Stephen M. Silverman
April 28, 2005 04:00 PM

Debbie Rowe, Michael Jackson’s ex-wife and the mother of his two oldest children, spent her second day testifying in his child-molestation case Thursday, calling her former husband a “great person and a great father” who can be easily manipulated, especially by “vultures” out to exploit him.

Rowe continued to turn the tables on prosecutors, who had called her to the stand expecting her to testify against Jackson, saying she was coerced into defending the pop star for a videotaped interview.

Instead, she offered surprisingly positive words about Jackson. She was sometimes teary, other times salty and sarcastic during her testimony, the Associated Press reports. She even let fly with a “Damn you” to prosecutors in an apparent misunderstanding about a question.

“There’s different Michaels,” she said in response to a question about her feelings about him. “There’s like my Michael and the Michael that everyone else sees.” Asked by Jackson defense attorney Thomas Mesereau if she still considered Jackson a friend, Rowe responded: “Yeah … if he’d talk to me.”

Rowe and Jackson married in 1996 after they announced that Rowe, who worked as a nurse for Jackson’s plastic surgeon, was carrying his child, Prince Michael, who is now 8 years old. Their other child, Paris, was born a year later. (A third child, Prince Michael II, was born to a surrogate mother in 2002.) All live with Jackson.

In 2001, Rowe surrendered all parental rights but applied for custody of the children in 2003. That legal case – said to be acrimonious between the two sides – has yet to be settled.

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