Debbie Rowe might have once been married to one of the most famous men in the world, Michael Jackson, but really little is known about the woman herself. Right now she’s found herself back in the media after announcing her engagement to Michael’s former business manager, Marc Schaffel. But who is the woman who was once married to the King of Pop?
Debbie Rowe, ex wife of Michael Jackson
Deborah Rowe was born in 1958 and adopted by a wealthy family living in Malibu, California. She is said to have had a very lonely upbringing and didn't had her first serious relationship until aged 30. After the break up, Rowe went to work at the office of dermatologist for Dr Arnold Klein, Klein’s most famous client was Michael Jackson, who was being treated at the clinic for vitiligo. Jackson was recently divorced from his first wife Lisa Marie Presley and is said to have struck up a close friendship with Rowe soon after.
The story goes, that Jackson and Rowe became fast friends and the singer soon revealed to the nurse that he wanted to become a father. Debbie, who had been a lifelong fan of Michael’s then offered to carry a child for him. The rest of the details are pretty sketchy and since Michael’s death many rumors have been thrown around. What we do know is that in early 1996 it was announced that Rowe was pregnant with Jackson’s first child and by November the couple were married. Michael’s first child Michael "Prince" Jackson was born in February 1997. Just over a year later, a daughter Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson was born.
Michael Jackson and Debbie Rowe were married from 1996 to 1999
The couple were generally considered to have a somewhat unconventional relationship. Despite being married and having children together they reportedly never lived together. Michael was also seen to be the sole carer of their two children. Rowe stayed away from the media during her marriage to Jackson, she never gave interviews and was said to not enjoy the publicity that went along with being Jackson’s wife.
Jackson and Rowe would divorce in 1999, six months after the birth of Paris. According to reports at the time, Rowe accepted a settlement of more than $6 million from Jackson and in return gave up her custody rights to the two children. Rowe agreed only to see her two children every 45 days. In 2006, she seemed to have a change of heart and took Jackson to court in order to have her parental rights restored. The case was latter settled out of court and Rowe retreated from the media once again, this time to start a new life as a horse breeder.
When Michael Jackson died to 2009, his will named his mother Katherine as the guardian of his three children. Michael, Paris and their younger brother Prince Michael (also known as Blanket), have been raised by their grandmother and Jackson’s nephew TJ since their father's death. In the months following her ex husband’s death Rowe would take Katherine Jackson to court over her visitation rights to the two children. They eventually settled out of court with Rowe being granted supervised visits to Prince Michael and Paris.
Debbie Rowe and Michael Jackson's daughter, Paris
In the years following Jackson’s death, Rowe seems to have grown closer to her two children, especially Paris. Rowe has also been dating Marc Schaffel, the former business manager of Michael, whom she has been friends with for years. She also recently got the all clear after a cancer scare earlier in the year. Now TMZ are reporting that the former nurse is seeking custody of all three of Michael’s children, including Blanket, whom she is not the mother of. Rowe is reportedly concerned that Katherine is too old to look after the children and that there’s been too much negative influence from Jackson’s brothers. Whether or not Rowe will be successful in gaining custody of the children remains to be seen, but if she does end up taking on the Jackson family in court we can imagine her to be back in the headlines once again and we will surely be in for a long ride.