Despite reports that Debbie Rowe plans to fight for custody of her two children with Michael Jackson, her lawyer insists she has not made up her mind on the matter.
"Debbie Rowe has not reached a final decision concerning the custody proceedings," attorney Eric M. George told reporters during a press conference Thursday.
"As many of you know, my belief is that the pending custody proceedings are the most private and the most sensitive of matters as they impact the lives and the fates of young children. To that end, I've endeavored out of respect for Michael's children and family, especially in this time of grieving, to keep silence on these matters, to deny all interview requests and to share only that information involving upcoming public court proceedings."
Earlier Thursday, NBCLA's Chuck Henry reported that he has spoken to Rowe – mother of Prince, 12, and Paris, 11 – and she told him, "I want my children."
Although Rowe herself has not spoken publicly about the custody proceedings, George said, "I have no reason to doubt that what was reported from that conversation was accurately and ethically reported, but that said, it would be a distortion of the truth to allow that single snapshot of a single conversation, to stand as the truth on Debbie's position on this sensitive matter."
"Once again, the truth is that Debbie has not reached a final decision concerning the pending custody proceedings," he concluded. "When Debbie does take a position in the public forum of a court, those positions will, of course, be conveyed to all interested persons. In the meantime, I very much appreciate everybody's continued respect for Debbie's privacy at this time, and I'm very sorry, but I cannot address any questions at this time."
In Jackson's will (released Wednesday) the singer – who died at age 50 after suffering cardiac arrest June 25 — named his mother Katherine as guardian of his three children — Prince, Paris and 7-year-old Blanket. (If Katherine died before him or couldn't serve as guardian, Jackson nominated Diana Ross, according to Jackson's will.)
He "intentionally" omitted Rowe from his will, he said.
Last week, Katherine filed a petition in Los Angeles Probate Court seeking legal guardianship of the children. (In her 22-page petition, she claims the children "have no relationship with their biological mother.")
A guardianship hearing scheduled for Monday has been postponed until July 13 at the request of attorneys for Rowe and Katherine Jackson.
Rowe wed Jackson in 1996 (he was a patient in the dermatologist's office, where she worked as a nurse). The children were born through artificial insemination. (The new issue of Us Weekly exclusively reports that the children's father is Arnold Klein, Jackson's L.A.-based dermatologist and Rowe's former boss.)
After Jackson and Rowe divorced in 1999, she agreed to give up her parental rights, insisting Jackson was a good father.
Since their father's passing, the kids have been with the Jackson family and "are happy," Jackson patriarch Joe said at a press conference Monday. They're with "other young ones in the Jackson family…. They were never around other kids."
A source tells Us the Jacksons have not yet reached out to Rowe.
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