Michael Jackson’s two eldest children, Prince Michael and Paris, have finally seen their mother for the first time in about three years.
Prince and Paris, according to sources, were flown home from Bahrain to Los Angeles about two weeks ago for a visit with Debbie Rowe, their only known biological relative.
They were accompanied by Grace Rwarmba, their nanny and surrogate mother. Neither child was told who Rowe was, my sources say, just that she was a family friend.
The meeting, which ran about three hours, took place in a Beverly Hills hotel.
Rowe, who saved Jackson’s head from the chopping block thanks to her positive testimony in his child molestation case, is nevertheless still in family court with Jackson on a number of issues.
Among them is visitation, for which she has no set schedule, and money, which Jackson cut off last year when Rowe gave “Entertainment Tonight” an interview about her horse farm.
Complicating the family court matter now, I’m told, is Jackson’s reluctance to return from Bahrain anytime soon.
“Why would he?” asked an insider. “He’s got a lot of lawsuits pending against him. He’s in a situation where he’s beyond the long arm of the law. And he can walk around freely.”
Discount, however, those reports that Jackson recently purchased 14 acres of land next to the palace in Bahrain. As discussed in this space quite often, he is simply in no position financially to make such a deal.
Jackson may have other problems, however, where Rowe and their kids are concerned. My sources say that the couple, though divorced, has joint custody. That may be an issue, since Rowe never signed off on Jackson taking the kids to Bahrain.
This became an important point because new passports had to be issued for Prince and Paris, and Rowe found out only after the fact. This issue may rear its head in family court soon.
Rowe and her attorney, Iris Finsilver, were also said to be none too pleased yesterday when Jackson’s family lawyer, Michael Abrams, was quoted by the Associated Press saying that a settlement between both sides was imminent.
It’s not true, says a friend of Rowe, and Abrams could be walking a fine line in violation of a confidentiality agreement concerning the case.
What could push Rowe and Finsilver’s buttons even more is a forthcoming story in OK! magazine that is said to have fetched the cash-poor singer $2 million.
If Prince and Paris are in any way exploited in the celebrity rag, insiders say, it could bode poorly for Jackson in court. That is, if he even comes back to the United States. At the moment, that’s very much up in the air.
Jackson’s absence from the U.S. may put a crimp in the plans of some of his former jurors, by the way. The word is that many of them, including foreman Paul Rodriguez, were angling for a visit to Neverland as payback for their not-guilty votes. But so far, Neverland’s gates have remained closed.
Sienna Miller soldiers on. The 23-year-old actress is continuing to appear nightly in “As You Like It” in London’s West End, while all the time suffering British tabloid gossip.
The latest rumor is that she’s pregnant, perhaps six weeks along, by Jude Law. Miller and Law, of course, are currently estranged. You’d know that even if you lived in Outer Mongolia or at Brad and Angelina’s new place.
If Miller is indeed pregnant, and crazier things have happened, I’d be surprised. I spent some time with the couple on July 2 at The Grill on Regent Street, a private London club. Miller was dancing up a storm and drinking an appropriate amount of liquor after coming off stage in her Shakespeare play. Law was also blowing off steam after a long day shooting Anthony Minghella’s “Breaking and Entering” with Juliette Binoche.
The real tragedy here is that both Law and Miller are quite nice people. Neither one of them is unfriendly, petulant or as self-absorbed as so many tabloid subjects. If Miller is pregnant, she will have a dilemma on her hands for one so young. She’s just been re-signed to play Edie Sedgwick in “Factory Girl.” That’s the plum role Tom Cruise reportedly forced Katie Holmes to abandon.
Us Magazine and Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner is no stranger to inter-office complaints. He’s known as a neat freak who makes employees clean their desks of personal effects. He also fires people without warning, and for strange reasons.
Now it seems Wenner and his publisher Kent Brownridge have decided they really want a hot magazine. I mean, really hot. Apparently, the Wenner Media offices at 1290 Broadway are not air conditioned on weekends or holidays. That would include Monday holidays.
Unfortunately, Us — which this week lamely advertises a Vanity Fair scoop on its cover (weird, man) — closes on Mondays. That means the editors work well into the night and early morning sending those precious pics and stories about Britney et al to the printer.
But on Memorial Day and July 4, two Monday holidays, the editors had to sweat it out without benefit of Freon. Insiders say those closings were truly a “sweatshop” atmosphere. Now those same editors are dreading Labor Day, when again this particularly hot and humid New York summer could go un-cooled.
A spokesperson for Wenner Media told me that all their employees would be taken care of for Labor Day. She didn’t deny the details of this steamy story, however.
If you’re near the Mohegan Sun Casino and Hotel in Connecticut this weekend, the entertainment is a rare treat.
“Soul Man” Sam Moore, Billy Preston, aka the Fifth Beatle and Felix Cavilliere of the Rascals are doing shows Saturday and Sunday. None of them has lost one bit of his remarkable talents, so this show should be memorable…
Ditto Stevie Wonder’s two shows next week at the Apollo in New York. No one knows where Stevie’s new album, “A Time 2 Love,” is, but Wonder of Wonders, he’s performing anyway…
Is it an omen? Carly Simon and Carole King both have albums in the Top 30 for the second week in a row. Simon’s “Moonlight Serenade” is No. 1 on Amazon.com, a good barometer of yuppie tastes…
I did omit two names from yesterday’s story about the Mike Smith tribute at BB King. Kudos should go to famed talent agent Margo Lewis and her right-hand guy Chris Tuthill for pulling the whole thing together…
Finally: Want to see some extraordinary acting? You’ll find it on, of all places, the cable channel Soap Net. They’re showing reruns of “Another World” from 1989, featuring Anne Heche in her Emmy-winning role.
She was only 20, but she had a surprising command of the camera. Heche’s subsequent craziness with Ellen DeGeneres threw her career off track, but she is one of our best actresses. Her appearance on Broadway last year in “Twentieth Century” was a comic tour de force. We need to see more of her. Believe it not, she’s only 36 this year. Her best movie roles, by the way, can be found in “Wag the Dog,” “Donnie Brasco” and the underrated thriller, “The Juror.”