Michael Jackson's mother Katherine has dismissed ongoing reports suggesting she doesn't get along with her son's ex-wife Debbie Rowe, insisting she has a great deal of love and respect for the woman who gave birth to the King of Pop's two eldest kids.
In a candid and rare TV news interview, which aired in America on Friday (25Jun10) - the anniversary of her son's death, the Jackson family matriarch revealed she didn't meet Rowe until after the King of Pop had died - and she found his ex to be warm and friendly.
This, after the two women were pitted against each other in media reports surrounding the custody of Rowe's biological kids Prince Michael, 13, and Paris, 12.
Jackson says, "I hadn't met her before Michael died. We met and we clicked right away... We cried together, we talked, we had a nice time together because, when we met, it was just Michael we thought about mostly - and the children.
"All the rumours about Debbie Rowe wanting to take the children away (are) completely false... Debbie's happy with the arrangement the way Michael left it and she sees nothing wrong with me raising the children and I respect her and love her for that."
The two women's mutual friend, Marc Schaffel, made the top secret meeting happen - and was the only other person in the room when the two women hugged and cried.
He recalls, "Nobody knew; no lawyers knew, no representatives knew. They looked at each other and tears just started running down both of their eyes."
Jackson has since welcomed Rowe into her home for regular visits with her kids - and Schaffel insists the former dental nurse has offered to help raise the kids if anything should happen to her one-time mother-in-law.
In his will, Michael Jackson suggested that Diana Ross should step in as his kids' guardian if his mother should pass.
Schaffel says, "Debbie is the children's biological mother and she will always be there for them. If Mrs. Jackson wasn't available she would be right there."
Katherine adds, "I feel that she should be in their lives and the children should know her."