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July 31, 2009

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Jackson's mother gets kids' custody

MICHAEL Jackson's mother will get custody of the late pop star's three children after reaching an agreement with her son's ex-wife Debbie Rowe, a lawyer for Katherine Jackson said yesterday.

Rowe will have "meaningful visitation rights" with her two biological children with Jackson - Prince Michael, 12, and Paris, 11 - US television networks CBS, ABC and NBC reported.

The biological mother of the third child, Prince Michael II, 7, also known as Blanket, has never been revealed.

Jackson's mother, Katherine, 79, was granted temporary custody of the children after his death on June 25.

"It's an agreement, an agreement for the best interests of the children. This is not a money deal," Londell McMillan, Katherine Jackson's attorney, said in a an interview on CBS News' "The Early Show."

"All of the parties are resolved. There is no situation better for these children than for them to be raised and reared in the loving care of Mrs Katherine Jackson."

A court hearing in Los Angeles on custody of the children is scheduled for Monday. Jackson said in his 2002 will that he wanted his mother to care for the children if he died. The "Thriller" singer left his estate, valued at US$500 million in an attachment to his will, to a family trust that benefits his children, his mother and charities.

"That estate is worth, in my estimation, a couple of billion dollars," McMillan said, referring to the value of the estate if it achieves its potential earnings. "You hear US$500 million. Don't buy it."

The coroner's report on the cause of the singer's death is still awaiting toxicology and other test results. His burial arrangements have not been announced.


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