The Real Reason Lisa Marie Presley Divorced Michael Jackson

Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson had different views on the future and starting a family, leading to their divorce.

Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson

The Presley family has always been the subject of fascination for the public, but two fan bases merged when Lisa Marie married Michael Jackson in the early 1990s. It’s no wonder that the two ran in similar circles, being among Hollywood’s elite at the time, but their relationship trajectory was not what fans hoped for.

After her untimely passing in January 2023, fans can’t help but revisit Lisa Marie Presley’s controversial life in the ’90s. Here’s what really happened between her and the King of Pop.

Updated February 22nd, 2023:This article has been updated with new sources and more details, and to reflect the fact that Lisa Marie Presley sadly passed away in January 2023.

How Did Lisa Marie Presley And Michael Jackson Meet?

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie

Via Instar

The two started dating when Lisa Marie was 25 years old. But Jackson later revealed that he first met her backstage at one of his shows when she was just a child. “Well when we first met she was seven years old and I was 17,” he said in a 1995 interview alongside his then-wife.

“This was in Las Vegas, she used to come and see my shows all the time. We had the only family show on the strip – The Jackson 5. And she used to come and was this little girl and sat right up front. She had a lot of bodyguards. And then she came backstage.”

Lisa Marie said they “didn’t stay in touch after that.” A year later, Jackson developed an interest in the famous offspring. “Well at first, when she was 18, I used to tell my lawyer: ‘Do you know Lisa Marie Presley?’” the singer recalled. “And he said: ‘Well I represent her mother.’ I go: ‘Well can you get in touch with her because I think she’s very cute!’ He would laugh every time!”

At that time, Lisa Marie was still married to Danny Keough.

“Next thing I notice there’s a picture on a magazine cover where [Lisa Marie’s] married, which really tore me to pieces,” Jackson said of the marriage. “I felt that was supposed to be me, I really did.”

Sure enough, he started pursuing her after her split from Keough in 1994.

When asked how they ended up getting married, Jackson said that he asked Lisa Marie over the phone, after dating for four months, “What would you do if I asked you to marry me?”

“And I said yes!” Presley noted; the two tied the knot in 1994. Jackson was Presley’s second husband.

Why Did Lisa Marie And Michael Divorce?

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie presley

Via Instar

In December 1995, the pair announced that they were getting divorced. It was finalized in August 1996. The publicist of the Billie Jean singer said that the two “mutually agreed to go their separate ways” but decided to “remain good friends.”

Years later, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Lisa Marie opened up about the real reason she filed for divorce. She said she felt “quite a bit” of pressure to have kids with the pop star.

“I was looking into the future and was thinking: ‘I never want to get into a custody battle with him, I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to go head to head with him,’” she shared.

“I needed to make sure everything all around was good,” she continued. “I had children and I knew bringing in children into certain circumstances, you have to make sure everything was safe and secure and OK. I wanted to make sure he and I were really, really united because we were going to be up against so much.”

Lisa Marie had four children upon her passing in 2023; the younger two were fathered by her fourth husband, Michael Lockwood.

Lisa Marie And Michael’s Divorce Might Have Been Over Children

Who Is Michael Jackson's Surrogate Baby Mama_ Debbie Rowe

The Things

Later on, she also revealed that Jackson gave her an ultimatum—if she didn’t have kids with him, his then-new friend Debbie Rowe had agreed to. Michael and Debbie reportedly met at a dermatology clinic, where the late star was receiving treatment for his vitiligo.

“He would tell me: ‘If you’re not gonna do it, Debbie said she’ll do it.’ And we would get into arguments because that wasn’t how to handle it,” said Lisa Marie.

Rowe actually married Jackson in 1996. Then she gave birth to Prince Jackson in 1997 and Paris Jackson in 1998. “Michael was divorced, lonely and wanted children. I was the one who said to him, ‘I will have your babies,’” she said of their arrangement. “I offered him my womb. It was a gift. It was something I did to keep him happy.”

However, she said that she conceived the children through artificial insemination, and stated that the couple’s two children (Prince and Paris) were conceived via a donation from an anonymous sperm donor.

When Michael and Debbie divorced in 1999, she apparently agreed to give him full custody of the children.

As for Lisa Marie Presley, she is said to have been devastated when Michael passed away in 2009, despite their tumultuous relationship. At the time of his passing, Lisa Marie was still married to her fourth husband Michael Lockwood; they divorced in 2021.

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