Despite initial reports that Michal Jackson’s ex-wife and mother of his two eldest children would be attending the singer’s memorial service in Los Angeles on Tuesday, a rep for Debbie Rowe told Access Hollywood she has decided to not attend.
“Although Debbie had originally planned to attend tomorrow’s Staples Center memorial service, we have concluded with Debbie that she will not be attending,” the rep said in a statement released to Access.
“The onslaught of media attention has made it clear her attendance would be an unnecessary distraction to an event that should focus exclusively on Michael’s legacy,” the statement continued. “Debbie will continue to celebrate Michael’s memory privately.”
Rowe is the mother of Prince Michael, 12, and Paris, 11. Jackson’s youngest child, Prince Michael II, 7, is from an undisclosed surrogate.
Earlier Monday during an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America, Marc Schaffel, a former business associate of Jackson’s, said Rowe would be headed to the public memorial.
“Debbie will attend. We just got confirmation last night from the people who are handling the VIP seats that they do have Debbie’s seats and she will be attending,” Schaffel said at the time.
Scgaeffel also claimed Rowe has attempted to get in touch with the late singer’s family, but has been unsuccessful.
“There has been outreach, unfortunately, like so many cases, there’s so much going on that they just have not been able to make contact,” Schaffel said. “There were several tries, just for the fact of phone numbers that had changed, you know, answering machines that were full. Contact had not been able to happen prior.”