Jackson to Keep Custody of Kids

03/18/2004 AT 12:08 PM EST

California lawyer Gloria Allred reportedly has failed to convince a Los Angeles court to take Michael Jackson's three children from his custody.

Allred launched her suit shortly after Jackson was arrested on multiple counts of child molestation late last year, fearing that his children -- Prince Michael I, 7; Paris, 5; and Prince Michael II, 10 months old -- could be in danger. Jackson, 45, has pleaded not guilty to seven counts of performing lewd or lascivious acts on a child under 14 and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent, believed to be wine.

According to the Associated Press, the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services has officially notified Allred that it will not be taking the children away from their father. Allred, however, continued her attempt to strip Jackson of custody by filing an application with the Los Angeles County Juvenile Court on Wednesday, requesting that the children be placed under the court's jurisdiction, the AP reports.

Previously, Allred represented a teenage boy who accused the star of abuse in 1993; the case was settled out of court. Although she has no involvement in Jackson's latest charges, she has said she fears for the safety of his children. One of Jackson's lawyers, Benjamin Brafman, accused Allred of pursuing her own agenda.

"I think it would be best if people who have nothing to do with these proceedings stayed out of them rather than looking at Mr. Jackson's case as a vehicle through which to engage in self-promotion," he said.

In other Jackson news, Santa Barbara County district attorney Tom Sneddon has invited the star to defend himself in front of a grand jury against the child abuse allegations, reports MTV News.The move by Sneddon is being seen as a means for Jackson to sidestep a public preliminary hearing. (A grand jury would determine whether a case should proceed to trial.) No comment from Jackson's camp has been reported.

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