The children of Michael Jackson do not know their mother and want to stay with the pop icon's relatives, family friend Jesse Jackson said today after reports of a looming custody battle.
Jackson told MSNBC he doubted whether a possible claim for custody by Debbie Rowe, the biological mother of the pop star's eldest son and daughter, would be in the best interests of the children.
"At this point Mrs Rowe has not been in their lives. They do not know her, she does not know them," said veteran
activist Jackson, who is not related to the musical clan but is a close adviser.
"I'm convinced the family feels that the children will be more secure with their grandparents and with their cousins in this relationship," he added, describing the Jacksons as "the only family they've ever known."
Rowe, who was married to Jackson from 1996 to 1999, told local television on Thursday she planned to fight for custody of her two children with the pop star although her lawyer later claimed no decision on a lawsuit had been taken.
A custody hearing scheduled for July 6 has now been reset for July 13.
On June 29 a Los Angeles court named the star's 79-year-old mother Katherine Jackson as the temporary guardian of Prince Michael, Paris and younger brother Prince Michael II, who was born to a secret surrogate.