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Michael Jackson's mother given custody of children

Debbie Rowe, mother of the two older children, will retain visitation and legal parental rights. The judge also grants Katherine Jackson her requested allowance.

August 04, 2009|Victoria Kim

Michael Jackson's mother was granted permanent custody of the singer's three children Monday, ending one of the court battles that had been brewing since the pop star's death.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff approved the agreement reached last week by attorneys for Katherine Jackson and Debbie Rowe, mother of the two older children, in which the children will be raised by their grandmother and Rowe keeps visitation and legal parental rights.

The late pop icon had said in his 2002 will that his mother should care for Prince Michael Jr., 12, and Paris Michael Katherine, 11, and his youngest child, Prince Michael II, 7, known as Blanket, who was carried by a surrogate.

Beckloff made the appointment over a last-minute bid by Jackson's dermatologist to get involved in the case. The judge ruled that Dr. Arnold Klein, who treated Jackson for nearly 25 years, had no legal standing. An attorney for the doctor said his client had concerns about the children's welfare, but did not specify. Rowe met Jackson while working in Klein's office.

Moving through a long list of issues before him at the day's hearing, Beckloff also approved undisclosed monthly allowances for the singer's mother and children. Katherine Jackson's attorneys filed papers last month asking for the payments, saying their client had no source of income other than Social Security, and that her son had provided for her when he was alive.

Beckloff granted Katherine Jackson the full amount she requested for herself, but reduced the sum that attorneys requested for the children, saying some of it appeared unnecessary.

The matter of Jackson's estate, on the other hand, still seemed contentious. Attorneys for Katherine Jackson and the special administrators named in Jackson's will met for 90 minutes during the morning hearing to discuss a settlement, but came back and told the judge they were unable to reach one.

Katherine Jackson, in papers filed last week, accused the temporary administrators -- music executive John McClain and entertainment attorney John Branca -- of keeping her in the dark about the estate's affairs.

Beckloff on Monday extended the temporary powers of the administrators for an additional 60 days.

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victoria.kim@latimes.com

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