LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Debbie Rowe asked a court to restore her parental rights to the two children she bore Michael Jackson, partly because of the pop icon’s association with the Nation of Islam.
“Because she is Jewish,” the court noted in 2005, “Deborah feared the children might be mistreated if Michael continued the association.”
The same year Jackson took the children to Bahrain, and Rowe again protested to the court, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
Rowe was working in the offices of Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Arnold Klein when she met Jackson, Klein’s patient.
The singer and Rowe married in 1996, with both parties apparently quite clear that the sole purpose of the marriage was to give Jackson the children he wanted.
After the birth of Prince Michael, Jr., now 12, and daughter Paris Michael Katherine, 11, the couple divorced in 1999.
Since then, Rowe has alternately ceded and reclaimed her parental rights, which has been labeled by Jackson’s lawyers as a ploy to get more money from her ex-husband.
According to a just-discovered, several-years-old will, Jackson assigned custody of the two children, and a third from an unidentified surrogate mother, to his mother, Katherine, 79, who now has court-ordered temporary custody.
Rowe, 50, is an avid animal lover and now lives on a horse ranch in Palmdale, in northern Los Angeles County.
However, despite the odd history of the Jackson-Rowe relationship, legal experts believe that as the two children’s biological mother, Rowe will have a strong claim to their custody, if she decides to fight for them.