On Monday, the world is expected to learn if Debbie Rowe will make a play for custody of the children she had with Michael Jackson. Some clues as to what she may do lie in the divorce papers that Access Hollywood has obtained, which shed light on the extravagance of Jackson and what Rowe really wanted years ago.
“I would never do this for money,” Rowe told KNBC in October 1999. “I did this because I love him. That’s the only reason I did this.”
Access Hollywood has uncovered Jackson and Rowe’s divorce settlement filed on Oct. 13, 1999. Rowe received a settlement of $8.5 million, an SUV and a Beverly Hills home. She got an additional $2 million for entering into a confidentiality agreement.
The divorce agreement also revealed that Jackson owned four properties including Neverland, a fleet of 75 vehicles including nine golf carts, two jet skis and five Rolls Royces, as well as 21 different bank accounts.
Jackson was awarded physical custody of their two children and in “Michael Jackson: The Footage You Were Never Meant To See” in 2003, a documentary which was released in the wake of the Martin Bashir special, it was clear both Rowe and Jackson wanted it that way.
“My kids don’t call me mom because I don’t want them to,” Rowe said. “They’re Michael’s children.”
Jackson also spoke out on the issue.
“She can’t handle it,” Jackson said in the footage.
“She can’t handle her own children?” Bashir asked.
“I can’t really…” Jackson began, “I don’t want to make anyone upset.”
According to the settlement, Rowe was at first awarded visitation once every 45 days. The visitation had to be between the hours of 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and supervised by a nanny. However, if Jackson was “incapacitated” for longer than three weeks, Rowe was allowed to take charge of the children. She has yet to decide if she wants custody now that he has died.
In a new interview on “Good Morning America,” Joe Jackson was asked who he thought should raise the children now.
“Their grandmother Katherine and I,” he said. “There’s no one else to do what we can do for them. Keep em’ all together and make them happy.”
Jackson’s will only listed Katherine as guardian of his three children: Prince Michael, 12; Paris, 11; and Prince Michael II, 7.
According to child custody expert Neal Hersh, if Joe and Katherine are living together, that may hurt Katherine’s bid for custody.
“If Katherine and Joe were living together and Michael complained that he had a difficult childhood with his father, then having the children live with that very individual would be sort of having history repeat itself,” Hersh told Access. “That would be something that a court might look at.”