New York Post to Debbie Rowe: So Sue UsS

Yesterday, Debbie Rowe's lawyer demanded that the New York Post retract its claim that she sold her kids to Katherine Jackson for $4 million. Today the Post dug in.

Calling Rowe "devious Debbie" and a "human incubator," the Post's Kate Sheehy picked up e-mails purportedly from Rowe, first reported yesterday by ExtraTV.com, indicating that she doesn't want custody of Paris and Prince Michael Jackson. "Do I want the kids?" the e-mail, to Rowe's "confidant" Rebecca White, reads. "Hell no. Does it look good for me to ask for them? Absolutely." The paper also repeated its charge that Rowe had sold her parental rights for $4 million, quoting a "Jackson family member": "Don't believe what Debbie says. She is getting Mother's money — that's what she wanted all along." "Mother" is Katharine Jackson, which narrows down the lists of suspects for that leak.

Rowe's emails to White make no mention of Rowe seeking any money from the Jackson clan, but White told Extra that she thinks Rowe's "motivation is money."

Rowe's attorney Eric George sent notice to reporters yesterday that he had demanded that White retract her statements "in order to avoid a legal action."

So we've got a friend of Rowe's saying she thinks Rowe wants money, and waving emails showing that Rowe didn't seem to want custody of the kids. And you've got the Post saying she has already done the deal and sold her rights. And you've got Rowe's attorney saying Rowe will not give up her rights, and will accept no money from the Jackson clan beyond what she got in a settlement several years ago. And making very distinct noises about a libel lawsuit.

There's one wiggly area—George's letter demanding a retraction said Rowe "has not and will not give up her parental rights," but given her history with Jackson, it's not clear that she has any parental rights to give up; she could merely accept payment in exchange for not seeking to have those rights restored. So that statement isn't necessarily inconsistent with the Post's report. But aside from that, there seems to be a clear dispute over whether Debbie has been paid or sought to be paid, and a fairly clear indication that George will sue if he doesn't get a retraction. He's no ambulance-chaser—he went to Georgetown Law and served as counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee. So this could get interesting.