Lisa Marie Presley wanted to raise a family with Michael Jackson but wasn't sure if he was ready to be a father.
Hollywood makes unlikely bedfellows all the time. There was a time when the King of Pop and the daughter of the King of Rock'n'Roll were married to each other. Their marriage lasted for a short period of time, but their connection was a strong one. The couple may have been unlikely but they had real feelings for each other.
Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley met for the first time when she was seven years old. She used to travel between Tennessee, where her father's home Graceland was located, and Los Angeles, where her mom, Priscilla, moved after the divorce. When Presley met Jackson, she was in Las Vegas and he was performing with Jackson Five. 10 years her senior, the King of Pop left an impression and they stayed on friendly terms, according to Biography.
They reconnected again in November 1992, when she was married to her first husband, Danny Keough. She had two children, Benjamin and Riley, with Danny. Benjamin passed away in 2020. When she met MJ, he was being investigated for alleged child molestation.
After Presley's first marriage crumpled in 1994, she found solace in the Thriller singer. She announced on August 1, 1994, that she had married the King of Pop. "My married name is Mrs. Lisa Marie Presley-Jackson," said the announcement, as per People. They married on May 26, 1994, and their license was signed by a Dominican Republic judge. "My marriage to Michael Jackson took place in a private ceremony outside the United States weeks ago," Presley-Jackson’s statement continued. “I am very much in love with Michael, I dedicate my life to being his wife. I understand and support him. We both look forward to raising a family."
Presley told Oprah Winfrey during an interview that even though she was younger, she "loved taking care of him." "It was one of the highest points in my life when things were going really well, and he and I were united. It was a very profound time of my life," she said.
Many people couldn't believe that such a thing could happen. It wasn't until she joined Jackson at the MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on September 8, 1994, that their relationship seemed real to people. "Welcome to the MTV Video Music Awards. I’m very happy to be here. Just think, nobody thought this would last," he said, and kissed his new bride, according to People.
They were also seen at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida in the winter of 1994. They were "holding hands and talking until the wee hours," said Trump. Back then, they had separate bedrooms. Even after their wedding, they spent many summer nights at the park atop New York City’s Trump Tower. "They hold hands, kiss and cuddle, stare into each other’s eyes and look out at the stars together," a source told the Post, as per People.
With the only daughter of Elvis Presley, Jackson didn't have to worry that she was with him only for his money. "Michael always said that he never knew if a girl was going to like him for himself or his money. She’s not after him for money," said a source.
Some speculated that the wedding was part of a publicity stunt to restore his reputation, but there was a real connection between them. Apart from the child abuse charges, he was also fighting addiction, which Presley later revealed as one of the prime reasons their marriage ended.
When Jackson collapsed on stage during a 1995 HBO special rehearsal, she was distraught. "I couldn't tell what was happening. Dehydration. Low blood pressure. Exhaustion. A virus?" she said in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. But Winfrey asked, "What did your gut tell you? You thought there was some drug use?" and Presley answered, "Yes."
They also disagreed about having children. "I did want to, but I just wanted to make sure," she told Winfrey. "I was looking into the future and thinking, 'I don't ever want to get into a custody battle with him.'" Her hesitation about having kids with him also became a flashpoint in their marriage.
The turning point in their marriage occurred when she gave him an ultimatum. She wanted him to choose between the drugs and the sycophants around him or her. "And he pushed me away," she told Winfrey.
Their marriage was over by 1996 even though they talked after that too. Jackson told her in 2005 that "he felt that someone was going to try to kill him to get ahold of his catalog and his estate....but he expressed to me his concern over his life." His death in 2009 "floored" her. She blamed herself for his death, even though she could have done nothing to save him.