Debbie Rowe engaged; is a fight for Michael Jackson’s kids next?

Michael Jackson is shown with then-wife Debbie Rowe in April 1996. Rowe is reportedly engaged again.
(Chris Pizzello / Associated Press)

Debbie Rowe, Michael Jackson’s ex-wife and mother of his first two children, is engaged to be married again.

Rowe has said “I will” to Marc Schaffel, TMZ reports, three weeks after he proposed. She’d initially declined, the site said Thursday, because she thought she had terminal cancer. After finding out Wednesday that her diagnosis was actually the auto-immune disease sarcoidosis, she changed her mind. No wedding date has been set yet, she said.

The 55-year-old Palmdale resident met Schaffel when he was working for Jackson, according to ABC News, and their friendly relationship evolved over time. They’ve been splitting time between L.A. and her place.


Prince Michael Jackson, 17, and his sister, Paris, 16, have “known him since they were little,” their mom told TMZ. “They like him a lot.”

Though Jackson and Rowe were married in late 1996, when she was six months pregnant with son Prince Michael, the two never lived together as husband and wife. Their divorce was final in 1999, with the former Mrs. King of Pop getting a $6-million settlement and giving up custody of the kids, with a visit allowed every 45 days.

But wait -- marriage might not be the only legal action Rowe’s considering these days: TMZ reported Friday that she’s going to pursue guardianship of her children and maybe even Blanket Jackson, 12, who has a different, unidentified birth mother.

Sources told the site that Rowe’s been worried about the environment at Katherine Jackson’s Calabasas home, allegedly citing the age (83) of co-guardian Katherine Jackson, the frequent absence of co-guardian TJ Jackson and the frequent presence of the kids’ uncles as concerns.

She doesn’t want a payday, the site said, but would have the kids move to her Palmdale horse ranch.

Paris -- spotted out with Blanket and cousin TJ’s kids in SoCal in March -- was photographed with her mom over the holidays on a Hawaiian vacation. The mother and daughter reportedly speak frequently after reconnecting early last year. Last June, Paris was hospitalized following an alleged suicide attempt, after which she took off for boarding school and treatment in Utah.

“I almost lost my daughter,” Rowe said on the stand in August, when she was testifying in the Michael Jackson wrongful-death trial. “She is devastated. She tried to kill herself.… She doesn’t feel like she has a life anymore.” She also said at the time that she was closer to Paris than she was to Prince.


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