Michael Jackson and Debbie Rowe
Eric Neitzel/WireImage; London Entertainment/Splash News
08/03/2005 at 08:00 AM EDT
Michael Jackson and ex-wife Deborah Rowe are about to reach a settlement in a legal dispute involving her visitation rights for their two children, 8-year-old Prince Michael and 7-year-old Paris, Jackson's attorney has announced.
Rowe wed the singer in 1996. The marriage lasted three years. In 2001, she surrendered her parental rights, but a judge voided the order at her request in 2004 after her attorneys argued that proper court procedures were not followed, the Associated Press reports, relying on court records.
Attorneys for Rowe said at the time that she sought the change in status because Jackson had been charged with child molestation and was associating with the Nation of Islam, which has espoused views many consider anti-Semitic. Rowe is Jewish.
Though attorneys for Jackson fought the decision that voided the order, the singer's lawyer, Michael Abrams, said Tuesday that "a settlement is in sight. ... The resolution will be to everybody's satisfaction. I'm hoping everybody will go away very happy."
Jackson, 46, was acquitted of child molestation charges in June following a trial in which Rowe took the stand as a prosecution witness, yet in a surprise move she praised him as a good father surrounded by "opportunistic vultures" trying to benefit from his troubles. She also said she hoped to rebuild a relationship with Jackson and the children, calling them, "my family."
Jackson also has another child, Prince Michael II, who is also known as "Blanket." The boy's mother has not been publicly identified.