April 21, 1997 12:00 PM

WHEN A SON WAS BORN FEB. 13 to Michael Jackson, 38, and Debbie Rowe, 37, the dermatologist’s assistant he wed in November, the proud papa begged fans to allow the boy a chance to live outside the spotlight. “I grew up in a fishbowl,” he said, “and I will not allow that to happen to my child.”

It seems Jackson may have changed his mind. Last month he sold photos of the baby—named Prince, after Jackson’s grandfather and great-grandfather—for a reported $2 million to Britain’s OK! magazine. While the funds are earmarked for Jackson’s Heal the World children’s foundation, the deal was the subject of second-guessing. By selling the photos of his son to the press, wrote family ally and columnist Liz Smith, he “hasn’t convinced anybody of his sincere desire to have his child ‘lead a normal life.’ ”

Still, Rowe told OK!, Jackson—reportedly in Europe rehearsing for a tour to support the May 21 release of his album Blood on the Dance Floor—is a model dad: “He loves being involved in every aspect of caring for the baby…feeding him, holding him and, of course, singing to him.”

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