Attorney wants Michael Jackson to lose child custody
March 18, 2004
LOS ANGELES — Attorney Gloria Allred said that Los Angeles County officials
have turned down her request that Michael Jackson's three children
be removed from his custody, but said she would bring the matter to
a juvenile court judge.
Michael Jackson fan Kevin Sargent holds a banner of the pop star 13 February, 2004, outside Santa Barbara Superior Court|
Photo: AFP/Robyn Beck
Allred said Wednesday that Jackson should lose custody of the
children because of his past behavior and the child molestation
charges against him. She does not represent the children, but said
she was acting because she believes they are in danger of physical
or sexual abuse.
Allred asked Santa Barbara authorities last year to investigate
the children's welfare, citing the molestation charges, Jackson's
admission that he sometimes shares his bedroom with children, and a
November 2002 incident in which he dangled his baby from a balcony.
In January, after Jackson moved from Santa Barbara County to
Beverly Hills, she asked the Los Angeles County Department of Child
and Family Services to investigate.
Allred said the department notified her Friday that they would
not remove the children from Jackson's custody and make them
dependents of the court. Department officials said they couldn't
comment because of confidentiality laws.
Allred said she filed an application Wednesday asking that the
presiding judge of Los Angeles County Juvenile Court begin
proceedings to take the children from Jackson and place their care
under the court's jurisdiction.
One of Jackson's criminal attorneys, Benjamin Brafman, said
Allred had no good reason to get involved.
"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.
Allred said she would continue despite what she called Brafman's
Jackson and his second wife, Deborah Rowe, agreed last month to
hire a retired judge to handle an unspecified "family law matter"
that was believed to concern custody and visitation arrangements
for the couple's two children – a boy, 7, and a girl, who is 5 or
6, who reportedly live with Jackson.
Jackson has a third child, Prince Michael II, who is believed to
be about 10 months old, but he has not disclosed the identity of
the boy's mother.
Jackson has pleaded innocent to seven counts of performing lewd
or lascivious acts on a child under 14 and two counts of
administering an intoxicating agent, reportedly wine. He remains
free on $3 million bail. – Sapa-AP
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