Michael Jackson’s bizarre marriage to ‘fan’ Debbie Rowe who ‘gifted’ him children
Michael Jackson and Debbie Rowe got married in 1996 and welcomed their first child just months later. The couple are said to have never lived together with Debbie shut out of her kid’s lives until the superstar died
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In November 1996 Michael Jackson tied the knot with long-term fan Debbie Roe, who was at the time six months pregnant with his first child.
The ceremony came just nine months after the Thriller singer divorced Elvis Presley’s daughter, Lisa Presley, who reportedly gave the pair her blessing.
Michael’s new bride Debbie – who had long admired the hitmaker – met the King of Pop several years earlier while working at a dermatology office.
She recalled her very down to earth meeting with the superstar in the book Michael Jackson – King of Pop: 1958 – 2009.
“I go ‘Hi’. And he goes ‘Hi,’ and I said, ‘You know what? Nobody does what you do better, and nobody does what I do better. Let’s get this over with.’ And he laughed, and we just became friends. It was just right away,” explained Debbie.
After the pair struck up an unlikely friendship, when Michael’s marriage to Lisa Presley broke down in 1996, Debbie offered to have children with him.
The couple then said their ‘I do’s’ both dressed in black at a small, secretive ceremony while Michael was on tour in Sydney, Australia.
The low key affair, held at the Sheraton on the Park Hotel, was attended by very few guests.
Michael’s eight year old ‘nephew’ Anthony was said to have stood in as his best man.
Despite secrecy surrounding the marriage, pictures that emerged of the ceremony showed Debbie beaming from ear to ear as she proudly posed with her new husband.
In one snap, Michael tenderly placed his hand on Debbie’s blossoming belly – although uncertainty still remains about how the child was conveived.
Three months later, Debbie gave birth to son Prince Michael as a ‘gift’ to Jackson.
When interviewed by Martin Bashir in Living With Michael Jackson, the singer also shared that Debbie had a child with him ‘as a present’.
“Michael was definitely more excited than I was. He was so excited when I had a contraction. He was welling up … and then his son was born,” Debbie said in a 2003 interview for Michael Jackson: The Footage You Were Never Meant To See.
“The look on his face … I’d never seen him that happy. That’s what made it wonderful for me, to see the look on his face,” she added.
Debbie reportedly didn’t see her newborn son for six weeks after giving birth.
Over 14 months later, Debbie gave birth to her second child that was named Paris Jackson.
Michael said of the birth: “I snatched [Paris] and just went home with all the placenta and everything all over her.”
The singer’s unusual arrangement with Debbie was not set to last and less than two years after Paris arrived the pair announced they were getting a divorce.
Following the split, Debbie was gifted a house in Beverly Hills and received $8million in the settlement.
The mum of two also gave up all of her custody rights to Prince and Paris to Michael.
She said at the time: “My kids don’t call me mum because I don’t want them to. They’re Michael’s children.
“It’s not that they’re not my children, but I had them because I wanted him to be a father.
“I believe there are people who should be parents, and he’s one of them. I could do something for him and this is what I could do.”
However in the years following their split, Debbie made several attempts to gain access and custody of her two children.
When Michael died in 2009, Debbie reached an agreement with Michael’s mum Katharine Jackson which meant the children would remain with the pop star’s mum.
Then five years later, Debbie became engaged to Michel Jackson’s videographer Marc Schaffel, sparking a wave of conspiracies about their earlier relationship.
While Debbie remained in contact with her daughter Paris – and was supported by her throughout a cancer battle – her relationship with Prince is said to have remained somewhat more fraught.