NEARLY five years after Michael Jackson’s tragic death, a sensational legal battle is about to erupt as the singer’s ex-wife Debbie Rowe wages war to raise all three of his children.
In a shocking new twist in the heartbreaking Jackson saga, Debbie – the mother of Paris, 16, and Prince, 17 – reportedly wants to move the teens onto her Palmdale, Calif., ranch along with 12-year-old Blanket, even though he’s not her biological child.
Sources say the former medical assistant fears that Michael’s 83-year-old mother Katherine is too old to continue raising them and believes that negative influences from certain members of the famous clan have turned Michael’s kids into rebellious brats!
Debbie is said to be convinced that grandmother Katherine is too out of touch with the youngsters and that their co-guardian, Michael’s nephew T.J. Jackson, is tied up with his work in the music industry and goes on tour for long periods.
“Katherine’s not connected with the kids or involved in their lives,” Debbie told a friend, according to a report.
As a result, Debbie – who’s engaged to wed Jacko’s onetime video producer Marc Schaffel – desperately wants to become the kids’ guardian and whisk them away from the family’s Calabasas, Calif., compound for a more stable, wholesome life at her ranch.
Debbie’s worries are magnified, say insiders, because Michael’s aging brothers spend time at the Calabasas estate and no one tries to discipline Prince, who’s developed an outrageous potty-mouth hanging out with the adults.
And she is particularly disturbed by Jermaine, who has plans to appear on “Celebrity Wife Swap,” a reality show featuring celebs who switch families for one week at a time. She feels his influence could be harmful to the kids and wants to keep them away from him.
Sources also say that even though Blanket is not her flesh and blood, she is deeply concerned that the preteen could be the most vulnerable of all.
Pretty Paris is the focus of deep concern because of her erratic, sometimes belligerent behavior, say sources.
The youngster spiraled into depression last year and then was admitted to the UCLA medical center after cutting her wrists and taking an overdose of pills on June 5.
Debbie has formed a close mother-daughter bond with the budding beauty. She believes Paris has not made sufficient progress since her bloody attempt and feels she can do more to keep her safe and help her heal, according to reports.
Hoping to remedy the situation, Debbie is expected to file legal papers shortly to gain guardianship of the impressionable youngsters.
She may be in for a battle. Katherine has an intense dislike for Debbie’s fiance. Schaffel reportedly has a past as a director of a gay porn movie. The revelation, years back, shocked Katherine and son Michael. “The King of Pop would be spinning in his grave if she had custody of the kids,” said one source. “Katherine will go to war to stop it.”
Debbie, who has a horse-breeding business, has not asked his estate for extra money, and sources say she is acting out of love.
On April 4, her affection for Paris became apparent when she and her fiance – who’d become engaged just days earlier – attended the youngster’s 16th birthday party at the Marmalade Cafe in Calabasas.
Paris actually played Cupid for her mom. The teen feels that groom-to-be Schaffel “is right for Debbie, and told her so,” an insider told The ENQUIRER. “Paris was just glowing at the party, smiling at her mother and feeling so fulfilled that she helped to make the romance blossom.”
A source who knows Debbie and Paris told The ENQUIRER: “Paris would love nothing better than for Debbie to take over guardianship. Not long ago, Paris posted on Facebook, ‘I love you, mom!’ And on April 3, Debbie posted, ‘Happy 16th Birthday Paris…I love you…’”
The two also went to Hawaii – on a mom and daughter getaway!