For many years, the marriage of Lisa Marie Presley to Michael Jackson was called a sham, a calculated PR move and the desire of Michael to lay his hands on Elvis heritage. Only those closest to them, those who saw them together always said that this was a sincere and true union – perhaps the most true thing Michael has ever had with a woman. In 2010, Lisa Marie Presley gave an exclusive interview to Oprah Winfrey, where she told the truth about her relationship with Michael for the first (and the only) time.
She was not shy or embarrassed to confess that she was in love with Michael, “Yes, I thought him sexually attractive. He was amazing.” She had a unique experience of a relationship with Michael which was romantic and sexual all the way, full of joy and disappointment. Her interview to Oprah in 2010 after Michael’s death finally disclosed the love and complexity of their relations which the fans and the world could only guess.
She confessed that Michael was the strongest love of her life, which shocked all those who gloated. “It was the happiest time of my life,” she said. She found the strength to admit it: her love for Michael and her admiration were so powerful that she was obsessed with him. After his death she suddenly realized that all those doubtful and disputable moments which made her feel ill at ease in her marriage to Jackson were just a survival strategy for Michael. He lived in such a crazy world, so artificial that all social norms, including marriage, simply did not work there. He had to catch the moments of “normality” but he could never make them stay.
At 40, Lisa realized that Michael had no ill wish to use her, he had no cunning plan – he simply wanted a normal family with her, as normal as possible in his situation. But back then Lisa did not understand it. She was scared, affected by the opinion of those surrounding them, and she could not handle the stress caused by the media. She wanted to “save” him, but she tried and did not succeed. It was clear that once she had everything she could only dream of, but when things got difficult, she started losing the degree of closeness she had with him, the one she was used to. She says that they were “in line” in everything, but later, when he asked her for a child and she refused, their relationship started to deteriorate. They weren’t as close as they used to be, and this really affected her, leading to powerful vexation which later grew into reproach and confrontation. She spoke about one of Michael’s features: when someone tried to pressure him using a close contact for manipulation, he changed the format of relationship at once. InLisa’swords, hewouldsimply “freezeyou”. What she called “a survival tactics” seemed to her a gesture of indifference then and a confirmation of rumours that “he used her” – used her without loving her.
After divorce, a long period of going away and coming back followed: they kept dating and parting again and again. For four more years they stayed in contact. It looks like the relationship with Michael was the longest for Lisa Marie. The public saw it differently, though: she looked estranged in some of her TV interviews, trying to avoid talking about Jackson and their divorce, and in some cases she tried to justify her actions, being led by the TV hosts who could not get their heads around it – how this beautiful woman could run off with such a strange persona. The public saw Lisa Marie with other men, and day by day the “Michael subject” was replaced by other parts of her personal life. Meanwhile, Michael got his wish – Debbie Rowe gave him the children he wanted so much. Lisa Marie could not cope with jealousy and vexation that another woman gave birth to his children. Lisa demonstrated her indignation in every possible way, displaying her “complex temper” in full glow. She said that the divorce was a kind of demonstration of her position – but it wasn’t meant to be the end of their relationship.
At the time of their divorce and for many years after, she was “still very much in love with him”. In the interview she admits that she chose the wrong strategy and behavior, trying to pressure Michael and change his way of life. She threw an ultimatum in his face, thinking that he would follow her, but it didn’t work out. As Lisa said, “it was a stupid thing to do”. Several painful years of “getting out of habit”. She put up a real fight trying to get away from Michael. Their last phone conversation took place in 2005. During that conversation Lisa was pretty cold with Michael, and when he asked whether she “still loved him”, she said she “didn’t care”. Years after she can’t feel nothing but surprise and bewilderment – that she managed to stay so apathetic.
After Michael’s death, all her feelings came back – the love and affection which she had been fighting for so long flooded in and swept her away.
Only after Michael’s passing Lisa Marie realized that he loved her. She realized how much he gave in to her, how he tried everything to keep their relationship. Something he had never done for anyone else.
The interview of Lisa Marie in which she told the truth about her feelings was a very strong and bold movement. All that Michael’s fans could not forgive for years turned out to be her personal tragedy. The tragedy of this romance is the source of inspiration for her poems and songs full of personal emotions.
Her tragedy is in the missed chance to be with a man for whom she felt a whole kaleidoscope of brightest emotions and the kind of affection which is difficult to find. She will have to live with the burden of two painful losses: her beloved father and the man she loved the most – two people who occupied the deepest and most secretive corners of her heart. Perhaps, she will be able to talk about them only in her poems and music.
Today, Lisa Marie lives in England; she is married and has two twin daughters in her marriage. Her migration to England, according to Lisa herself, gave her a new life and made her see the past with different eyes. She found new friends – common “normal” people, nice to talk to.
In 2012, Lisa Marie released a new album Storm and Grace. Michael Jackson fans believe that many of her songs are about Michael, including High Enough, When You Go, Now What, I Was Wrong, Just a Dream.