Photograph of Michael Jackson less than 24 hours before he died. (AP)
Fox News reports (7/1/09):
“On the Record with Greta”
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: There is huge news tonight about Michael Jackson. His three children, according to TMZ, are not biologically his and Jackson never adopted them. Plus, mother Debbie Rowe is not the biological mother of any of them. This complicates everything. Who will get custody of Michael, Jr., Paris and Prince Michael II?
TMZ news manager Mike Walters joins us from Los Angeles. Mike, whose children — I mean, did he ever — he never legally adopted these children, is that right?
MIKE WALTERS, TMZ.COM: Right. Exactly.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK. All right, now…
WALTERS: Basically, here’s what’s going on here, Greta…
VAN SUSTEREN: … tell me about the — OK, go ahead.
WALTERS: Well, here’s what’s going on. Michael is not the biological father of the children. Now, in Debbie Rowe’s situation, it’s slightly different. What we’re hearing and what we reported is that, basically, it was a — she was a surrogate mother. It was artificially inseminated, in vitro, from an egg and a sperm outside the womb, and she carried the children.
Michael Jackson's 3 children shop
Now, the youngest child, this was a person who was inseminated, who didn’t know she was carrying Michael Jackson’s child at all. She delivered in San Diego, California. Three days after Michael Jackson’s attorney came, took the child and delivered it to Michael Jackson.
So of course, it brings up a host of different issues right then. Number one, Debbie Rowe — it’s presumed in the law at this point that they were married, and if the child — if the birth of the child comes within that time, that they are mother, father and parents. And that’s sort of how the law works. It’s never been, you know, litigated in this case, anything like that.
Now, in the third child, it could be totally different. Who exactly the parents are, Michael could have known, but we don’t know and we haven’t found out yet. But we might find out in this custody battle.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is Debbie Rowe going to fight for custody of the two older children?
WALTERS: You know, at this point, she’s been invited to. It’s — she’s been served — she’s going to be served with the documents from Katherine Jackson, who you already know has filed and gotten temporary guardianship. This will be heard Monday morning. Whether or not Debbie Rowe will show up, I don’t know.
Does she have authority? Could she come in and maybe ask for that? Yes, of course. Like I said, she presumably is the mother of the children by the law. It’s not a slam-dunk case, but she’ll have to go in and fight it.
Whether she will or not — we still haven’t talked to her or anybody in her camp whether or not they for sure will go. They’ve only said they’ll react and then do what’s appropriate with what’s on the table at this point, which is only that Grandma Jackson has custody at this point.
VAN SUSTEREN: To simplify matters, it would be easier if Michael Jackson’s name appears on any of the birth certificates. You know, are they on the birth certificates?
WALTERS: Yes. Michael Jackson is listed as the father on all three. Now, on the first two, Debbie Rowe is listed as the mother. On the third, the youngest, Prince, there is no mother. It’s literally blank. It’s got three lines across, and that’s it. And there’s signatures that are blacked out on that one. But Michael on all three is listed as the father.But remember, the law changed. And I don’t know the exact specifics, but basically, now you can do that. And back then, even if it was a surrogate mother, they were listed as the mother on the birth certificate.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. The youngest child, you said that Michael Jackson didn’t go to the hospital. A lawyer actually did all the transactions. Who is this lawyer? Because you’d think the lawyer would have enough sense to at least have worked through the legal trappings to make it a lot easier in the event of the situation we now have.
WALTERS: Well, that’s an interesting point, Greta. I think, at this point — this is Michael Jackson we’re talking about. This was several years ago. And I think whoever was involved, including Arnie Klein, who will come up, is going to probably be at this point talked to during all this stuff about his death and the prescription medication. You know, it’s reported today that he might be one of the sperm donors in this case. This is all going to have to come up, whether or not any of these people actually have any claim to the estate or custody. And I think that’s going to have to be sorted out before we can discuss any of those kind of situations.VAN SUSTEREN: All right, explain to the viewers who Arnie Klein is, Dr. Klein is, and how sort of he fits into this tale.
WALTERS: Well, you know, it’s interesting. That’s another doctor they want to speak with. And I can tell you from experience, you know, just at TMZ, we used to get Michael Jackson going and coming from that office almost twice a week for the last couple of months. So he’s a dermatologist that used to treat Michael Jackson and, like I said, recently, had been treating him again.
Now, any doctor that’s done anything medical to Michael Jackson — because of the fact that I can tell you for sure one of the things they’re investigating is hypodermic needles. So you know, knowing that, and all these drugs that are in combination, they’re going to look at all the doctors that have ever prescribed him, especially the ones he’s seen as of three weeks ago or two months ago on a regular basis, and specifically also the doctor who was there, obviously, the night — or the day that he passed away. So this is — they’re all going to get spoken to, and it’s all going to come through an investigation.
VAN SUSTEREN: And Debbie Rowe, the mother of the two older children, also worked at one time for Dr. Klein, to sort of add more intrigue to this.
WALTERS: Really, that’s what’s interesting. Exactly. Debbie Rowe worked for Arnie Klein for a number of years. And that’s what’s going to make it hard. You brought it up already. Why don’t they just come forward and this is all easily worked out? Well, it’s not. Think about back then, when this actually came about and all the documents were actually drawn up by an attorney. This is specific to people that all were in an office.
Michael Jackson is a superstar. His private life was very private and still is. So these documents, how many people have actually seen them — all I can tell you for sure is we reported it, he’s not the father, and that Debbie Rowe carried the children but was only a surrogate mother, just like the third child. So will those ever come out? Arnie Klein’s already not wanted to comment today. He hasn’t said anything, citing patient- client privilege. So will we ever know? I don’t know.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. The memorial service, what are the latest plans for that?
WALTERS: You know, we reported today that the plans have been put into motion that at 10:00 AM on Thursday morning, from Los Angeles to Neverland ranch, an upwards of 30-car motorcade will descend on Santa Barbara. Now, what’s interesting is this happened this morning, and as the day progressed, the officials up in Santa Barbara, which included CHP, sheriff, police — all of those people are now saying, Well, the plan was put in motion as an “if they were going to do it.” So it’s interesting that the family hasn’t come out officially and said, That’s what we are doing.
But the county and Neverland ranch are preparing because all these fans are coming anyways. And they guess — the guesstimate is that they will have 250,000 people go there this weekend, whether there’s an official viewing or not. But I am told that there is one. They’re planning it for Friday or Saturday, and that sometime between now and then, and I’m told Thursday morning, they will — this motorcade will go up there.
And think about that, Greta. I mean, the overpasses on the 101 north, I mean, people everywhere, choppers — I mean, it’s fitting for Michael Jackson, the king of pop. I mean, that’s what I think, if they do it, will be fitting and have a public forum up at Neverland for all these people.
VAN SUSTEREN: Mike, thank you.
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