Jackson facing child custody battle

Embattled pop star Michael Jackson will be sued for the custody of the children he had with former wife Debbie Rowe, it was reported today.

Embattled pop star Michael Jackson will be sued for the custody of the children he had with former wife Debbie Rowe, it was reported today.

Court papers will be filed in California within the next two weeks, in which Ms Rowe accuses the 45-year-old singer of being “unfit” to be a father, it was claimed.

The planned lawsuit, reported by the Sun newspaper, comes after Jackson was charged with sexually abusing a teenage boy suffering from cancer at his Neverland ranch.

Jackson pleaded not guilty to the charges at a court appearance last week which ended with him whipping his fans into a frenzy by climbing onto the roof of his van.

Ms Rowe, 41, will reportedly lodge legal papers suing for custody of Prince Michael, six, and Paris, five.

It is also claimed that she has offered to raise Jackson’s third child, Prince Michael II, whose mother is not known.

Ms Rowe’s lawyer, Iris Finsilver, said: “I cannot make any comment. I cannot confirm or deny it.” A spokesman for Jackson could not be immediately reached.

According to the Sun, Ms Rowe is concerned that her children are not having a normal upbringing because they have little interactio with other children and are made to wear masks when out in public.

Ms Rowe, who is Jewish, is also said to be worried that the black separatist group, the Nation of Islam, may have influence over the children, as its members are currently handling the pop star’s security.

Jackson met Ms Rowe when she worked for his dermatologist in Beverly Hills, California. The pair wed before Prince Michael was born on February 13, 1997.

Ms Rowe was reportedly given a multi-million dollar payout to give up the rights to the children when she and Jackson divorced.

But Jackson’s lawyer, Brian Oxman, told the Sun: “You cannot sell children in America.

"So no matter how much money Michael may have paid Debbie Rowe, no matter what the wording of his agreement with her may be, if she decides she wants her children back she can go to court and fight for custody.”

Jackson’s parenting skills came in for criticism when he dangled baby Prince Michael II over a Berlin hotel balcony.

Lawyer Gloria Allred, a long-time critic of Jackson, said last year that she had reported the pop star to California authorities, claiming she feared for the welfare of his children.

“If you see a child that’s at risk, you should report it and let the authorities do what they think is appropriate. That’s what I’ve done,” she said.

Ms Allred briefly represented a 13-year-old boy who filed a civil action against Jackson in 1993.

In December, Jackson’s parents Joe and Katherine Jackson promised that they would look after the children if they were taken away from their son.

Mr Jackson told ITV: “We’re not going to let nobody take those kids. They’re Michael’s kids. They has no right to take those kids.”

Jackson was charged in December with seven counts of performing lewd or lascivious acts on a child under 14 and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent, reportedly wine.

The charges came after the Neverland ranch, near Santa Barbara, California, was searched by police.

Jackson, who is currently free on €2.5m bail, has called the allegations a “big lie”.

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