Rowe Denies Seeking Custody Cash Over Jackson Kids
Debbie Rowe source denies she wants money to give up any child custody claim.
July 14, 2009— -- A source close to Debbie Rowe, Michael Jackson's ex-wife and the mother of his two oldest children, denied reports today that she is seeking millions of dollars to forego a custody battle.
"Debbie Rowe has not sought and would not accept one additional penny beyond the spousal support she and Michael personally agreed to years ago," a source with direct knowledge of Rowe's position told ABC News.
Rowe is the mother of Jackson's two oldest children, Prince, 12, and Paris, 11.
Jackson also has a third child, 7-year-old son Prince Michael II, better known as Blanket, who was born to an unknown surrogate.
Rowe was reacting to media reports, including from ABC's "Good Morning America," that suggested she was negotiating for a multimillion-dollar settlement to abandon a potentially lengthy custody battle over Prince and Paris.
Jackson family confidant Stacy Brown told "GMA" today that Rowe's request for money was part of the custody negotiations.
"One family member said $3 million, another said $5 million. My guess is that it will be somewhere in between," Brown told ABC News.
In a letter to the New York Post, which reported that "Debbie Rowe has sold her kids" to Michael Jackson's mother for $4 million, Rowe's lawyer Eric George wrote, demanding a retraction.
"There has been no agreement reached between Ms. Rowe and the Jacksons," George wrote, saying there was no deal on custody or visitation rights.
"Ms. Rowe has not and will not give up her parental rights," the lawyer wrote.
Referring to the alleged $4 million settlement, George wrote, "Ms. Rowe has not accepted -- and will not accept -- any additional financial consideration beyond the spousal support she and Michael Jackson personally agreed to several years ago."
Rowe received a hefty settlement when she divorced Jackson in 1999. As part of that settlement, Rowe agreed to allow Jackson to have custody of their two children.
Transcripts of a 2005 custody hearing, obtained by the Web site TMZ, spell out what has long been assumed: Rowe received a sizeable settlement to stay out of the children's lives when the couple divorced in 1999.
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