Jackson's three children, who range in age from 7 to 12, to their grandmother, Katherine Jackson.

In Jackson's will, filed Wednesday in court, the pop star expressed his wishes that his mother, who is actually 79, be granted custody of the three children. He also named singer Diana Ross as a backup guardian if Katherine died or was unable to take care of the children.

In his will Jackson specified that none of his estate should go to Rowe. On Thursday new details emerged about the living trust, in which Jackson placed his estate.

Jackson's trust divides all his money and assets among his three children, his mother Katherine, and various children's charities, a source familiar with the estate told ABC News. He leaves nothing to his siblings, his father Joe Jackson, or anyone else, according to the source.

Katherine will get 40 percent of his assets, Michael's three kids will get another 40 percent, and the remain 20 percent goes to several children's charities that will be designated at a later date, a source close to the estate told ABC News.

The Will made public yesterday puts all of Michael Jackson's property into this trust, which is not public.

The trust is overseen by trustees John McClain and John Branca, the same men who are executors of Jackson's will.