LOS ANGELES — A Florida woman who told a television interviewer that Michael Jackson’s ex-wife was only interested in getting money from the singer’s family and wasn’t interested in gaining custody of her two children is being sued.
In a filing last week, Deborah Rowe’s attorneys said the mother of Jackson’s two oldest children should be awarded $490,000 in general and punitive damages.
Rowe sued Rebecca White in July for White’s comments to the television show “Extra.” White hasn’t responded to the lawsuit and Rowe is seeking a default judgment against the Key West, Fla. resident.
Rowe’s defamation and invasion-of-privacy lawsuit sought to recoup any money that White may have been paid for the interview, which aired in July. Rowe’s attorneys estimated those earnings at $100,000 on a court filing.
They are also seeking $100,000 for emotional distress, $45,000 for medical and attorney’s fees and $245,000 in punitive damages.
A hearing on Rowe’s petition to issue a default judgment against White is scheduled for November.
Rowe has some visitation rights with the two children under an August agreement with the singer’s mother. No money is believed to have changed hands in the arrangement.
Stories aired by “Extra” were based on White’s description of e-mails she said were exchanged with Rowe after Jackson’s June 25 death. Rowe, 50, denies she sent any recent e-mails to White.
White was described in the segments as a “close friend” who said Rowe had emphatically stated in an e-mail exchange that she didn’t want custody of Jackson’s children. Rowe’s attorneys have denied that White and Rowe are friends.
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