Michael Jackson Subject of $150 Million Paternity Suit
Aug. 20, 1987
CHICAGO (AP) _ Claims by a woman calling herself Billie Jean that Michael Jackson fathered her three children were labeled ''preposterous'' by the singer's publicist.
Lavon Powlis, who says the singer once proposed to her, filed the $150 million paternity suit against him in Cook County Circuit Court.
''Billie Jean'' is the title of a Jackson hit about a man accused by a woman of fathering a child. In the song, the man says, ''The kid is not my son.''
Jackson is not the first celebrity the 39-year-old woman has named as the children's father, Dave Schneidman of the state Department of Children and Family Services, which now has custody of the youngsters, said Wednesday.
''She is famous for claiming that various famous people are the father of her children,'' Schneidman said. ''If this lady doesn't know who the father is, we don't.''
Ms. Powlis has at least twice before named other notable people as the father but never before filed a paternity suit, Schneidman said. He refused to identify the other notables.
Ms. Powlis' claims are ''ridiculous and preposterous,'' said Jackson publicist Lee Solters.
Schneidman said his agency took custody of the children after the mother left two of them at a Black Muslim mosque in Chicago. The department is allowing the children to live with relatives in New York City, he said.
Ms. Powlis, who describes herself as an unemployed legal secretary living in suburban Hanover Park, contended that she and the 28-year-old Jackson had sex in 1975 and 1981 and that he has acknowledged he is the father of her 5- year-old twins - a girl and a boy - and her 11-year-old son.
In a telephone interview Wednesday, Ms. Powlis said the children were conceived in a blue Rolls Royce parked in front of the singer's suburban Los Angeles home.
She said she met Jackson in 1975, when she was living in New York, after writing him letters. ''Michael asked me to marry him Sept. 13, 1985. I said yes, of course,'' she said.
Since then, Ms. Powlis said, ''family feuds'' have delayed the wedding and Jackson has refused to pay child support.
Her lawsuit was filed Friday without an attorney. A preliminary hearing was set for Sept. 4.