Jackson dermatologist won't file in guardianship

August 28, 2009 8:02:32 AM PDT
Michael Jackson's longtime dermatologist does not plan to petition for a role in the upbringing of the singer's three children, his attorney said Thursday. Mark Vincent Kaplan said Dr. Arnold Klein is satisfied that a judge appointed an attorney to oversee the interests of the singer's children, who range in ages from 7 to 12.

"It's just not necessary," Kaplan said. "It's already been addressed."

Kaplan said Klein got involved because he was concerned about the children, Prince Michael, Paris Michael and Prince Michael II, having a normal upbringing not related to show business. Jackson told Klein repeatedly that he wanted his children to have a formal education and not be subjected to the rigors of traveling and performing, Kaplan said.

Kaplan surprised many by saying Klein wanted a role in the children's lives during a court hearing earlier this month. A judge ruled that Klein didn't have legal standing to intervene, but told the doctor he could file a motion later if he still had concerns.

Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson, was granted permanent guardianship of the children during the hearing as spelled out in the singer's 2002 will.

Klein's involvement in the case raised questions about the whether the doctor could be the father of Jackson's two oldest children, a rumor fueled by tabloid reports and Klein's own cryptic answers when questioned on the matter. Kaplan said during the hearing and on Thursday that Klein legally isn't the father and that questions about whether he is the children's biological father aren't important.

"Whether he is or is not the DNA source wouldn't change one iota greater or less his concern and care about the children," Kaplan said.

The attorney said Klein would still like to be a part of the lives of Jackson's children, but that intervening in the guardianship case wasn't necessary.

"It's important to Dr. Klein that there's always a safe harbor there for them to contact him for any reason if he can be of any assistance in their well-being," Kaplan said. "He doesn't want to be a distraction in that case."

Kaplan said he didn't want people to think that Klein abandoned his petition because of comments by Katherine Jackson's attorneys that they are considering a wrongful death lawsuit or by Klein's name being mentioned in law enforcement's investigation into the singer's death on June 25.

Kaplan, a family law attorney, would not address Klein's role in the investigation. He said Jackson's death was hard on the doctor, who may not attend the singer's private funeral on Sept. 3.

"He is grieving over the loss a friend -- a very close friend," Kaplan said.

Klein also has emerged as a figure in the Jackson death probe, as federal drug agents look at who was prescribing medications to the singer. Investigators are scrutinizing Jackson's interactions with at least seven doctors, including Klein, and the Drug Enforcement Administration last week served an administrative inspection warrant at a pharmacy next to the dermatologist's Beverly Hills office.

According to the warrant, a statewide database shows Klein self-prescribed medications on 27 occasions. The drugs include Valium, Vicodin and the sedative midazolam.

Klein's attorney, Garo Ghazarian, said the allegation "is not what it appears to be" and his client had never self-prescribed.


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