Debbie Rowe

Debbie Rowe is known as the surrogate mother for two of pop star Michael Jackson’s children.


Debbie Rowe worked at a dermatologist's office in Los Angeles when she met Michael Jackson, a patient at the office. Rowe befriended Jackson and they struck an agreement for her to have his children. In February 1997, Rowe gave birth to Michael "Prince" Jackson, and in April 1998, the couple's second child, Paris Katherine, was born. Rowe gave up and then sued to regain custody, but she never did.

Early Life

Hollywood personality Deborah Jeanne Rowe was born on December 6, 1958. The adopted daughter of a millionaire couple from Malibu, California, Rowe had a lonely childhood. She was 30 before she had her first serious relationship, and the break-up hit her very hard. Rowe was still recovering from the split, and working as a nurse at a dermatologist's office in Los Angeles, when she met pop star Michael Jackson. Jackson had been diagnosed with vitiligo in the mid-1980s, and was a frequent patient at the office.

Marriage to Michael Jackson

Rowe befriended Jackson and, over time, he told her about his desire to be a father. Rowe offered to have his children, and the couple struck an agreement. In early 1996, Rowe announced that she was pregnant with Jackson's heir, although the details on how that occurred remain a mystery. In November 1996, when Rowe was six months pregnant, she and Jackson married at a hotel in Sydney, Australia. Despite their surprise nuptials, the couple never lived together as husband and wife.

In February 1997, Rowe gave birth to Michael "Prince" Jackson. The baby spent several hours in special care before Jackson rushed him to his Neverland Ranch, where a team of nannies stood waiting. Several months later, Rowe announced that she was pregnant again. On April 3, 1998, the couple's second child, Paris Katherine, was born. Jackson later told reporters that he was so excited about the birth that he wrapped the baby in a towel and fled home shortly after the cord was cut.


After Paris' birth, Rowe couldn't bear Jackson any more children. The couple's relationship became strained, and Rowe filed for divorce six months later. In 1999, she accepted a settlement of more than $6 million as well as ownership of the couples' Beverly Hills mansion. In return, Rowe gave up her custodial rights to the children, and agreed to one visit every 45 days. Two years later, she applied to the court to terminate her parental rights completely, claiming it was in the childrens' best interest. During this time, Rowe studied at an online university to earn degrees in criminal law and psychology.

In 2005, when Jackson was accused of molesting a young boy, Rowe told the court he was a loving and caring father. During the case she revealed that she had not seen Jackson or her children for several years, which discredited her testimony. Jackson was later acquitted on all counts.

Attempt to Restore Parental Rights

In 2006, Rowe took Jackson back to court in order to have her parental rights restored. During the case she also complained that Jackson had stopped paying her. The case was settled out of court. Rowe sold the house shortly after and moved to Palmdale, California, to raise and breed horses. She stayed out of the public eye until June 25, 2009, when her ex-husband died of mysterious causes. In Jackson's will, he named his mother, Katherine, as guardian of his and Rowe's two eldest children. 

Since Jackson's death, there have been rumors about Rowe seeking custody of her children with the late pop star. But she has yet to take any official legal action. Rowe has, however, developed a bond with daughter Paris. The pair has been photographed together several times in recent years. In 2014, Rowe became engaged to Marc Schaffel, a music producer and a friend of her late ex-husband.  

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