The Real Reason Lisa Marie Presley Divorced Michael Jackson

Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson surprised their fans when they announced their marriage in 1994. Many couldn’t tell if the union between Elvis Presley’s daughter and the pop star was real at first. As the marriage continued, more questions and suspicions regarding the relationship. When the couple decided to divorce, Presley opened up about what caused her to leave Jackson after almost two years together. 

Michael Jackson & Lisa-Marie Presley
Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley|Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

A look inside Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson’s marriage

Presley and Jackson first met at one of Elvis’ concerts. At the time, Presley was 7-years-old, and Jackson was a teenager. The pair didn’t connect again until around 1992 when Presley had a husband and two children. Jackson also faced child molestation accusations during the beginning of their relationship. However, this didn’t stop Presley from pursuing her love affair with Jackson. In May 1994, Presley finalized her divorce from Danny Keough and married Jackson several days later. The couple decided to keep their marriage a secret for multiple weeks until Presley released a formal statement in August 1994. 

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley
Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley|Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

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“My married name is Mrs. Lisa Marie Presley-Jackson. My marriage to Michael Jackson took place in a private ceremony outside the United States weeks ago. We both look forward to raising a family.” 

Jackson and Presley made their first appearance as a married couple in September of 1994. They attended the MTV Video Music Awards together while holding each other’s hands. 

“Welcome to the MTV Video Music Awards,” Jackson said, with Presley by his side. “I’m very happy to be here. Just think, nobody thought this would last.”

To further show his affection for Presley, Jackson planted a kiss on his then-wife in front of the large crowd. Afterward, the couple walked off the stage. 

Lisa Marie Presley once said Michael Jackson often used ‘manipulation’ during their marriage 

Things turned south in Presley and Jackson’s marriage in 1995. During a 2010 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Presley recalled Jackson fainting on stage during a rehearsal for an HBO special. She said she didn’t know what could’ve gone wrong, but her gut told her illegal substances were to blame. 

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Presley also said there were times when Jackson would allegedly be incoherent when she picked him up from some of his doctor appointments. While she had her suspicions, Presley claimed Jackson would “manipulate” her and everyone around him. 

“He was brought up that way,” she said of Jackson’s manipulative actions. “He was conditioned to get himself where he needed to go for his career, and he became very good at making and creating and puppeteering. “I always confused that manipulation thinking that it meant he didn’t love me. But I understand it better now. The manipulation was a survival tactic for him.”

Lisa Marie Presley divorced Michael Jackson because they wanted to go their ‘separate ways’ and ‘remain friends’

According to the Los Angeles Times, Presley filed for divorce from Jackson after 20 months of marriage. The singer called her publicist to break the news in a statement in December 1995. In the report, the publicist briefly explained that Presley and Jackson “mutually agreed to go their separate ways” but decided to “remain good friends.” 

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Throughout the years following the split, Presley dodged speaking about her marriage to Jackson in interviews. She told Winfrey that she began feeling “indifferent” toward Jackson and talked to him last 2005. Four years later, Presley learned that Jackson died in an LA hospital. Presley wrote a blog post the same day, which stated she wished she could’ve done more for Jackson. 

“The person I failed to help is being transferred right now to the L.A. County Coroner’s office for his autopsy,” Presley wrote. “All my indifference and detachment that I worked so hard to achieve over the years has just gone into the bowels of hell, and right now, I am gutted.”