Deborah and Michael Jackson at their wedding in 1996.
|Born||Deborah Jeanne Rowe
December 6, 1958
Spokane, Washington, U.S.
|Residence||Palmdale, California, U.S.|
|Education||Hollywood High School|
|Occupation||Dermatology nurse, horse breeder|
|Known for||Marriage to Michael Jackson|
|Spouse(s)||Richard Edelman (1982–1988; divorced)
Michael Jackson (1996–1999; divorced; 2 children)
|Children||Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr. (born February 13, 1997)
Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson (born April 3, 1998) 
Rowe was born into a middle class family. The adopted daughter of a millionaire couple from Malibu, California, Rowe had a lonely childhood. Her father Gordon divorced her mother Barbara a few weeks before her second birthday. Debbie was raised by her mother, a few aunts, and maternal grandmother. She has one half-sister named Loretta Scarlett Rowe who was born in 1961.
Relationship with Michael Jackson
Rowe met Michael Jackson while working as a nurse in Dr. Arnold Klein's dermatology office, where Jackson was being treated for vitiligo. She recalled that after Jackson's divorce from Lisa Marie Presley in 1996, he was upset at the possibility that he might never become a father. Rowe, a longtime Jackson fan, proposed to bear his children.
Children and marriage
Three months after Rowe and Jackson's marriage she gave birth to a son, Michael Joseph Jackson Jr. (born February 13, 1997), who was subsequently known as Prince. The next year she gave birth to a daughter, Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson. (born April 3, 1998). Jackson took full responsibility for raising the children.
Rowe, who described herself as a private person and almost never gave interviews, was overwhelmed by the publicity that came with being married to Jackson. The couple divorced on October 8, 1999, with Rowe giving full custody rights of the children to Jackson. Rowe received an $8-million settlement, and a house in Beverly Hills, California. Court documents indicated she had signed a prenuptial agreement and therefore could not obtain an equal division of community property under California law.
In 2001, Rowe went to a private judge to have her parental rights for the two children terminated. In 2004, after Jackson was charged with 10 counts of child abuse, she went to court to have the decision reversed. According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency Rowe, who converted to Judaism from Catholicism, sought the reversal in part because she feared the nanny and some of Jackson's siblings were exposing the children to teachings of the Nation of Islam. 2005 court documents noted that “Because she is Jewish, Deborah feared the children might be mistreated if Michael continued the association.” On the stand, in the 2005 People v. Jackson case, she explained that she had been allowed limited visits to her children, for eight hours every 45 days.
In 2005, Rowe sold her Beverly Hills house for $1.3 million, and bought a ranch in Palmdale. In 2006, she sued Jackson for one immediate payment of $195,000 and one payment of $50,000 to pursue a child custody case. Jackson was ordered to pay her $60,000 in legal fees.
After Jackson's death
Following Jackson's death on June 25, 2009, Rowe made statements through her attorney to deny a series of gossip reports, including reports that she was not the children's biological mother and that she was attempting to bargain her parental rights for money. Several gossip outlets reported that Debbie Rowe was the surrogate mother for the children and not their biological mother.
In July, 2009, she filed a lawsuit for defamation and invasion of privacy against a source who handed over alleged private e-mails to the television news program Extra and on March 3, 2010 she was successful in the defamation lawsuit. She was awarded $27,000 in damages, although she had originally sought $500,000.
In August 2009, Rowe reached a settlement with Katherine Jackson, the children's guardian, under which she has rights to supervised visitations. Mrs. Jackson's attorney stated that the negotiations were "never about money" and the settlement was in the best interests of the children.
In popular culture
Rowe was parodied in actress/comedian Tracey Ullman's series Tracey Ullman's State of the Union.
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- [dead link]
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