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How Michael Jackson’s children came to be

FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2011 file photo, from left, Prince Jackson, Prince Michael II "Blanket" Jackson and Paris Jackson arrive on stage at the Michael Forever the Tribute Concert, at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

Joel Ryan/AP

Reports today of an alleged suicide attempt by Paris Jackson likely has some people suddenly realizing: Michael Jackson had children? Here's a short primer on how the late King of Pop sired three offspring.

Following very public relationships with actresses Tatum O'Neal and Brooke Shields, and a disastrous two-year marriage to Lisa Marie Presley, Jackson married Debbie Rowe, the assistant of his former dermatologist, in Sydney, Australia in November, 1996. Three months later she gave birth to Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., more commonly known as "Prince Michael."

In November, 1997, Rowe announced she was pregnant with Jackson's second child and that the baby was going to be a girl to be named Paris, after the French city in which Rowe's parents claimed she was conceived. On April 3, 1998, Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson was born.

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In a subsequent TV interview Jackson said he was so anxious following his daughter's birth that he grabbed the child and ran home "with all the placenta and everything all over her." Rowe later confirmed that Jackson had the placenta frozen for posterity.

Following his 1999 divorce from Rowe, Jackson fathered a third child, Prince Michael II, who was born in February, 2002. Jackson revealed that the child, nicknamed "Blanket," was produced through artificial insemination and that he and the unnamed surrogate mother had never met.

Following the singer's sudden death in June, 2009, Jackson's mother Katherine was named permanent guardian of Prince Michael, Paris and their half-brother Prince Michael II. Rowe's renegotiated custody arrangement with the Jackson family includes visitation rights with her two children and spousal support payments.

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