Jackson ex-wife to settle custody case: reports

By AFP

June 18, 2010 Updated Jul 14, 2009 at 12:11 PM EST

Michael Jackson's ex-wife has agreed to drop a claim for custody of the superstar's children in exchange for a multi-million dollar settlement, US media reports said Tuesday.

ABC News quoted Stacy Brown, described as a confidant of the Jackson family, as saying Debbie Rowe could receive more than three million dollars to settle the case involving the two children she had with Jackson.

Rowe, who was married to Jackson from 1996 to 1999, would retain visitation rights as part of the settlement, which would grant custody to the singer's 79-year-old mother Katherine in accordance with her son's 2002 will.

"One family member said three million dollars, another said five million. My guess is that it will be somewhere in between," Brown was quoted as saying.

A separate report in the New York Post on Tuesday, citing an unidentified Jackson family source, also said Rowe had reached a settlement of four million dollars to drop her custody claim.

Neither lawyers for Katherine Jackson nor Rowe could immediately be reached to comment on the report Tuesday.

The reports come after a hearing due to take place on Monday addressing the custody issue was rescheduled to July 20 to allow more time for consultation between the two sides.

The fate of Jackson's three children has been shrouded in uncertainty ever since their father's death in Los Angeles on June 25.

On June 29, a Los Angeles court named Katherine Jackson as the temporary guardian of Prince Michael, 12, Paris, 11, and younger brother Prince Michael II, 7, who was born to a secret surrogate.

But Rowe has said she planned to fight for custody of her two children with the pop star.

Rowe signed away her parental rights to her two children in 2001, describing Jackson as a "wonderful man... a brilliant father."

However a Los Angeles judge reversed the order in 2004 after Rowe cited concerns over publicity related to Jackson's prosecution for child molestation. Rowe later settled the case, reportedly securing visitation rights.




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