Lisa Marie Presley Opens Up to Oprah About Michael Jackson

By Ruth Manuel-Logan on Oct 22nd 2010 10:34AM


Lisa Marie Presley had a strange premonition on that fateful day of June 25, 2009, that something was so wrong; her feelings of sadness were simply inexplicable. She had been crying and mopey all day, so she decided to climb in to bed to watch some mindless TV to escape from her emotions, but an hour later, her cell phone announced a text in a series of countless more, it was her buddy John Travolta with some shocking news: Michael Jackson had passed away.

Presley told Oprah upon hearing of Jackson’s death she felt “real honest to goodness shock, not even tears. I was floored, honestly floored. All of my indifference and detachment that I worked so hard to achieve over the years had just gone in to the bowels of hell and right now I am gutted.”

Presley married to Jackson on May 26, 1994, just 20 days after she divorced the father, Danny Keough, of two of her children. The marriage between the daughter of a legendary great Elvis Presley and the son of an R&B dynasty seemed to truly find love that many thought could have been everlasting, but it wasn’t. Citing irreconcilable differences after 18 months, Presley and Jackson divorced.

The exclusive interview revealed some interesting tidbits that perhaps fans didn’t know. Presley claims that she did not know about Jackson’s drug problem until the end of the marriage:

“I didn’t really suspect and catch on until just before I filed for divorce. There was just an occasion, an incident where he had collapsed and he was in the hospital,” Presley described the scene in 1995, when Jackson collapsed while rehearsing for an HBO concert and doctors blamed it on a viral infection.

“It was very confusing what was wrong. Every day there was a different report. And I couldn’t tell what was happening,” she added. “I couldn’t really get a straight answer about what was happening with him, and I think we were all a little bit in the dark. At that point, I think I got from various indications that, that was going on then. There were times that I would pick him up from certain doctors’ offices and he would not be coherent,” Presley remembered.

During the time of their media circus marriage, there were some who thought that the nuptials were just for show and that the couple did not actually live as man and wife. Presley contends that her union and love for the King of Pop was very real, “I honestly can tell you, it was every sense a normal marriage. One of the very highest points of my life was when things were going really well and he and I were united together and he and I had an understanding about some of the people and things that could go on around him and he was with me on those things and we were a unit and I could take care of him,” she told Oprah.

Presley also shared a time when Jackson alienated her during their time together:

“I felt that we were so united and then at some point he pushed me out. There was a very profound point in the marriage when he had to make a decision — was it the drugs and the sort of vampires or me? And he pushed me away.”

Presley does admit that she tried to save Jackson from an outcome, that not only she, but others predicted. Yet she admits that she simply lacked the tools to do so at the time:

“I wanted to ‘save him.’ I wanted to save him from the inevitable, which is what has just happened. His family and his loved ones also wanted to save him from this as well but didn’t know how and this was 14 years ago. We all worried that this would be the outcome then.

“At that time, in trying to save him, I almost lost myself. I became very ill and emotionally/spiritually exhausted in my quest to save him from certain self-destructive behavior and from the awful vampires and leeches he would always manage to magnetize around him. I was in over my head while trying. I had my children to care for, I had to make a decision. The hardest decision I have ever had to make, which was to walk away and let his fate have him, even though I desperately loved him and tried to stop or reverse it somehow.”

Interestingly, Presley also points out distinct similarities between her father Elvis and her former husband:

“The one thing that correlates with Michael and my father on this subject, they had the luxury of creating whatever reality around them they wanted to create.”

What was Presley’s one regret with regards to Jackson?

“I know it’s naive to think that I could have (saved him) but I wanted to. Had I made a call, had I stopped being so shut off from him, had I just said, How are you? I really regret that I didn’t.”