Jackson Friend Says Rowe Should Not Get Kids

Cascio says Jackson's ex-wife Debbie Rowe has no relationship with her kids.

July 7, 2009— -- Debbie Rowe, the mother of Michael Jackson's two oldest children, has no relationship with the kids and does not deserve custody, said a former personal assistant of the singer who became friends with Jackson when he was a boy.

Frank Cascio, 28, added his name to a growing list of Jackson friends and associates who believe the pop star's ex-wife should not seek custody of the children, and a court should instead honor Jackson's last will and grant custody to his mother Katherine Jackson.

"Those kids need to be with Katherine and the family," Cascio told "Good Morning America" an exclusive interview. "That's who they need to be with. Not with Debbie."

Cascio told "GMA" his family regularly entertained Jackson at its New Jersey home.

Follow Michael Jackson's memorial service live streamed on ABCNews.com and watch live anchored television coverage anchored by Charles Gibson on ABC News.

When asked if the children ever saw their mother, Cascio said, "No. Not at all."

Cascio, also known as Frank Tyson, has served as Jackson's personal assistant and as an adolescent traveled around the world.

On June 29, four days after Jackson, 50, suffered apparent cardiac arrest in his Los Angeles rental home, a court granted ttemporary guardianship of Jackson's three children, ages 7 to 12, to their grandmother, Katherine Jackson, 79.

Cascio called Katherine Jackson "the most special woman in [Jackson's] entire life."

Another hearing will be held July 13 to reconsider the guardianship. Sources close to Rowe's lawyers have said her legal team plans to attend that hearing.

In a 2003 interview, most of which had never been aired before, Rowe said she did not believe relinquishing custody meant that she had abandoned her children. She had meant for them to be with their father from their conception.

"People make remarks: 'Oh I can't believe she left the children.' Left them? I did not leave my children. My children are with their father, where they are supposed to be," Rowe said in the interview, which was aired today on "GMA."

Rowe said it was her idea to make Jackson a father, because she thought it would make him happy.

"I said, 'I want to do this. I want to do this. You're so good to me. ...' I said, 'You need to be a dad."

In the interview, Rowe said covering the children's faces with masks and veils when they were out in public was her idea. "That was my request," she said because she feared they could be targeted.

Rowe called the kids, the "ultimate love children. If It hadn't been for how much I loved him... I would have never had children."

She also rejected any suggestion that Jackson was a pedophile.

Rowe's lawyers have not formally said she would ask a court to grant her custody, but Rowe last week gave an interview to a Los Angeles television station in which she said: "I want my children."

One of Rowe's only public statements since her former husband died was an expletive filled outburst when she was followed and bumped by a television crew. She has remained out of sight since then.

After saying she planned to attend Jackson's memorial service, Rowe changed her mind and decided to mourn privately.

Rowe has had little contact with her children, son Prince Michael, now 12, and daughter Paris, now 11, since she divorced Jackson in 1999.

In the divorce Rowe relinquished custody. In another hearing in 2001, she relinquished parental rights. In testimony before the court Rowe said she had little contact with the children and wanted to remain out of their lives.

"I did it for him to become a father, not for me to become a mother. You earn the title parent. I have done absolutely nothing to earn that title," she told the court.

When lawyers asked if she had "ever considered the possibility if Michael should die, what would happen to the children," Rowe says she trusts Jackson to pick an appropriate guardian.

"I'm sure he has a wonderful person in mind to take care of them," she told the court.

Despite her absence in the children's lives, Rowe regained parental rights, and legal experts say her biological relationship to the children gives her a valid claim to seek custody.

"Biology is very, very important," Judge Stephen Lachs -- the judge who restored Rowe's parental rights in 2003 -- told ABCNews.com.

"It's a very important factor when considering custody. But it's only one thing. When a judge looks at the best interest of children, you have to look at all the factors," he said.

"A judge is going to look at everything, including if there were settlements and how much they were for," he said.

Court documents, obtained by Web site TMZ, from a custody hearing that ended in 2005 but pertained to the couple's 1999 divorce, spelled out what has long been assumed: Rowe received a hefty settlement to stay out of the children's lives.

In the hearing, Jackson's lawyer, Thomas Hall, told Lachs that Rowe received up to $5 million upfront and an additional $900,000 for several years.

"Mr. Jackson was under an agreement with petitioner [Rowe] here, which he was to pay her -- did pay her about $4 [million] or $5 million up ront, gave her a mansion in Beverly Hills, and then was to pay $900,000 a year for a number of years if she abided by agreement terms," Hall told the court.

Rowe has said that she was artificially inseminated, but has never commented on who is the biological father of the children, leading some to speculate that it is not Jackson.

The children appear to have white skin and features.

Jackson had a third child, 7-year-old Prince Michael II, known as Blanket. The boy was conceived using an anonymous surrogate, whose name has never been disclosed.