Michael Jackson and Debbie Rowe
Michael Jackson named Diana Ross as a backup guardian to his children if his mother was unable to care for them.
This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," July 2, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Michael Jackson's ex-wife, Debbie Rowe, wants her children back. Debbie Rowe tells a reporter for NBC in Los Angeles -- and we have also confirmed this through a source close to Rowe -- that she is stepping up. Rowe will fight for custody of her two children, 12-year-old Prince Michael and 11-year-old Paris. Rowe is willing to submit to DNA or psychological testing and will try to keep Joe Jackson away from her children.
Alicia Quarles, entertainment editor for The Associated Press, joins us in front of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where Michael Jackson was rehearsing. Alicia, what happened with Debbie Rowe? She's now speaking out a bit?
ALICIA QUARLES, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Debbie Rowe is now speaking out. She gave a phone interview with a local Los Angeles station where -- it was pretty shocking. She says that she does plan to file for custody of her two children. She says that she plans to seek a restraining order against Joe Jackson. And Debbie Rowe's been laying low for all of these years, so all of us were shocked to even hear from her.
VAN SUSTEREN: Alicia, everyone is surprised, but nobody really knows much about the inside story of Michael Jackson's life. Was she a part of these children's lives? Was she -- was she seeing them? Did they have a relationship with her? For all we know, behind the scenes, she was driving up in dark-tinted, you know, glass on a car and seeing the children.
QUARLES: You're absolutely right. So much is not known about Debbie Rowe or her relationship with the children. She and Michael Jackson were married for three years. After they got divorced, she signed away her maternal rights. Those rights were then reinstated, and over the past year, she was allowed visitation. So she's been in the children's lives the past couple of years, but we don't know the extent of that. Did she see them every day, once a week, once a month? We don't know.
VAN SUSTEREN: What -- why did she -- why does she want to stay away from Joe Jackson? Why is he targeted?
QUARLES: You know, we don't know the extent of it. Obviously, Michael was very public about Joe Jackson being abusive when Michael was growing up. Janet has alluded to the same thing. So maybe Debbie does not want to expose her children to that potential abuse. Obviously, Michael Jackson -- Joe Jackson is the man behind the Jackson Five. Maybe she doesn't want the kids to be exploited. And also, you don't know what Michael Jackson told her about Joe Jackson behind closed doors. So as they go to family court, I think these things will be revealed.
VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of her interview, though, she said she wants to get a stay -- have the children to stay away from Joe Jackson, but she didn't say the same thing about Katherine Jackson, Michael's mother, did she.
QUARLES: No, she did not. And I think it would be very hard for her to say that. As the kids moved from Bahrain to Las Vegas, back to Los Angeles, even during the molestation trial, Katherine Jackson has been the one constant in the children's lives. She's extremely close to those kids. She's been around those kids since they were born, so it would be very hard for Debbie Rowe to get any kind of order against Katherine Jackson.
VAN SUSTEREN: How did Michael Jackson meet Debbie Rowe?
QUARLES: Michael Jackson met Debbie Rowe at the dermatologist's office. She was a physician's assistant at his dermatologist's office. The two of them became very good friends over the years, were extremely close. And then shocker, they got married in Australia. Everybody in the world was shocked.
VAN SUSTEREN: Where -- and this was for Dr. Klein, is that right, that dermatologist, Dr. Klein?
QUARLES: Dermatologist Dr. Klein. Michael was being treated there. He met Debbie Rowe, and they struck up a friendship. And they were friends for years, and they were extremely close. And Debbie says that she necessarily didn't want to be a mother but she wanted Michael to be a father. And she loved him so much that this was her gift to Michael.
VAN SUSTEREN: Where is Dr. Klein? Have the police talked to him?
QUARLES: Dr. Klein has been laying low. As far as I know, the police have not talked to him, but they might talk to him. There's all these Internet rumors and speculation that Dr. Klein could be the father of these two biological children of Debbie Rowe's. There's been rumors for years, people saying that these kids might not even be Michael Jackson's. The AP has not confirmed that. But Dr. Klein has been laying low.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, funeral plans -- have those been hammered out yet?
QUARLES: Those details have been hammered out. In fact, right behind me tomorrow at 10:00 AM Pacific time, there's going to be a press conference where AEG is going to announce the funeral plans. So the details are in place. They're going to be announced to the world tomorrow at 10:00 AM Pacific.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is AEG running the funeral and making the plans, or is Michael Jackson's family?
QUARLES: I think it's hand in hand. AEG owns the Staples Center, where the funeral will most likely be held. Hence why they're holding the press conference. But Michael Jackson's family is very much involved. His brother, Jermaine, said that he wanted him to be buried at Neverland, which I think was the plan, but they couldn't get the proper permits. So I think AEG is working hand in hand with the family.
VAN SUSTEREN: Alicia, thank you.
QUARLES: Thank you, Greta.
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