The mother of Michael Jackson's two oldest children has reportedly agreed to end a threatened custody battle, in exchange for a $4 million payout. In an exclusive story, The New York Post reports Jackson's family will pay Debbie Rowe to go away. Rowe's lawyer, however, tells CNN the story isn't accurate.
According to the Post, the Jackson family is not happy about the deal, but a source close to the family told the paper they see it as a necessary evil. "They felt it was like a ransom-type thing. [Rowe] jumped back into the picture because she wanted money."
The paper said this is not the first time Rowe has sold her parental rights. When Jackson and Rowe divorced in 1999, she agreed to allow Jackson to raise Prince Michael, now 12, and daughter Paris, 11, for a lump sum of $8 million, plus $900,000 annually for five years, the source said.
When Jackson was accused of child molestation in 2001, Rowe resurfaced and successfully reclaimed her rights. But she ended up giving Jackson custody of the children anyway -- in exchange for another $4 million plus a $900,000 home.
This time around, she is forfeiting her restored parental rights to Jackson's mother, Katherine, in exchange for roughly $4 million, the family source said. "This would be it. This takes away any rights she has to challenge custody at any given time. If something happens to Katherine, [Rowe] can't challenge the next [guardian], whether that be Diana Ross or someone in the family. It's one final payday."
Neither lawyers for Rowe nor Katherine Jackson returned phone calls or e-mails from the paper for comment.
Rowe met Jackson when she was an assistant at the office of his dermatologist. They were married for 3 years, but never lived together.