Setbacks for Michael Jackson in custody battle
May 25, 2006, 21:28 GMT
File photo: US pop star Michael Jackson waves to fans as he leave the Santa Barbara County Superior Court in Santa Maria, California, Tuesday, 01 March 2005. EPA/JOHN G. MABANGLO
Los Angeles - Michael Jackson has suffered a pair of setbacks in his ongoing battle with former wife Debby Rowe over custody of their two children according to reports Thursday.
The California Supreme Court shot down his claim to undisputed custody of his kids Wednesday, giving Rowe a good chance of winning control of the two children, Prince Michael, 9, and Paris, 8.
They have been living with Jackson in Bahrain since shortly after Jackson was acquitted of child molestation charges in June 2005.
Rowe signed away her parental rights in October 2001 as part of a financial settlement with Jackson. But a California court reinstated them on February 15 and on Wednesday the California Supreme Court declined to hear Jackson's appeal of that judgement.
'This is an excellent, although not surprising, development for Deborah,' Rowe's lawyer Eric George said. 'This means she can proceed with her claims before the family court without any further delay.'
Also Thursday the Los Angeles Times reported that Superior Court Judge Robert Schnider repeated an order for Jackson's and Rowe's lawyers to publicly file all documents from the couple's divorce.
The couple had paid a judge to preside over their 1999 divorce, allowing them to avoid a public spectacle. But the ruling now means that the details of their strange relationship will likely be opened to public view.© 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur