The mother of Michael Jackson’s two eldest children wants his estate to pay her legal bills for her custody.
Debbie Rowe – who is the biological mother of Prince Michael, 13, and Paris, 12 – filed for custody of the children shortly after the pop superstar’s death in June 2009. Dermatology nurse Debbie had originally given full custody rights to Michael when they divorced in 1999, and withdrew her new lawsuit after reaching an agreement with Katherine Jackson, the children’s paternal grandparent, in July last year.
Katherine has been their legal guardian ever since, but Debbie is still claiming Michael’s estate should contribute “reasonable attorney fees” to her bills for the case.
Judge Mitchell Beckloff denied her request for $200,000 during a hearing at a Los Angeles courtroom ruling there was no law permitting Debbie and her attorney Eric George – who represented her in her custody case – to obtain fees from the Jackson estate.
In court papers, a statement made by lawyers for Katherine said: “Petitioner Katherine Jackson contends that the amount of fees requested by Debbie Rowe is not reasonable. Wherefore, Petitioner requests the petition for Approval for Attorney’s Fees be denied if determined by the court to be unreasonable. Other relief be granted that the court deems just and proper.”
Katherine – who is also guardian to Michael’s third child, Prince Michael II, known as ‘Blanket’, whose mother remains unknown – reportedly receives over $1 million a year from the estate to raise the children.
The agreement between Katherine and Debbie allows the nurse to see Prince Michael and Paris, and Michael’s brother Tito has previously insisted she is welcome in the Jackson family.
Tito said: “She can definitely have rights to visit, hang out and be part of the family. After all is said and done, they are her kids.
“I would like to see her be part of the Jackson family. There is enough love for everybody.”
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