By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated January 27, 2004 09:45 AM

Michael Jackson, who’s due back in a California court on Feb. 13 to face child-molestation charges, reportedly faced child welfare officials this past weekend at his rented Beverly Hills mansion. His three children and their nanny were also interviewed, according to published reports.

“Michael is protective of his kids, he’s (the) biggest star in the world. … concerned about his kids’ security. He’s a great dad, shouldn’t be subjected to this,” Stacy Brown, a Jackson family friend, told Los Angeles TV station NBC4.

Brown told NBC4 that Jackson, 45, felt the interviews — which had been scheduled — were tantamount to harassment. “He knows he did nothing wrong. … He worries about invasion of privacy,” said Brown.

This weekend in Britain, another Jackson bombshell was dropped in the weekly tabloid News of the World, which reported that Jackson’s ex-wife, Debbie Rowe, is seeking legal custody of Jackson’s children. According to legal papers cited by the tabloid, Rowe, who divorced Jackson in 1999, had the right to see the children once every 45 days, but she later gave up the visits.

Sunday’s News of the World also claims that Rowe’s papers state that Jackson is not the biological father of the children and that a sperm bank was used.

In response on Monday, Rowe told NBC4 that the News of the World story amounts to “a malicious, pathetic pack of lies.”

Jackson has pleaded innocent to charges that he molested a 13-year-old cancer patient who stayed at his Neverland Ranch last year.