July 2nd, 2009
05:21 PM ET

Rowe: “My kids don’t call me Mom, because I don’t want them to”

Program Note: For more about Debbie Rowe and her role in the Jackson custody battle, tune in for Randi Kaye's report tonight on AC360º at 10 P.M. ET.

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Debbie Rowe, ex-wife of the recently deceased Michael Jackson and biological mother of Paris and Michael Jr., is the latest to enter the Jackson custody battle. In a 2005 'Fox TV' interview, Rowe commented on her role as a mother and her relationship with Michael Jackson.

DEBBIE ROWE, JACKSON`S EX-WIFE: My kids don`t call me Mom, because I don`t want them to. They`re not - they`re Michael`s children. It`s not that they`re not my children, but I had them because I wanted him to be a father.

I believe that there are people who should be parents. And he`s one of them.

We are a family unit. Michael and I will always be connected with the kids. I will always be there for him. I will always be there for the children. And people make remarks, "Oh, I can`t believe she left her children."

Left them? I left my children? I did not leave my children. My children are with their father where they`re supposed to be.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Michael Jackson
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. LeAnn

    Although Mrs Jackson is 79 yrs old I think the kids should get to live with her as this is the family they know. Debbie Rowe sold her children and has not been a part of their lifes. It would be cruel to divide the children as blanket is not her biological child and she would have no rights to him. It would be naive to think her decision is not based on money as she was purposefully left out of the will. There must be a very significant reason Michael did that considering that she was a surrogate mother for him. That is all she is, a surrogate.

    July 3, 2009 at 1:46 am |
  2. Darlene

    If Michael wanted Debbie Rowe to have coustody of his children, than he would of put that in his will. I don't understand why any one would think that Debbie has a right to step in now and want to play the part of mommy. She was not forced to give her children to Michael, she Sold her children to Michael and her rights away. No one held a gun to her head, 8.0 million sound good to her and she took it, she sign the papers not once but twice. Why would any judge take the children away from their family they know and love "The Jacksons" and give them to Debbie, they don't even know her and are not bonded to her. Besides what about the 3rd child, is it fair to split these children up.
    Everyone keeps talking about the way Joe Jackson beat his kids. But back than a lot of mothers and fathers spank thier children with belts and switches. I am 54 and I had many of a spanking, did not like it but that was the way it was back than. I don't agree with spanking children, I'm not saying it was right, but it was the way life was than. I don't think Joe Jackson is going to be beating Michael children. Let them stay with their grandmother, and the Jackson family where they now belong. Michael loved and trusted his mother, if he din't he would of never put her in his will to take care of them. Michael always spoke his feeling from his heart, he made the will, let it speak for it self.
    Michael, you will be missed and you are loved by so many. R.I.P.

    July 3, 2009 at 1:42 am |
  3. Tage

    Debbie is only in it for the money. A mother that have kids and give them up for 8.5 million was only in it for profit. I would never give my kids up for any amount of money. It's sad due to American Greed his wishes that he left in his will are not going to be respected. Michael Jackson was a gift to the world from God. I thank God for giving us another great son. I like to thank his mother and father for sharing him with the world.

    RIP Michael Jackson, the world will miss you.

    July 3, 2009 at 1:36 am |
  4. Benjamins

    Debbie Rowe is there for the money. She took money from THE KING MJ before and i am very sure she selfishly wanted money from the very start. I think those great kids are safe with Katherine Jackson,Liz Taylor, Diana Ross or Janet Jackson. even the Nanny Qualifies.

    July 3, 2009 at 1:35 am |
  5. Margaret Bolden

    I think Debbie may love her kids but she may love money more. I know I would never give my kids up for anybody. I believe she married Michael only to have kids at a price. Now she probably wants more money to go away. I may be wrong but she gives that impression to me.
    Michael did a lot of good but it is clear to see he had some problems. His father may have been hard on him but let's face it, if he hadn't woud he have been the star that he was? What about the rest of his bothers do they have problems in thier lifes? They were all rised by the same father and mother. Some kids are different. I hope in death he can rest in peace. He had so much but yet so little.

    July 3, 2009 at 1:33 am |
  6. EvilRepublican

    Katherine and Joe Jackson aren't even living together. Besides, Katherine was obviously a very loving, kind mother or else I don't think Michael would have turned out the same. Sure he had his problems, but I think it's clear his father was to blame for most of that. Even if Joe Jackson was so inclined to try to iterate his old ways, the oldest two are preteens and Joe's 79 years old now; I wouldn't be too worried about them.

    I would, however, be worried about separating them from their youngest sibling, Blanket, and forcing them towards an estranged, greedy, loveless mother who obviously cares more about money than anything else.

    July 3, 2009 at 1:32 am |
  7. Leigh Halan

    Deborah Rowe could win or at least make a very good argument publicly. Here's why: On record, Michael Jackson stated that Joe Jackson (his father) physically abused all his sons, repeatedly. Katharine Jackson (his mother) witnessed this and failed to protect her children against the repeated abuse. This is an attempt to rescue Michael Jackson's children from an unsafe environment, assuming that Katharine Jackson has not changed. This explains something the press is failing to focus on: the order of protection against Joe Jackson which is filed in parallel. Debbie Rowe may not win, but she will open up this issue–as she should. I hope she is successful. Unless Mrs. Jackson was herself physically beat, there may be little defense for her passive behavior regarding the chronic, physical abuse of her children. Joe Jackson's cruelty was the bane of Michael Jackson's existance.

    July 3, 2009 at 1:28 am |
  8. Vicki from Enid

    Someone should have stepped up and done something about Michales constant needing a Dr. Family or manager, someone. Surely no amount of money would ever take the place of someone trying all in their power to do something even if it meant possibley getting him committed if needed. And it sounds like it was needed.

    July 3, 2009 at 1:27 am |
  9. Mary Johnson

    Debbie Roe wants the money not the kids. And further more how can the damn courts turn around on reinstating her rights as the parent? If she gets reinstated then all parents whose rights were terminated should be getting thier kids back too. They need to do what the "Will" says its what Micheal Jackson wants. And no one ask the kids what they want and this is so sad. Debbie Roe got 8.5 millions of dollars and now why would she want the kids back? ITs all about the money and this really shows that the State of Calif needs to wake up. It really sounds like Kalkaska and Traverse City Michigan they did the same chit too stealing children and sold them on the black market to get a fast buck. So maybe CAli and Mich should get togethered since both states are mess up! And no one cares for the kids. What a damn shame! And to think Micheal is not even buried yet. People needs to back off let him be in peace. News media needs to back off! I am sick of all this bullchit! Debbie needs a life so back off and leave these kids alone they need to stay in the family where they are at now. Micheal Jackson has done more for this damn Country and no one has said anything on that huh! He done more for kids world wide then our own damn Presidents an Governors and Mayors so piss off you all and let this family rest in peace good grief!

    July 3, 2009 at 1:22 am |
  10. Gerry

    Debbie sold her rights and interest in the children for 8.5 million dollars. Now it appears to me that she wants more money. Clearly it is about the money. What type of women would have two children and essentially sell them for 8.5 MILLION DOLLARS.

    July 3, 2009 at 1:21 am |
  11. James

    The one main point is that she signed a settlement for 8.5 million dollrs to relinquish her rights. She has no grounds to reclaim her kids only for money.

    July 3, 2009 at 1:20 am |
  12. sonja burgess

    debbie rowe is full of it . if she wanted her kids so much why did she not sue for partial custody. or some legally sactioned visitation rights
    ii think it is all about money for her. the bottom line if he would have left her some money i seriously doubt she would want custody. if she does get custody i hope that she does not have any chance of touching the childrens money. let her use some of her 8.5 mil she sold them for to raise them.yeah she tried a couple of times to get her kids back. if she did it was the worlds best kept secret.something happened in mj's life that was not on the news i doubt it.

    July 3, 2009 at 1:19 am |
  13. Doris

    I think the Kids are at an age to say whom they want to be with. I think Ms Rowe received all that she wanted when she gave up her rights. What kind of law says you can now change an ironclad agreement because Michael is dead.

    July 3, 2009 at 1:19 am |
  14. Vicki

    Is there a DNA done to show weather the kids are even Michales? And if he isn't could they find out from the Sperm Bank ,if there was one whom the real biolodgical father is?

    July 3, 2009 at 1:16 am |
  15. DAna

    I understand that as the biological parent, she has rights, but will the courts separate three children who have just lost their father. How fair is that? So , she gets two and what happens the the 7 year old?

    July 3, 2009 at 1:15 am |
  16. Josh Bennet

    I believe debbie row is seeking more money. It's a will, it's Michael Jackson last wish. Out of respect it should be forfilled.

    July 3, 2009 at 1:12 am |
  17. jackie

    Is it love or money? No mother in her right mind would ever sever ties with her children knowingly

    July 3, 2009 at 1:11 am |
  18. Nancy D

    Has anyone ever noticed what gentle people all of Michael's siblings are? I think each and everyone of them got that gentleness from their mother. Katherine Jackson instilled fantastic qualities in those children and I am sure that she will continue with Michael's kids. Joe Jackson as we all know was not a gentle person, he was a horse of a different color, but I don't see any of his qualities in any of his children. Michael was a fantastic father to his children and I think that his mother will continue what Michael started and she will make sure that these children have a piece of their father with them each and everyday. Michael left his legacy of music with the whole world, but to his children he left them with love in their hearts and it would be sad if his wishes that his mother raise them was not honored. Debbie Rowe was never ever a mother to those children, she was in this from the start for money and that is the only reason she would want those children. If Debbie Rowe gets custody of those kids they will never grow up with the love and nurturing that Michael gave his children for all the years of their lives. All Michael's nieces and nephews are always around their grandmother, Katherine and his children will be with the entire family of the Jacksons around them and their lives will be guided by the love they will all bring to those children. For all the joy Michael brought to the world, we should all make sure that Michael's wishes in his last will & testament be honored, that could be the worlds way of giving back to Michael ! God Bless you Michael and thank you for all the beautiful music that you blessed us with!

    July 3, 2009 at 1:05 am |
  19. dottie

    l think Debbie Rowe should get lost. ....because michael gave her
    large sum of money from michael to get lost. let mrs jacksons and
    the other sibling janet , latoya and nanny will help.but,for real
    debbie need to get lost,and she also need stop letting the folks
    in media put her up against the jacksons, that family is going
    through enough now.the folks in the media is trying to created
    a circus between the jacksons and ms,rowe and this lisa bang or blog
    and her mother gloria copyright are just up talking on these
    cable networth, for the money ans show their face, just
    to be in something.they should be ashamed of themselves
    they try to ruin M.J name now they're working on the family.
    that alright,jesus will fix it.
    no weapon form against you will be able to prosper.lsaiah 54:17
    so, hang in there ,jacksons family.and read your bible.

    July 3, 2009 at 12:36 am |
  20. veronica

    From what she had said, she has been nothing more then a surrogate mother, we dont knoe if she is eyeing on the money, but their should find a way so joe jackson will not go near the kids. By the way is it confirmed that MJ converted to Muslim?

    July 3, 2009 at 12:30 am |
  21. Chyvone Wine

    Any woman who sells her children for 8.5 million doesn't deserve their love. I am a mother and grandmother and know for a fact, there isn't enough money in this world that would allow me to let anyone, including her father take her from me.

    There is a saying " Mommys baby and daddy's maybe" Well where does she fit in here?

    July 3, 2009 at 12:22 am |
  22. Ana Marie

    A real mother does not give up her parental rights for any amount of money. I would not be surprised if she suddenly goes away, of course, if the price is right. It would be horrendous for any judge to award the kids to Debbie Rowe, for these kids will be split up. As sheltered and pampered these kids have been, it would be a crime to further put these kids through more emotional suffering. The courts and media need to allow these children to mourn for their father before any more emotional pain is inflicted on these kids.

    July 3, 2009 at 12:15 am |
  23. rosegirl123

    my thoughts on debbie rowe is she already received money from mj, and now she's looking for more through those children. pathetic.

    July 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  24. Beverly Konoian

    When you really want your children. The second he died, she should have made it public that she wanted the children. The pause of a delay only show she is in it for the money not the well being of the children. It has always been for the money with Debbie. 8-1/2 Million dollars worth. Now she sees there is an attachment with the custody, of even more money. Now she will decide? Not a good choice to
    split up the 3 children – another reason she would be in for the money not the well being of all 3 children.

    July 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  25. shanadia white

    Debbie rowe should not get those kids because she already had her 8.5 million dollars and now she want the kids back just because of money, if michael jackson did die the kids would be with him and his family,,, I. Think she just want money because how u sell ur kids,, I think she shouldn't get the kids,,,

    July 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  26. Odette Gehrman

    I don't understand why Michael Jackson's will is not respected. Also
    his ex-wife accepted 8.5 Million dollars, so why i she in the picture now.
    I believe the Children should be able to tell the Court whom they want
    to be with.

    July 2, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  27. Bo

    Wow!! She first abandon her kids for money ($8.5 million) and all of a sudden, she wants to be mom again. I think it’s all about the money. If it wasn’t about the money, then why did she abandon them in the first place?

    July 2, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  28. Robin

    I think it is definitely all about the money, she never wanted the children, she settled to let Michael have full custody for x amount of milliions of dollars and now only after she has found out the massive amount of money in a trust for the children, she decides that she would like to have custody of them. Who can't see that it is all about the money?

    July 2, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  29. Jay

    Money, Money, Money – Debbie needs to leave those kids alone.

    July 2, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  30. Brandon

    If she really wanted the kids would she really have taken that 8 million dollars? I think she's seeing dollar signs (and lots of them)

    July 2, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  31. Bo

    Wow!! She first abandon her kids for money ($8.5 million) and all of a suden, she wants to be mom again. I think it's all about the money. If it wasn't about the money, then why did she abandon them in the first place?

    July 2, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  32. Postal13

    This is a case of a woman scorned! She wasn't mentioned in the will, the family says she has no say in the childrens lives, her take is I'll show you or show me the "More Money"!!!!!!!

    July 2, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  33. Dan

    I think Debbie is in it for the money.She made it clear last week when she said she didn't want anything to do with her kids. Now, someone got in her ear and it's all about the money.

    July 2, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  34. natalia

    I do not agree that Michael's children should be with Debbie. She has not been there for her children all the while but now that Michael has died and has left money for his kids, she wants to be the mighty mom...But I agree with some that Michael's father: Joe Jackson will be a threat to these vulnerable children...Katherine should ensure that these children are protected from an abuser like Joe...But the fact remains, these kids deserve to be with people that they know and trust. With that said, Debbie stepping in would be ultimately the wrong thing as Im positive that they do not know her....Let us respect Michael's wishes and allow his soul to rest in peace...

    July 2, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  35. twannalynn

    Debbie Rowe sold her kids to Michael thats why she gave them up for the old mighty dollar, and i'm sure if the price is right she will do it again. i think katherin is the best choice for the kids, and we must remember that joe does not live with katherine and who knows how long they have lived apart and i'm sure the family has told joe to sit down and shut his mouth, cause we haven't seen if in a few days

    July 2, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  36. JC-Los Angeles

    Debbie Rowe should hook up with Mark Sanford; seems like they have the same amount of respect for their children.

    July 2, 2009 at 10:03 pm |
  37. Barbara

    I feel the same way as Wendy and am surprised that none of the interviews I've seen have brought that up. I would never allow those children to live in Joe Jackson's house NEVER. Truth is, where was Michael's mother anyhow; she wasn't able to protect her own kids when they were young, I don't trust that she would do any better now.

    Poor Michael was apparently in a bubble of doctors and handlers and just another sad story not unlike Anna Nicole Smith; well, except that he was talented.

    I don't get warm and fuzzy feelings about Debbie Rowe; somehow think those kids would be better off with a stranger than any of the people associated with Michael; they are all hangers on that have lived off him for years.

    It's sad; sad about his life, sad about his death at such a young age and sad about the future of his children. Shows you that money truly can't buy everything!

    July 2, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  38. North Carolina

    Debbie Rowe is just mad because Micheal Jackson did not leave her anything in the will. I think that it will be wrong for her to get those children because she was not there with them. For her to come back later is very obvious that she wants more money. What kind of mother leaves her children. and on top of that tell them to not call her mom. This is not a health relationship for these children to be with her. These are people lives she is playing with.

    July 2, 2009 at 9:42 pm |
  39. PrincessG

    Wendy Ontario-I love how everyone "assumes" that someone forced Debbie Row to get rid of her kids. She threatened to take custody twice and walked away with the money and left the kids behind. I'm sure she thought she had plenty of times to pull that stunt and get more money out of Michael. Then he died and she saw her cash cow drifting away! She doesn't want those kids any more now then she did 11 years ago. Did you read what she said "I don't want them to call me Mom" " I had them so Michael could be a dad" PLEASE, she had them to use them as little ATM machines!
    As far as Joe goes, how old is Joe now? What the heck is his old butt going to do. That was way back in the 60's, and not only does Joe and Katherine not even live together, but if you think for a second that the Jackson kids would allow his old butt to abuse these kids then you are just grasping at straws! Janet stood on stage at the BET awards with Joe in the audience and proclaimed that SHE was the spokesperson for the family! I think the days of Joe running anything except his month are long long gone!

    July 2, 2009 at 9:38 pm |
  40. LP

    Who's to say MJ wasn't really more than a manager/Dad to the children anyway???? After all the NANNY was there. I feel like they were possessions to MJ just like all his other lavish worldly things. Only those closest know how their relationships really were. I think the MOM should step into the ring. MJ's estate will outlive and carry on long after both Katherine and Diana Ross die. However, I think the lawyers or a corporate trustee should remain in control of the trust for the children. Joe Jackson is scary...............

    July 2, 2009 at 9:30 pm |
  41. LaShonda

    Needless to say, Joseph Jackson was harsh and childish himself, if he tormented Michael. Joseph Jackson is the only one that has to answer to God for that. I know that he and Katherine provided love and support for those children. I guarantee, Joe, is hurting internally everytime he hears that he abused Michael, I don't think that was his intention. Joe wanted the boys to be the best and they were successful. I got beat and whipped, but I thank my Mom, I could have been worse off or even dead if I did not have that guidance!

    July 2, 2009 at 9:21 pm |
  42. alleycat

    Wendy Ontario, Canada - I hadn't really thought about it that way. You could be right!

    July 2, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  43. Wendy Ontario, Canada

    Everyone keeps saying Katherine would be a great person to raise the kids but has everyone forgotten what her husband did to Michael? She couldn't stop Joe's abuse of her own children how will she protect her grandchildren? Joe could use MJ's kids in so many ways to make money, pictures, interviews etc. & there is nobody in the Jackson family that will stop him. I think Debbie Rowe has every right to custody, they are her children. There are alot of things that will come to light now that MJ has passed, Debbie can now finally tell the truth about what really went on years ago when she was forced out of their lives. I would rather see the kids with their Mother & Nanny then in the circus that Joe Jackson will create.

    July 2, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  44. Wanza

    Michael Jackson Family Trust could hold millions of dollars after the estate debt is paid. Debbie Rowe is eyeing the trust. She who control the heirs, controls the trust.

    July 2, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  45. Jill Awuni

    I was sure Michael had a will especially after meeting Michael in Prague in the late 1990 with my boss when he was looking at purchasing some old castles in Prague. My then boss, Serge Boreinstein said," after meeting with Michael, I was amazed how smart he is" I heard how proper things were to be and had a very good negotiating power when it came to what he wanted.
    It is no secret Michael will have listed Diana Ross, in fact, I would have added Elizabeth Taylor to the list but may be Michael thought she might die before him. Michael's mother is great but dad is an evil man. Listen to the comments he made after Mike's death, not oh I will miss my son, but he was thinking of money and what he was going to do with the record! Gosh, this man should not even get close to Mike's kids!

    July 2, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  46. Cindy

    Debbie has no interest in these kids well being. The only thing that she wants is money...that's all she's wanted from day one. I guarantee you if Katherine offers her money to go away she will accept it.


    July 2, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  47. nancy

    katherine is michael jackson's mother!

    July 2, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  48. Cindy H

    40% to the kids, wait for it, she'll be in there like a dirty shirt wanting to be their loving mother.

    July 2, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  49. Sue Beauchamp

    Still wonder really happend there after all she is still the mother of those children,what ever people say, we don't know what the circumstanses are in any relationship, we should show more compasion that is what Michael was looking for.

    Great loss for all the family and around the world, I will miss him.

    July 2, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  50. Annie Kate

    For her claims of always being there for her children then why did Jackson leave guardianship to his mother and Diana Ross in his will and not Katherine? Does Debbie Rowe feel like she would be a better parent than Michael's mother or is the allure of the estate making custody more advantageous?

    July 2, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
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