So What Happens to Michael Jackson’s Kids?

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Jackson with Prince Michael, Paris, and blankets, but not Blanket. Photo: Getty Images

As the media coverage of Michael Jackson's death continues to blanket the airwaves, many fans and curiosity seekers are wondering: What happens to his kids? Prince Michael, 12, Paris, 11, and Blanket, 7, never had anything approaching a normal life — raised in large part by a nanny named Grace Rwaramba, covered by masks or sheets when appearing in public, and getting dragged all over the world (or, in Blanket's case, dangled over a balcony) as their world-famous father tried to grapple with his celebrity. Other than governesses, they never had a mother figure — Debbie Rowe, the mother of Prince Michael and Paris, was once married to Jackson but later gave up custody and was not allowed to be a part of her children's lives. "Some people have a mommy and a daddy, and some people just have a daddy," he told the kids, according to some reports. "And that's you, you just have a daddy."

Blanket was reportedly born via a surrogate, and the involvement of Jackson's sperm in any of their births has been questioned by biographers. Now that the King of Pop's finances were getting back in order after a string of problems, the kids stand to inherit a chunk of change, which will help provide for them, but which also might make them the target of a struggle between the surviving members of the Jackson family — who have fought bitterly over money before. Appearing on the Today show, their godfather, Mark Lester, said he didn't know where the children were at the moment, but that they're probably in California with Grace, their primary caretaker. According to Brian Oxman, Jackson's longtime lawyer, they will end up with his mother, Katherine. “Probably Mrs. Jackson will take care of them, she loves them dearly,” Oxman told Radar Online. But according to ABC News, Michael may have wanted Grace, the nanny, to raise the children if anything happened to him. (If Rowe wants to get custody of the elder two, she'll have to go to court.) They were with Grace, and not at the hospital in Los Angeles, when their legendary father passed away.

Michael Jackson’s Kids Will Be in His Mother’s Custody Says Longtime Lawyer [Radar Online]
Who Will Get Custody of Michael Jackson's Kids? [ABC News]
Earlier: Michael Jackson Dead at 50 [Vulture]