Debbie Rowe: "I Want My Children"
"I want my children," Rowe said during a 90-minute phone conversation Thursday morning with NBCLA's Chuck Henry. (The interview was not broadcast.)
In his will (released Wednesday) Jackson –- who died at age 50 after suffering cardiac arrest June 25 -- named his mother Katherine as guardian of his three children – Prince, Paris and 7-year-old Blanket. (If Katherine died before him or couldn't serve as guardian, Jackson nominated Diana Ross, according to Jackson's will.)
Last week, Katherine filed a petition in Los Angeles Probate Court seeking legal guardianship of the children. (In her 22-page petition, she claims the children "have no relationship with their biological mother.") A guardianship hearing scheduled for Monday has been postponed until July 13 at the request of attorneys for Rowe and Katherine Jackson.
But on Thursday, Rowe told NBC's Henry that she would seek a restraining order to keep Jackson's father, Joe Jackson, away from the children. Rowe also said she was willing to submit to any testing, including DNA to prove that she is the children's true biological mother. She said she would submit to psychological testing.
"I am stepping up," Rowe said. "I have to."
Rowe wed Jackson in 1996 (he was a patient in the dermatologist's office, where she worked as a nurse). The children were born through artificial insemination. (Us reports that the children's father is Arnold Klein, Jackson's L.A.-based dermatologist and Rowe's former boss.) After Jackson and Rowe divorced in 1999, she agreed to give up her parental rights, insisting Jackson was a good father.
Since their father's passing, the kids have been with the Jackson family and "are happy," Jackson patriarch Joe said at a press conference Monday. They're with "other young ones in the Jackson family.... They were never around other kids."