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101 Facts About Michael Jackson

101 MJ Facts

To celebrate Michael’s 54th birthday tomorrow, some random facts and trivia about Michael:

  1. Michael helped launch the careers of Wesley Snipes [Bad Video], Weird Al [parody “Eat It”], Sheryl Crow [Bad Tour singer], Alfonso Ribiero [1984 Pepsi commercial] and Wade Robson [Bad Tour, Australia; Black or White; Jam].
  2. Wesley Snipes said that he once spent three hours speaking with Michael “about metaphysics, psychology, ‘how the black man is treated,’” saying, “people don’t know about Mike on the real, Mike had a consciousness that could blow your mind and he could recite things that could blow your mind as well.” [Source]
  3. Michael went skinny dipping with Jane Fonda in 1981. [Source]
  4. Michael has directly intervened in at least two attempted suicides, Janet’s husband James Debarge in the mid 80s who threatened to jump from their roof [Source], and a fan who was threatening to jump off the roof of a hotel across from him in 1992. [Source]
  5. When Michael heard his friend and burn victim, Dave Dave, had attempted suicide because he felt his life wasn’t worth living, Michael hired him at Neverland to run odd jobs, to ensure he would feel as if his life had meaning. [Source]
  6. A friend of Michael’s in the 90s suspected Michael was having an affair with his wife because Michael would spend so long on the phone talking to her, so he set about taping the phone conversations and his son ended up selling them in 2005. [Source]
  7. Michael wanted to sign Lauryn Hill after seeing her in Sister Act 2, but she was already signed with the Fugees. [Source]
  8. Michael had a library of 10,000 books and one of Michael’s favorites was Jonathan Livingstone Seagull. Michael recommended this book to people like Kobe Bryant, Anthony Jackson, Frank Cascio. [Source]
  9. Michael’s family had a jokey nickname for him, “Doodoohead”, Lisa Marie had her own tongue in cheek take on that, “Turd,” which MJ would sign some of his notes to her as. [Source]
  10. At an after party in 1974 Michael taught David Bowie the Robot. [Source]
  11. One of the only happy memories Michael says he has of his father was of Joe buying the kids donuts to eat because he knew Michael liked them. In the Give In To Me demo Michael sings, “love is a donut.” [Source]
  12. Michael was a notoriously bad driver, Janet said he drove like Ray Charles.
  13. When Michael took off his sunglasses at the 1984 Grammys one fan yelled from the balcony, “Take it all off!”
  14. Some of Michael’s disguises: a fat suit, beard and dark make up, prosthetics, a Sheikh outfit, and covered in bandages. [Photos]
  15. Michael would write all over things, like on the back of paintings, clocks, mirrors, jewelery boxes, tables, figurines and stick notes all over his walls.
  16. Not realizing he was being taped, Michael can be seen flicking through a Playboy during an interview when he was 12. [Source]
  17. Michael was always visiting the Playboy Mansion in the 80s, when LaToya asked him why he was there so much, he said it was “to see the animals.” [Source]
  18. Director of Thriller John Landis didn’t think Michael knew what a Playboy even was, though Michael would go on to tell Ola Ray that he chose her because he’d seen her Playboy photos. Ola had also listed him as her favorite singer during the 1980 shoot. [Source]
  19. Michael once had a giraffe at his home in Encino but the neighbors complained so they had to get rid of it. [Source]
  20. Lisa has said she wouldn’t have married him if the sex hadn’t been good and that he was the one who made the moves with her. [Source]
  21. Michael’s kiss with Lisa Marie at the 1994 MTV awards was not his first public kiss. He’d kissed a fan at a concert in 1981, been kissed by the costar of The Way You Make Me Feel onstage in 1988 and kissed Iman in Remember The Time in 1992.
  22. Michael would wear the color red a lot because he felt it gave him energy.
  23. He had a whole wardrobe full of red shirts/black pants which he would wear all the time, one of the reasons why was so that it would make photographs of him worth less as it would be hard for anyone buying a magazine to see the difference between photos from different weeks.
  24. Michael would always dance in the studio while recording music, a lot of the percussive sounds he made while dancing were worked into the songs. [Source]
  25. Michael was good friends with Sammy Davis Jnr, who considered Michael like a son to him. His daughter once walked in on Sammy, Jesse Jackson and Michael praying in his office to give thanks for putting Sammy’s cancer into remission.[Source]
  26. Many people have said Michael had a photographic memory. He could remember names, stories, info relating to encounters with people many years before.
  27. Michael had initially turned down doing the 1993 Superbowl performance, and only agreed to do it once they agreed to donate his $100,000 fee to charity. At this, other sponsors then chipped in until the donations reached $2,000,000. [Source]
  28. Michael wasn’t often home at Neverland but would always keep it running so that sick children, children from inner city schools in LA and children from the Los Olivos area could visit it in his absence. 
  29. Billie Jean was reportedly inspired by a fan who claimed Michael was the father of one of her twins, when Michael ignored her she sent him a photograph of herself and a gun, that she told him to use on himself on a certain date. Michael was so scared of her he carried this woman’s photo everywhere, memorizing it in case he ever saw her. [Source]
  30. After the song came out another mentally unstable fan would change her name to Billie Jean and spend her entire life stalking him, staging regular break ins to both Encino and Neverland, suing him for spousal support and even after his death, suing and demanding custody of his children. [Source]
  31. When LaToya did Playboy Michael told a friend that at least people would finally stop saying that they were the same person. [Source]
  32. Muhammad Ali had been a friend of the Jacksons and Michael since the 70s [Source], he and Michael bonded especially over their mutual love for magic tricks. [Source]
  33. When Michael heard Magic Johnson had HIV he made sure to hire him for a role in his video, Remember The Time. [Source]
  34. Michael’s Billie Jean video broke the racial barrier on MTV. Prior to that no black artist had ever been put on medium or heavy rotation. But this was no easy feat, despite Thriller being a huge success at the time in order to get the video on MTV CBS owner Walter Yetnikoff had to threaten to pull the entire CBS music catalog from their station if they wouldn’t play it. [Source]
  35. In Michael’s bedroom they found an article on the G spot and another on the Second G Spot. [Source]
  36. Some of his internet logins were: BigMike, Privacy696, Tut777, Dr Black. [Source]
  37. Michael had a large photo of Diana Ross’ picture from the cover of When Fools Rush In on his bathroom wall at Hayvenhurst. [Source]
  38. Michael knew how much his sister LaToya wanted to take their mother to Europe, so in the early 80s Michael got them both tickets and an envelope, inside was $10,000 spending money and a note with the lyrics from one of Katherine’s favorite songs, Moon River. [Source]
  39. Michael was a secret biker; he owned a Harley and would ride it around late at night in parks. It had to be in secret or else it could jeopardize his insurance. [Source]
  40. He also gave his second wife Debbie Rowe, another ardent biker, a bike after they married, and included her in a painting in 1991 with black biker wings. [Source]
  41. Michael used to steal his mother’s jewelry and give them to his favorite female teachers as gifts in elementary school. [Source]
  42. Michael said he would only buy jewelry for three people: his mother, Elizabeth Taylor, and for any girl he was interested in at the time. Michael gave Elizabeth Taylor a 17 carat gold diamond ring, Brooke Shields an 11 carat and Lisa Marie Presley a 10 carat ring.
  43. One of Michael’s favorite gifts to people during the late 80s/early 90s was huge big screen TVs, two of the people gifted them were Jackie O and Elizabeth Taylor. When delivering Jackie O the TV they had to dismantle it first to get it inside the elevator.
  44. Freddie Mercury would refer to Michael as “little brother.” [Source]
  45. Michael was an opening act for strippers as a five year old.
  46. While being driven to a show Michael once saw prostitutes standing on a street corner in 1984, he thought they looked good so he stuck out his white gloved hand and waved to them, then stuck his head out to confirm it had been him, leaving them shell shocked while he drove off laughing.[Source]
  47. Michael is King of an African village in Gabon on the Ivory Coast. They claim he’s had his DNA tested and has been found to have descended from the area. [Source]
  48. After Michael bought the Sony catalog in the mid 80s he gave Little Richard back the rights to his songs. [Source]
  49. Michael helped pay for the funeral of Temptation’s lead singer David Ruffin. [Source]
  50. In 1984, a U.S. library accused Jackson of owing it over $1 million in overdue book fines. Officials said they would scrap the fines if he returned the books autographed.
  51. Michael enjoyed plays on words and used them in his songs, like Streetwalker which is slang for prostitutes, In The Closet which is slang for gay men who aren’t public about it (reversing it and making it about a secret relationship he had with a girl), and Eaten Alive, which seems to be a play on oral sex on a woman.
  52. He wrote Eaten Alive and Muscles for Diana Ross. Muscles was the name of Michael’s large… python.
  53. Michael had an albino python named after Madonna in the early 90s. [Source]
  54. At the Oscars in 1991 Madonna and Michael’s entrance at an after party caused such a scene that even celebrities like movie legend Jimmy Stewart stood on a chair to get a good look at them. [Source]
  55. Lisa Marie was so devastated by his death that she went to see a psychic to contact him on her birthday the first year after he passed. [Source]
  56. Liza Minnelli and Flo Anthony have said Michael proposed to a non famous woman with an African name before Lisa Marie Presley, she turned him down and he was devastated. [Source]
  57. To keep the women Michael was seeing a secret Michael would give them code names. [Source]
  58. Michael had wanted to get the roles of Spiderman [Source], Edward Scissorhands [Source] and the Phantom of the Opera [Source].
  59. Stan Lee has said that Michael was a friend of his and described him as “one of the nicest guys ever.” [Source]
  60. Michael was one of the few people who intimidated Freddie Mercury.
  61. When Freddie Mercury and Michael did some demos at Michael’s place, he didn’t have a proper drum kit, so Freddie’s assistant took a mic into Michael’s toilet and used the toilet door there for percussion.
  62. In August 1993 Michael was in Bangkok with his Dangerous World Tour sponsored by Pepsi. The second concert got cancelled because Michael was suffering from acute dehydration. Next day the rescheduled concert got cancelled again because Michael had not fully recovered. Pepsi’s rival run ads reading ‘Dehydrated? There’s Always Coke.’
  63. The gold leotard Michael wears during his Dangerous World Tour is actually a fencing outfit and was designed by Versace. [Source]
  64. Michael wore the white glove to disguise the beginnings of his vitiligo. [Source] Michael’s eldest son now also  suffers from that same rare skin disorder, with it also beginning on his hand. [Source]
  65. As well as vitiligo, Michael suffered from discoid lupus, another autoimmune disorder. [Source]
  66. Michael once told a friend he wore the mask because he felt ugly sometimes. [Source]
  67. Michael called scouting for hot women “fishing” so that people around him wouldn’t know what he was talking about. [Source]
  68. At its peak Thriller was selling 1 million copies a week. [Source]
  69. Eddie Van Halen performed his Beat It solo for Michael for free. [Source]
  70. Some music you might not have expected Michael to be a fan of: Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Guns’n’Roses, Jimmi Hendrix, Yes. One of Michael’s favorite songs was Owner Of A Lonely Heart by Yes, he even samples it in D.S and had Trevor Rabin play some things on They Don’t Care About Us. [Source]
  71. Michael had a lamb named after a character Sidney Poitier played, Mr Tibbs.
  72. Michael loved playing phone pranks on people, and would often dial random numbers and prank them without their ever knowing it was him, as well as doing it to his friends.
  73. Michael drank a lot of Red Bull and ate a lot of KFC.
  74. Michael once showed up a party PDiddy was throwing just to meet the “girl with the derriere” aka Beyonce and dance with her. [Source]
  75. The demo title for the song “Bad” was “Pee”, likely because it was due to be a collaboration with the musician Prince and “Pee” was code for his initial “P”. [Source]
  76. There are two naming traditions in the Jackson family: naming a son after yourself and the name Prince. There is a Jackson son named after every male member of the Jackson family (Sigmund, Marlon, Toriano, Stevana/Randy, Jermaine), and Michael had a grandfather and great grandfather named Prince. This is why Michael named his sons as such.
  77. Many of Michael’s most famous outfits are borrowed. His black sequin cardigan for Billie Jean was something he took from his mother, his white Thriller suit was something he asked to borrow from the photographer, and many others.
  78. This seemed to rub off on Blanket, once when a fan asked Michael to autograph his hat, Michael said that Blanket liked it and asked if he could keep it, so in exchange Michael and Blanket signed Blanket’s tee shirt and gave it to him [Source]
  79. Star of the first season of America’s Next Top Model, Giselle Samson, was featured in men’s magazine “Stuff” in early 2003 during the show and she said there that she idolized Michael; reading this, Michael then gave her a call and invited her to Neverland. [Source]
  80. Michael believed dancing and music was a way the universe had of expressing itself. [Source]
  81. Michael was a huge fan of art, especially the Renaissance artists and the Pre-Raphaelites.
  82. Lionel Richie’s band the Commodores were a support act for the Jackson 5 when Michael was just 12.
  83. As a kid on tour Michael would prank Lionel with itching powder in his hats, ice in his shoes, and buckets of water over his door. Lionel says the Commodores staged a pillow fight with the Jacksons in revenge for all their pranks. [Source]
  84. Michael was fascinated by the Ancient Egyptians and Tutankhamen, one of his online email addresses was even KingTut777.[Source]
  85. Michael once had the police called out in 1989 because he was wearing a disguise while shopping for a ring and they suspected he was a possible thief. [Source]
  86. Michael was detained while driving his Rolls Royce in 1981 because they thought his car looked “stolen.” Michael later told his mother he was just excited to have been inside a police cell. [Source]
  87. Michael loved the album What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye, and kept the sleeve framed on a shelf in Encino.[Source]
  88. Michael believed Stevie Wonder was a “musical prophet” and was there throughout a lot of the taping of his album, Songs In The Key Of Life. [Source]
  89. Sometimes Michael would go out in disguise during Halloween trick or treating with friends and his kids and it would be the one time of the year he could blend in.
  90. In 2008 while at a Halloween party with his kids, people thought he was a Michael Jackson impersonator and played Thriller when he walked in. [Source]
  91. Marlon Brando’s son was a bodyguard and close friend to Michael throughout his life. He can even be spotted in the cinema watching the movie with him during Thriller. [Source]
  92. Michael loved the PBS documentary about Jack Johnson and the racism he endured, “Unforgivable Blackness”.
  93. Michael has had fans break in and stalk him relentlessly throughout the years. Some would be found sleeping in his loft, his kitchen, his bushes, by his garbage, would park outside his house and sleep there, others would turn up at Neverland with suitcases announcing they were about to move in before the police would be called. When Michael found one fan who had been living in his kitchen, Michael let her have something to eat with him before his bodyguards took her away.
  94. Michael’s mother was the same way and when fans would come to their home in the early 70s she would let them sit and eat with them, sometimes they’d be there till the middle of the night at the kitchen table because Katherine would be too polite to tell them to leave.
  95. Michael would get in trouble for feeding the rats and mice who lived in his home as a kid.
  96. Michael wrote the lyrics to Black or White 20 minutes before he had to sing it. [Source]
  97. Michael composed some of the music for the SEGA video game, Sonic 3, but at the time game consoles had poor sound quality so Michael didn’t like the result and therefore wasn’t credited. Brad Buxer has confirmed that one of the pieces would later inspire the song Stranger In Moscow. [Source]
  98. There’s lots of footage of Michael in the studio that has never been released, footage of him singing with Paul McCartney, singing some of the Bad and Dangerous albums, and all of the Invincible studio sessions.
  99. MJ told his bodyguards that one of the things he would have loved to have been able to do was just walk into a bar and say, “Bartender, give me a beer.”  [Source]
  100. Blanket keeps his hair long to remind himself of his father; Paris sleeps with a jacket of Michael’s under her pillow; Prince likes listening to Arabic prayer because it reminds him of being in Bahrain with his father. [Source]
  101. After Michael’s passing fans got together and raised money to create a children’s home named “Everland” in Liberia, to house 50 orphaned children. [Source]
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Michael Jackson, Feeling Ugly, Plastic Surgery And Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Michael Jackson, Feeling Ugly, Plastic Surgery And Body Dysmorphic Disorder

There’s been much speculation that Michael suffered from body dysmorphic disorder. With various media pundits, armchair psychologists, and real psychologists alleging he suffered from this disorder, as well as a host of many other mental disorders, normally only focusing on either soundbites out of context, photos taken at odd angles, or worse, just unfounded tabloid gossip. They also almost unanimously ignore the real issues Michael had with his appearance which were beyond his control.

Some of the external factors which influenced his appearance:

What we do know and what is often trivialized in any of those discussions is that: Michael suffered from two disfiguring diseases, vitiligo and lupus. The vitiligo resulted in loss of pigment in almost all areas of his body leaving his skin translucent and not white, and the physical manifestations of lupus resulted in hair loss, skin rashes and skin lesions.

He also suffered from severe acne as a teenager which caused scarring and he suffered a third degree burn on his scalp in 1984, something which according to his autopsy report had never healed, leaving a permanent bald patch.

To compensate for his vitiligo he initially tried to use treatments like PUVA to restore his skin color, but after they failed it was only in 1990, according to jury transcripts from 1994, that he was prescribed creams to even out the remainder of his skin. On top of that, he had begun to wear the glove and long sleeved clothing and heavy make up to hide the visible parts of himself which were not evenly pigmented. Something many vitiligo sufferers empathize with doing.

As a result of his lupus and vitiligo he had his scalp, eyebrows, and eyelashes tattooed with dark pigment in order to disguise the recurring loss of hair and pigment in those areas. He also had treatments to his face to help restore the damage caused by his lupus lesions and rashes.

Initially, with the burn, he attempted to have a “balloon” inserted into his scalp in order to expand the skin there in the hopes of growing out the scar tissue, allowing hair to grow naturally there again, but after many attempts this failed. In the mid 90s it seems he gave up and had to start using hair pieces and other wigs to disguise the loss of hair. It’s also reported that he would sometimes wear the fedora to disguise this lump caused by the balloon on the back of his head, too.

With his nose, according to reports from a doctor for the District Attorney in 1993 who had looked over his medical records, it seems that his second nose job in 1983 had resulted in complications due to a flare up he was suffering with his discoid lupus, which was undiagnosed at the time, and because lupus can cause skin in the areas involved to “die”, especially with surgery, he had to have further reconstructive work there to fix it.

He seems to have kept much of this private because obviously  most of this would have been embarrassing and traumatic to him, as they would be for most other people.

These very real issues he had with his appearance which were beyond his control were added to how he had been bullied and teased as a child by his father and family over his nose and appearance. This was further compounded by the media who publicly also teased, mocked and vilified him over his appearance and how he was reluctant to seemingly just give them an extensive list of what he had done and why he had done it.

What we also know: According to the autopsy report Michael’s nose had not “fallen off” and there is no evidence that it had ever fallen off.

He never had his eyes altered, his lips thinned, or received cheek implants.

We know most of this from a simple look at his family: Michael, Janet, LaToya, Paris and Blanket all have the same large doe eyes and all the Jackson family have the same cheekbones that Michael had.

He had to go through so much with his appearance, under such scrutiny that it seems inevitable he would feel insecure and anxious about it.

I’m not sure if the media were satisfied in hearing him repeatedly state how unhappy he was with his physical appearance. On the one hand they would question why Michael didn’t feel good about his appearance, on the other, they’d spend countless news articles, TV documentaries, interviews with doctors who’d never met him/best friends who met him at a party once in the 80s, mocking and laughing about his appearance, especially his vitiligo.

So, my biggest problem is not that people want to state Michael was unhappy with how he looked and that he likely suffered from a complex about it, but that they never seem to use this empathy with his plight in order to understand him better, instead only seeming to wish to use this to vilify him further and erase what had really happened to him, ex. “He had body dysmorphic disorder and therefore this proves he had 100 nose jobs; he hated how he looked so this means he never really had vitiligo and just re-creationally bleached his skin; he changed absolutely everything about his appearance, including his actual bone structure. I know that he did all this because he felt he was ugly and so clearly he wished to utterly redo his face from scratch and because we know he had those nose jobs it must mean he was willing to bleach his skin and reconstruct his entire face.”

Nobody ever chooses to discuss or commend him on how hard he fought to look “normal” and to keep these issues private. He chose to wear make up, gloves, tattoos, long sleeved clothing, hats, wigs, so that people wouldn’t have to see things about him that could make them feel sorry for him, but instead people use this as a means to condemn him. “Well, why didn’t he just show us? Why didn’t he walk around half naked at all times carrying his medical records so that I could see all these things going wrong with him for myself? That’s the only way anyone could really know the truth about him. I really promise I wouldn’t just laugh at him again, and again, and again, the way I did when he spoke about his other problems.”

People also neglect to mention that illnesses like Body Dysmorphic Disorder are rooted in shame.  Sufferers are ashamed about the aspect of themselves they hate, they’re ashamed about what they do to disguise it, they’re ashamed at having it brought to anyone’s attention. So wondering why Michael wouldn’t address these issues while at the same time insisting he had this disorder shows that most people don’t wish to understand him, only to continue to label him. In the Oprah and Bashir interview he is visibly distressed and uncomfortable when asked about his skin, his plastic surgery and the bullying about his looks. Even when he isn’t being filmed and is just on audio his voice grows faint as he talks about it. But people still seem to have wished he could have made himself utterly vulnerable for them, to feel humiliated and degraded (it doesn’t matter if people say he wouldn’t have been; he would have felt as if he were), just so people could satisfy their ideas about how and why he looked the way he did.

One of my favorite quotes about this was from, Tom Chiarella, in Esquire Magazine of all places: “I never liked the glove, although when I saw his monstrous hand, I got it. And I admired what he’d done to cover it up. It was never clear to me if that hurt or not, but I imagine it did. Think about the beauty of that. Putting sequins on your open wounds. Think about the entire world staring at the one thing that makes you feel most ugly.”

But the two oldest boys often tease their younger brothers.

“When Tito and Jackie really want us mad,” Michael laughs, “they call Jermaine ‘Big Head,’ Marlon ‘Liver lips’ and they call me ‘Big Nose.’

“My skin broke out real bad. It was tough — especially after everyone had been calling me cute for such a long time. And the more I worried about it the worse I got.”

“I wore hats, I kept my head down all the time, I wouldn’t look at people when I talked to them. I wouldn’t say nothin’ hardly. It was terrible. I felt I didn’t have anything to be proud of. My success meant nothing.”

“On stage I didn’t think about it, it was gone. But when I came off stage, there it was again.”

When asked about cosmetic surgery, Michael defended the procedure, saying everybody did it.  “I’m a perfectionist when it comes to skin,” he said.

“But take Marilyn Monroe, and all those people. They got the works. Julie Andrews, Raquel Welch. Even Elvis. You look at his nose and the difference.. it’s true. But nobody ever mentions it.”

“You can clear up physically but still mentally you’re scarred — so you really haven’t improved.”

“I would look in the mirror and I didn’t like they way I looked, so… of course, never print this. Please don’t…”

Adolescence proved awkward for Michael too. He sprouted from just over five feet to five feet ten. Overnight, it seemed, he went from a cute little boy to a gangly teenager. Certain body parts outgrew others, and now Michael was the object of merciless ribbing, especially from his father. “Look at that big nose on your face,” Joseph used to taunt. “I don’t know where you got that from… Bignose.”

Glenda Tape 2:2

(This part seems to take place sometime during the Bad tour)

MJ: The other day, after my video came out,.. I don’t know what happened. They kicked me out of the trailer with my own band and stuff. And I’m on tour and stuff. Traveling with my (I) people and stuff like that. And — “Who was that?” – you know, it was like — I don’t associate with them. Only if there’s a rehearsal, or I have to be on stage. When we’re back in the hotel room. I don’t associate, really, with those people.
G: Not any of them?
MJ: No, I don’t associate with them. I stay off to myself.
G: Why? Isn’t there anybody you could be real close to?
MJ: No. I feel uncomfortable – It’s like… okay, this is my band, we got Michael here, we got so-and-so.”
G: (Started, interrupted by Michael)
MJ: “We got Sheryl, we got, you know, Jennifer.” And, I just don’t associate with people.
G: Do you, um? Okay. Maybe is it hard for you to (sigh) to be so open?
MJ: I just–
G: In a way, In a way, and to be looking at someone in the face or having someone look at you in the face cause you don’t want them to… ’cause…
MJ: You know what, I don’t want them to get close and I don’t want them to see into my soul. And then I deal with this anorexia thing… I feel sad…
G: Don’t, Michael. You look really good. (Silence) You look really good.
MJ: (After a silence – very low, strained) I don’t look good. I (inaudible)
G: (I)

(Sometime after Latoya posed for Playboy)

MJ: Joseph used to beat us all the time and… (inaudible) dance… would… He would, he would just… get to me. And I bought into that, he was like, “Oh you put on a few pounds.” The only thing that I could control in my life, what with Motown… ’cause they tell you – in the interviews, when we used to go on Carson or Mike Douglas or whatever back then, when we used to do interviews as the Jackson Five, you know when you’re in this kind of business they kinda like, they like…okay, girl… “Do you have a girlfriend?” “No.” Do this… You know got, it’s like, they dictate to you everything. What you wear, what you sing. ‘Cause back then we weren’t allowed to sing our own stuff and do our own stuff. They dictate to you what you can wear… If you’re on an interview, if you’re going on Carson, “This is what you say, this is what don’t say.” The only control I had over my life was eating. I had no control. We had no control. *clears throat* I didn’t, I didn’t… I wasn’t like my brothers. People, they’re angry and they take it out on others. I was angry and hurt, and I took it out on myself. And being brought up with Joseph and stuff like that… when we were rehearsing on 2300 – where we used to live. It’s like, If I danced wrong, if I sang the wrong note, I’d get the hell beat out of me, I’d get thrown in the basement. So instead of taking that out on other people, I withdrew and I’d take it out on myself. There was nothing I could control in my life but my eating. And Joseph told me, “Oh, you’re… oh you have such a big nose.”
G: He told you you were too…?
MJ: Yes. When I was little. “You look so, you don’t look like my child. Your nose is so big,” and this and that. They used to call me Big Nose and stuff. And instead of retaliating on them, I just did it with myself.
G: Michael? Are you happy with your face?
MJ: Yeah. I’m happy with my face and stuff.
G: Are you happy you did all that surgery?
MJ: Yeah. Because I don’t wanna look like “(inaudible)”[like that? Like him?]
G: Well, you don’t? (laughs)
MJ: I mean, people tell me, “Oh, yeah, you’re really Janet”. Or “Oh, (low voice) before LaToya posed nude.” Sayin’ “Toya and you is the same person and stuff.”
G: Who said that? (laughs)
MJ: Oh, god, it was in the media!
G: That’s just bad.
MJ: Toya even wrote that in Playboy. She said, “Well, at least I can put the rumor to rest that Michael and I aren’t the same person.”
G: (Laughs)
MJ: And showin’ her breasts and stuff like that. Then they say, “Janet and Michael are the same person.”
G: (chuckle) That’s crazy.

Oprah : So I’m wondering for you, being this cute little boy who everybody adored and everybody who comes up to you they’re pulling your cheeks and how cute, how adolescence going through that duck stage where everything’s awkward, and I’m wondering when you started to go through adolescence having been this child superstar, was that a particularly difficult time for you?
Michael : Very. Very, very difficult, yes. Because I think every child star suffers through this period because you’re not the cute and charming child that you were. You start to grow, and they want to keep you little forever.
Oprah : Who’s they?
Michael : The public. And um, nature takes its course.
Oprah : It does?
Michael : Yes, and I had pimples so badly it used to make me so shy, I used not to look at myself, I’d hide my face in the dark, I wouldn’t want to look in the mirror and my father teased me and I just hated it and I cried every day.
Oprah : Your father teased you about your pimples?
Michael : Yes and tell me I’m ugly.
Oprah : Your father would say that?
Michael : Yes he would. Sorry Joseph.

Oprah: How much plastic surgery have you had?
Michael: Very, very little. I mean you can count on my two fingers, I mean let’s say this, if you want to know about those things, all the nosey people in the world, read my book Moonwalk, it’s in my book. You know, let’s put it this way, if all the people in Hollywood who have had plastic surgery, if they went on vacation, there wouldn’t be a person left in town.
Oprah: Mmm, I think you might be right.
Michael: I think I am right. It would be empty.
Oprah: Did you start having plastic surgery because of those teen years because of not liking the way you looked?
Michael: No, not really. It was only two things. Really, get my book, it’s no big deal.
Oprah: You don’t want to tell me what it is? You had your nose done, obviously.
Michael: Yeah, but so did a lot of people that I know.
Oprah: And so, when you hear all these things about you, and there have been more…
Michael: I’ve never had my cheekbones done, never had my eyes done, never had my lips done and all this stuff. They go too far, but this is stuff that happens every day with other people.
Oprah: Are you pleased now with the way you look?
Michael: I’m never pleased with anything, I’m a perfectionist, it’s part of who I am.
Oprah: And so when you look in the mirror now and so the image that looks back at you are there days when you say I kinda like this or I like the way my hair…
Michael: No. I’m never pleased with myself. No, I try not to look in the mirror.

SB: You have to live a long and happy life. But do you really think that one day you will decide to become a recluse and disappear?
MJ: Yeah.
SB: Live at Neverland and lock up the gates. Will that be it?
MJ: Yeah. I know I am.
SB: But why? Because you don’t want people to see you grow old?
MJ: I can’t deal with it. I love beautiful things too much and the beautiful things in nature and I want my messages to get out to the world, but I don’t want to be seen now… like when my picture came up on the computer, it made me sick when I saw it.
SB: Why?
MJ: Because I am like a lizard. It is horrible. I never like it. I wish I could never be photographed or seen and I push myself to go to the things that we go to. I really do.

SB: Michael, some people have written that your father used to say that you were ugly. Is that true?
MJ: Uh-huh. He used to make fun of… I remember we were on a plane one time, ready to take off, and I was going through an awkward puberty when your features start to change. And he went, “Ugh, you have a big nose. You didn’t get it from me.” He didn’t realize how much that hurt me. It hurt me so bad, I wanted to die.
SB: Was that a hostile remark aimed at your mother, “You didn’t get it from me?”
MJ: I don’t know what he was trying to say.
SB: Don’t you think your father instilled in you a belief that you are not handsome? So you tried to change your appearance a bit, and you are still not happy. So really you have to begin to love your appearance and yourself and all of that.
MJ: I know. I wish I could.
SB: We all have problems with our appearance… The other night, Thursday night, you looked fantastic [Michael had gotten all dressed up for Denise Rich's Angel Ball cancer fundraiser]. You were the best looking guy there. So you don’t like being photographed?
MJ: I wish I could never be photographed and I wish I could never be seen. Just for entertainment so I design the dance the way I want it to look, and film the way I want it to look.
SB: Now you want to do movies?
MJ: I love movies, but I can control it, you see. I can’t control how those pictures come out with the lighting and my expression at the time. Arggh.
SB: If a child said that to you, “I hate being photographed,” what would you say to that child?
MJ: I would say, “You don’t know how beautiful you are. It’s your spirit that’s…”
SB: So why are you prepared to say that to everybody except yourself?
MJ: I don’t know. [He said this in a voice of confusion and resignation]

MJ: I have thrown up in his presence because when he comes in the room and this aura comes and my stomach starts hurting and I know I am in trouble. He is so different now. Time and age has changed him and he sees his grandchildren and he wants to be a better father. It is almost like the ship has sailed its course, and it is so hard for me to accept this other guy that is not the guy I was raised with. I just wished he had learned that earlier.
SB: So why are you still scared?
MJ: Because the scar is still there, the wound.
SB: So you still see him as the first man. It is hard for you to see him as this new man?
MJ: I can’t see him as the new man. I am like an angel in front of him, like scared. One day he said to me, “Why are you scared of me?” I couldn’t answer him. I felt like saying, “Do you know what you have done?” [voice breaks] “Do you know what you have done to me?”

SB: Do you think it’s important to tell children they are beautiful?
MJ: Yes, but not to overdo it. You are beautiful inside. Do it that way. Prince looks in the mirror and he’s combing his hair and he says, ” I look good.” I say, “You look okay.”

Interview regarding the tapes:

Springhill, Fla.: Why did Michael think he was ugly?

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: What I write in the book is that all of us living in this culture have somehow been conditioned to believe that we are not attractive. There is too much self-loathing with regards to appearance in America. Michael was guilty of it, as are so many of us. In his case, he referenced the fact that his father made hurtful comments. But there can be no question that a culture that promotes external appearance over internal beauty is going to produce a glorification of youth over wisdom and Michael relates in the book that he desperately feared growing old.

For one of Jackson’s final music videos, 2001′s Guys and Dolls-in-Cuba-style “You Rock My World,” director Paul Hunter simply resorted to hiding the star’s ravaged features as much as he possibly could — there’s even an extended dance sequence where Jackson performs entirely in silhouette. “One of the tricks that we did was we said, ‘We’re in this gangster world, so let’s come in with some swagger, get your hat brim pulled down, get a doo-rag going,” Hunter says. “What I tried to do was not call too much attention to it.”

MJ was filmed almost entirely in shadows in YRMW

The summer of 2001 found us on the set for the You Rock My World video, when John McClain, a long term adviser to the Jacksons, called me. He had met with the director, he said, and reported, “They want to use make up to darken Michael’s skin for the video. They also want to fill in his nose with putty.” He wanted me to suggest these cosmetic effects to Michael. He clearly didn’t know Michael at all.

I was stunned. And I refused.

“John, I cannot have this conversation with Michael. There’s no way he’ll ever go for anything like this. If you need to, go ahead. But I’m not doing it.” I didn’t want to get involved.

A little while later I was back in my hotel room when the phone rang. It was Karen Faye, Michael’s makeup artist, calling from Michael’s room. She was supposed to be getting him ready for the video shoot, but he had locked himself in the bathroom and she had no idea why. She asked me to come to the room immediately.

When I arrived, I heard Michael inside the bathroom, freaking out and throwing stuff around. Clearly John McClain had talked to him about the proposed changes to his skin and nose, and he was extremely pissed of. I tried to get his attention, but the chaos inside the bathroom went on. Finally I heard him bang something with such force that I got worried. I started trying to break down the door.

At last, Michael let me in. He was sitting on the floor. He’d been in the middle of having his hair cut when he’d heard the news, so his hair was half long, half short. He was holding his hands over his face, sobbing.

“Can you believe it?” he said. “They think I’m ugly? They want to put putty on my nose? What the fuck is wrong with them? I don’t tell them how they should look. Fuck them.” Talking through his tears, he kept saying, “They think I’m a freak, they think I’m a freak, they think I’m a freak.”

Seeing him crouched on the floor, sobbing and with his hair half cut, was devastating, to say the very least. This was the second time in recent days that I’d seen him break down. Although for years, the media had been mocking and attacking his appearance, Michael didn’t always react so strongly to what people said about him. It depended on the day. Sometimes he didn’t care what people though. He was a strong guy. Then there were times when enough was enough, and he would break down. The fact that his supposed allies were criticizing his appearance at a time when he was in such a fragile state was too much for him to bear.

This wasn’t the Michael Jackson that existed for the rest of the world. This wasn’t Michael Jackson the icon. This was Michael Jackson at his most vulnerable, his most human, being pushed to the brink. While it had become a habit for me to force him to face painful truths, this time there was no truth at stake. There is no objective right or wrong to a person’s appearance. Michael had been ignoring headlines about his appearance for years, so my advice to him now was simply not to listen.

“We can walk away from this,” I said. “They need you, you don’t need them.”

I canceled that day’s shoot and told everyone involved that we would start fresh the next day. Michael and I returned to our rooms and stayed in for the remainder of the day. Before leaving, I spoke to John McClain and the director of the video, Paul Hunter.

“John,” I said. “I can’t believe you said what you said to Michael. We’re going to finish this project, but there will be no more conversations regarding Michael’s appearance in the video. If that’s a problem, we’ll walk off the set for good and deal with the consequences.”

Bashir: Did your father and your brothers tease you about your appearance, as an adolescent?
MJ: My father did. And some cousins did.
Bashir: What did your father say?
MJ: Oh God. It was pretty embarrassing. They used to tease me real bad about it.
Bashir: It’s cruel, isn’t it?
MJ: Yeah. It used to hurt me. I don’t think he realized how much he would hurt me.
Bashir: What sort of thing would he say?
MJ: He would tease me about how I looked and he would say, “Well, you didn’t get it from my side of the family. Must’ve been from Kate-” Kate, he would always say, meaning my mother. “You didn’t get that from me, you must’ve got that from her.“

Ahmed Elatab,22nd November 2003

Jackson also gave the teen the blue silk germ mask he was wearing that day – which he told Elatab he wears “only because he feels ugly sometimes.”

Link to interview

“Oh God no. We had many talks about that (his looks). He had that inner light but he always considered himself to be extremely ugly. He said he’s not a handsome man.”

Puberty is always a potential thief for a child star: it threatens to take away the image your dream is built on. Michael and I both struggled with acne; mine still stubborn and raging as an 18 year old, his rabid and new at 14. A liking for fried food and soda in dressing rooms had caught up with us. Like me, Marlon – who also suffered – accepted the break outs without too much angst, and I didn’t think Michael would be any different. I didn’t appreciate how much he worried about the threat his acne posed to his image because he never really spoke about it. We didn’t really talk about that sort of thing. What “cool” teenage boy does? We Jackson brothers were especially bound that way. We had been taught so much about pride, respect and performance that we had never learned the art of easy communication. We didn’t check in with each other unless it was album talk, tour madness, choreography ideas, basketball plans or girls. So Michael suffered quietly as his features changes and his skin flared up with pimples Indeed he locked it deep inside, except for the odd worry he expressed to Mother.

Michael’s acne was a confusion he wasn’t expecting. And then there was his nose. It widened noticeably and he hated it. In fact, he hated his nose so much that he found it hard to look at himself in the mirror. This wasn’t just typical teenage self consciousness: it became a full blown inferiority complex. The more he looked at himself, the unhappier he felt. In fact, he was painfully brittle during conversations with anyone, always looking down to avoid eye contact.

His comfort zone, as always, was the stage or platform of press interviews, when reporters spoke of how “energized”, “inquisitive” and “ebullient” he was. In performance mod, Michael’s teenage woes were well concealed behind makeup or the performance’s personality he projected. Offstage, our merciless teasing only made matters worse, but teasing is what brothers do, and we all had to go through it. When my acne kicked in, they – including Michael – called me “Bumpy Face” or “Map Face” and Marlon was “Live Lips.” I even received a second label, “Big Head,” because my head was, apparently, too big for my body. So when Michael was called “Big Nose” it was just part of the common initiation into manhood – but he struggled with it. Not that we knew so until much later.

Michael always recalled Joseph using the tease, and that was what hurt him most – hearing it from an adult’s lips and from the man who had driven home the importance of image all our lives. “Hey, Big Nose, come over here,” said Joseph. Michael said nothing and cringed each time.

“Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
― Margery Williams Bianco, The Velveteen Rabbit

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Michael Jackson and Dave Dave

1986: Michael invites David Rothenburg to Encino. His father had set fire to him in an act of revenge against his former wife leaving his body with 90% burns.

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Conversations in Neverland with Michael Jackson


One day Michael phoned and said, “I want to know if you’d like to bring your family up for dinner. I have a friend here that I’d like you all to meet.” I always knew when he said that sort of thing that it was bound to be something interesting and that I would be glad I’d done it afterward. I told him that we’d be happy to come. He said, “First, I need to ask you something. Do you think your children would be upset by meeting someone who has some deformities from an accident?”

I told him, “Michael I can assure you, my children will treat this person as if they had no deformities. I’ve taught them from a very early age that you never say anything to anyone that would hurt them. Especially about things they can’t help. But I will tell them about this before we get there.”

Michael said, “Good. Then I’d like you to come out for dinner to meet David Rothenberg.”

By this time, having been to the Ranch so frequently, we were usually waved on through rather than stopping to sign in. This visit was no exception and upon arrival we parked out in front of the house. Although I had told Michael many times that he didn’t need to, he always had the maids and cooks lined up outside the front door to greet us as we entered the house. Michael insisted that this was protocol and they were always to follow it.

I told him, “Really, I already know everyone by name since I’m out here so often. I feel kind of guilty for making them drop what they’re doing and stand out here and greet us.”

Michael replied, “You mustn’t feel bad. It’s one of the things that I pay them to do.”

Anyway, going to the house was always a treat. It was a lovely assault on all senses. Through the front door we turned to the left through the dining room. Two steps down the opposite end was a large fireplace that faced a bar making up the south side of the kitchen. On this night, Michael’s guest was sitting to the right of the fireplace. Michael looked at as and said “You guys, this is David Rothenberg,” and he introduced us one by one. Greetings went around my family. The kids ran off to do their own thing around the house leaving Criss, Michael, and me to talk with David. I imagine there are pictures out there of David for those who want to see him but suffice to say he had been ravaged by flames at some point in his life. What I remember clearly now was that there was a long tuft of hair on the back of his head and there was a young girl, apparently a cousin of Michael’s, who was meticulously braiding the tuft while David told us about his day at the Ranch.

When we all sat down to dinner, Michael turned to him and asked, “So, David did you paint today?”

David replied, “Yes, I did. I think I did some of my best work ever.”

Michael said, “Good. I need you out there painting every day that you’re here. I want you to express yourself.”

David assured him he was.

Later in the evening Michael and I went by the lake where he had an easel and paints set up and he showed me some of David’s paintings. They consisted of stick figures and V’s for birds. Michael told me, “I don’t care if he doesn’t become a great painter. I just think it’s important for him to do this while he’s here. I always want to keep him occupied.”

I asked Michael, “So, how did you and David meet?” Michael said, “Well, when he was quite young, his father spread gasoline on him and set him on fire. The reasons don’t matter. And actually there are none. Anyway, he ended up living through it and I’ve kind of watched through the years. Not long ago, I read in the paper an article saying that David Rothenberg tried to commit suicide. He was despondent over not being able to get a job. So I sent for him. One of my drivers went and got him and brought him back to the Ranch. When he got here, I told him that I heard what had happened. David told me that it was true and he was just depressed because, ‘Who would hire something that looks like me?’ I looked at him and said, ‘I would. I want you to work for me. Would you do that?’ David said, ‘Yes. I would like that.’ So I put him to work.”

I asked Michael, “Did you really have a job for him?”

He said, “Not really. I kind of made one up.”

I asked, “What was it? What did you have him do?”

He said, “I give him letters and packages and I have him take them to other cities telling him that it’s important that they be mailed there. So for example, I send him to Los Angeles or San Diego and tell him to mail something when he gets there. I gave him a car to take him everywhere he wants to go and he has a place to call home. He’d lost his sense of purpose and I wanted him to know he had one.”

I never saw David again after that and I never asked Michael what happened to him. I now know, from old news stories, that when David was six back in 1983 his father, Charles, who was in a custody fight with David’s mom, Marie, set him on fire and burned him over 90% of his body.

There’s a video on YouTube in which David, who changed his name to Dave Dave (which to me sounds like a name Michael would’ve given him), told Larry King just before Michael’s burial in 2009 about Michael’s kindness to him – which Dave said began when he was just seven years old and which his mother had always kept a secret. Dave told King that Michael opened Neverland to him and provided emotional support and was like a father he never had. 

Fox 411, March 04 2005

Also on the list is David Rothenberg, a young man who was severely burned by his own father many years ago. He was taken in by Jackson, and has the full run of Neverland and may prove to be a dramatic character witness.

Leeza: “Is there any celebrity you can relate to? Because celebrities say things like you’re saying, like they think that they get friends for the wrong reasons, that people treat them differently, that even their own family when they get to that level treat them strange. Is there anyone you identify with?”
Dave: “Yes, I relate with one person I know. He’s been my friend throughout everything that I’ve been through and he’s the only friend that I can say has been there for me always. Let’s call him ___. I think he’s really had an impact on my life, not because he’s a celebrity but because he’s been through kind of the same things I’ve been through.”
Leeza: “Not fitting in…”
Dave: “Yeah, definitely, definitely.”

Michael Jackson Laid to Rest, CNN LARRY KING LIVE, Aired September 3, 2009 – 21:00 ET

KING: That was when we were up at Neverland with Jermaine Jackson. What an incredible night that was.

Joining us now here in Los Angeles, Miko Brando, who was with us almost every night after this untimely passing, long time Michael Jackson friend, attending the funeral.

And Dave Dave — yes, that’s his name, Dave Dave. He was David Rothenberg. He was set on fire in 1983. He suffered, as you can see, terrible scars. Michael Jackson befriended him and paid for a lot of his surgeries. Dave Dave is also attending the burial.

Why Dave Dave?

DAVE DAVE, MICHAEL JACKSON’S LONGTIME FRIEND: Well, to liberate myself from the confines of my father’s criminality.

KING: He caused the fire?

DAVE-DAVE: Yes. He — he is a criminal and he caused all this. To — to free myself of his name and his legacy, I decided to become my own person through changing my name.

KING: We’ll find out how Michael helped you.

But, Miko, is that a typical story of Michael, helping people like this?

MIKO BRANDO, MICHAEL JACKSON’S LONGTIME FRIEND: Absolutely. When he — when he’d hear about stories of people in need, who needed help, or when we’d watch the news together, he’d — he’d reach out to them, send them a basket, send them a, you know, a note — get well or whatever the incident would be. And he’d always reach out to people and help people. Even driving around town, he’d stop and help people.

KING: How did he find out about you, Dave?

DAVE-DAVE: He heard about me and he had contacted me and wanted to meet me.

KING: How old were you at the time?

DAVE-DAVE: I was about seven years old at the time.

KING: And were you in the hospital?

DAVE-DAVE: I was not in the hospital at the time. I was — I was in interim, back and forth from surgery.

KING: And what did he do for you?

DAVE-DAVE: Well, basically he befriended me. He — he took me in to his life, which is very rare for Michael to do. But he opened up his arms to me and accepted me as a very good friend of his. And throughout the years, he never let me go.

KING: I believe that’s the hearse carrying the body into Forest Lawn. He will be interred — it looks like a beautiful place they have for him, Miko.

BRANDO: It’s very nice. He has a very nice compound.

KING: Yes. We’re going to be showing you close-ups of that. That is Forest Lawn.

Were you surprised, Dave, to hear from him when you were seven?

DAVE-DAVE: Oh, it — it’s a very interesting story, Larry. It was kind — the visit to his Encino house was very impromptu. And it was kept a secret by my mother. And I had always been kind of an admirer of his, not a fan per se, but I always loved his music.

And my mother surprised me one day and brought me up to Neverland. And I entered an arcade and there were all these Paul McCartney records, all of this, “The Girl is Mine” and, you know, this and that. And I remember sitting down. And at the time, my — my favorite video games — my favorite video game was Pole Position. And I was playing Pole Position. And I — I felt a little tap on my shoulder. And I turned around and there was Michael. And…

KING: Hold it right there.

DAVE-DAVE: And you know what, Larry?

KING: What?

DAVE-DAVE: At that moment, we — we embraced and that embrace never ended throughout our whole entire friendship.

KING: Dave Dave, what don’t we know about him we should know?

DAVE-DAVE: Well, I believe what — what people fail to realize is that Michael was a human being. Throughout the years, I think he was kind of stigma — stigmatized by the media. And I believe that was — that wasn’t really helpful to him or to anybody around him.

I believe that Michael was a great person. He has never hurt a soul. And I am happy to have been his friend for all these years and been a dedicated friend.

KING: Did he pay for a lot of your medicals?

DAVE-DAVE: Actually, he — he did not pay for my medical. My mother had great insurance at the time. Michael…

KING: Then what did he do?

DAVE-DAVE: Michael offered a lot of emotional support for me. He was there for me whenever I need to talk to him. He opened up Neverland to me as a — as a means to get away. He — he was almost, metaphorically, he was almost like a father that I never had.

Jackson’s lesser-known friends were also given a moment to share their memories of the fallen star. The spontaneous speeches were some of the most poignant. One in particular was delivered by David Rothenberg, a burn victim who Jackson took care of for years after 90% of his body was scorched in a childhood fire. “He was very scarred over all of his body,” says a guest. “He spoke about Michael and how he cared for [Rothenberg] for so long without asking for anything in return. It was very moving.”

Tom Mesereau:

DK: That’s so sad that the world is like that, you know what I mean?

TM: Everybody was hoping to profit off his destruction. It was terrible. It’s one of my proudest moments in my lifetime….just acquitting him, vindicating him. In retrospect now, he only had approximately 4 more years to live, at least he was there to be with his kids and just to be vindicated. The trial was so unjust. The case was so unjust and lacking in credibility.

Tom Mesereau: At his burial, which I attended, a young man who in the 80’s was a rather high profile case in southern California, a father doused his son with gasoline and set him on fire and burned most of his body including all of his face (this man is now known as Dave Dave, formerly David Rothenberg ). Michael took care of him. He (Dave Dave) got up to speak (at Michael’s funeral) about what a kind, decent, generous, wonderful person Michael Jackson was. I happen to know there were kids all over the world he did this for. Disabled kids, children with illnesses and disabilities. Michael would write checks for them and nobody publicized it. He didn’t do it to become well known for doing it. He did it because that’s what his heart wanted him to do. You know? I think one of the cruelest things that ever happened was to take his love for children, his desire to help kids, and turn it against him and try and call him a monster as they did in that trial. It was just horrible.

Brian Oxman:

I sat next to Dave Dave, whose father doused him with kerosene and burned 90 per cent of his six-year-old body.

Michael cared for Dave Dave for more than 30 years, never asking for anything in return. His eulogy was moving. The world should never forget how Michael gave back not only to Dave Dave, but to so many other needy people.

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Michael Jackson’s Experience of Racism

“You Are Not Alone,” by Jermaine Jackson

If there was one city that didn’t totally put out the Jackson-mania welcome mat, it was Mobile Alabama. We had looked forward to this date because it returned us to Mother’s roots, but there was no home coming. The fan reaction wasn’t the problem – that was typically raucous. It was the reception outside the arena that provided a sober lesson in the rich diversity of America. Our parents had warned us about the infamous prejudices of the Deep South and how black communities were still awakening after the Montgomery bus boycotts of the 1950s, and the civil rights and that had brought violence from the white supremacists of the Ku Klux Klan. We had seen images of grown men walking around with sheets on their heads, and we had seen them burning crosses, but our knowledge of history was scant until our first hand experience in Alabama, in January 1971.

The first difference we noted was when the white driver of our limousine was cold and abrupt, not talkative like other drivers we’d had. At our hotel, he refused to get out of the cat and open our doors, and no staff came out to help us with our bags either. This wasn’t a spoiled kid expectation, it was just an observation of a sharp difference in our treatment. It was as we pulled our bags out of the trunk that one of us noticed some KKK paraphernalia clearly intended for our eyes. We froze. It was like one of those moments in a thriller movie when you realize your driver has been the killer the whole time; it felt that sinister. We stayed quiet and kept our heads down. At the hotel reception, we faced the same old awkwardness. “We don’t seem to have got any rooms booked for you,” said the man at the front desk, all curt and stern. Suzanne de Passe, or someone, argued that this was a long standing booking; we were the Jacksons 5 and there must be a mistake.

“No mistake. We have no rooms booked,” he repeated.

We effectively begged for a room, which we were eventually given – facing an alley and trash cans. Michael was, typically, the first to question what had happened when we got to the basic quarters of our second rate room. “Why would someone treat us like that because of our skin color?” he asked. It confused him because he knew our fans were both black and white, and it was the first time we had been made to feel unwanted, let alone unpopular.

It made us more determined to kick some butt onstage, because we soon recognized the importance of being black kids performing for black fans who could now identify with us. We were carrying the torch for our forefathers, winning respect for every black kid with a dream. The screams and cheers that night felt like a lot more than just Jackson mania: they felt like defiance and victory. As Sammy Davis Junior had said in 1965: “Being a star has made it possible for me to get insulted in places where the average Negro could never hope to go and get insulted.”

“Growing Up In The Jacksons” by LaToya Jackson

Trouble seemed to stalk him. Ironically, my brother’s most terrifying encounter was with someone who didn’t even know who he was. He and Michael were visiting her mother and stepfather in Alabama, accompanied by Bill Bray. Michael and Bill went driving one afternoon, and stopped at a gas station. While Bill used the restroom, Michael browsed in a small shop next door. When Bill came out, he was surprised to find Michael gone. “Where are you, Joker?” he called out, using his pet name for my brother.

Suddenly he heard, “Help! Help!” It was Michael, yelling from inside the store. Bursting through the door, Bill saw my brother curled up on the floor and a white man kicking him viciously in the head and stomach, screaming with blood curdling venom, “I hate all of you! I hate you!” Over and over he called Michael a nigger.

Bill, a tall, middle aged black man, subdued the attacker and helped up Michael, who was crying and bleeding from several deep cuts. “What’s going on?” he demanded.

“He tried to steal a candy bar!” the man claimed, pointing at my brother. “I saw him put something in his pocket!”

“No, I didn’t!” Michael protested.

“Yes, you did!”

“Wait a minute,” Bill said skeptically. “He doesn’t even like candy and he doesn’t steal. Why would he steal a candy bar?”

It was obvious then that Michael’s attacker had no idea who he was. As far as he was concerned, this was just another black person – another nigger – to abuse. Bill rushed Michael to a local hospital to have his cuts and bruises tended to.

Mother called us from Alabama to tell us what had happened and we all cried in anger and sadness. How could this kind of thing still happen? If Bill hadn’t been with Michael, he might have been killed. Jermaine was livid, threatening to fly to Alabama and take the law into his own hands. It took some time to persuade him that vigilantism was no way to handle the matter.

Instead, a lawsuit was filed against the store owner. Two girls standing outside had witnessed the beating and one offered to testify on Michael’s behalf. We felt very strongly that racial violence must be stopped, but unfortunately, justice did not prevail in this case. The racist harbored no regrets. In fact, discovering that the black man he’d assaulted was a celebrity only inflamed his hatred. Now he threatened to kill Michael. Bill convinced us that this person was mad, that the threat was quite serious, and that it was better for everyone to drop the action. None of us was happy about this, but there was really no choice.

Tatum O’Neal, “A Paper Life”

Unfortunately, my friendship with Michael came to an abrupt ending. He’d played the Scarecrow in The Wiz, the urban remake of the Wizard of Oz, which starred Diana Ross as Dorothy. For the film’s premiere, Michael invited me to be his date. I asked my dad, who didn’t care one way or another if I went, but my talent agency was dead set against it. I was told, in exactly these words: ‘You can’t go to a premiere with a nigger.’ Hollywood!

Michael Jackson's Experience of Racism, Rolling Stone, racist

November 27, 1979

Dear Norman [Winter]:

Michael Jackson has, in fact, been on the cover of ROLLING STONE, contrary to your statement in your recent letter to me.

We would very much like to do a major piece on Michael Jackson, but feel it is not a cover story.


Jann S. Wenner
Editor & Publisher

cc: Walter Yetnikoff

At this point in time Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough and Rock With You had both recently been released as singles from his Off The Wall album and both had charted at number one.

Joe Vogel recently spoke about Michael’s feelings about Rolling Stone’s rejection and how he had been told that black musicians had never sold well on the cover of the magazine. That opinion seems reflected in how many cover stories have featured him in total versus other white musicians of his status:

Jackson was well-aware of this history and consistently pushed against it. In 1979, Rolling Stone passed on a cover story about the singer, saying that it didn’t feel Jackson merited front cover status. “I’ve been told over and over again that black people on the covers of magazines don’t sell copies,” an exasperated Jackson told confidantes. “Just wait. Some day those magazines will come begging for an interview.”

Jackson, of course, was right (Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner actually sent a self-deprecatory letter acknowledging the oversight in 1984). And during the 1980s, at least, Jackson’s image seemed ubiquitous. Yet over the long haul, Jackson’s initial concern seems legitimate. As shown in the breakdown below, his appearances on the front cover of Rolling Stone, the United States’ most visible music publication, are far fewer than those of white artists:

John Lennon: 30

Mick Jagger: 29

Paul McCartney: 26

Bob Dylan: 22

Bono: 22

Bruce Springsteen: 22

Madonna: 20

Britney Spears: 13

Michael Jackson: 8 (two came after he died; one featured Paul McCartney as well)

Is it really possible that Michael Jackson, arguably the most influential artist of the 20th century, merited less than half the coverage of Bono, Bruce Springsteen, and Madonna?

“My Family” by Katherine Jackson

Michael usually drove himself to Kingdom Hall and his field-service routes. He’d finally gotten his driver’s license in 1981, at the age of twenty-three. Initially he didn’t want to learn to drive.

“I’ll just get a chauffeur when I want to go out,” he said when I began nagging him about getting his license.

“But suppose you’re someplace and your chauffeur gets sick?” I reasoned.

Finally, he relented and took some lessons.

After he began driving, Michael decided that he enjoyed being behind the wheel, after all. The first time he took me for a ride, he ventured up to Mulholland Drive, a winding road in the Hollywood Hills. It was a hair-raising experience.

“I’ve got a crook in my neck and my feet hurt,” LaToya, who was also in the car, complained afterward. “I was putting on the brakes’ with my feet and ‘steering’ the car with my neck trying to keep it on the road. I was so scared!”

It was white-knuckle time for me, too. Michael drove fast. He also had the same habit that I have: driving right up to the car in front and stopping on a dime.

After that, Michael started going out by himself.

“You shouldn’t go out alone,” I told him. “Get Bill Bray to go with you.”

But Michael wouldn’t hear of it. “I’m tired of having security with me every time I go someplace.”

When he began driving, Michael told me that he would never go on freeways; he thought they were too dangerous. So I was shocked one day when Michael suddenly drove us onto a freeway ramp.

“Wait a minute, Michael, what are you doing?”

“I can drive the freeways now!” he said, laughing. He had changed his mind about freeways when he saw just how long it took him to get around Los Angeles without using them.

Michael’s first car was a Mercedes. Then he bought a black Rolls-Royce, which he later painted blue.

It was in the Rolls that he was stopped one day — not for fans outside the gate, but by a Van Nuys policeman.

“This looks like a stolen car,” the officer said. He didn’t recognise Michael, who wasn’t wearing a disguise that day.

Michael explained politely that he did, indeed, own the car. But the officer went ahead and ran a check on the car, and found that Michael had a ticket outstanding.

The next thing Michael knew, he was sitting in the Van Nuys jail.

Bill Bray bailed him out. I didn’t even know what had happened until he came home.

“You should have asked the officer what a stolen car looks like,” I said after he related his adventure. Perhaps the cop had felt that a young black man didn’t belong behind the wheel of a Rolls.

But Michael was not only put out by the experience, he professed to be happy.

“I got to see how it felt to be in jail!” he exclaimed.

The incident where Costello said this is recounted here:

In 1979, Costello was touring America in support of his album Armed Forces, which had become his biggest hit in the States. One night that spring, the tour reached Columbus, Ohio. It was a pretty good week for rock shows in Columbus — Stephen Stills and his band were playing at another venue and staying at the same hotel as Costello. In the hotel bar, Costello and some of the Attractions got into a discussion about music with a few of Stills’ bandmates, including backup singer Bonnie Bramlett. A 1979 People magazine story describes the substance of the conversation:

“Someone asked him what he thought of the old guys, like Buddy Holly,” reports one eyewitness. Costello replied with an obscenity. “What about Elvis Presley?” Costello snapped another obscenity. “Then he said American people are second-class white people, compared to first-class English people.”

Bramlett, a longtime paladin of rhythm-and-blues whose backup bands once included heavies like Leon Russell, Duane Allman and Rita Coolidge, kept cool until, she says, Costello “called James Brown a jive-ass nigger.” Next, according to an onlooker, “Bonnie said, ‘All right, you son of a bitch, what do you think of Ray Charles?’ He said, ‘Screw Ray Charles, he’s nothing but a blind nigger.’ That did it. Bonnie backhanded him, slapped him pretty hard, because she’s a healthy chick.”

What People didn’t report, but what has been frequently noted in reports of the incident in succeeding years, is that Costello really didn’t want to talk to anybody in the hotel bar, and was trying to get rid of Bramlett and the others. In 1982, Costello told Rolling Stone that the discussion started as “joshing” and “gentle gibes,” but got nastier and nastier the more intoxicated everyone got. And finally, “I said the most outrageous thing that I could possibly say to them — that I knew, in my drunken logic, would anger them more than anything else.”

Walking away from the bar that night, Costello figured it was just another bar fight. He didn’t expect what happened next: Bramlett called reporters to tell them about it. Within days, Costello ended up facing the press himself amid accusations of racism. He apologized, but went only as far as saying he was sorry “if he had offended anyone,” without actually apologizing to either James Brown or Ray Charles. He received death threats and eventually required extra bodyguards. His American record deal was even in jeopardy for a while, as Columbia reportedly considered whether to drop him. They didn’t, but they also stopped promoting Armed Forces, releasing no more singles, not even What’s So Funny (‘Bout Peace, Love and Understanding), which might have become a breakthrough hit. The Armed Forces tour ended quietly, and it would be two years before Costello returned to the States.

For his part, Ray Charles was gracious, saying only: “Drunken talk isn’t meant to be printed in the paper.” In 2004, Costello told Rolling Stone that he never got the chance to speak to Charles about the incident. He insisted that he pays still a price for it:

I have to live with it, with every Afro-American musician I meet. Do they know? Do they think, “The guy’s being nice to me, but secretly I know he’s a racist”? I’ve heard people mutter it under their breath as they pass by, because they read it somewhere. What can I complain about? It happened. But if people don’t hear the respect by now, they’ve got their ears the wrong way around.

Even before he ever met Bonnie Bramlett at the Holiday Inn, Costello had been active in Britain’s Rock Against Racism movement. Some Costello fans blame Bramlett for using the incident to hype her own career. Costello’s track record in the 30 years since that night indicates that the incident did minimal harm to his career and reputation. And so, like most everything in life, the “Columbus Incident” was a lot more complicated than it looks.

Elvis Costello spoke about Michael’s reaction to meeting him in the September 2, 1982 edition of Rolling Stone in an article entitled “Elvis Costello Explains Himself”

I’m not saying I wasn’t responsible for my actions; that sounds like I’m trying to excuse myself. But I was not very responsible. There’s a distinct difference. I was completely irresponsible, in fact. And far from carefree – careless with everything. With everything that I really care about. And I think that inasmuch as it was said that we fed ourselves to the lions, you could say that whatever the incident was, it was symptomatic of the condition I was in, and that I deserved what happened regardless of the intentions of the remarks.

But it was only quite recently that I realized that it’s not only the man on the street, as it were, who’s never heard of me otherwise, who’s only read People – that it’s not only people like that who know only this about me. When we were recording Imperial Bedroom, Bruce Thomas was in the next studio while I was doing a vocal. Paul McCartney was there, and Michael Jackson came in to do a vocal – everything was nice until somebody introduced Bruce as my bass player. And suddenly – there was a freeze-out. Michael Jackson was – “Oh, God, I don’t dig that guy… I don’t dig that guy.”

He had heard about it third hand, from Quincy Jones. Two guys I have a tremendous amount of admiration for. It depressed me that I wouldn’t be able to go up to him – I wouldn’t be able to go up and shake his hand, because he wouldn’t want to shake my hand. Or James Brown, for that matter. But what could I say? What could I say? How could you explain such a thing? But there is nothing I’d like more.

“Inside MTV” By R. Serge Denisoff, published in 1988

Rick James, Michael Jackson, Versus Narrowcasting

Music publishers at the California Copyright Conference held in January 1983 repeated the controversies of the first Billboard Music Video gathering. The major issues were payment for clips and black music.

Ben Begun (Warner-Amex’s legal affairs vice president) was bombarded with questions concerning black music, especially by Jay Lowy (of Motown) and publishers with minority artists in their portfolios. Begun’s reading of a short list of urban contemporary acts rotated on the music channel only heightened the tension. The audience was unpersuaded. The heat was building on the MTV “corporate philosophy” and narrowcasting.

The MTV racism controversy that arose in the early months of 1983 was a case of economic interests wrapped in the mantle of civil rights. The rhetoric did not always point to the underlying monetary motivations pulling in some very well intentioned persons, such as David Bowie, Bob Seger and New York Times television writer John O’Connor.

A&M’s Jeff Ayeroff had told John Sykes (MTV promotions director) at the 1981 Billboard Video Music Conference, “Just try playing the [Rick] James video and see what happens,” and MTV ignored the suggestion. Bob Pittman (founder of MTV) stuck to his format philosophy: “You can’t go too far into black music or country music or you’ll alienate your target audience, which is interested in rock.” The demographically and geographically defined cable viewers of the network were white males in the suburbs and rural areas. The response was predicable, in light of radio’s fragmentation and cable’s narrowcasting structures. “Rick James is great. So is Parliament Funkadelic,” he told the writer, “but we turned down Rick James because the consumer didn’t define him as rock.” He cited the statistic that 85 percent of the targeted audience prefers rock adding, “But we do play black artists – Joan Armatrading, Gary US Bonds, Jimi Hendrix – because they fit in with rock and roll. So it has to not with race, but with sound.” He could have added the Bus Boys, and Phil Lynott, then a hard rocker from Ireland (he died in 1986). Variety got the same reply with one caveat: “We hope to find more black musicians doing rock and roll and new music.”

After MTV turned down the “Super Freak” video, “Slick” Rick James finally got into the fray. He told the Los Angeles Times that MTV was “racist.” His main objection was clear: “I figure if they played my video I could probably sell hundreds of thousands more records than I do now.” Slick Rick had a point. Black Entertainment TV in 1982 had about 2 million subscribers – 20% of that of MTV. Worse yet the RIAA estimated that the urban contemporary market accounted for about 2 percent of record and cassette purchases.

At a Los Angeles television studio James would expand views. “I’m hoping my speaking out in public about MTV’s discriminatory policy will make other acts go on record about it.” “I’m just tired of the bullshit,” he later told Rolling Stone. “I have sold over 10 million records in a four year period… and I can’t get on the channel. I watch all these fluffed up groups who don’t even sell four records on a program that I’m excluded from. Me and every one of my peers – Earth, Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder, the Gap Band, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson – have great videos. Why doesn’t MTV show them? It’s like taking black people back 400 years.”

Rick James was a gadfly. Pittman cordially complained to a New York Times writer, “Why doesn’t anyone talk about all the music barriers we have broken down, like the areas between punk and new wave and mainstream rock?” The rhetorical query really didn’t address the charges, but was a defense of the format.

At the same time AC Nielson brightened the MTV picture. The television polling firm found that MTV viewers spent an average of 4.6 hours per week watching the channel. The October 1982 survey also found that 85 percent of the target audience watched the network. Record buying decisions were found to be equally affected, as 63 percent of the 2,000 respondents answered that they did purchase an album after seeing an act on MTV. Eighty one percent indicated that their first exposure to some acts was via the music channel. The most significant finding was that 68 percent of the sample rated MTV as important or very important, surpassing radio’s 62 percent.

A demographic profile from the same study showed that the typical viewer was around twenty three years old with an average household income of $30,000. More than 50 percent of those over eighteen in the viewership were college educated. These were the kind of numbers record companies and advertisers notice. The findings released in February underlined the import of MTV exposure – a fact that further fueled the black music polemic.

Veejay Mark Goodman, after conducting one of his usual fluff interviews with David Bowie, found the roles reversed. Bowie peppered the puzzled veejay with questions. “Why,” asked the superstar, “are there practically no blacks on the network?” Goodman, who merely introduced the clips and announced concert dates, explained: “We seem to be doing music that fits into what we want to play on MTV. The company is thinking in terms of narrowcasting.” Bowie pressed on. “There seem to be a lot of black artists making very good videos that I’m surprised aren’t being used on MTV.” Goodman placed in the uncomfortable position of defending a format totally beyond his control, echoed the company’s demographic policy: “We have to try and do what we think not only New York and Los Angeles will appreciate, but also Poughkeepsie or the Midwest. Pick some town in the Midwest which would be scared to death by… a string of other black faces, or black music.” He went on, “We have to play music we think an entire country is going to like, and certainly we’re a rock and roll station.” The exchange got hotter. Bowie asked: “Don’t you think it’s a frightening predicament to be in?” The intimidated veejay resorted to the radio analogy, “Yeah, but no less so here than in radio.” The British singer pounced on the reply: “Don’t say, ‘Well, it’s not me, it’s them.’ Is it not possible it should be a conviction of the station and of the radio stations to be fair… to make the media more integrated?” Leaving Bowie’s hotel suite Goodman may have had second thoughts about “meeting his idols” In all fairness, Goodman was in a very difficult position. Had he agreed with Bowie it would become a matter of disloyalty. Statuswise he was no match for the international superstar. Offending David Bowie was not the thing to do. Reportedly Entertainment Tonight was planning a segment on the inflammatory debate.

Looking back on the James charges, John Sykes, almost with resignation says: “Once the racial issue steps in everyone forgets everything else; it becomes a show of prejudice versus liberalism. Then everyone reads into it who is being held back.”

James’ allegations would create one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in the development of MTV. This is an industry where any significant move hits the “street” before actually occurring.

Epic Records, a subsidiary in the CBS Group, geared up to equal the success of their Off The Wall. Produced by Quincy Jones over a prolonged period of time with some of Los Angeles’ top session people, the nine cut Thriller album contained a duet with Paul McCartney (The Girl Is Mine), Eddie Van Halen picking high powered guitar solos (Beat It), and a Vincent Price narrative in the title song. Several Jackson biographers estimate the studio costs surpassed $500,000. CBS had a hefty commitment to the effort, going in.

Off The Wall had been an 8 million, multiplatinum crossover album of the year in 1980. To obtain this sales status a wide appeal to those beyond the urban contemporary market had to be established. If Thriller was to parallel or transcend this, the first Epic release had to reach the AOR and MTV audience. Neither were airing artists with Michael Jackson’s sound. Although it is widely believed that the network practiced a quota for black artists (an unproven allegation), MTV appeared an easier vehicle to promote than tackling the resistance of the myriad of nationally scattered AOR stations. There was also the question of the good will of music directors.

Michael Jackon’s Thriller, his second solo effort, bulleted up the Billboard chart to the number one slot by the last week of February. Billie Jean the single from the LP, reached the same position on the Hot One Hundred a week later on March 5th 1983. Both had been on the trade charts for at least seven weeks. A video clip of Billie Jean was commissioned to support the single and the album. Steve Barron of Limelight Productions directed the visual. The “concept” video cost considerably more than average, which at hat time was in he $8,000 o $20,000 range. Estimates are that the label spent $60,000 to $75,000 on it.

CBS Records’ aggressive promotion vice president Frank Dileo took the clip to MTV, “the music video” network. He recalls, “In the beginning they did not know what would be acceptable to their audience,” which was an understatement at best. MTV’s response was generally negative. Bob Pittman: “We chose rock because the audience was larger. The mostly white rock audience was more excited about rock than the largely black audience about contemporary rhythm and blues.” Les Garland echoes his superior’s view: “You cannot be all things to all people. You cannot play jazz and country music and funk. You lose your focus.” Privately, Pittman was labeling his critics as being “ignorant” of the format.

CBS was adamant. Dileo went back to MTV on several occasions to restate the label’s case. MTV continued to repeat: “It’s the format” and the decision had nothing to do with race.

Pittman’s argument was consistent with his past pronouncements. Originally he shunned “golden oldies” even if the clips were available, saying: “I don’t think our audience is very interested in the past.” The same applies to futuristic videos: “Musically, those songs do not fit into MTV’s format. They’re too avant garde.”

While enjoying some support from within the broadcast community, MTV was rapidly being pushed into a public relations corner. The perception was becoming, for some people, the reality. CBS Records, as many have discovered is a company that is willing to extend its clout. Epic did have an argument. Billie Jean with its chart position, was an obvious crossover hit appealing to both races. Thriller’s success only reaffirmed the contention. This view did not seem to originally persuade most of the MTV brass.

The March 2 MTV playlist had Billie Jean as an add-on. This 180 degree shift led to considerable speculation. None of the individuals reportedly involved will directly discuss the about-face.

In late February an informal meeting had been arranged at Black Rock, where some top executives met to consider their options with MTV. Persuasion was not working. One executive suggested having Michael Jackson appear on the CBS Morning News and repeat James’ charges of racism. Several participants indicated that the ploy had little effect in the Slick Rick situation. Several other strategies were discussed and dismissed. Finally, the ultimate weapon was introduced: curtail MTV’s supply of free videos – especially of name acts, such as Billy Joel. This was a step Motown never dreamed about, as their roster and market share were limited. “What could Berry Gordy do, threaten to pull the Dazz Band video?” noted Rock and Rock Confidential (RRC). The CBS Group, with almost 25 percent of the recording market, could withhold Journey, Pink Floyd, Billy Joel and many other artists aired on MTV. Allegedly Waltner Yetnikoff played this card and won. One CBS company employee cautiously noted, “All I can tell you is if that story is in fact true it was a helluva gamble. Chuzpah! MTV could have held firm. Then what?”

In light of the record companies’ experience with radio and the home taping issues, the outcome could have been quite different. Many broadcasters refused to go along with the labels’ “friendly persuasion” to halt playing entire albums without interruption. Record label executives at that time conceded that withholding product service would be counter productive. Pulling the plug on MTV, at the time, could have similar consequences. One CBS artist stated, “I was on MTV at that time. It was definitely helping record and concert sales.” The implication was that he would not have been overjoyed with an MTV boycott, especially with the state of AOR in early 1983. “Walter Yetnikoff and I never had a discussion about Billie Jean,” says Pittman. Dileo was negotiating the matter with MTV executives representing Pittman’s views. Deniability is a practice common in organizations outside the confines of the intelligence gathering community. It is doubtful Pittman or Yetnikoff would have been directly involved. Still, given the stakes even corporate vice presidents were not individually empowered to make he kind of hard decisions that situation invoked.

MTV put the best face on the turn around possible. “By the time we put that video into rotation,” John Sykes told a writer, “there was really no way for us to ignore Billie Jean. It had moved beyond being a “black music” hit; it was an across the board smash, pop, black, dance charts, you name it. It was a rock song, a pop song… it fit our format.” Veejay JJ Jackson said, “I think we all wanted to see Billie Jean on the channel.” Garlend would later deny any coercion: “No that’s absolutely untrue.”

The addition of the clip has been cited by many as the racial “breakthrough.” The debate raged on. Radio broadcasters privately and in trades had misgivings. Formats by their very nature had borders. One program director observed, “Jackson’s a universal, maybe Prince, but what happens if one of the biggies decides an urban contemporary artist should be on AOR?” Off the record another retorted, “I didn’t realize affirmative action applied to playlists.”

Jeffery Kelly, operations manager of WDMT (Cleveland), went public on the controversy. He wrote in Billboard that artists “have expressed their view that MTV should play ‘all’ contemporary music that is hot and on video. But isn’t it true that, like radio formats, this type of television programming is segmented. MTV doesn’t air Rick James’ video; it doesn’t air Neil Dimond’s video, either. MTV is a rock format… [it doesn't] play black or soft rock or country music, because it doesn’t appeal to their segment of the audience.” Kelly went on to suggest that in the future an urban contemporary network would appear “appealing to that active, black, music loving public.” Dave Marsh in his monthly newsletter, without referring to Kelly, condemned MTV and the AOR radio fragmentation. “MTV’s racism is more dizzying in its complexity and dimensions simply because the channel is nation wide.” The cause for the writer was radio. “MTV’s programmers – Bob Pittman, Les Garland, and Lee Abrams – all learned their tricks at AOR, a true school for scandal.” Marsh’s newsletter piece would later be reprinted in the mass circulation Record magazine.

Michael Jackson's Experience of Racism, black musicians, Billie Jean, Rick James, Prince, MTV

Racism Charges Resurface

The race issue hung on. The “is” versus “ought” dialogue continued. Eddy Grant’s “Electric Avenue” appeared on MTV. Grant, an iconoclastic funk fusion artist, originally dropped by Epic in 1980 only to be resigned for the Killer album on Portrait, was sanguine about the MTV issue. He informed Record’s Anthony DeCurtis: “I’ve never bowed to format or whatever it is, because, I don’t understand it. I understand only one thing: how to make music. And I make the music, and if people like it at the radio, or the TV, or whatever, fine. If they don’t, well that’s fine too. Because I’m used to it both ways.” Some of Grant’s urban contemporary’s were no so laid back over the issue. He was on MTV, and they were not.

Prince’s Little Red Corvette continued to complement Billie Jean on the cable network. On April 23, Garland Jefferys had two songs, What Does It Take and El Salvador on the light rotation; Beat It from Thriller, directed by Bob Giraldi and costing nearly $150,000 started on the “heavy” or most repeated category.

Beat It was perceived as the Stairway To Heaven of music videos. Thriller, prior to MTV, had sold some 3 million units. With video exposure it was in the 800,000 per month category.

Prior to James’ comments in the Los Angeles Times, the “racism” debate remained in the trade magazines and specialty publications such as Video. This was “inside baseball” material, as its termed in journalistic circles. A locally sponsored music video six hour symposium in Atlanta, April 16, found Les Garland denying “racism” charges and rattling off the black artists on MTV. Consultant Dwight Douglas prematurely objected, “I’m sick of the press jumping on MTV about this ‘racism’ business, it’s not true. You have to remember that MTV has a very expensive format to protect. If they broke their narrowcasting pattern, somebody could come along and blow them out of the water.” Douglas, president of Burkhart and Abrams, was hardly an objective observer.

Manny Sanches, the marketing director for Franklin Music, retorted: “Forget this black/white thing. The issue is ‘green.’ We need to get on with the business of selling records. That’s what we’re here for.” In May the nonexistant “press coverage” would surface. Ed Levine in The New York Times Magazine would write a lengthy piece on MTV published May 8: five days later ABC TV’s Nightline addressed the same subject, music video. Casey Kasem and Rick Dobbis of Arista Records, were joined by Rick James. James, it appears, was apparently incensed by the inclusion of other black artists. According to several insiders James felt even more personal discrimination because of the addition of other black artists. He would again exclaim his displeasure. The show opened with generally high praise from industry executives and even Ted Koppel, not known for his verbal generosity, commented, “It has done wonders for the sagging record industry. It has made overnight stars out of rock groups whose records had been gathering dust.” James dissented. The Motown artist complained that MTV “has refused to play five of my videos.” After some elaboration Koppel asked, “What’s wrong – I mean we tried to get a representative of MTV to come on the show; they wouldn’t. But they’re saying in effect, ‘Hey, Bloomingdales’s has its market, Nightline has its market….’ Why not?” James responded, “Well, then they shouldn’t call themselves Music Television.” The discussion continued;

Koppel: That’s their privilege, isn’t it?
Rick James: Yeah, but why call yourself Music Television then? I mean, why not then call yourself ‘We Play Sometimes Black Music Television.’ See, number one, you have a lot of black people out there and white people – they all buy records, they mix it up. You’ve got urban contemporary music happening, which is a form – the basis of it is black music form. That’s where it comes from. The beat, the tribal beat, as they say, or whatever, you know, all that crap… This show has a very strong impact on the market. What about all the white kids out there who have a Rick James and a Michael Jackson or – excluding Michael, who’s on the show. They didn’t put him on the show until he went number one. And then I also heard that Columbia almost threatened to take off every video on MTV until Michael was put on that show. When you have a record company threatening a cable show, telling them that if you don’t play this act, we’re going to pull all our videos – that means something. It means something for us to get our music to people, and it means something for us to get our visual concepts to people.

In retrospect, Pittman and associates mishandled the Nightline show. Addressing the guests Koppel concluded, “You’ve reached a few people tonight who may never have heard anything about you before.” The ABC host was right. The Jackson episode went unanswered. Rick James’ fiery rhetoric went unchallenged. Les Garlend’s belated denial was unconvincing as it came at a time when the CBS “video boycott” story had become conventional wisdom in the industry. John Sykes, who could have appeared on the program, might have diplomatically treated the topic as in the past.

Blacks increasingly were added to the MTV playlist, such as Donna Summer’s She Works Hard For The Money. The clip did not satisfy everyone. Speaking at the American Film Institute, scriptwriter Keith Williams charged he was instructed to use a white family in the clip.

Detroit’s hard rocker Bob Seger complained to Musician, “The thing I hate about it is that there’s no black music or R&B on it unless it’s syrupy stuff.” Seger found an ally in John J O’Connor, venerated television columnist of The New York Times. After describing the network as an important presence in programming and record sales, the journalist entered the debate. He wrote that MTV appeared to be “bent on returning the black musician to the status of ‘invisible man.’ … Critics have wondered if this ‘oversight’ is intentional, a demographic ploy for making MTV more palatable to the suburbs of middle class white America. MTV executives, for their part, have insisted, not a little arrogantly, that their product is focused on rock and roll, an area of music that supposedly is not frequented by black performers. Roll over, Chuck Berry.” O’Connor outlined the broad scope of music prior to returning to the race issue. He suggested that Michael Jackson, Donna Summer, Musical Youth, and Prince were merely “promotional spots for MTV” or are being “used prominently in commercials for the format.”

The racism controversy was fueled by idealism, self interest and stubbornness. John Sykes’ original statement concerning “left out” artists had merit. Maurice White of Earth, Wind and Fire, a fusion act, complained on ABC-TV’s 202/20 that “I have trouble getting to play on it [MTV]. Even though our music has broken all barriers they consider our music R&B so they say they’re only playing rock music, which I don’t believe.”

The MTV high echelon, especially, Bob Pittman, was (or at least appeared) intransigent. Rick James was considered by most people in and outside of the industry as urban contemporary. Michael Jackson was an entirely different matter. He had clearly demonstrated a pluralistic market appeal. Pittman played directly into the hands of the critics by the original rejection of Billie Jean with the “it’s he format” rationale. The widely held belief that CBS forced the video clip on MTV only made matters worse. MTV’s arguments for the expansion of the playlist for more minorities because they were moving into rock music had a hollow ring to it. Rick James’ tactic failed. He admitted, “It hasn’t gotten any better for me… Michael Jackson was forced on MTV… [he's] sold millions of albums… I still don’t like MTV.”

Belatedly the Rolling Stones Keith Richards joined in the fray. The “first thing I said after I watched a bit of MTV, you’re lucky to see one black every two hours, if that. Michael Jackson gets played; I heard MTV was playing the Bus Boys a few months ago, but it’s real tokenism. When you consider the contribution black people have made to American music, it’s disgraceful… it’s a little bit one sided.” MTV would remember these observations.

One year after the Billie Jean affair, Pittman would tell Variety’s Richard Gold, “Of the new artists being exposed on the service, some 25 percent are from the black music field.” Later senior research vice president Marshall Cohen would explain a ratings downturn with “we really got a huge benefit from playing the [title] clip from Michael Jackson’s Thriller at the height of Michaelmania.” He added that the ratings dropped “due to no Thriller.” Pittman concurs with Cohen’s assessment, but prior to the so-called “lull” he used Thriller’s title song for other purposes. At a roundtable discussion at Cablevision’s offices chaired by Victor Livingstone he observed:

“The record was out fifty three weeks before MTV played Thriller. Radio had the opportunity to make Thriller a single, but chose not to. CBS had the chance to push Thriller, but chose not to. Sales dropped about 250,000 a week from summertime levels of 1 million, 1.2 million. The first week MTV played it, sales jumped from 250,000 to 657,000 copies, next week to a million, and the third week in excess of a million.

You’ve got to figure that if they sold an extra 3 million albums at $2 an album, they make $6 million. Spending even 1 million on a video was a damned good investment, even if they didn’t get a penny of it back by selling the video.”

By mid-1986, Rick James remained absent from MTV’s playlist, but the tempest he had instigated smoldered.

In the fall of 1983, Robert Pittman was sick of the sniping at his format and the demands being made on MTV. The Acquisitions Committee had added Michael Jackson, Eddy Grant, Prince, Musical Youth and other black performers. This silenced some concerns but others persisted. David Marsh’s Rock & Roll Confidential, beginning with its first issue in May, urged: “If you’re as sick of this bullshit as we are, why not write MTV… and call your local cable outlet.” The same issue accused MTV of “deceptive advertising.” The next issue accused MTV of a “significant marketing failure” and continued to attack: “We billed them for a subscription to R&R, sent them the first issue, and still haven’t been paid.” Next issue contained: “Number of black performers with MTV concerts or specials in the history of the channel is still zero… MTV honchos like Bob Pittman aren’t lying… when they claim that black and white music has ‘always’ been segregated.” In the following issue David Bowie was urged to “withhold videos and interviews until the channel opens up.”

Despite the inclusion of Lionel Richie’s All Night Long, Bob Giraldi portrayed MTV as “racist bastards.” They “can say all they want,” he noted, “about over the line, across the line – they are obviously racist and there’s nothing else to say about it.”

Since the beginning of music broadcasting and record marketing segregation had been rampant. Billboard at one time labeled it “race music.” In the early years of white rock and roll, black artists were “covered” by the likes of the Crewcuts, Pat Boones, and a host of crooners. The Penguins’ Earth Angel stopped this practice when the original black version outsold the watered down release by the Crewcuts. The late Muddy Waters was an embittered man when the Rolling Stones popularized his music. Only then did he receive the attention he richly deserved.


Walter Yetnikoff, the president of Jackson’s record label, CBS, approached MTV to play the “Billie Jean” video. He became enraged when MTV refused to play the video, and threatened to go public with MTV’s stance on black musicians. “I said to MTV, ‘I’m pulling everything we have off the air, all our product. I’m not going to give you any more videos. And I’m going to go public and fucking tell them about the fact you don’t want to play music by a black guy.’” MTV relented and played the “Billie Jean” video in heavy rotation.

michael jackson, llama, louie, michael jackson's experience of racism

“You Are Not Alone,” by Jermaine Jackson

One day, Michael decided he wanted a llama. He asked me to take him to nearby Agora and we ended up at this lot packed with hay and horse trailers. From the car, we eyed four llamas out back. I parked between two trailers, unintentionally shielding my Mercedes from view. It was the only parking spot available. When we walked into the office – two kids dressed casual but smart in T shirt and jeans – this guy, bent across a counter doing some paperwork, didn’t even look up when he said, “We’re not hiring.”

“We ain’t looking for no job,” said Michael, wearing his shades. “We’re here to buy a llama.”

The man looked up. Not a flicker of recognition on his face. It took me about two seconds to know that his musical taste ventured nowhere near the Thriller album. “We don’t have any llamas,” he said. The look on his face said it all: you can’t afford it.

“You have four of them out back,” I said, trying to keep calm.

“You know how much they cost?”

Michael smiled. “We know how much they cost.”

Then came an incredible bombardment of questions, fired by the man’s prejudices and assumptions. “Can you afford a llama? What do you boys do to afford a llama? Where will you keep it? Have you ever thought about this?”

Ever patient, Michael explained that we had a house with grounds and were serious customers. “I know how to look after all kinds of animals,” he added.

The man begrudgingly asked to see some ID. Michael handed over a bank card. I handed over my driving license. And then night became day.

“You’re those Jackson boys?” said the man, his face lighting up. He began to back-pedal about how he had to be careful and he couldn’t sell to just anyone; you understand how it is. Bu we didn’t understand: we saw right through him.

“So you’re happy to accept me because now you know who I am?” Michael asked. The biggest misconception people had about my brother was that his legendary shyness made him timid, but he was a man of principle, especially where his roots as a proud black man were concerned and he wasn’t afraid to speak up on this when riled. Michael took back his ID and came right out with it: “You are an ass, and we don’t want to spend our money in here any more.” Then we walked out to the Mercedes the man had failed to spot when we arrived.

On the drive home, Michael was exasperated. “Can you believe that? What is this area about? What are they teaching their kids?”

We had always been told by our parents that no one is born with a prejudice. It is something that is taught, ignorance passed down from generation to generation. The more Michael brooded, the more fired up he became. He told me to drive to Tito’s.

That afternoon, Tito’s acoustic guitar and our free styling lyrics captured an angry inspiration for a song we called “What’s Your Life?” That was how Michael liked to work. When a true experience inspired a song, he liked to get it down on his tape recorder or in the nearest studio. We recorded that song within an hour at Tito’s studio, also in Encino.

[Seemingly based on the idea that men, especially black men, need to aspire to a macho ideal.]

Michael Jackson called “sissified” by Farrakhan, Gaineseville Sun, April 12 1984

Louis Farrakhan, the controversial leader of the Black Muslim sect, has called on black youths to reject the “female acting, sissified” image of award winning entertainer Michael Jackson.

Farrakhan blamed the 25 year old Jackson, recent winner of eight Grammy awards, for his style that “actually ruins your young men and makes your young women have nothing to look up to as a real man for their own lives.”

Farrakhan’s criticism of Jackson was made in a March 11 radio broadcast. The Chicago Tribute recently obtained a copy of the Farrakhan broadcast and published details about the Michael Jackson statement Wednesday.

In the broadcast, Farrakhan said: “… we have today a Michael Jackson who is winning all kinds of awards because he is a great and marvelous performer. But the image that he projects to young black men is an image that we should all reject.”

Farrakhan said, “This… Jehri-curl, female acting, sissified-acting expression is not wholesome for our young boys, nor for our young girls. Certainly the man is a great singer, certainly, he’s a powerful entertainer. We cannot and we would never try to take anything away from our brother.”

He went on to contend that Michael Jackson is setting a poor example for black youth. “This is a shame. But, of course, men like this will live to die of old age, because they threaten nothing.”

A spokesman for Michael Jackson, whose latest album, Thriller, has sold more than 25 million copies, said the singer would have no comment. The spokesman in Los Angeles described Jackson as very religious and added, “I just don’t think he would subscribe to any way of life other than a very deeply religious lifestyle.”

Michael Jackson's Experience of Racism, Don King, Michael Jackson

As quoted by Taraborrelli in Magic and Madness, pg 377

King’s final comments on the subject [of the Victory tour] failed to ingratiate him to Michael Jackson. He went on, “What Michael’s got to realize is that Michael’s a nigger. It doesn’t matter how great he can sing and dance, I don’t care that he can prance. He’s one of the megastars in the world, but he’s still going to be a nigger megastar. He must accept that. Not only must he understand that, he’s got to accept it and demonstrate that he wants to be a nigger. Why? To show what a nigger can do.”

Jermaine Jackson “You Are Not Alone”

Don [King] didn’t win awards for tact and diplomacy, and his giant ego was the reason he was a promoter. He was brash but effective. Had you seen him – the loudest mouth – and Michael – the quietest soul – interacting, you might have thought, There’s the kid with the embarrassing uncle that he can’t help but find funny. I’ll never forget being in a meeting when we were discussing something about the show’s direction and Michael was talking about how he wanted to pay back the fans and keep pushing higher.

“Michael!” said Don, cutting dead the monologue. “Remember this. It don’t matter whether you’re a rich nigger, a poor nigger, or just a nigger. No matter how big you get, this industry’s still gonna treat you like a nigger.” In other words, and in his opinion, you’ll always be a servant to the music industry, so don’t ever think of becoming more powerful than that.

Everyone in the room froze. If the music industry blew smoke up everyone’s ass, Don blew in an icy blast of straight talk.

It was Michael who was the first to laugh, cracking the suspended silence. He found it funny, in a shocking way, and wasn’t offended. None of us was. A black man had been addressing black men, and that kind of talk was hardly foreign to someone from Gary, Indiana.

Jackson Fans Angry At Foxboro, Herald Journal, June 22nd 1984

Radio station switchboards were jammed with angry calls Thursday and a state legislator branded town officials as racists following their decision to turn away two concerts by superstar Michael Jackson and his brothers.

“We have an awful lot of people who were upset with the town of Foxboro,” said Mark Williams, a producer of Boston radio station WRKO-AM’s morning talk show. “The switchboard is overloaded with calls.”

The yelps of protests from Jackson fans came after the three selectmen in this community 30 miles south of Boston voted Wednesday night to reject permits for two concerts at Sullivan Stadium.

Residents had complained the concerts would attract vandals, disrupt business and create traffic problems.

Many callers questioned to reject the black group while permitting stars like David Bowie and the Police to play the stadium last year.

“A lot of people think it’s a racist thing,” said Charles Laquidara, the morning disc jockey at WBCNFM. “It’s unfortunate because the man cuts across all color lines. You can hear Michael Jackson on every station on the dial.”

Foxboro officials “feel the town is going to be the ‘Mecca for Minorities’ when all the evidence is directly opposite said Sen Royal Bolling, a black legislator who traveled to Los Angeles earlier this year to persuade the Jacksons to come to Sullivan Stadium, the largest arena in the Boston area.

Bolling proposed legislation to limit the power of Foxboro selectmen to turn down concerts and said he would lead a multicultural march of thousands of Jackson fans to the concert site if Foxboro officials don’t change their minds.

The selectmen declined to comment, but town counsel Richard Gelermen called the charge of racism a “scurilous thing to say.”

“That was absolutely not a consideration and it reflects very poorly on the town of Foxboro,” he said. “The truth is that at the last two major  concerts there was disruptive behavior in the neighborhood and Michael Jackson has the capacity of drawing many unticketed people into the area.”

Stadium owner Charles Sullivan executive vice president of the National Football League New England Patriots wanted to bring Jackson and his five brothers to the 61,000 seat stadium on August 11 and 12.

Sullivan reportedly has guaranteed the Jacksons $40 million in exchange for the right to promote their summer tour across the country, winning the job through efforts to get the group to play at the Foxboro stadium.

“Naturally we’re quite disappointed,” said Michael Chamberlain, president of Stadium Management Corp. which is handling the tour. “The ironic thing is he wound up getting the whole tour and the first and only city that has turned down is Foxboro.”

Chamberlain said there would be no attempt to challenge the decision.

The Jacksons Victory Tour opens in Kansas City on July 6th and will include 39 concert dates in 11 cities. The main attraction will be Michael Jackson, whose hits like Beat It and Billie Jean made his Thriller album the biggest seller in history.

Chamberlain said Stadium Management offered to provide round the clock security to businesses near the stadium to win over the selectmen Sullivan even promised a black of the $30 tickets for Foxboro residents. But the selectmen turned down the concert despite the $50,000 the town would receive from the concerts.

Selectman Stephen Hickox told the 150 people who attended the meeting he shows would attract and “unknown element”to the town of 14,5000. Chairman Richard Thompson said safety officials feared traffic jams could black fire tracks and ambulances.

“I do not think that any security plan would be able to handle the large number of non ticket holders that may show up,” he said.

A caller to the radio station complained that Western Union refused a telegram to the selectmen calling them “low life scum.” Another radio station hired a limousine to transport live chickens to the selectmen.

Michael Jackson's Experience of Racism, The Way You Make Me Feel, ethnic, Tatiana Thumbtzen


David Banks, the co-writer of The Way You Make Me Feel, was a relative of Eddie Griffin. David had shared with me how MTV had complained about our video, saying that it was too “ethnic”. David had said to me, “He’s Black. What do they expect?”

From the Julien’s Auction website:

Three-page handwritten letter from Michael Jackson to William Pecchi Jr., written on Capitol Tokyu Hotel stationary c. 1988. The letter is affectionately addressed to “Pecky.” Pecchi was a camera operator on Jackson’s film Moonwalker (Ultimate Productions, 1988). After Moonwalker, Pecchi was asked to travel abroad with Jackson during the Bad tour. Pecchi rode to and from venues to capture the crowd’s reaction to Jackson. It was during these rides that Pecchi and Jackson talked at length and one such conversation in Tokyo provoked this correspondence. The letter discusses Michael’s goals for the film, encouragement to Pecchi, reactions to conversations about racism and Jackson’s vision of the world, signed, “love M.J.”


I very, very seldom write letters, but in this moving occasion I couldn’t help myself. I want to thank you for putting the effort forward to capture the magic and excitement of the people of the world. What you do is a very personal and powerful medium to me. It is the art of stopping time, to perserve a moment that the naked eye cannot hold, to capture truth spontaneous truth, the depths of excitement in human spirt. All else will be forgotten, but not the films. Generations from now will experience the excitement you’ve captured; it truly is a time capsule.

I will not be totally satisfied until I know you’re at the right angle at the right time, to capture a crescendo of emotion that happens so quickly, so spontaeously. What you have done was good, but I want the best, the whole picture, cause and effect. I want crowd reaction wide lens shots – depths of emotions, timing. I know we can do it. It is my dream and goal to capture TRUTH. We should dedicate ourselves to this. The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication. There is no other way to perfection than dedication, perseverance. Just tell us what you need to make it happen. Take the leadership to direct the other cameramen.

I enjoy working with you that is why I asked you to come, you have a gentle spirit that’s very likable. Maybe I look at the world through rose colored glasses, but I love people all over the world. That is why stories of racism really disturb me. You hurt my heart and soul when you told me of your boyhood in Texas. Because in truth I believe all men are created equal. I was taught that and will always believe it. I just can’t conceive of how a person could hate another because of skin color. I love every race on the planet earth. Prejudice is the child of ignorance.

Naked we came into the world and naked we shall go out. And a very good thing too, for it reminds me that I am naked under my shirt, whatever its color. I’m sorry to bring up such past news, but in the car I was hurt by what you said. I’m so happy that you have managed to overcome your childhood past. Thank God that you’ve graduated from such beliefs of ignorance. I’m glad I’ve never experienced such things. Teach your kids to love all people equally. I know you will.

I speak from my heart saying I love you and all people, especially the children. I’m glad God chose me and you.

Love M.J.

“I remember a long time ago in Indiana, [when I was] like 6 or 7 years old, and I had a dream that I wanted to be a performer, you know, an entertainer and whenever I’d be asleep at night, and my mother would wake me up and say, ‘Michael, Michael, James Brown is on TV!’ I would jump out of bed and I’d just stare at the screen and I’d do every twist, every turn, every bump, every grind. And it was Jackie Wilson; the list goes on and on you know, just phenomenal, unlimited, great talent. It’s very sad to see that these artists really are penniless because they created so much joy for the world and the system, beginning with the record companies, totally took advantage of them. And it’s not like they always say: ‘they built a big house,’ ‘they spent a lot of money,’ ‘they bought a lot of cars’–that’s stupid, it’s an excuse. That’s nothing compared to what artists make. And I just need you to know that this is very important, what we’re fighting for because I’m tired. I’m really, really tired of the manipulation. I’m tired of how the press is manipulating everything that’s been happening in this situation. They do not tell the truth, they’re liars. And they manipulate our history books. Our history books are not true, it’s a lie. The history books are lies, you need to know that. You must know that. All the forms of popular music from jazz, to Hip Hop to Bebop to Soul, you know, to talking about the different dances from the Cake Walk to the Jitter Bug to the Charleston to Break Dancing—all these are forms of Black dancing! What’s more important than giving people a sense of escapism, and escapism meaning entertainment? What would we be like without a song? What would we be like without a dance, joy and laughter and music? These things are very important, but if we go to the bookstore down on the corner, you won’t see one Black person on the cover. You’ll see Elvis Presley. You’ll see the Rolling Stones. But where are the real pioneers who started it? Otis Blackwell was a prolific phenomenal writer. He wrote some of the greatest Elvis Presley songs ever. And this was a Black man. He died penniless and no one knows about this man, that is, they didn’t write one book about him that I know of because I’ve search all over the world. And I met his daughter today, and I was to honored. To me it was on the same level of meeting the Queen of England when I met her.

But I’m here to speak for all injustice. You gotta remember something, the minute I started breaking the all-time record in record sales—I broke Elvis’s records, I broke the Beatles’ records—the minute [they] became the all-time best selling albums in the history of the Guinness Book of World Records, overnight they called me a freak, they called me a homosexual, they called me a child molester, they said I tried to bleach my skin. They did everything to try to turn the public against me. This is all a complete conspiracy, you have to know that. I know my race. I just look in the mirror, I know I’m Black. It’s time for a change. And let’s not leave this building and forget what has been said. Put it into your heart, put it into your conscious mind, and let’s do something about it. We have to! It’s been a long, long time coming and a change has got to come. So let’s hold our torches high and get the respect that we deserve. I love you. I love you. Please don’t put this in your heart today and forget it tomorrow. We will have not accomplished our purpose if that happens. This has got to stop! It’s got to stop, that’s why I’m here with the best to make sure that it stops. I love you folks. And remember: we’re all brothers and sisters, no matter what color we are.”

Comments { 2 }

Michael Jackson Last Girlfriends Friend Flower Bodyguards

Three bodyguards who worked for Michael through the years 2007-2009 have opened up about working for him, revealing that he had been dating at least two women in the years that they worked for him. These women were nicknamed “Friend” and “Flower” in order to protect their privacy.

Interviewer: Was he a pedophile?
(all three shake heads)
Mike Garcia: No.
Bill Whitfield: No.
Javon Beard: Not at all.
Bill: Being a father myself and being a man, men know men, he had the desires of women like we do.
Narration: In fact, they say he had at least two girlfriends, dispelling that other rumor.
Bill: We had a curtain that covered the backseat, you couldn’t see in the backseat, they talked back there… I mean, you know.
Interviewer: So he’s making out in the backseat.
Bill: Or chewing loud gum (everyone laughs).
Interviewer: It sounds like you’re chaperoning two teenagers on a date.
(All nod and agree)
Javon: It was cute for us.

Narrator: They didn’t ask for anything for this interview.


MICHAEL JACKSON’s former bodyguards have spoken out about their late boss, revealing the King of Pop romanced a string of women with dates in the back of his limousine.The Thriller hitmaker’s longterm security guards, Mike Garcia, Bill Whitfield and Javon ‘BJ’ Beard, agreed to be interviewed on U.S. TV show Good Morning America on Tuesday.

And the trio divulged personal details of the late singer’s life behind closed doors, insisting Jackson had at least two steady girlfriends whose identities have remained a secret – and he took them on dates driving up and down the Las Vegas strip when he lived in Sin City.

When asked about the child molestation charges which were levied at Jackson despite his acquittal at a 2005 trial, all three insisted the star was not guilty of the accusations.

Whitfield says, “Being a man… men know men, and we (were) around him long enough to know he was a man.”

While Garcia adds, “(He had) desires of women like we do. He had lovers.”

And Whitfield goes on to describe Jackson’s various romantic encounters in the back of his limousine: “In the cars that we had, we had a curtain that covered the back seat. You couldn’t see in the back seat. They talked back there, they didn’t do nothing out of bounds… you can hear the kissing.”

link to their facebook

Q: I trust you Bill, but I don’t understand why you don’t want to answer some of the question here because you’ll be talking about them in the book, however you don’t mind answering other questions you also will be talking about in the book. To be clearer; why don’t you want to answer here any question about his girlfriends?

MJs Bodyguards - Questions such as what? I get questions every 2-3 minutes every day, I can’t answer everyone or every question.

- Its not that we dont wanna answer questions about his female friends, its NOT about them, its about MJ. Who they are shouldnt matter.

Q: Random question……..dont have to answer if you dont want are you gonna talk about romantic interests? just curious who he was cheating on me with lol jk

MJs Bodyguards – He was not cheating on anyone..lol… we never said dating two ladies, we said he had two friends that he knew. ppl took that as something else….

- Ok, I see many of you have different feelings on what we should or shouldnt write about in the book. Please understand, his children want this, they want the world to know and see the side of their father the press and media never took the time to acknowledge. Its not about his Love life, its about his being happy and real. He would have loved towalked thru the mall with a “friend” and not be bothered by the media. He didnt put his personal life out there because he couldnt without being hounded by the press. This book is for his fans too, if you beleive and agree great, if you dont we are sorry but I assure you, if your a true MJ fan you will Love this book!

Q: Were there any times or moments when Michael was in public and no one either recognized or bothered him? And did he try to go out by himself sometimes without security? Stay blessed!

MJs Bodyguards There were a few times we escorted him and no one recognized him, he would take long walks at night with a friend.

Q: Bill, who was the friend MJ use to go on long walks with? E. Taylor? Thanks and have a relaxing weekend!

MJs Bodyguards A friend

Michael Jackson’s former bodyguards — Bill Whitfield, Javon Beard and Mike Garcia — are shopping a book, “In Defense of the King,” about their three years working with the King of Pop. The body men, who were interviewed by ABC in March, will sit down for another chat with the network to air in June, in which they will expound on Jackson’s financial troubles and try to kill rumors that the singer was gay. For one, confirms publicist Lelani Clark, the bodyguards say Jackson had two girlfriends toward the end of his life. One was called “Friend” and spoke with a European accent.

“Defending a King,” by Dr Karen Moriarty

His Las Vegas security guards – Williams, James, and Garcia and Thomas Mesereau, all of whom knew Michael well, have confirmed that he was not homosexual.

Attorney Thomas Mesereau became intimately aware of Michael Jackson’s sexual proclivities during the months of the 2005 trial that delved into every aspect of the superstar’s private life. There was a massive and thorough investigation into every event and piece of evidence that might reveal Michael’s sexual preference and behaviors. Every item at his Neverland home – books, magazines, videos, articles of clothing, laundry hamper, papers, safes, and personal effects – was searched, confiscated, and/or filmed. Only some “girlie” magazines were found; nothing related to homosexual pornography was found – nothing. It is interesting to note that a photo of Marilyn Monroe was displayed on Michael’s bedside table.

Thomas Mesereau affirms that “Michael Jackson was a ‘red blooded male heterosexual’; he was not a pedophile – nothing could be further from the truth.”

His Las Vegas security team of three men have affirmed that “Michael Jackson was not gay.”

“Men know men,” they explained in a kind of shorthand to communicate that they got to know their boss intimately and that he obviously liked women. He would watch them from his vehicle, like any heterosexual man would do, and occasionally he would comment to his protectors on the attractiveness of various women.

Mr Jackson maintained a relationship with each of two women during the many months of guard service by Boyd Williams, Baron James and Michael Garcia.

Known to his security team as “Flower” and “Friend” each would occasionally come to visit their boss. Mike Garcia speaks about driving them to meet when one of the women came to Las Vegas to spend private time with him. Three men believed that Mr Jackson used nicknames for the women in order to protect their identities.

Mr Jackson did not entertain either of his female friends in the presence of his children nor did they come to his house. Nothing was more important to Mr Jackson than the well being of his family and he did not want to impose a single/unmarried female guest, as his “date”, upon his young, impressionable children. This behavior was in keeping with his self professed description as “old fashioned” and “a gentleman.”

It is fair to say that Michael Jackson was at the point in his life that he would not allow himself to open up thoroughly to any woman or allow himself to fall in love. Doing so would bring a world of his attention to his women friends, and the media would be relentless – like a dog with a bone – in chasing and hounding these women.

Ironically, it seems that the only ones outside of his security team – who ever saw Michael Jackson and one of his female companions together did not recognize him. Thankfully, no photos were ever taken. This situation is a tribute to his security men, who worked so diligently and intelligently that Mr Jackson and his special “friends” were not detected or revealed to the public.

When Mr Jackson was visited by one of the women, the security team covertly made all of his requested arrangements. The guards escorted Mr Jackson into his reserved hotel suite without the knowledge or cooperation of hotel management. It would be too risky to notify hotel personnel about the boss’ identity; his rendezvous with his lady could be easily and quickly ruined by the onslaught of paparazzi. “Michael Jackson with Mystery Woman!”

For the guards, it was great to know they could provide Mr Jackson with temporary peace of mind, which he so longed for and deserved. He could have someone he truly liked and she could reciprocate his feelings. They “acted like high school sweethearts,” laughing, giggling, and joking around. They spoke on the telephone often, so much that Mr Jackson accumulated huge monthly long distance phone bills.

The revelation of Michael Jackson and women friends comes as no shock to most of the residents of Los Olivos, the closest town to Neverland, at a distance of five miles. There, among the townspeople, it was commonly known that their neighbor superstar was dating women. Michael and his female friends typically avoided public places, as was his modus operandi in general, but sometimes he was spotted with a woman companion, who was obviously a “date” and the Michael Jackson sighting would be passed by word of mouth. Soon everyone would hear about it in this peaceful, scenic town in “wine country” with only 1,100 residents. It’s also interesting to note that, according to a recent US Census Bureau report, the racial make up of Los Olivos was 92.7% white, only one African American (.1%) and the remaining 7.2% of individuals were of other races. Michael Jackson was unique within his local community and in so many ways – the biggest celebrity, the wealthiest resident, and an anomaly as an African American man.

When Michael Jackson was seen in the Los Olivos area, especially with a woman friend, it was always notable.

Comments { 13 }

Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston

[While she was away touring for Elvis Presley when Whitney was a child]

I’d call home every night, allowing for the time difference and timing the call to be near the kids’ bedtime. Gary was a little bit older and kept his feelings in check.

Nippy was always into something — busy playing or watching her favorite performer, Michael Jackson, on TV.

Was there a moment when you were watching her perform and realized there was something exceptional there?

Well, I thought she was a very special kid from Jump Street, not just because she was mine. She was beautiful and talented and very smart. And she was very observant, interested in the things around her. Most children are, I guess, up to a point. But she was exceptional in that area. She would listen very closely to music, and she was always very alert musically.

And then she started to sing herself. I called it screaming at the time—well, my husband did. But I said, “Hey, one day, maybe she’ll be a singer.”

And Whitney used to tell me she would. She would look at Michael Jackson and say, “Mommy, I’m going to be a star. I’m going to take care of you, and you’re never going to have to work again!”

Michael Jackson Whitney Houston, Jermaine JacksonMichael Jackson Whitney Houston, Jermaine Jackson

[Sometime in 1984, Jermaine at a meeting with Clive Davis]

“Now, before you leave, can you put your producer’s cap on for a minute?” Clive Davis asked. “I have this new artist…” He pushed a tape into his VHS recorder and we sat back to watch this tall girl with model looks and an incredible voice singing in a club in somewhere like New Jersey. She must have been about 18. That was my first sigh and sound of Whitney Houston. “She needs material,” he said. “She’s going to be huge. I’m working with other producers. We’re not rushing her. What do you think?”

I blurted out what was in my head the moment I heard her voice: Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. That’s the gold standard I had in mind. A duet. Me and her. “I’d be excited to work with her,” I said. “We’d be perfect together.”

THE FIRST TIME I SAW WHITNEY in the flesh she was at a studio in Hollywood. She was even more gorgeous in person. She walked over, we shook hands, and there was one of those recognitions that sends all sorts of wires sparking and fusing on the inside. I caught her during a break in recording, and she was smoking. “You don’t want to smoke those,” I said. “They’ll ruin your voice.”

She smiled. “You might want to live more dangerously,” she said. Touche. This girl was quick witted with a confidence that trod on your toes. She was that mix of street smart East Coast girl with an air of innocence and a vast talent. I found that a hypnotic combination.

Her voice had strength, passion and softness, and she could use every element of her range to tell a song’s story. She could sing anything. We would spend a lot of time in the studio together, recording duets and in production, and soon enough, she was calling me Jackson, not Jermaine, setting the easy atmosphere in which we worked. We had an instant mutual respect for each other and a growing attraction. During our increasing time together, it was what we didn’t say – yet still conveyed – that sent me into a head spin. I kept reminding myself about Hazel, the family, and everything I had built and everyone I loved. This was the stuff they didn’t warn you about when you got married, aged 19. They didn’t tell you that when you grew up there would be super human forces to drag you toward temptation. No matter your intentions, you should be tested. And this collaboration, with an as yet unknown artist, was to be mine.

VICTORY’S SCHEDULING MEANT WE WEREN’T SOLIDLY on the road for five months. We had periods back home and we had off days built in, which gave me time to continue my collaboration with Whitney Houston on her debut album. Clive Davis was still building the hype about his protegee, throwing parties on both coasts and clearly wanting to ride this collaboration on the crest of he brothers’ tour. There was always some club to attend, like the Limelight in New York, or a promotional party in LA, where Whitney and I made our well choreographed entrances. I didn’t know at the time, but someone from Arista was always nudging the writing elbows of gossip columnists in the hope of building an are-they-or-aren’t-they mystery. But it seemed the press was more interested in the fact that Whitney spent a lot of time with a woman named Robyn Crawford. Whitney once described their friendship as being “closer than sisters” – and that was all journalists needed to read between the lines. They were curious about her sexual orientation before her album was even released.

Having witnessed this kind of false diversion play itself out in Michael’s life, I had every sympathy, but we also laughed about it in the studio because, trust me, if you had spent more than two minutes in the charged energy of the “Whitney Whirlpool”, you didn’t need to ask how that fire smouldered.

I knew I was in trouble in the face of that fire when Clive booked us on to the CBS soap opera As The World Turns to test our duet “Nobody Loves Me Like You Do” for the wedding scene of Betsy (Meg Ryan) and Steve (Frank Runyeon). I remember when she held my hand mid song as the cameras rolled – an unrehearsed moment – and something hit me. The frisson just kept developing the more we worked together.

Back in the studio, we recorded and produced songs like Take Good Care Of My Heart, If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful, Sweetest Sweetest, and two unreleased ones called Don’t Look Any Further and Someone For Me. With each session, we were in each others eyes, almost cheek to cheek around the mic, selling the lyric, feeling the song – and the intense professional chemistry crossed over. Come the end of a powerful rendition, Whitney would just stay close to the mic, close to me, and say “What are you going to do with me, Jackson?” She held the seductive gaze. I lost my words. Then she walked away.

These were turning into duets between temptation and forbidden love, and the studio sessions gave us what feel like stolen time together. I arrived on those days with butterflies, because the whole experience of being around Whitney was intoxicating. I admitted silently that I had the strongest feelings for a remarkable woman, whose heart was as beautiful as her face, and it became increasingly hard to sing love songs with all that emotion and unspoken passion between us.

I spoke to no one about this until the day Michael raised an innocent enough question:

“So how’s it going with Whitney?”

He’d heard me predict that “She is going to be the biggest thing when people hear her voice.”

“Were getting along very well,” I told him, smiling.

“You like her?” he asked.

“Yeah, I like her.” Still smiling.

“Oh, you really like her!” He started chuckling.

“I really like her,” I said. Smile now gone.

Michael got excitable. “You in love with her?”

“I can’t be in love,” I said. “I’m married.”

That was a deliberate lie. I was caught between the guilt of saying it out loud and respect for his position because he was, at this time, still a devout Jehovah’s Witness. I guess I didn’t want to be a disappointment to him having for so long been an example.

I can’t remember what his exact words were in the back and forth that we had, but for a man with limited experience of this kind of thing, he had the wisdom of a sage. He didn’t fuel the temptation as some guys would. He reminded me about Hazel. About family. About not getting wrapped up in the moment. He gave the soundest advice, and I knew that doing “the right thing” was ultimately what I had to do.

Whitney and I spoke endlessly about our shared predicament and as much as I wanted to lose myself in all these feelings, I told her to wait. I spoke of “one day” and “maybe.” Ultimately, we had to go our separate ways and it killed us both even if it was the right sensible option.

I don’t think anyone punched the air harder than I when the album “Whitney” became the biggest début album ever, selling 16 million copies worldwide after its release in 1985. Two years later, her follow-up album turned her into the first female artist to have an album début at number one. We didn’t see each other for years after we finished recording.

In fact, she saw more of Michael than of me backstage at one of his concerts in New York, and then again in 1988 when she was onstage with Quincy Jones to help present Michael with an honorary doctorate in humanities from Fisk University. I saw newspaper photographs of them together in this moment and I observed the irony of them side by side.

In 1985, I received a phone call from someone close to Whitney, telling me that she was releasing her new single “Saving All My Love For You.” Like Michael, she expressed herself through song. When I watched the official music video, I soon realized that it was also autobiographical with its parallels-and coded message-to what we had recently shared in the studio together. I guess we had both left a deep and abiding impression on one another and her positive impact has never left me.

But he claimed they quelled their feelings for each other before becoming lovers.

Revealing how he was torn between his wife and the beautiful singer, he wrote: “Whitney and I spoke about our shared predicament.

“And as much as I wanted to lose myself in all these feelings, I told her to wait.

“I spoke of ‘one day’ and ‘maybe’. Ultimately, we had to go our separate ways and it killed us both.”

But the friend revealed Jermaine was being less than honest — because he did not want to reveal the truth out of respect to Whitney while she was alive.

The pal explained: “Jermaine didn’t tell even half the story in his book.

“He made it sound like they flirted and backed away. But they were lovers.

“In those early days with Whitney, he was smuggled into her hotel rooms, they worked extra late in the studio and she even had a codename for him. She referred to him as ‘Ji’.

“The reason it ended was because Jermaine wouldn’t leave his wife — and Whitney was angry. The video for Saving All My Love For You was about all of that.”

Steve Dennis@SteveDennis71

Been no “confession” frm Jermaine @DrMALee. He wrote about #Whitney w/discretion & decency last yr. The Sun piece 5mnths later is v separate

Steve Dennis@SteveDennis71

BREAKING NEWS: Journalists lift quotes from books. UPDATE: Journalists don’t tend to tell authors in advance. (Shocking, I know)

“I later learned that he had romanced Whitney Houston, the beautiful model Iman, and Stevie Wonder’s sister.”


About half the show is the new CD, the rest her past hits. “I have to do ‘How Will I Know’ and ‘Saving All My Love’ and ‘I Will Always Love You,’” she says. “Those songs brought me here. I’ll do them forever.”

And is that a burden?

“No, because they all had meaning for me. When I did ‘Saving All My Love,’ I was going through a terrible love affair. He was married — and that will never work out for anybody, never, no way, forget about it.”

Whitney Houston the reigning princess of pop has her sights set on royal marriage of sorts. She says she’d like to do a duet with the prince of pop Michael Jackson: ”He’s one of the people I believe to be a genuine talent and for me to be able to sing with him would be the ultimate honor. It’s one of the goals I’m working toward to.”

Michael Jackson Whitney Houston

“Michael winced when Whitney flubbed “Lift Every Voice And Sing” but loved her “America The Beautiful.”

In a televised interview, Whitney revealed, “Of all the people that I would like to do a song with, Michael Jackson would be on the top of the list.” She also mentioned that she had talked to the elusive superstar on the phone, but didn’t have the nerve, despite her own celebrity, to ask him to record an album with her.

The increasingly media-savvy young singer also couldn’t resist the temptation of hinting that she and Michael were an item. One reporter fell for the ploy and wrote, “Whitney seems to be trying very hard to get in good with Michael Jackson. She seems to be everywhere that he is–a coincidence?”

Indeed, Houston did seem to pop up in Michael’s life at regular intervals. In 1988, she was spotted a various functions that Jackson also attended. She made sure they were photographed arm in arm at the Grammy’s and she spoke of Jackson fondly in interviews. In March of that year, Michael was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by Fisk University in recognition of his generous donations to the United Negro College Fund. Houston attended the ceremony, which was held at the Sheraton Center in New York, and a camera caught the two stars beaming at each other.

Houston’s presence at the event could be explained by the fact that she was also a major contributor to the United Negro College Fund. But the smile she sot Michael when she came onstage to sing the unofficial black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” suggested her motives were more than philanthropic. That suspicion was confirmed when she made sure the paparazzi photographed her with Jackson.

Later that year, Whitney flew to California to present Jackson with the Life Achievement Award for Video, which was broadcast as part of the “World Music Video Awards.” After the ceremony, Jackson further fueled rumors of a romance with Houston by inviting her to lunch at his family’s compound in Encino, California. That the superstars’ relationship was less than romantic was suggested, however, when Jackson also extended the invitations to the entire production crew of the televised awards ceremony.

After lunch, Jackson gave Houston and the rest of the party, a personal tour of the grounds, on horseback as though-the same pundit joked-he hoped to keep at least a horse-length buffer between himself and Houston.

“Like my friend Michael [Jackson] says, ‘You want our blood but you don’t want our pain.”’

When interviewed on cable TV”s BET Video Soul in 1991, Whitney Houston revealed that she would like to work with Michael Jackson: ”I think he and I probably would create a lot of magic… Incredible!” She mentioned that two or three years earlier they had talked about it, but it didn’t happen. ”He hasn’t called me”, she smiled, ”but I can’t wait.”

She also confided, ”Now you know that ‘s another person I’d love to do something with. Bobby (Brown) and I would be explosive. As a matter of fact I wanted to do a duet with Bobby for the album I’m your baby tonight but that didn’t work either.”

RS: How has your huge success changed your life?

WH: It’s really strange. Michael Jackson said it best: You become this personality instead of a person.

Jackson And I Are Victims Of Racism, Whitney Houston says, The Desert News, February 21st 1994

Whitney Houston says she and Michael Jackson are victims of media racism.

“I see white folks do a lot of things – a lot of things that I wouldn’t even think about doing – and nobody cares,” Houston told TV Guide.

“I think a lot of emphasis is placed on black people because there are not many who are able to succeed. So when one does, it’s like, ‘Uh-oh.’”

Houston said she first recognized the problems last year when tabloids reported – falsely that she had been hospitalized for an addiction to diet pills.

Her awareness grew during the media frenzy over allegations that Jackson sexually molested a young boy.

“You do not convict someone of a crime that you have no idea they committed,” Houston said. “I hate the media for doing it to him.”

Michael Jackson Whitney Houston.

THERE was a time when you could have told feuding firebrand Whitney Houston to bury the hatchet – and she’d have planted it between Madonna’s shoulders.

But not any more. For the two have retracted their razor nails, shaken hands and the egos have bonded.

They are even about to make music together – which isn’t bad, considering ‘Whitters’ once called ‘Madders’ “the high priestess of tack”.

But this new-found friendship is a key element in The Taming of The Houston, Hollywood’s latest drama, brought to you exclusively by the Daily Mirror.

“I’m too exhausted by the feuding in my life to keep them all going,” says 32-year-old Whitney. “I’ve made a resolution to end all battles.”

“And she always gets what she wants,” adds her close associate Freda Maguire.

Whitney – star of the hit movie Waiting To Exhale – is a very demanding diva.

But she’s also just a girl with feelings for her fellow females.

Take Madonna – upset and exhausted after giving evidence against a crazed stalker sitting opposite her in a courtroom.

The phone rang – with Whitney, her arch-rival, offering genuine sympathy.

A couple of days before, Houston had sent Ms Ciccone a huge bouquet with the message: “I know what you’re going through. Chin Up! Love, Whitney.”

Says Freda: “When Whitney heard about Madonna’s court case last month she said: ‘I don’t care what bad blood has been between us.

“‘It’s stupid for us to hate each other. It’s a horrible feeling not knowing where the next stalker may be coming from’.”

Freda adds: “Whitney said she wanted to bury the hatchet, which was pretty great considering she once called Madonna ‘revolting’ and ‘the high priestess of tack’.

“Then Whitney actually suggested that they do a duet together. She wants it to be about being stalked, about being afraid for your life.

“Madonna agreed and they’re going to do it. The duet will appear on Whitney’s next album. It’ll be huge – imagine how many millions it’ll sell,” Freda says.

This could be all about money, but no one denies that Whitney’s had her fair share of stalkers.

Her movie The Bodyguard may have encouraged a few weirdoes – but not the one who claimed to have had three-in-a-bed sex with her or the other who was discovered with enough explosives to put Houston on the moon.

For her part, Madonna was soon praising Whitney for keeping her tricky marriage going with singer Bobby Brown.

“Whitney said Madonna is ‘a true sister. I’m sorry I ever said a bad word about her’,” Freda explains.

If that was Hollyworld War One over, Hollyworld War Two also seems about to end in peace.

This one has seen ‘Whitney v Janet Jackson’ ever since ‘Hou’ discovered ‘Jack’ had once had an affair with Bobby before he became ‘Hubby Brown’.

Step forward Janet’s brother Michael ‘Peacemaker’ Jackson. Seven years ago he and Whitney spent the night in a hotel bedroom together.

Of course, nothing happened, though Whitney blushed and refused to comment.

But Monica Pastelle, a pal of Lisa Marie Presley, says: “Michael told Lisa that Whitney practically drank him under the table that night.

“She can handle champagne. He can’t. Poor Michael had one drink, got dizzy and swooned on the bed.

“Whitney slept on a chair and slipped out before he woke. It was pretty embarrassing for him.”

But Jackson so appreciated Whitney’s tight lipped discretion, that she won his never-ending loyalty.

Michael told Whitney that sister Janet was also a fan.

So Whitney called Janet in Malibu. “They agreed to ignore pressure to keep their feud going,” says Monica.

Now Hollyworld War Three – against Diana Ross appears to be ending as well.

It all started when Whitney, then 16, met Ross, 52 next month, in a nightclub. The teenager said she idolized Ross and wanted to be a singer too.

But Diana slammed her fist on a table said: “Girl this is the worst business in the world” and then offered her a job as a baby-sitter.

Step forward Whitney’s Mum yelling: “Don’t listen to her! She’s nuts!” Exit Houstons while Ross fumed. They became the best of enemies.

As Whitney’s star climbed she said she wanted to play the lead witch in Dreamgirls, a movie character based on ‘Rossie’.

Then Whitters said she’d like to star in the Josephine Baker story, a role for which Miss Ross would kill.

But at the recent Soul Train awards, Diana hugged Whitney for a full minute – in public.

“I was shocked,” Whitney said. “Maybe it’s all behind us.”

Now all she’s gotta do is sort out Bobby.

Whitney’s explosive marriage to rap artist Bobby Brown is constantly in the news, and her string of ex-lovers includes stars such as Michael Jackson, Kevin Costner, Eddie Murphy and Robert De Niro – not forgetting earlier rumours that she’s actually a lesbian.

Whitney Houston has confirmed performances for both Friday, September 7, 2001 and Monday, September 10, 2001 at the all-star tribute in honor of Michael Jackson at Madison Square Garden. Producer David Gest said in a press release:

“Whitney is one of my closest friends and I am delighted she will share this special occasion with Michael, who happens to be her favorite artist. They will perform a duet together.”

Michael expressed his delight about Whitney joining him on both nights by stating:

“I feel Whitney is one of the greatest voices in the world. She could sing the yellow pages and I would buy it. I absolutely adore her and am her greatest fan.”

The second portion of Whitney Houston’s sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey aired on Tuesday (September 15) and, in addition to opening up more about her marriage to Bobby Brown and her issues with substance abuse, she also spoke candidly about how she reacted to the news of Michael Jackson’s death.

“Devastating,” Houston told Winfrey. “I have so many good memories of spending time with him. I’ve known his family for so many years that I thought, ‘It can’t be true.’ ”

Houston said that she was aware of his troubles over the years and even heard about his painkiller addiction at one point. “I knew he was on painkillers at one time… I didn’t know how far and how deep it was,” she recalled.

She said that performing with him at his 30th-anniversary special in 2001 opened her eyes — she saw him as a “mirror” because he reflected her own problems with addictions. “I just remember doing the anniversary special and I remember looking at Michael and I remember looking at myself and I was getting scared looking at him,” she said. “I was looking at myself. I don’t want it to be like this. Mike and I were very close.”

That concert was the last time that Houston remembers seeing him, but she does note that the pair stayed in touch over the years via the phone. “I think it was that time [that I saw him last], but I spoke to him during the trial a lot. He would speak to me on the phone, but he didn’t want me to see him,” she said. “[It] saddens me.”

I had the honor and pleasure of knowing him personally. I had a telephone number. I could call up and say hey Mike what you doing? He’d say Whitney, I’m alright, I’m a little tired.

I’m missing you
I can’t call you on the phone tonight
I’m missing you Mike

I’m truly for real no joke or jive
From my heart to yours Mike
I’ll never forget you
This must be the hardest part of my show

Michael and I were friends for at least 20 years. In our business, some things that are very precious you try to keep to yourself because…you know…you know how that is. We wanted to be very discreet about our friendship and our love for one another because it was a true friendship you know. He called me Whitney and I called him Michael. I don’t know what anybody else called him. I don’t know no other name but Mr. Michael Jackson. He was not the ordinary, just not the ordinary but the extraordinary. There will never ever be, in this life time, a man that (can’t understand what she says here).

I have to tell you he could do it all. Whatever he put his mind to. His body, his movement, his songs, his writings, his words and he loved entertaining you…he loved entertaining you.

I have to tell you, I spent time with Michael laughing, crying, crying, laughing, singing, talking, or not talking (she laughs).

Then she finishes by saying he would want her to tell the fans how much he loved him and he dedicated five decades of his life to entertainment.

Ad libs:

My love for Mike is out right now here on the stage
I’m not gon hide it
See Michael, I’ll always, I’ll always, I’ll always
I’ll love you in a place where there is no space or time

I’ll love you all my life
We were friends, dear friend of mine
And now that’s over
I remember when we were
Yes we spent time alone together

Michael Jackson Whitney HoustonMichael Jackson Whitney Houston
Michael Jackson Whitney HoustonMichael Jackson Whitney HoustonMichael Jackson Whitney HoustonMichael Jackson Whitney Houston

Whitney: “I really wanted to marry Michael and you [David Gest] were in the way all the time, so that’s why.”
David: “He should’ve married you.”
Whitney: “Yeah he damn well should’ve, right.”
David: “I love you so much.”
Whitney: “I love you, too.”

My friendship with Whitney started in 1985 when I was introduced to her by my best friend Michael Jackson.

At the time, I was producing the American Cinema Awards in LA and as Michael and I were driving to Disneyland in his Rolls-Royce, I said I would love to have Whitney receive the Distinguished Achievement in Music Award. He dialed and passed me the phone saying, “Okay, here she is, ask her.”

I was like “Holy Focaccia, Michael, you’ve got Whitney Houston on the phone!”

I liked Whitney from the moment I spoke to her and she immediately said yes to the honour.

I produced eight shows with her, a number of them in aid of her Whitney Houston Foundation.

When I met with her last year, it was to interview her for my film Michael Jackson: Life Of An Icon.

She really loved Michael and he adored her. Michael told me they once shared a passionate kiss, and she told me she was at one time very much in love with him.

I think she really wanted to marry him but, although he had a crush on her, he was too shy.

Later, he confessed to me he should have made every move. If they had got together, I believe Whitney would not have done drugs or become a semi-recluse.

Comments { 6 }

Michael Jackson’s Favorite Music


MJ, 1988 list of his favorite things:

“I spend hours listening to classical composers. Tchaikovsky is the greatest. I also love songs from the great musicals like “Climb Every Mountain” and “Happy Talk”, as well as modern pop groups like U2, ZZ Top and Van Halen. Here is my all time top ten.”

1812 Overture – Tchaikovsky

LL Cool J, Essence, September 30, 2009

He told me once that “Around the Way Girl” was one of his favorite songs because he like that ‘you got me shook up, shook down, shook out all your lovin’…’ , [which is from the Mary Janes Girls' "All Night Long,"] you know.

Michael Jackson, Rolling Stone, Feb 17, 1983

Freddie invited Michael. He has been calling all week, mainly about the possibility of their working together. They’ve decided to try it on the Jacksons’ upcoming album. Though they are hardly alike — Freddie celebrated a recent birthday by hanging naked from a chandelier — the two have been friendly since Michael listened to the material Queen had recorded for The Game and insisted that the single had to be “Another One Bites the Dust.”

“Now, he listens to me, right Freddie?”

“Righto, little brother.”

Queen’s drummer Roger Taylor:

“Michael came to several shows, I think at The Forum, in LA. And he loved Freddie and he kept saying, ‘You guys you gotta put that song out’. I said, ‘No, you’re kidding, that’s never a single’.

LL Cool J, Essence, September 30, 2009

He told me once that “Around the Way Girl” was one of his favorite songs because he like that ‘you got me shook up, shook down, shook out all your lovin’…’ , [which is from the Mary Janes Girls' "All Night Long,"] you know.

MJ, 1988 list of his favorite things:

“I spend hours listening to classical composers. Tchaikovsky is the greatest. I also love songs from the great musicals like “Climb Every Mountain” and “Happy Talk”, as well as modern pop groups like U2, ZZ Top and Van Halen. Here is my all time top ten.”

Baby Love – Diana Ross and The Supremes

Russrags on Gearslutz:

1st off the song I always heard Michael singing around the Studio was “Black Dog” by Led Zep truly amazing to witness 1st hand.

Michael loved singing “Black Dog” and it was great hearing him sing it, but no recordings .. dang it !!!

MJ, Jet, 6th February 1984

“That’s why I love Stevie Wonder’s album called Songs in The Key of Life… He had a song called Black Man and I just jumped up screaming when I heard that record because he’s showing the world what the Black man has done and what other races have done… He named it Black Man and all these people who have got the album sing it. And that’s the best way to bring about the truth.”

Toni Braxton, Pulse, 22 February 2010

I remember when I first met him; he came over to me which was a really big deal. We were at a charity ball and he came over to me and said, ‘Toni Braxton oh my God I love you, your voice is so incredible, so androgynous – it’s so unique. Breathe Again is my favourite song, let’s take a picture together.’

MJ, 1988 list of his favorite things:

“I spend hours listening to classical composers. Tchaikovsky is the greatest. I also love songs from the great musicals like “Climb Every Mountain” and “Happy Talk”, as well as modern pop groups like U2, ZZ Top and Van Halen. Here is my all time top ten.”

Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel

Song that he first performed as a child in school, which lead to him pursuing singing.

MJ, 1988 list of his favorite things:

“I spend hours listening to classical composers. Tchaikovsky is the greatest. I also love songs from the great musicals like “Climb Every Mountain” and “Happy Talk”, as well as modern pop groups like U2, ZZ Top and Van Halen. Here is my all time top ten.”

Michael ‘s list of favourite records, 1979ish

Michael Jackson's Favorite Songs

P.Diddy on a TV Special For Michael:

“I was throwing this party for the MTV movie awards. You know, I was starting to plan to really do my entree on the scene as an actor.

I invited everybody, everyone was there, the Beckhams was there, I remember Beyonce was there, Jamie Foxx, Ashton, Cameron Diaz, Will Smith, Chris Rock. Everyone that was moving and shaking in Hollywood. So the party’s going on, the party’s off the chain, party’s already a success.

I remember Beyonce had just dropped Crazy In Love. I remember that was what was just killing the dance floor and she was there and I remember the DJ he ain’t played it yet, and the dancefloor was warmed up, and everyone was saying, “we want to hear the new Beyonce joint,” that’s how hot it was.

Security comes to get me and says, “You have a guest here, who wasn’t on the list.” I’m like who, he’s like “Michael Jackson.” I’m thinking they joking around with me, I’m thinking like you know they trying to maybe Punk me. This is like – I think Punk’d, Punk’d was out during this time, I’m not knowing what’s going on.

So then I go towards the back, back where like the catering was and it’s Michael. I’m like, “Michael, what’s up, what’re you doing?”

And he’s like, you know, “I’m here with Brett Ratner, you know we came to the party, is that cool, can we come?”

I was always impressed about how down to Earth he was. But this is actually down to Earth, he’s asking if it’s alright to come to this party. He said, like, “This party’s really hot. You gotta invite me to more of your parties.” And then he leans over to me and he’s like, we’re taking some pictures and he’s like, “Where’s Beyonce?” I’m like, I’m like I didn’t think I heard him correctly. He’s like, “You know, I heard she’s here, where’s Beyonce?”

And I’m like, “Okay, well hold on, let me go find out where she’s at.”

So I round up on B, B’s on the dancefloor and I’m like, “B, um, you know, Michael’s here, he wants to meet you.” So I get Mike, you know bring him over, he’s like, “I love the record,” whatever, whatever.

He goes to tell the DJ to play the record. DJ plays the record.

And um, I recall them dancing, I don’t want to be quoted for that, that could’ve been in my imagination, but I do recall them dancing or something but even if they never danced that’s the way it is in my mind, but I’m pretty sure that they did dance.

But the whole recollection of that is that – it was so real that Mike recognized the greatness in Beyonce early. He had no ego about it and was ready to meet her and give her hers and he was also ready to go for his as a man. I think we all as men at the time wanted to dance with Beyonce. Michael had the courage enough to come to a party, ask for Beyonce and even dance with her.

Frank Cascio

Brilliant, Michael Loved this song, would always play this song while he would get ready in the morning…

Frank Cascio “My Friend Michael”

I remember him putting on a group called Bread. I didn’t pay too much attention to the music – I was too busy making fun of the name, But when I settled down for a minute and really listened instead of making sarcastic remarks, they became one of my favorite groups. I wanted to know everything there was to know about Bread. Yes, Bread was my jam.

Russrags on Gearslutz:

Once I was out at Michael’s Studio on Havenhurt in Encino, and I was going through a stack of vinyl records sitting by the console. One of the records I came across was Grace Jones “Nightclubbing” I picked it up to look at it front and back and Michael got kind of excited about it too. He took the record from me and asked if I’d like to hear a song that was very influential to him, and I thought are you kidding, YES please. He put on a song called “Feel Up” from that record and I about fell over !!! All the little inflections Michael creates with his voice on his records, are present on this Grace Jones track from 1981. Please check this song out, anyone reading this thread will be glad they did.

Michael ‘s list of favourite records, 1979ish

Michael Jackson's Favorite Songs

MJ, 1988 list of his favorite things:

“I spend hours listening to classical composers. Tchaikovsky is the greatest. I also love songs from the great musicals like “Climb Every Mountain” and “Happy Talk”, as well as modern pop groups like U2, ZZ Top and Van Halen. Here is my all time top ten.”

Get On Up – James Brown

Michael Jackson: For The Record by Chris Cadman:

The line “Go on, girl!” [in the song "The Way You Make Me Feel"] was inspired by Stevie Wonder’s song, Go Home, revealed by Michael as he and Stevie were in an elevator, trading lines from The Way You Make Me Feel. Stevie said knowing he’d inspired Michael made him feel pretty good.

MJ, 1988 list of his favorite things:

“I spend hours listening to classical composers. Tchaikovsky is the greatest. I also love songs from the great musicals like “Climb Every Mountain” and “Happy Talk”, as well as modern pop groups like U2, ZZ Top and Van Halen. Here is my all time top ten.”

MJ, 1988 list of his favorite things:

“I spend hours listening to classical composers. Tchaikovsky is the greatest. I also love songs from the great musicals like “Climb Every Mountain” and “Happy Talk”, as well as modern pop groups like U2, ZZ Top and Van Halen. Here is my all time top ten.”

Heard It Through The Grapevine – Marvin Gaye

Frank Cascio’s book “My Friend Michael”

Michael played DJ back at the chalet, saying, “You have to listen to this song. Now you have to hear this group.” We listened to Stevie Wonder and all of the Motown stars. He had us listen to the James Brown song “Papa Don’t Take No Mess” – all fourteen minutes of it. We listened to How Deep Is Your Love? (I still believe that it’s one of the greatest songs of all time).

Jim Peterik, co-writer of the song “Eye of The Tiger”

Also, what do you think of Weird Al’s “Rye & The Kaiser”?

Haha. I am big fan of his parody of Eye of the Tiger. Especially like the line “Stay away from the tuna, it smells fishy today.” Almost did not grant a license to Al for this song but I am glad that Michael Jackson changed my mind.

I knew Michael through Bruce Swedien – who was Michael’s long-time engineer. When Michael heard my song – “Gift of Song” – he said to Bruce “He is writing about me.”

When Michael gave Weird Al permission to “Beat It” as the template for “Eat It” – he convinced me that this was a cool thing to do. Never regretted it for a minute.

Michael seen dancing to this song in the back of Brett Ratner’s car in 2002 in his “Private Home Movies”:

Barry Gibb, 1st September 2009

“[Our] songs like Love You Inside and Out in particular struck him as him and saying that’s what he wanted to do.”

Michael ‘s list of favourite records, 1979ish

Michael Jackson's Favorite Songs

Michael ‘s list of favourite records, 1979ish

Michael Jackson's Favorite Songs

MJ, 1988 list of his favorite things:

“I spend hours listening to classical composers. Tchaikovsky is the greatest. I also love songs from the great musicals like “Climb Every Mountain” and “Happy Talk”, as well as modern pop groups like U2, ZZ Top and Van Halen. Here is my all time top ten.”

Love Me Do – The Beatles

Russrags on Gearslutz:

Once I was out at Michael’s Studio on Havenhurt in Encino, and I was going through a stack of vinyl records sitting by the console. One of the records I came across was Grace Jones “Nightclubbing” I picked it up to look at it front and back and Michael got kind of excited about it too. He took the record from me and asked if I’d like to hear a song that was very influential to him, and I thought are you kidding, YES please. He put on a song called “Feel Up” from that record and I about fell over !!! All the little inflections Michael creates with his voice on his records, are present on this Grace Jones track from 1981. Please check this song out, anyone reading this thread will be glad they did.

MJ, 1988 list of his favorite things:

“I spend hours listening to classical composers. Tchaikovsky is the greatest. I also love songs from the great musicals like “Climb Every Mountain” and “Happy Talk”, as well as modern pop groups like U2, ZZ Top and Van Halen. Here is my all time top ten.”

Nutcracker Suite – Tchaikovsky

Sampled by Michael in D.S in HIStory.

Robmix on Gearsltuz:

It was amazing how he’d come in with some song he liked and want to capture something about it – the energy, the tone, the mood.

He was really into “Owner of a Lonely Heart” too. So when Yes came to town, I made sure everyone knew it, and we got Trevor Rabin to come down and play some stuff on “They Don’t Care About Us”.

That is the orchestra hit from “Owner of a lonely heart” [on D.S]. . . . .

Nephew Taj Jackson on twitter, 3rd of January 2011:

tajjackson3Taj Jackson Every time I hear “Owner Of A Lonely Heart”, I think of my uncle. It was one of his favorite songs. I can still picture him doing air guitar.

Frank Cascio’s book “My Friend Michael”

Michael played DJ back at the chalet, saying, “You have to listen to this song. Now you have to hear this group.” We listened to Stevie Wonder and all of the Motown stars. He had us listen to the James Brown song “Papa Don’t Take No Mess” – all fourteen minutes of it.

Michael ‘s list of favourite records, 1979ish

Michael Jackson's Favorite Songs

Frank Cascio “My Friend Michael”

He introduced me to all types of music – country, folk, classical, funk, rock. He even turned me on to Barbra Streisand. I fell in love with her song “People.”

MJ, 1988 list of his favorite things:

“I spend hours listening to classical composers. Tchaikovsky is the greatest. I also love songs from the great musicals like “Climb Every Mountain” and “Happy Talk”, as well as modern pop groups like U2, ZZ Top and Van Halen. Here is my all time top ten.”

Peter and the Wolf – Prokofiev

MJ, 1980

”I have all kinds of tapes and music people would probably never think were mine . I love Some Girls [by the Rolling Stones].”

Michael ‘s list of favourite records, 1979ish

Michael Jackson's Favorite Songs

Michael shopping in an old record store sometime in the early 2000s

At one point when we had taken him down to the basement to look through all of the junk, he turned and asked me, “Do you like Diana Ross and the Supremes’ music?” I said that I did and I asked him what his favorite song was by them. He said “Stop In the Name of Love”, I think. I told him that mine was “I Hear A Symphony”, and he said that he loved that one, too. He said he thought it was a shame that their reunion tour that was supposed to happen didn’t because they couldn’t get along.

Michael ‘s list of favourite records, 1979ish

Michael Jackson's Favorite Songs

Michael ‘s list of favourite records, 1979ish

Michael Jackson's Favorite Songs

MJ, 1988 list of his favorite things:

“I spend hours listening to classical composers. Tchaikovsky is the greatest. I also love songs from the great musicals like “Climb Every Mountain” and “Happy Talk”, as well as modern pop groups like U2, ZZ Top and Van Halen. Here is my all time top ten.”

Yellow Submarine – The Beatles

MJ, 1988 list of his favorite things:

“I spend hours listening to classical composers. Tchaikovsky is the greatest. I also love songs from the great musicals like “Climb Every Mountain” and “Happy Talk”, as well as modern pop groups like U2, ZZ Top and Van Halen. Here is my all time top ten.”

Yesterday – The Beatles


Pet Sounds – Beach Boys
Spirits Having Flown – Bee Gees
To Kill a Mockingbird – Elmer Bernstein Soundtrack

Biography, “You Are Not Alone,” by Jermaine Jackson:

When What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye was released, Michael considered it ‘a true masterpiece’ and placed the album sleeve on a shelf at Hayvenhurst: an ornament to be admired; an example to follow. It is still there, propped up where he left it, to this day.

Robmix on Gearslutz:

He was a huge fan of Nine Inch Nails Downward Spiral . . . .

MJ never revealed if he wanted to work with NIN. He just liked the sounds. . .

Michael ‘s list of favourite records, 1979ish

Michael Jackson's Favorite Songs

Michael ‘s list of favourite records, 1979ish

Michael Jackson's Favorite Songs

Michael ‘s list of favourite records, 1979ish

Michael Jackson's Favorite Songs

Michael ‘s list of favourite records, 1979ish

Michael Jackson's Favorite Songs

Michael ‘s list of favourite records, 1979ish

Michael Jackson's Favorite Songs

Songs in the Key of Life – Stevie Wonder
Talking Book – Stevie Wonder
West Side Story – Soundtrack
Nutcracker Suite – Tchaikovsky


Frank Cascio “My Friend Michael”

Michael went on about Aaron Copland, whom he considered the greatest composer of the twentieth century.

Aretha Franklin
Bob Marley
Boys II Men

Frank Cascio “My Friend Michael”

I remember him putting on a group called Bread. I didn’t pay too much attention to the music – I was too busy making fun of the name, But when I settled down for a minute and really listened instead of making sarcastic remarks, they became one of my favorite groups. I wanted to know everything there was to know about Bread. Yes, Bread was my jam.

Michael ‘s list of favourite records, 1979ish

Michael Jackson's Favorite Songs

Burt Bacharach
Chicago House Music
Diana Ross and the Supremes
Doobie Brothers

David Gest, Observer, December 2009

One night, when he was in his late teens, we went to The Roxy on the Sunset Strip to see the Four Tops.

We went backstage with Stevie Wonder, and Michael says to the lead singer of the Four Tops, Levi Stubbs Jr, “I learned everything from you Levi, everything.” Stevie picked Michael up, threw him against the wall and went, “Who did you learn everything from? Who’s the greatest?” and Michael said, “You, Stevie! Stop! You!” It was so funny.

Glen Campell
Guns ‘N’ Roses
Herman’s Hermits
Jackie Wilson
James Brown

David Gest, Observer, December 2009

He also loved anything Motown as well as real, heartfelt soul. To both of us, James Brown was a god and Jimi Hendrix was his brilliant pupil.

Johnny Mathis
Kenny Loggins

Interview with Jerry Greenberg, Aug 9 2010

What was Michael like as a person?

Wonderful. He was an incredible human being. The kindest, nicest, most wonderful guy I’ve ever met. He was really a God gifted entertainer.

I heard that he was brilliant in that regard.

He was a perfectionist. He had perfect pitch, which the only other person I know who had that was Roberta Flack. He would record a vocal track ten times to make sure it was absolutely correct. He had such a good sense about music. I wasn’t with the company for more than two weeks and he called me up in the middle of the night and said, “Jerry did you see Sister Act 2?” I said, “No”. He said, “There’s a girl in the movie that you have to see.” It was the lead singer of the Fugees, Lauryn Hill. He said, “I want to sign her.” I knew who managed the group so I called him and said, “Michael, I found out she is in a group called The Fugees, but I spoke to their manager and if the first record doesn’t happen I think she would love to do a solo record with us.” Obviously, the first record happened and we never got her, but it shows you that Michael can spot talent and what his gut instinct was. She turned out to be a big star. I had a great time working with Michael and when I look back at my career and I think about all the artists that I worked with at Atlantic and then Michael for ten years. That was a treat. I’d wake up and say, “You’re really paying me to do this?

Maceo Parker

“Trapped” by Dave Marsh

At the opening show of the Victory tour in Kansas City last June, a number of writers were struck by a couple of bits of gospel phrasing that you used. They’d never shown up before, and there was no real reason they should turn up now: You weren’t raised in Pentecostal church and Motown was shaped by gospel only in its rhythmic accents, not in its singing styles. After asking around, it turned out that you’d come across a videotape of Mahalia Jackson from the mid fifties.

“Michael apparently sits up all night and watches that tape over and over,” a friend told me. “Just sits there and watches it and cries.”

Mamas and Papas
Marvin Gaye
Nile Rogers
Otis Redding

MJ, Blues and Soul, May 6, 1980

Michael, we know you don’t like doing interviews and that you have a valid reason for feeling that way. For the benefit of your fans, would you like to tell us about it?

MJ: This is the honest to God truth. What a person says means so much to me. It can change a person’s whole opinion of another person. I’ve seen that happen so many times – Charlie Chaplin, Paul Robeson, Jane Fonda. All of whom are people who spoke out and the world opinion started to change on them. My biggest fear is of being misquoted. One word can be cut into a statement and change the complete meaning and coloring of what was meant.

A lot of geniuses in different endeavors have been hurt this way. Like Charlie Chaplin being called a Communist. Or the way that Paul Robeson was treated. So, if I can’t be quoted properly then I’d rather not be quoted at all.


Paul Leroy Robeson was an American concert singer (bass-baritone), recording artist, athlete and actor who became noted for his political radicalism and activism in the civil rights movement.[3] Robeson was the first major concert star to popularize the performance of Negro spirituals. He was the first black actor to portray Shakespeare’s Othello in a production with an otherwise all-white cast, in 1930.[4] Ira Aldridge had also played Othello, but his production had an all-black cast, as African-Americans and whites were not allowed to appear together onstage in the nineteenth century.

Peter Paul and Mary
Ray Charles
Richard and Robert
Sammy Davis Jnr
Sherman Brothers
Sly And The Family Stone
Smokey Robinson
Stevie Wonder
The Beatles
The Carpenters

David Gest, Observer, December 2009

One day she was sick and Michael asked me if I could take him to a memorabilia show in Glendale. I said, “What’s memorabilia?” and he said, “You’ve got to get into it, David, you’ll love it.” So I drove him to a show where they were selling lots of old rock and soul posters, gold records, Beatles items and signed items by Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison and the Doors. Michael loved the Doors and their music.

Three Dog Night

MJ, 1988 list of his favorite things:

“I spend hours listening to classical composers. Tchaikovsky is the greatest. I also love songs from the great musicals like “Climb Every Mountain” and “Happy Talk”, as well as modern pop groups like U2, ZZ Top and Van Halen. Here is my all time top ten.”

MJ, 1988 list of his favorite things:

“I spend hours listening to classical composers. Tchaikovsky is the greatest. I also love songs from the great musicals like “Climb Every Mountain” and “Happy Talk”, as well as modern pop groups like U2, ZZ Top and Van Halen. Here is my all time top ten.”

Whitney Houston Added To Second NY Concert, August 16 2001

Whitney Houston has confirmed performances for both Friday, September 7, 2001 and Monday, September 10, 2001 at the all-star tribute in honor of Michael Jackson at Madison Square Garden. Producer David Gest said in a press release:

“Whitney is one of my closest friends and I am delighted she will share this special occasion with Michael, who happens to be her favorite artist. They will perform a duet together.”

Michael expressed his delight about Whitney joining him on both nights by stating:

“I feel Whitney is one of the greatest voices in the world. She could sing the yellow pages and I would buy it. I absolutely adore her and am her greatest fan.”

MJ, 1988 list of his favorite things:

“I spend hours listening to classical composers. Tchaikovsky is the greatest. I also love songs from the great musicals like “Climb Every Mountain” and “Happy Talk”, as well as modern pop groups like U2, ZZ Top and Van Halen. Here is my all time top ten.”

Feel free to let me know about any that I’ve missed and for any sources that I should include.

Comments { 13 }

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley

Another Presley – Elvis’ daughter Lisa Marie – is developing a singing voice in the hopes of starting a music career. She has been singing and writing her own material for demo records.

Elvis’ 24 year old daughter is doing her own thing and writing her own material. Insiders say Lisa Marie has an unusual and strong rhythm and blues voice and has recorded some demons for a possible recording deal. Stay tuned.

Lisa gives birth to son, Ben.

Excerpt from “Child Bride” about their meet up together, by Suzanne Finstad

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley

He had become a successful artist, famous for a million-dollar portrait he had painted of Michael Jackson, who had become his personal friend. Brett, the great connector, considered introducing Lisa to Michael. “She had the talent as well as the beauty and the name, so I thought Wow! The sky is the limit. What an image! I had known Michael for six years or more, and I thought maybe I could introduce Lisa to Michael Jackson. I thought, Hey, the person to get is Michael Jackson, because he’s an artist, instead of dealing with businessmen who would just categorize her and work her way up.” Michael had a new record label, Brett knew, and was looking for exciting, undiscovered talent. Who better than Lisa Marie Presley? “I didn’t discuss this with anyone,” said Brett. “I just thought about it and went about my business and thought that sometime in the future Lisa would like to have a conversation with Michael. From what I could see, Lisa was disenchanted with Jerry’s representation because she didn’t like what the head guy at Sony in New York had told her about where she had to begin and what she had to do—that she had to crawl before she walked.” Lisa wanted to emerge a full-blown star, and Michael Jackson, Brett believed, could help her.

Several months after the idea occurred to him, Brett telephoned Lisa, who was taking courses at the Scientology center in Clearwater, Florida. He said, “Lisa, if you’re really serious about your career, why don’t I put you in touch with Michael Jackson?….I think you should meet him and play your music and sing for him, and I think he could really encourage and inspire you on a direction you could take.” Brett told her that Michael had his own company, Nation Records, sponsored by Sony, and that he could “really launch her big time.” Lisa was intrigued.

Brett’s next step was to telephone Michael Jackson. “I said, ‘Michael, what would you say if I found talent for you that had the potential to be number one in the world in the recording industry—beautiful girl, great voice and also a reputation that would be a public relations dream come true?’ and he said, ‘Who are you talking about?’ So I said, ‘Lisa Presley.’ And he said, ‘What? She can’t sing!’ and I said, ‘She can.’ And then I asked, ‘Have you ever met Lisa?’ and he said no.” The conversation, recalled Brett, was brief, followed by lots of other conversations about it. Michael was “amazed at first, and then said, ‘Well get her to send me a tape.’ ”

At the time, neither Michael nor Lisa recalled their fleeting meeting introduction backstage, at the Sahara Tahoe when Lisa was six and Michael was sixteen. Lisa’s close childhood friend Myrna Smith, who was with Jerry and Joe Esposito when they took Lisa to that long-ago concert, confirmed this. “Lisa didn’t even remember meeting Michael as a child,” Myrna said. “She asked me, ‘Did I ever meet Michael Jackson?’ and I said, ‘Don’t you remember? We took you to see the Jacksons.’ ”

When Brett told Lisa about his conversation with Michael, she was offended that she would have to send a demo. She told Brett, “Forget it, I’ll play the tape for him in person.” Lisa called Brett constantly afterward, inquiring about the meeting with Michael. She told Myrna excitedly that Brett had arranged to have Michael and her get together at his house in Pacific Palisades and for Lisa to play her demo tape.

Lisa took her husband Danny, along to that meeting, and the group gathered in Brett’s living room. “Michael…was blown away by her music,” according to Brett. “She played the tape and was really excited that Michael Jackson was here, and at that point, she looked like a fan of his. And he was really tickled to see that she had a lot of potential, but he didn’t think too much more than ‘Wow, Brett is onto something here.’ ” There was, according to Brett, not even the slightest suggestion of anything romantic between Lisa and Michael at that meeting. “Her husband was here.”

Michael carried on with his own career interests after that meeting, but Lisa, recalled Brett, “kept calling me after that. Constantly calling me. And she wanted to get together with Michael more.” Lisa met with Brett a few times to talk about it, remarking that she had “a few things in common with the Jacksons and maybe she should pursue a friendship with Michael.” Brett, still their intermediary, offered to represent Lisa in a business contract with Michael for a recording deal, even though he had an art partnership with Michael and had been his friend for years. Brett had worked up some figures and talked to Michael, who arranged for Brett to take Lisa to meet with Michael Greenberg, the head of Jackson’s company, Nation Records in Santa Monica.

Lisa brought Danny along with her attorney, John Coale. “I didn’t know anything about that business,” said Brett, “but I wanted to make sure that Lisa made a deal at the top level…by saying, ‘Hey, Elvis is the King and she’s the Princess. She’s got the talent. All she needs is Michael to help record at the highest possible level and help her choose the songs and teach her some presence on stage. I was trying to get Michael to…make a deal with Lisa at the top—the deal that the other recording companies were making with Madonna and Barbara Streisand. And he was like, ‘Are you crazy? They have proven themselves.’

And I said, ‘No, make the same deal; a deal over a period of time…based on performance as the records sell. And not only will you make the deal with Lisa, you’ll promote the company.’ And I knew that’s what Lisa would love, if she was put on a pedestal.”

The newlyweds first met around November 1992, says Lisa Marie’s friend, lawyer John P. Coale, who was advising her at the time. Was it business or pleasure? “It was more of a social meeting,” he says.

The meeting took place in L.A. at a friend’s house. (“Nobody famous,” Coale says.) “She liked him. She thought he was real nice. In the beginning they were friends, just friends. There was no romantic hint of anything at the time. . . . I’m not sure when the romantic thing came in.”

GARY HOVEY, UNCLE: She went to meet with record people, with a manager, and the [music deal] was just about set. She didn’t do the deal because she became pregnant with Ben, her second child, so it all got put on hold a year or two later, whenever she became interested in singing again, which happened to coincide with the time she met with Michael.

ZAHN: Five years into Lisa’s marriage to Danny Keogh, the relationship was buckling. It was during this time that a fledgling friendship with Michael Jackson began to evolve.

“I always liked him,” Lisa Marie recalled. “Michael fascinated me with his talent. I loved watching him dance. He wanted to know me better, but I always thought he was sort of freakish. I didn’t really want to know him any better than I already did.”

At this time, Lisa had recorded four songs produced by her husband. She felt she had a lot to say about her unusual life as daughter of an icon, and she was looking for a way to say it through her lyrics and music. “I had a voice,” she once told me, in retrospect, “but I didn’t have the experience. Things always got too wild when people found out that Elvis’s daughter wanted to sing. It became a matter of deals and money, money, money: I lost my fire for it. I lost the urge to create. I was scared, I guess, so I pulled back.”

She had no confidence in herself as a vocalist,” Said Brett Livingstone Stone. “She was afraid of being compared to Elvis, afraid of rejection. When I suggested Michael could help her, she said, “He’s a superstar, do you really think he’d help me?” After dinner at my house, Lisa played tapes of some of her music, and Michael was blown away. He told her, “You have real talent… a fine voice. You could be a star. Let me see what I can do for you.”

As she sat with him and listened to stories about his life in the business, she found herself falling under his spell. According to Brett Livingstone, when Michael was about to leave, he offered Lisa a penetrating look and in a conspiratorial voice said, “You and me, we could get into a lot of trouble. Think about that, girl.”

New once-again mom Lisa Marie Presley, 24, is said to be working on her debut album.

Lisa was torn. Part of her was in “turmoil,” recalled Brett, “on her mind was ‘I have my kids,’ and she was in turmoil with her husband and what should she do? If she wanted to be a star, she had to really want to live and breathe that.” Michael Jackson also advised Lisa similarly: If she wanted to pursue a singing career, she would have to dedicate herself to it. During the following weeks, Brett found herself the hapless man in the middle, caught between a balking and busy Michael, and an ambivalent yet driven Lisa.

Brett made arrangements for Lisa to visit Michael in Japan while he was on the tour for Dangerous, and tried to facilitate other plans, some of which occurred while others dissipated. According to Brett, Lisa was, “in relentless pursuit of Michael Jackson,” and phoned [Brett] constantly to find out whether the deal would occur. Michael, in Brett’s characterization, was obviously intrigued by the thought of signing Lisa Presley, “but there was more desire on Lisa’s part for something to happen.” Lisa, he recalled, finally said to him, “It doesn’t seem like I can make that deal with him, and I don’t want to push him too much.”

Brett, who was still hoping to bring them together for a record deal, finally arranged for a representative from Michael’s office to send a formal letter to Lisa stating that Michael was still interested in keeping things going. At the same time, Prince also began pursuing Lisa to sign a recording contract.

Lisa celebrated her twenty-fifth birthday with a huge party, planned by Priscilla, at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Prince was among the guests, along with a sprinkling of celebrity Scientologists such as Kirstie Alley, Nicole Kidman, and Juliette Lewis. Lisa invited Michael Jackson as her special guest, “and he would have loved to have gone,” said Brett, “but he had other things.” Brett suggested to Michael that he should at least send Lisa a birthday gift, “so he told me, ‘Well you go get it!’ ” Brett selected, as Michael’s gift to Lisa, an art book on Michelangelo and a silver picture frame in which he placed a photograph of Michael and Lisa’s original meeting in his living room. Brett, attempting to be gallant on Michael’s behalf, wrote sweet birthday inscriptions in the art book and on the birthday card, making them appear to be from Michael. “I was just trying to be a good friend for him,” said Brett. “I went to the party with my son Jason, and when I got there, Lisa was like, ‘Oh! Where’s Michael? I hope it’s all right that Prince is here.’ I said, ‘Michael just couldn’t make it, but here is a gift from him.’ And I didn’t say anything [else].” Lisa, he recalled, “latched onto the gifts excitedly and immediately opened them to check them out.”

He later figured out, said Brett, that he had inadvertently played matchmaker to Michael and Lisa by buying the birthday gifts, for Lisa, seeing the card and the inscription in the art book, both of which she believed to have been written by Michael, misinterpreted Brett’s affectionate words as an indication that Michael Jackson had feelings for her. “I wasn’t trying to bring two people together to get married. I look back on it now as a sign that [she was thinking], Wow! He really cares about me. And she secretly wanted a relationship with him, because I always talked about him as a passionate man [who was] extremely loving…and that attracted Lisa, that loving part, and loving children.”

Lisa never knew that Brett wrote the birthday card and signed her book. “I can’t recall what I wrote exactly in the book or card,” said Brett, “but that might have been something she read over and over again and thought, Jeez! And afterwards, Lisa kept calling me, and eventually, after the many calls and pursuits and my little bit of fairy dust that I sprinkled about the place, hey, those guys [got] together, and I thought, ‘Maybe they’ll record something,’

And I remember Lisa saying, ‘Brett, what do you want out of this?’ and Michael Jackson asked me the same thing, and I thought, ‘Boy, there must be something happening here.’ I told Lisa, ‘You can give me whatever you think is fair,’ and I told Michael the same. I thought up the idea and executed it, and I stayed on top of it. Any other business person would be claiming something, but since I am an artist, I told them, ‘If you do record something, give me a job at art direction instead of hiring somebody else.’ So we didn’t think anything else or more about that other than that it was going to happen.”

What did I think of his marriage to Lisa Marie? I think we’re not dealing with convention, so somebody like Michael, he’s not going to just fall in love with somebody and get married. I think there were a few people that he could identify with, and what I know about Lisa Marie, she was very sweet, she could identify with him, they could talk about things that I’m sure she understood with regards to her father. So I think he tried to create a convention for himself. There were times when he would ask me to marry him, and I would say, “You have me for the rest of your life, you don’t need to marry me, I’m going to go on and do my own life and have my own marriage and my own kids, and you’ll always have me.” ]

He never actually formally proposed to me, though. He would sort of say, “Why don’t we adopt a child together? The way your heart works is what I want in my life,” and I said to him, “You’re always going to have my heart, we don’t need to adopt a baby, and I think it’s wonderful that you want to have children, adopt a child.” I wanted to fall in love and get married and have my own babies, and I said, “I don’t think that you need to necessarily do that.” This was just before he married Lisa Marie in the Nineties, I guess. He had discussed it with me, and I said, “I don’t think that’s the best thing to do for me.”

Lisa Marie Presley, only daughter of Elvis, has decided to embark on a singing career. It’s all tentative, but this week’s People magazine says that Presley – who looks a powerful lot like her cultural icon daddy – has recorded four demon tapes produced by her husband, musician Danny Keough. Her tastes run to rock and R&B, and a friend says she sounds a lot like a black Bonnie Raitt.” Mercy. But don’t get too hepped up: Presley, the mother of two children, won’t do anything too mondo until her 4 month old is a little bigger. However she continues to dye her blond hair black. Tell me that doesn’t mean something.

“I’ve always had an ear for it, and I’ve always felt music,” the 25 year old daughter of Elvis and Priscilla tells People magazine. “I’ve been around it all my life. I definitely have it in me.”

“Dark hair really suits my personality,” she says. “I’m pretty aggressive and fiery. I don’t act like a blonde.”

In late February, a few weeks after her 25th birthday, Jerry Schilling received a mysterious phone call from Lisa. “Something is going on,” she told Jerry, “but I can’t tell you what. And it has nothing to do with you, but I’m not going to continue with this record contract right now.” Lisa told him, said Jerry, that she was busy with her new baby and wanted to put the Epic deal on hold. Jerry, who had no idea Lisa had even met with Michael Jackson, simply said fine and puzzled over what might be happening in Lisa’s life.

Mike Edwards, who had also remained close to Brett after his breakup with Priscilla, began getting phone calls from an amazed Brett about this time. “He’s saying, ‘Gosh, Lisa’s calling me and Lisa’s really interested in Michael!’ ” Brett’s impression, said Mike Edwards, was that Michael was absorbed in his work, but that Lisa was really interested in him. “And I said, ‘Come on! What do you mean?’ [Brett] said, ‘You haven’t met him, but he’s very charismatic.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, but I can’t believe it.’ He said, ‘Yeah, she’s kind of pursuing him.’ And I went, ‘My God! What’s gonna happen?’” “I could see that Lisa fell in love with him,” confirmed Brett. What attracted her in part, he felt, was that Michael was not after her money. “I think she didn’t know him very well, though. She didn’t know his quirks and eccentric lifestyle, and she thought, This guy is going to be great. A stepfather for my kids.”

Lisa, according to Brett, was the one who was in pursuit. “I think it was the passion of a woman who fell in love. And Michael wasn’t even interested at all. And he is a gentleman, he wouldn’t have wanted to pull her away from her marriage to Danny. And she pursued him. Family friend Bob Wall, who heard about it after the fact, confirmed this. “I know that Lisa is the one who pursued the relationship.” She did it, Bob felt, to create an identity separate from the Presley name, to be known as something other than “the daughter of.” “Lisa really wants to be credible,” said Bob. “You’ve got her father, who’s a genius. Her mother’s done incredibly well. And all she’s got is a lot of money. So maybe that’s important to her, to create her own identity.”

Brett, seeing the progression of the friendship, suggested that Michael take Lisa to the Oscar ceremony that March, just as he had escorted Madonna the year before, but Michael balked, since Lisa was a married woman. The relationship intensified on Michael’s part that fall however, after 13 year-old Jordan Chandler accused him of child molestation, causing a scandal to erupt worldwide. Later, Michael would quietly escort Lisa to the Jackson Family Honors.

Lisa, who was then spending time with Myrna Smith, a childhood friend who use to sing with Lisa when Lisa was a child, told Myrna about her secret romance with Michael Jackson. Myrna perceived that Lisa felt sorry for Michael because of the sexual molestation charges and the devastating effect the scandal had had on his career and his image. Myrna also believed Lisa had sincere feelings for Michael. “Yes, she did, according to what she told me. She did. She’s like her father—they like the underdog…she did it for her own reasons, but she didn’t do it because Michael coerced her. She genuinely cared about him and she thought he cared for her.”

Myrna, who knew and knew of Michael through music circles, tried to warn Lisa about the relationship, which she considered both dangerous and absurd. “I can only guess what his motives were, and I could only tell what I thought, what a smart businessman he was, and that he was only pursuing her for what she could do for him, and that he wasn’t interested in women. And she told me he was.” Lisa did not tell Myrna whether she and Michael had sex, though Brett believed they did. “Yeah, sure, I think, because of what happened. I didn’t want to ask any questions. I could have asked Lisa the nitty-gritty.”

Michael is invited by ex president Jimmy Carter to Atlanta in order to boost the Atlanta Immunisation Drive. Afterwards, Michael joins Ted Turner, Jane Fonda, Emmanuel Lewis and Lisa Marie Presley in the front row during the Kids Celebration at OMNI.

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley

He truly was misunderstood, he told her. “I know you think I’m gay,” he said. “But I’m not. I get tired of people thinking I am gay. But, oh well, fuck them. I know you’ve heard a lot of things about me, in fact, he continued, but most of it isn’t true. And that stuff that is true, you shouldn’t hold against me.” He winked at her.

“Hey, I’m a married woman,” Lisa said. “And you’re coming on to me.”

“Yes, but are you happy?” Michael asked.


“See?” Michael remarked. “I knew that. You look like a woman who needs to let go and have some fun. You look like a woman who needs to hook up with me.”

Lisa recalled, “I thought to myself, Wow, this is a real guy. He swears. He’s funny. I told him, ‘Dude, if people knew who the hell you really are, they would be so surprised. People wouldn’t think I was so crazy for being into you if they saw who you really are; that you sit around and you drink and you curse and you’re fucking funny, and you have a bad mouth and you don’t have that high voice all the time.’”

He said, “Well, just don’t tell them.” I thought he was normal and that everything you saw of him publically was just a mask.”

Lisa recalled, “As time went on, Michael and I talked more, I thought, I’m getting to know the real man here. He puts on an act for outsiders, this sort of victim thing, I thought, but I’m the one seeing the real deal, the real person. I started thinking I was special, that he was opening up to me as he never had to anyone else. He made me feel that way. He can be very seductive when he’s pulling you in.”

“I was in on the beginning of the molestation stuff, and I was getting the phone calls, and he was telling me that it was extortion,” she recalled. “I believed him at the time. I mean, I was convinced. He was freaking out. I believe that he didn’t do anything wrong, and that he was being wrongly accused and yes, I started falling for him. I wanted to save him. I felt that I could do it.”

When Michael telephoned Lisa from overseas in September 1993, he was high, incoherent and delusional. Alarmed, Lisa attempted to convince Michael to do as she had once done, enter a rehabilitation centre.

“Absolutely, I felt that I had a responsibility to save him,” she said. “I don’t know the psychology of it and what it had to with my father. I only know what I felt.”

Michael announces he is cancelling his world tour to seek treatment for an addiction to painkillers.

In the Diane Sawyer interview Lisa Marie says she was supposed to fly in to see him on this date.

Michael decided to calm himself by calling the one person who could somehow help him forget that his career hung in the balance: Lisa.

She had certainly been persistent in her pursuit of him. She left telephone numbers for a house she was renting in Canoga Park, California.

She also left the number of the new three acre estate which had just purchased and was getting ready to occupy on Long Valley Road in Hidden Hills.

Then, just to be sure, she left the number where she could be reached in Clearwater, Florida, where she was planning to spend time at the Scientology retreat. She even sent him party balloons with messages attached. Somehow, she could always put a smile back on his face, even if it was just her raspy voice proclaiming, “Oh, fuck them!” He found her in Canoga Park.

Michael valued Lisa’s settling effect on him, so much so that during his phone conversation, he posed a question that surprised both of them. “If I asked you to marry me, would you do it?” Was this a joke? A hypothetical? Or was it a dare for Lisa to take him seriously? If it was a dare, Lisa was the woman to take it – even though she was still married to Danny Keough. Without missing a beat, she replied, “I would do it.” Michael didn’t say a word, at first. He then said, “Hold on, I have to use the bathroom.”

When he finally did speak into the phone again, he was speaking to his new fiancée. “My love for you is real,” Michael told Lisa. “Please, believe me.”

Unbeknownst to even Michael’s attorneys, Lisa Marie Presley had also tried to influence his decision to settle. A seasoned survivor of many publicity wars, she had long through that Michael should end the matter with a cash pay out. She was finally able to convince him that, as she later put it, “some things, like a good night’s sleep, are more important than public opinion.”

He wanted to get on with his life, Michael said, so that he could finally marry Lisa. Not much movement had occurred in their relationship since his odd proposal to her on the telephone, and he was afraid that she was becoming impatient with him. “The only thing I got out of therapy is that it’s my responsibility to have a good life,” he said, “and maybe I can have that with Lisa. I don’t want to lose her now.”

Michael returns to Neverland.

By Christmas 1993, Lisa was discussing with Myrna the possibility of marrying Michael Jackson. “He told her,” said Myrna, “that she was the only woman he could see himself marrying. And I was like, ‘You gotta be kidding.’ ” Myrna recalled that Lisa responded, “Myrna, you don’t understand.”

One of his closest advisers says: “Michael was living full time at Neverland Ranch. And all of a sudden, here comes Lisa Marie on the stairs in a bathrobe. We thought, “Well, hey, what’s up here? She spent the night up there? With Michael? And then here comes Michael down the stairs in his Mickey Mouse pajamas with a big grin on his face. The two were lovey dovey at breakfast and she hasn’t left his side since then. “

According to staff at Neverland, they knew things were serious when Lisa Marie began ordering around the servants. “Michael started talking about his “girlfriend” Lisa Marie. And she was around all the time,” said one.

“No woman has ever given orders to Michael’s servants, except for Elizabeth Taylor – and even she checks with Michael first before she asks for a Diet Coke.”

He was kissing her fairly passionately and, from many accounts, in public places. He seemed to enjoy doing it, too.

“I’m not a woman who goes for the norm, anyway,” Lisa said in explaining her attraction to him. “I like strange guys, the ones on the edge, the ones with an edge, the ones with fire in their bellies. That was Michael, to me.”

“Apparently, Michael Jackson is a freak in bed,” said Lisa’s friend Monica Pastelle. “Lisa said he was amazing, and she’s been around. Everyone was saying, ‘No way, Lisa. It can’t be true. Michael Jackson? Are we talking about the Michael Jackson, the one with the glove?’” However, she wasn’t joking, and it wasn’t long before she didn’t think it was funny, either.”

“He liked her to wear jewelry in bed. They were into role playing games, though Lisa would never say who was playing what kind of role.”

When Lisa didn’t become immediately pregnant, even before they were married, he began to express his disappointment. “I want children,” he said, “and I thought we would be expecting one within a couple of weeks of making love. But Lisa says it takes time. I don’t have time,” he said. “I want it to happen, now. I want children so badly.”

Michael was also interesting to hang out with. The better I got to know him, the more elusive he seemed. One moment, in a little-boy voice, he would curse the head of Sony Music. “That Tommy Mottola is a mean person,” he’d say, sounding like a six-year-old. In the studio, he’d be a pro, a regular guy, and we really connected. (He struck me as Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly rolled into one). And with Lisa Marie Presley, whom he was dating at the time, he would be somebody else entirely.

Interestingly enough, my then-wife Linda had once dated Elvis, so she and Lisa Marie actually knew each other fairly well. You might say for a brief period Linda had played the role of Lisa’s step mom.

Anyway, the kids were visiting from Los Angeles – three of my daughters and Linda’s two sons – and one night they decided they wanted to go to the movies. We were staying at the Plaza Hotel, and Michael rented me a magnificent suite – on a low floor – that must have had six bedrooms. It was a palace, a lot better than the Zen-like concrete bunker at the Delano.

“I can’t go to the movies,” Michael said. We all knew what he meant: He couldn’t go out in public without creating a shit storm among the paparazzi. And one of the kids said, “We can dress you up and disguise you.”

And that’s what they did. They got in an elevator and went down to his suite and dressed him up in their own clothes. They put a scarf on him, and some jeans, and they tucked his hair under a cap and turned it to the side, gangster-style. Michael wasn’t wild about hiding the curl, though; he wanted it right out there on his forehead, for the whole world to see. The kids told him he had to hide the curl because it was a dead giveaway, but he was adamant. “No, no, I’ve got to have my curl out,” he said. I thought that was very telling. He didn’t want to be seen, but he kind of wanted to be seen – which I guess is often the issue if you’re famous.

Then they argued about what movie to see. My kids voted for Speed; Michael was more interested in Little Big League. Hmmm.

We had the valet bring the van around, and we piled in without incident. There were some paparazzi out front, but they must have looked at us and figured we were nobodies. And it was very interesting, because Michael and Lisa Marie got separated when everyone scrambled into the van, and it was clear that he wanted her to sit next to him. On the way to the movie theater, he turned to her and said, “Lisa, here. Come here. Sit here.” He said it just like a regular man, not in that little-boy voice of his. It was like, You’re going to sit with me, woman, and she did. I was very impressed, but I was also confused. I mean, who was this guy?

Maybe she brought out the testosterone in him. I don’t know. But I do know this: she loved him. And that relationship became one of the biggest tabloid nightmares of all time.

On 1 February 1994, Michael telephoned Lisa Marie Presley at her estate in Hidden Hills, California. He was at his hide out in Westwood. “Hey, listen up, girl,” he said, according to her memory, “I’m heading up to Las Vegas to see The Temptations and The Fifth Dimension. Come with me. I’ll get us a suite at the Mirage and we can party like there’s no tomorrow.”

“Am I staying in the suite with you?” she asked.

“Hell, yeah,” Michael said. “What do you think, girl?”

“I think I’m still married,” Lisa said.

“Then separate rooms, if that’s what you want,” Michael responded.

Michael attends a concert of The Temptations at the Sheraton Desert Inn of Las Vegas with his date Lisa Marie Presley.


Lisa agreed to go; the next day, the two flew up to Vegas in Michael’s private plane.

Otis Williams of The Temptations once told me, “Man, we were backstage after the show, and her comes Mike with this chick, and he’s all up in her face, kissing on her, and we were saying, “Who the heck is this girl?” Finally he introduced her: Lisa Marie Presley. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I said to the guys, “Check this out. The King of Pop and the King’s daughter, together. It had to happen. They looked pretty cozy.”

Two weeks later, Lisa accompanied Michael again to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for his appearance on the Jackson Family Honors Special.

Brooke Shields is no longer Michael Jackson’s constant escort: The Gloved One stirred a Vegas crowd Wednesday night when he attended a Temptations and the 5th Dimension concert with The King’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.

When they got back from Las Vegas, on 21 February, Michael invited Lisa to Neverland. The two spent hours walking hand in hand on the well manicured property, as Lisa’s children, played with their nanny. Workers at the estate recall seeing Michael and Lisa kissing while high atop the Ferris wheel, then nodding graciously to the Neverland staff members as they sauntered from one ride to the next.

For the first two days, Lisa and her children stayed in one of the visitors’ units on the property. On the third night, Michael ordered a dinner of poached salmon and cucumber salad to be served to him and Lisa on one of the candle lit terraces. Afterwards he presented Lisa with a gift: a three strand, pearl choker with a diamond clasp at the front, worth about $50,000. That evening, while her children and their nanny slept in the guest quarters, Lisa stayed with Michael in his bedroom.

Michael accepts a Caring For Kids award during the Children Choice Awards at the City Center in New York City (where he rents a three bedroom suit at the Trump Tower )

Donald recalls seeing Michael and Lisa walking hand in hand on his estate, seeming lost in a mutual dream. In a photograph taken that day, Lisa was elegantly dressed in a severely tailored, black silk dress that fell in fluid lines around her shapely figure. Michael was wearing a sharp, black suit, scarlet- colored shirt and a matching tie. At one point, he dropped to one knee and kissed her hand. She urged him to is feet; the two embrace. Michael gazed at her intensely, mesmerized by her face. They kissed. He pulled from his vest pocket a small, wrapped box. When she opened it, Lisa’s face lit up. Pearls.

“It was romantic,” Donald Trump recalled, “Later, I asked Michael how things were going and he said “Great. I just got to kiss the most beautiful girl in the world. I hope I’m worthy of her. I think I might marry her.”

“For a while, those two were really getting it on.”

“They made love at the Trump estate,” said another one of Lisa’s confidantes. “She said it was intense, it took her breath away. I have no idea what they were doing, or what he was doing to her, but since she gravitates toward the unconventional, she was out of her mind over this guy. Maybe it’s hard for some to believe,” she concluded “but true, just the same.”

People Magazine on this:

Jackson, who is worth an estimated $100 million, and Presley, whose own fortune tops out at $100 million, have been seen together around New York City for at least six months. Lisa Marie, according to one source, is a regular visitor to Jackson’s duplex apartment in Trump Tower, just beneath Donald and Maria Trump’s triplex home. The romance first came to light early this year, about the time Jackson settled the civil suit filed by the child who had accused him of sexual molestation. Jackson was spotted dining with his friends the Trumps at Manhattan’s Le Cirque restaurant. Apropos of nothing, Jackson suddenly said, “You know what? I’m in love. Her name is Lisa.”

A few weeks later, when Trump invited his friend to visit his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., Michael asked, “Can I bring my love interest?” Jackson spent the week with Lisa Marie and her two children, Benjamin Storm, 21 months, and Danielle, 5. She and Michael stayed in separate bedrooms but were otherwise inseparable and affectionate. They spent nearly every evening in a part of the mansion called the Grand Tower, looking at the stars, and left the house together just once. “They walked down Worth Avenue,” says one witness, “and caused a big commotion and came right back.”

One of my most interesting Mar a Lago experiences involved the turmoil over Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley. Michael was a friend of mine and a very good guy – but very different. It began in New York, when I got a call from him one day, saying he would be coming to the city and would like to get together. He often called to say hello when he came to New York. This time I invited him out to [page missing]

… military outfit with a large black hat and picked up the menu. It was as if he had never seen a menu before, and we carefully went over each item. But what was most amazing were the looks on the distinguished faces in the room as they came over to our table practically begging for an autograph. These are people who had probably never asked for anyone’s autograph before, and I can guarantee you, it was not easy for them to do. They would always start by saying, I have a son who is a big fan of yours, Mr Jackson. Could you give him an autograph? But I believe it was for them, not their sons. One woman, one of the most socially prominent in New York, known for her attitude approached our table trying to look cool, then slightly tripped. She grabbed the table for support and asked in the same breath, “Mr Jackson, can I have your autograph?” It was amazing to see this woman, whom I have known for years, so flustered and nervous.

Somehow, Michael feels comfortable with me. I asked him how he was doing, and we started talking about his life, including his sex life. I was somewhat surprised when Michael told me he had a new girlfriend. I congratulated him and asked, Who is it? He was very shy and looked down into his napkin, then put the napkin over his face and said, “Trump, Trump, I don’t want to talk about it, I’m so embarrassed.”

I chided him. “Come on, Michael,” I said, “tell me who your new girlfriend is.” When he finally looked up, he said that it was a girl named Lisa Marie. That was the one of the conversation, and we went on to another topic.

A couple of weeks later, I got a call from Michael asking if he could go down to Mar-a-Lago with me. I said absolutely, and we flew down in my plane together. Michael had a small group of people with him. We did a lot of talking. On the flight down, he asked if it would be possible for his girlfriend to come over and say hello and even stay at Mar-a-Lago with him. I said absolutely, I looked forward to meeting her. I asked if it was the same girl, Lisa Marie. He said, yes, it was and she would be arriving sometime around eight o’clock, about an hour after we got to the house.

When the doorbell rang, the butler answered, and a beautiful girl walked through the door. I don’t believe people realize how pretty Lisa Marie Presley’s face really is. She’s got the best of Elvis and Priscilla and I don’t think she has ever been recognized for her incredible glow. In any event, Michael came running down to the living room, greeted her with a hug, and then took her off to look at the ocean. When they came back, holding hands and hugging, they seemed very much in love. I’m not saying that I was surprised at this, but there was never a doubt in my mind that they definitely had something going.

During the weekend we saw very little of Michael and Lisa Marie, since they stayed up in the tower. Then they made the mistake, on Saturday afternoon, of trying to sneak out to sneak out of Mar-a-Lago and go shopping, in disguise, on Worth Avenue. Well, the paparazzi broke out, and all hell broke loose. They were driven in a limousine back to Mar-a-Lago with the paparazzi in pursuit. The rest of the weekend was absolutely wild. Hundreds of cameras surrounded Mar-a-Lago and Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie were stationed in their love nest tower rising high above the house. The press didn’t bother them or me either, but it was quite a frenzy.

I had other guests at Mar-a-Lago, one of them the brilliant New Jersey businessman Arthur Goldberg. He took a company named Bally, which was in tremendous trouble – by any other account should have been bankrupt and defunct – and through sheer talent, energy and force built it into a great company in a short time, and sold it to Hilton Hotels for $3 billion. Arthur made over $100 million on the transactions, and I often cite him as one of the few examples I have seen of a top executive truly deserving of what he gets. He did an incredible job. He is now the president of Hilton’s gaming division and is working closely with Barron Hilton and Steve Bollenbach.

In any event, Arthur and I were having a meeting in one of the rooms at Mar-a-Lago when there was a knock on the door. Arthur didn’t know Michael Jackson was staying at the house, but he was aware that there was a great commotion and he was curious as to why there were so many people outside taking pictures. Arthur got up to answer the door. This particular room at Mar-a-Lagp, the Dutch Room, is done in very dark woods and is lit very dimly, in keeping with the look. Arthur swung open the door, and there was Michael Jackson. “Look, look, it’s Michael Jackson,” he said to me. Michael, on the other hand, saw somebody he wasn’t familiar with, put his hand over his face, and ran down the hallway. That was the last we saw of Michael that weekend. He went back to the tower to be with Lisa Marie.

People often ask me whether or not the relationship was a sham and I give them an emphatic no. I was there, and the magic of Mar-a-Lago brought it out, because after they left, it didn’t work so well. I can tell you, for at least a period of time, these two folks were really getting it on.

A photo of Michael at Mar-a-Lago from Trump’s book

Lisa Marie announces separation from her husband, Danny Keough.

One of the DJ’s asked about Michael and Lisa Marie. Teddy said that Michael had talked to him in great detail about Lisa and Debbie. One of the things that Teddy said MJ stated was, “Man, I didn’t know that Lisa was going to divorce her husband for me.”

Lisa Marie’s divorce to Danny Keough is finalized.

Michael and Lisa Marie Presley arrive at Casa de Campo de Campo in Dominican Republic .

Michael & Lisa Marie secretly marry in a 12 minutes ceremony only attended by Eva Darling and Linda’s ex brother in law, Thomas Keough (both Scientologists). Reportedly others from Michael’s side also attended but have never disclosed their presence.

These seem to have been printed prior to the wedding

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley, marriage, wedding invitationMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley, marriage, wedding invitation

And these ones later

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley

That night, Elizabeth was with friends at the Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel. When a reporter asked her if she would confirm rumors of Michael’s marriage, she snapped at him, “I am not in the business of clarifying rumors. Now, be gone!”

Even though Lisa was in love with Michael, she – not he – was the one with certain goals she hoped to achieve as a result of the marriage; chief among them was the realization of her musical career. “Michael told Lisa that he would attempt to get her a record deal at Sony,” says her friend, Monica Pastelle. “Yes, she loved him. She didn’t marry him because of the offer to help her career, but it was on the table as something he was going to work on for her.”

Michael takes Lisa Marie and her children Benjamin and Dannielle to Disneyworld in Florida .

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley

We previously reported that Michael Jackson visited Palm Beach to look at potential East Coast retreats, including the since-sold blue-roofed Martino estate on North Ocean. Michael supposedly was the guest of Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago, but since then a couple of sources claim he actually stayed several weeks at a home near those of Mollie Wilmot and the Kennedys. A Palm Beach resident claims to have seen Michael walking the beach at 7 am.

Media learn about Michael & Lisa Marie ‘s wedding.

Michael had many questions for us like if any of us went to camp for the summer. He said that he always asked his parents if he could go to summer camp because it looked like so much fun and of course they told him no!! This was right around the time when the media was questioning whether or not he had married Lisa Marie Presley. I noticed a ring on his hand and I said, “so does that ring mean you are married to Lisa Marie?” He nodded his head yes and said “shhhhhh”. We chatted for a while, he signed our album cover and we went home having what I thought was the greatest day of my life.

Meanwhile, the two took a duplex apartment suite in Trump Tower in New York (directly below Donald Trump’s), while Michael began work on a new album.

One of his bodyguards remembered, “it was chaos with the media and fans suspecting the newlyweds were in the suite, but not able to confirm it.”

The Jackson camp, confronted with the news splashed across the front page of Santo Domingo’s leading daily newspaper. Listin Diario on July 11, says the tale is fiction. “There was no marriage,” says spokesperson Lee Solters. Presley’s people say the reports sound false, but they also admit they couldn’t immediately locate the alleged bride—who announced her separation from her musician husband, Danny Keough, just three months ago. Jerry Schilling, her former manager and lifelong friend, says that until he hears it straight from Lisa Marie, he won’t believe a word. “Too tabloidish,” he says.

And yet if this is a hoax, it is a very elaborate one based at least in part on some persuasive evidence. Consider: Dominican civil judge Hugo Francisco Alvarez Pérez has produced documents purportedly signed by Jackson, 35, and Presley, 26, which Charles Hamilton, the handwriting expert who exposed the Hitler Diaries fraud in 1983, has told the press he examined and declared with 75 percent certainty to be authentic. (Pérez insists that he released the documents only after receiving repealed press inquiries and is not taking money for the information.) Janet Palli, director of publicity for the plush Casa de Campo resort in La Romana, 50 miles from Santo Domingo, says that Jackson arrived on their private landing strip in a Falcon 900 jet owned by his record company, Sony; government officials confirm Jackson’s arrival on May 24 and his departure three days later; and according to one witness, he was accompanied on his trip by two women.

Though not exactly proof, the documents and details have some of Jackson’s closest pals—insiders who usually know everything and tell nothing—scratching their heads. In New York City, Liz Taylor’s publicist Chen Sam read the headlines and phoned her boss to ask, in jest, if Liz had served as the maid of honor. (Taylor said she hadn’t heard a word from her very close friend in three weeks.) Meanwhile in Manhattan, some well-informed friends took the news of the nuptials with little wonder.

Jackson, who is worth an estimated $100 million, and Presley, whose own fortune tops out at $100 million, have been seen together around New York City for at least six months. Lisa Marie, according to one source, is a regular visitor to Jackson’s duplex apartment in Trump Tower, just beneath Donald and Maria Trump’s triplex home. The romance first came to light early this year, about the time Jackson settled the civil suit filed by the child who had accused him of sexual molestation. Jackson was spotted dining with his friends the Trumps at Manhattan’s Le Cirque restaurant. Apropos of nothing, Jackson suddenly said, “You know what? I’m in love. Her name is Lisa.”

;”>A few weeks later, when Trump invited his friend to visit his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., Michael asked, “Can I bring my love interest?” Jackson spent the week with Lisa Marie and her two children, Benjamin Storm, 21 months, and Danielle, 5. She and Michael stayed in separate bedrooms but were otherwise inseparable and affectionate. They spent nearly every evening in a part of the mansion called the Grand Tower, looking at the stars, and left the house together just once. “They walked down Worth Avenue,” says one witness, “and caused a big commotion and came right back.”

Two months later, Presley announced her separation from Keough. Oddly—or perhaps not—the name one witness scribbled on the wedding certificate in May is Thomas Keough, the same name as the younger brother of Lisa Marie’s estranged husband. Since Presley and Danny Keough never announced an official dissolution of their marriage, and the Dominican Republic is a mecca for quickie divorces (Mike Tyson barely had to turn off the jet engine when he flew in to obtain a divorce from Robin Givens in 198, speculation is rife: Did Danny accompany Lisa Marie, obtain a divorce and then for some reason ask his brother to serve as a witness to her wedding? This much seems relatively certain: Michael and Lisa Marie are spending more time together than most married people. Last week, Jackson spent six days in a New York City recording studio, and according to a source, Presley was with him three of those days. Are they becoming the new Sonny and Cher? As Josefina Rodriguez, chief of the Dominican consulate in Miami, says, “Who knows? When you find out, tell me.”

“My married name is Mrs. Lisa Marie Presley-Jackson. My marriage to Michael Jackson took place in a private ceremony outside the United States [11] weeks ago. It was not formally announced until now for several reasons; foremost being that we are both very private people living in the glare of the public media. We both wanted a private marriage ceremony without the distraction of a media circus. 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 and living happy, healthy lives together. We hope friends and fans will understand and respect our privacy.”

Lisa Marie confirms: She and Michael are wed – Why did pop princess and king unite?

Mrs. Presley-Jackson says she loves him tender, but others have their doubts Theirs is a marriage based on true love, says the woman who now calls herself “Mrs. Lisa Marie Presley-Jackson,” daughter of one king, now bride of another.

After marrying King of Pop Michael Jackson in apparent haste – in a quickie Dominican Republic ceremony in late May – 26-year-old Presley-Jackson said in a statement Monday, she’ll “dedicate my life to being his wife.”

The question both fans and foes want answered: Why?

Theories abound: Cynics see it as an extreme public relations ploy aimed at restoring Jackson’s reputation, damaged by accusations of child molestation. Some speculate that he has joined Presley’s faith, the Church of Scientology, and guess that the two have found common ground in religion. Others see it as an old-fashioned royal alliance, aimed at consolidating and expanding two separate kingdoms.

It is, unquestionably, a monumental merger of money and music. She’s the sole heir of her father’s Graceland estate, reportedly valued at $100 million and grossing another $20 million a year. She doesn’t get all royalties on Elvis’ songs, but, says RCA executive Paul Williams, “I would assume that Lisa Marie participates in payments from RCA to the Elvis Presley estate.”

Jackson, 35, is worth a conservatively estimated $150 million and has an elaborate estate of his own called Neverland, which comes with its own amusement park. Included in his kitty: an extensive income-producing music catalog that includes classic Beatles songs and works by Little Richard and the father of the bride, Elvis Presley.

newlyweds first met around November 1992, says Lisa Marie’s friend, lawyer John P. Coale, who was advising her at the time. Was it business or pleasure? “It was more of a social meeting,” he says.

The meeting took place in L.A. at a friend’s house. (“Nobody famous,” Coale says.) “She liked him. She thought he was real nice. In the beginning they were friends, just friends. There was no romantic hint of anything at the time. . . . I’m not sure when the romantic thing came in.”

The May 26 wedding – which followed Presley’s May 6 Dominican Republic divorce from musician Danny Keough – was not without romantic elements. “She wore a beige, strapless dress; he was dressed in black,” said Luisa Rebeca Valentin, the reporter who broke the story for the Dominican Republic’s Listin Diario and got the juicy details from the wedding officiant, Judge Hugo Francisco Alvarez Perez.

It was an understated affair. “There were no flowers. It was very simple, very sedate.”

Valentin is a bit of a doubter: “You know how celebrities are, they don’t marry for love. There are conveniences.”

When Coale saw Presley in July, she didn’t mention that she and Jackson were married but “there were strong hints,” says Coale.

The usually chatty Donald Trump has also been keeping the secret. “I’ve known for a while,” he says. “They’re nice people and I wish them luck.”

The couple reportedly spent a week at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Palm Beach estate in February and they and Presley’s children (Danielle, 5, and Benjamin, 21 months) have been living in a $110,000-a-month Trump Tower duplex (below the Donald’s triplex) since early July. They’re expected to stay chez Trump through September, while Jackson finishes work on an album.

Some residents have spotted the pair hugging and kissing, and Trump acknowledges that Lisa Marie and “the babies are in and out all day.”

But even Trump, who has pulled a few marital surprises of his own, seems a bit amazed: “The whole thing is wild, isn’t it?” he asks. As for possible future offspring: “Can you imagine what they’ll produce?”

Family living is apparently on the couple’s agenda: “We both look forward to raising a family,” the bride said in her statement.

Jackson family spokesman John McLaughlin had no comment on Michael’s status (other Jackson spokesmen spent weeks denying marriage reports). As for the mother of the bride: Contrary to tabloid reports of maternal disapproval, “She (Priscilla Presley) said, `Please assure everyone I’m very supportive of Lisa Marie and everything she does,’ ” says Paul Bloch, publicist for both Presleys.

Ditto for the folks at Graceland: “All of us . . . are delighted for Lisa and Michael. We wish the best for them in future,” says Graceland spokesman David Beckwith, adding, “There will be no changes in the structure or operations of Elvis Presley Enterprises or Graceland.”

The Church of Scientology International issued a congratulatory press release: “We consider marriage and a happy family the most valuable building blocks of a stable society, and we wish the newlyweds the very best for a joyful future.”

Disappointing the masses, they added, “The Church has no other information as this is a private matter between Lisa-Marie and her husband.”

Not all fans are as enthused: “Oh God, no! Are you serious?” blurted Terry Marcos, president of Elvis’ California Fans (We’re Still Shaking). Jackson’s “not even a man as far as I’m concerned.”

Priscilla Parker, 54, of Pittsburgh, president of the We Remember Elvis Fan Club, is disappointed. “Partly, because Lisa Marie was just in one marriage and is jumping into another, and I don’t understand that, no matter if you’re famous or the person next door.”

Members of her fan club are phoning in reactions: “Some people are saying they’ll never go back to Graceland if this is true, (others are) saying that it’s her life and she can do what she wants. But it’s not her life. She has two kids to consider. If she were my daughter,” she says with a laugh, “I’d lock her up and throw away the key.”

Some suspect Jackson of ulterior motives: “Michael’s image took such a battering over the past year and a half, with him being linked to an underage boy, that what better stunt to pull off than to marry a very desirable woman?” says Mitchell Fink, People columnist and a CNN correspondent.

“I also think this makes sense for him professionally, because I’m sure he wants to buy every song he can connected with her father, because then he would control the music of the Beatles and Elvis Presley. And I believe as I have all along that he will produce her debut album. He wants to be able to say that he produced the daughter of the king. But I honestly didn’t think he would take it to this new extreme!”

Fink adds, “There’s no question that for many, many years, Michael has been a shrewd media manipulator.”

Stuart Fischoff, a media psychologist at California State University, is paid to ponder such questions. He doesn’t know what motivated the twosome but, “many women, given the opportunity to meet and marry Michael Jackson, would jump at the opportunity. She’s marrying a cultural Mount Rushmore.” And what’s in it for him? “The cynical point of view is that . . . this (marriage) would go in his mind a long way to dissuading people that he’s been fooling around with boys.”

Richard Johnson, editor of the New York Post’s gossip page, thinks “you can’t ignore the Scientology angle. I would think the people at Scientology would be urging her to nurture this relationship.”

John Coale thinks the union may well be a Love Me Tender story. “Lisa’s a pretty levelheaded woman,” he says. “I’ve always been impressed with her decisions. . . . If everyone just gives (the marriage) a chance, I think we’ll all be pleasantly surprised.”

Michael and Lisa Marie arrive in Budapest (Hungary) and make their first public appearance together causing a media frenzy.

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I’ve decided to blog about Michael Jackson briefly. Why so? He’s auctioning off tons of his stuff. I realize nobody I know would actually want it, but still. Looking through the online auction catalog is utterly fascinating. You can order one for $100 or $500 with autograph. As if.

I met Michael Jackson once when on Concorde — whilst exiting the on-board bathroom. Really. He was married to Lisa Marie Presley at the time. The story’s recounted in my personal website’s Concorde pages so I won’t repeat it here. I can’t find the story anywhere.

Anyway it was the same flight on which David Bowie and Iman were on. The return flight had Robert DeNiro. Anyway, I will skip all the details for now — but I wonder where I wrote about this — maybe a long ago email to friends. I am thinking this was in an email way back in 1993 after Labour Day weekend when this all happened. Maybe I have a copy archived on one of my Apple II disks that I can no longer read. No idea. If any of you have a copy of that old email, forward it to me and I’ll post it.

Anyway, he was in the waiting room for the flight but in a secluded side room. On board he was in the back of the aircraft with Lisa Marie. They appeared, in all honestly, to be very much in love. Anyway, nature called mid-flight, and I went to use the lavatory. I took a whizz, washed my hands, opened the door, and who should be standing in front of me? Michael Jackson. He’s taller than you might think. I smiled, said excuse me, he muttered something, and went in. That concluded my interaction. Concorde is always fun and that was my very first trip (and only one on Air France). It was memorable because it was celebrity packed.

This auction made me think of it.

I thought the Michael Jackson was somewhere on your site. I remember reading it, how Michael and Lisa Marie were canoodling in the back.

Eric Seidan’s quotes, USA Today Article, 2003

Growing up, Eric Seiden thought the Concorde “was just something cool” but assumed it was out of his reach. Then in 1994, Seiden, who lives in Miami and works for a distributor of screws, nuts and bolts, was unexpectedly upgraded from business class to Concorde on Air France.

“It’s as close as you can get to outer space,” said Seiden, who has his own Concorde Web site. “You can actually see the huge curvature of the Earth.”

Seiden’s fellow passengers included newlyweds Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley canoodling in the back of the plane.

The marriage did not appear to be a publicity stunt, Seiden noted. “They were really in love.”

They both autographed a concorde menu

Michael and Lisa Marie visit sick children at St Jude hospital and meet Bela Farkas, a little boy in need of a transplant. Moved by his story they decide to finance the operation that will save his life.

Michael and Lisa Marie fly back to New York where Michael resumes the recording of his new album.

I was there when Lisa Marie was around. They acted like two kids in love. Held hands all the time, and she hung out at the studio for quite a while. I never questioned their love for each other.

Brett Strong: They just fell head over heels in love and that love just grew and grew to the point where they just married.

ET’s John Tesh: Internationally renowed, Brett Livingstone Strong will now be known as Hollywoods hottest match maker. This Australian creator has made millions with his paintings and his sculpting. He has two National monuments now displayed in Washington, DC. and is currently working on his third, a tribute to our space program. And now he is the guy who bought two musical super powers to the altar.

Brett Strong: Obviously Lisa was not looking at Michael for his fame or looking at him for his success. She was purely looking at him because he is a true gentleman.

ET’s John Tesh: Strong is a long time friend of both. He originally talked the pop music icon to meet with Lisa to hear her sing.

Brett Strong: I told Michael what if I came up with and brought to you the best person on this planet who has not been exposed, and is beautiful. Michael’s reponse was “who the heck are you talking about. Who is it?.” I said Lisa Marie Presley. Michael’s response was “No! She can sing?” She is fantastic. Michael said “well Brett obviously I am interested. Can you get me a tape or something?”

ET’s John Tesh: Well Lisa did not want to send a tape. She wanted to perform in person. So Brett arranged a meeting at his house in November 1992 when this picture was taken of the three of them and Bretts’ son, Stason.

Brett Strong: In fact that was the day they first came together and where Lisa performed a couple of song’s for Michael. It was a fabulous experience, for I think both of them. And Michael really felt really honored. He was like “Wow! I am Lucky. You know.” And Lisa felt the same.

ET’s John Tesh: And it turns out that Michael loved more than just her singing. They ran off and got married. Brett said that Lisa did not even

tell her mother. And Brett said you can forget all the rumors you hear about why the couple married. This is the real deal.

Brett Strong: It is a purely a very simple story. It’s a love affair that grew from a friendship.

ET’s John Tesh: And here is the rest of the scoop. Brett Livingstone Strong tells ET thattrue love blossomed last year (Feb 93) when Priscilla Presley threw a birthday party. And Southern California Magic Mountain Amusement Park was rented for the ocassion. Michael sent Lisa a present. The picture of that famous night they met (Nov 92). And the rest is history.

Lisa Marie Presley saved Michael Jackson from killing himself when the child sex abuse scandal drove him to the brink of despair, says the man who introduced the pop superstar to Elvis’ daughter.

In an exclusive Enquirer interview, Hollywood artist Brett Livingstone Strong – a longtime friend of both Michael and Lisa Marie – spoke freely about his role in the marriage that shocked the world.

Telling his remarkable story for the first time ever, Strong revealed that:

* Lisa Marie fell in love with Michael first and pursued him relentlessly.

* The newlyweds are truly in love with each other – and both of them want to start a family.

* Lisa Marie told Michael she wanted to be a singing star – and when he warned her she’d have to “give up everything” to succeed, she broke down in tears. But now she’s dedicated to becoming a superstar – and Michael has vowed to make her dream come true.

“When I introduced Lisa Marie and Michael never in my wildest dreams did I think they’d marry,” said Strong, 40, a painter and sculptor.

“But they became close friends. Then their feelings turned to love – and I think they’re the perfect couple!”

Strong’s relationship with Michael dates back to the early 80s when he painted a portrait of the superstar singer tgar a Japanese businessman bought for a whopping $2.1 million.

The 36 year old performer was so impressed that he formed a business partnership with Strong.

And in November 1992, the artist – who’s known Priscilla Presley and her daughter for 15 years – brought Michael and Lisa Marie together.

Lisa Marie desperately wanted to launch a music career, “but she had no confidence in herself as a singer,” said Strong.

“She was afraid of being compared to Elvis and terrified of rejection. When I suggested Michael could help her, she said, ‘He’s a superstar. Do you really think he’d help me?’

“I introduced them in my Los Angeles home. They sang together and played Lisa Marie’s music – and Michael was blown away. He told her, ‘You have a real talent – and a fine voice.’”

But Lisa Marie soon realized she wasn’t prepared to make a full time commitment to music.

“In December 1992, she told me that Michael explained, ‘To be a superstar you’ve got to give up everything. That’s how I approached my career and it’s the only way to do it. Any other method is doomed to fail,’” said Strong.

“Lisa Marie left that meeting with tears streaming down her face. At the time, she couldn’t dedicate herself to her career.

“She was having a lot of trouble with her musician husband Danny Keough – and she had to deal with her marriage first.

“She said they’d had screaming arguments ‘about everything from bringing up the kids to running our prospective careers.’”

While he marriage deteriorated, Lisa Marie’s feelings for Michael deepened.

“By mid 1993, Lisa Marie was deeply in love with Michael – and she made sure they got together regularly,” said Strong.

“I realize now that she was pursuing Michael – and that she was determined to to make him her husband.”

Lisa Marie proved the depth of her love when a teenage boy accused Michael of sexually abusing him.

The shocking allegations sent Michael into a suicidal depression – and Lisa Marie helped pull him through.

“Michael talked about killing himself but Lisa Marie and his dear friend Elizabeth Taylor talked him out of it,” said Strong.

“They spent days at his Neverland Valley ranch, trying to boost his spirits. Later Michael admitted, ‘I don’t think I’d be here now if it weren’t for Lisa Marie and Elizabeth. They saved my life.’”

Michael didn’t realize he was in love with Lisa Marie until she announced her split from Keough in April, said Strong.

“But believe me, the love affair between them is real. It’s not a phoney marriage designed to make Michael look better. Michael definitely wants to have children with Lisa Marie – and she says she can’t wait to have his baby.”

Now the newlyweds are working feverishly on Lisa Marie’s musical career. “Lisa Marie is determiend to become a superstar – and Michael has dedicated himself to her quest,” said Strong.

“They plan to perform together eventually, starting off in a small way and later giving major concerts. Lisa told me, ‘Michael is my love and my inspiration. I adore the very ground he walks on. I want to become the Queen of Pop just as he’s the King.”

Strong is currently finishing a new portrait of Michael.

He’s also painted a romantic vision of the shirtless superstar in a stream surrounded by topless women. Incredibly one of the bare breasted beauties bears an amazing resemblance to Lisa Marie.

Asked whether the young woman is Michael’s bridge, Strong would only say, “You have to draw your own conclusions about that.”

The families of the bride and groom have not exactly been gushing forth their approval. Jackson’s parents, Joe and Katherine, and his siblings, Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, LaToya, Marlon, Randy and Janet, had no immediate comment about Michael’s marriage, but Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., who represented Michael in the molestation case, says that those in his inner circle “are happily surprised.” (A call to the $3.99-a-minute LaToya Jackson Psychic Network, however, elicited this response from a psychic named Stephanie: “I can see them together a year from now…as far as two.”) Lisa Marie’s mother, Priscilla, 48, who attended her daughter’s first marriage but not her second, said through her publicist that she is “very supportive of everything Lisa Marie does.” But she has said nothing further in public, and one source close to the Presley camp says he saw Priscilla a month after the wedding, “and she looked downright terrible. It was obvious she was very preoccupied.”

Says Washington attorney John Coale, Lisa Marie’s friend: “I guess she and Michael are our rock and roll royalty.”

This much seems certain: The two definitely get along and enjoy hanging around together. When they stayed a week at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., last winter, they spent each evening, says Trump, “holding hands and talking until the wee hours”—even if they did always adjourn to separate bedrooms. Last week the New York Post reported that the newly-weds have spent many summer nights in the small but lavishly landscaped 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. And a longtime friend of the Jackson family says that, with Lisa Marie, one gnawing source of anxiety is absent: “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.”

How long has this been going on? One employee of Jackson’s who prefers to remain anonymous says that Lisa Marie “has known Michael almost all of her life. Elvis brought her around to meet the Jackson Five when she was a little kid, and they stayed in touch.” (Lisa Marie, who was raised mostly by her mother after Priscilla and Elvis divorced in 1973, was 9 when her father died in 1977.) Coale says their adult friendship began in November 1992 in L.A. This past April, Lisa Marie announced that she was breaking up with Keough—who it now turns out, obtained a quickie, uncontested divorce in Santo Domingo on May 6 (they will share custody of the children). A mere 18 days later, Jackson and his intended jetted to the deluxe spa Casa de Campo in the Dominican province of La Romana. From there it was viva La Vega, as the lovebirds proceeded to a town of that name for the May 26 nuptials, conducted by civil judge Hugo Francisco Alvarez Pérez.

Since Lisa Marie’s announcement, Jackson and his new family have been spending most of their time holed up in a 12-room duplex near the top of Trump Tower. Michael was making daily trips, via chauffeured van with blacked-out windows, across town to the Hit Factory recording studio, often with Lisa Marie.

Strange as it may sound, Jackson could actually be a maturing influence on his new wife, who is set to assume control of the company in 1998. A close friend of the CEO says Soden has long been nervous about what he considers Lisa Marie’s “unpredictable” behavior. The high school dropout went through an admitted period of rebellious drug-taking and battling with Priscilla. And now, if one source in the Presley camp is to be believed, their future chairwoman up and married Michael Jackson—a businessman with a track record of accumulating music rights—without informing them.

Michael may even unleash the songbird in Lisa Marie. “Maybe he’ll produce a solo album for her,” says his ex-manager Frank DiLeo. Presley-Jackson has long talked about pursuing a music career, and in the early ’90s even made some demo songs before putting showbiz aside to raise her children. Her singing, says Coale, “is fabulous. She likes rhythm and blues, like Aretha Franklin.”

Now there are rumors that Jackson, a former Jehovah’s Witness (he left that religion in 1987, after 24 years), has been meeting with Scientology worldwide leader David Miscavige. “They recruit the emotionally vulnerable,” says Atack, and Jackson—who once stunned a dinner party of Hollywood executives by lowering his head to the table and bursting into sobs—is definitely in that category. But a friend of Jackson disputes that. “No one can control Michael,” he says. “He’s always been independent.”

It would be possible for Michael to marry Lisa Marie without joining her church. But a Scientologist friend of Presley-Jackson says that even if he doesn’t convert, the couple “may have found that they were just right for each other spiritually.”

Meanwhile, Presley-Jackson friend John Coale says simply that “Lisa knows what she’s doing” marrying Jackson—and that he’s planning to go out soon to buy the couple a gift. “Probably something from Tiffany’s,” Coale says. “Lisa Marie has very good taste.”

Michael & Lisa Marie are on the cover of magazines around the world (Jet, Hello, Paris Match ect…) with exclusive pictures taken by photographer Dick Zimmerman.

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley

“A kind of magic emerges from this young couple. I really did not know what awaited me when I arrived, but what I saw made me think of the scene which two in love act as if they were alone in the world, in spite of the crowd which surrounds them. That only comes when two people are deeply enthusiastic about one another. Like everyone, I had heard rumours which surrounded their marriage several weeks ago. But it was necessary that I see them with my own eyes to work out the depth and sincerity of their love. This love, neither could hide from me. It will be enough for you to realise it by looking at my photographs, especially those which I took of Lisa. There are attitudes which cannot be faked. In fact, I did not even need to guide Michael and Lisa. I did not need, for example, to ask them to intertwine. They spontaneously did it and most naturally. I had to only say to them to place themselves at such or such a place, and the rest came naturally. They spoke to each other in a very soft tone, the tone of two people very much in love with one another.”

“It’s like when you see two people in the street who’re in love and act like there is no one else around them. I saw it with my own eyes.

If you look at the photographs, you’ll notice that there is something going on, especially with Lisa. I didn’t have to tell them to put their arms around each other, they just did it.

Having spent an entire day with them, I saw some magical things. They talked to each other very quietly like lovers would. For the first shot, I told them to stand close. They immediately put their arms around each other and Lisa cuddled right up to Michael. I told Lisa to sit in a chair and Michael to kneel beside her. He put his arm around her and pulled her head to his chest, while Lisa tenderly took hold of his hand.

Between shots, they were whispering and giggling to each other. They were so happy it was hard to keep their attention on the camera. They were so much into each other.

They are so happy with the photos. Michael put Xs over the ones he liked, and the pages of photos were covered with Xs. But the loving ones with Lisa, showing their happiness, were his favourites.”

The photographer Dick Zimmerman

Dick Zimmerman, the photographer assigned to several persons at the international level, has spent nearly 24 hours with Michael Jackson and his new wife Lisa Marie Presley. He has been privileged to witness the love they had hitherto concealed and the beginning of their honeymoon. He gives us this story in moments of tenderness he has seized on the spot…

Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue near Central Park, has always been the rendezvous of tourists who visit New York. Its 70 floors, happy marriage of windows and roof gardens, proudly soar skyward. Its gigantic hall, with all its gilding, its escalators and giant sparkling fountain, has always been the pride of its owner, millionaire Donald Trump, one of the richest men in New York. The crowd besieged the Trump Tower seems to have grown in recent days and this is not Donald Trump and Marla Maples that all these people want to see today is the famous couple Michael Jackson-Lisa Marie Presley, whose marriage made headlines recently when they chose this luxury building to house their first days of newlyweds.

One of the most famous photographers of the world, Dick Zimmerman, the man with all the stars and all members of the jet-set quarrel lenses and projectors is popular with celebrities because he is a remarkable photographer and his discretion helps draw their confidence. We often speak of the secrecy of confession. Without being the least priest or pastor, Dick Zimmerman has made its trademark and does not reveal anything in public that could betray the trust of his famous clients. The interview that we publish is therefore marked with the seal of the utmost sincerity.

When we joined a few weeks ago, Hugo Perez Alvarez, a Dominican lawyer who performed the marriage of Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley, the gentleman, tired of seeing his word doubted by the entourage of the two famous married, we had launched at the end of the phone interview:

“Listen, I do not know if these people were serious when they married, I’m not in their skin. What I do know, however, is that it is indeed Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley which I helped celebrate the marriage. Their passports were there to identify them, and the numbers of those passports are on their marriage, I’ve sent. I’m not judging whether it was a publicity stunt or not. What I can say is that marriage is an official act seriously in the Dominican Republic.”

Well, according to the attitude of a young married couple that Dick met with them, it seems that Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley, too, regard their marriage as an act very seriously and are deeply in love l ‘one another.

But we let Dick tell him.

How did you meet Michael and Lisa?

I met Michael Jackson for the first time in 1982. It was I who, at that time, did the cover of his album “Thriller.” Subsequently, he gave me the task of making the photograph that adorns the cover of his album AND As for Lisa, I’ve known her for years. It was a little girl when I took the first photographs of her mother, Priscilla Presley, 18 years ago.

Did you suspect the existence of a romance between them?

Not at all. I had not the slightest suspicion. I knew that Lisa knew Michael, but never would have any idea that there was something serious between them. I am very surprised this marriage, but I also think that nothing more could logically happen. Michael is an incredible superstar, and Lisa, also ranks in a separate category because of his father. It will be even more of a superstar when she starts recording. A union between these two characters as popular and as famous as they are, so this is the perfect “match.”

If I trust what I saw during the whole day that I had passed, first to take pictures, then to choose with them, I can tell you that kind of magic emerges from this young couple.

I really did not know what to expect when I came in after them, but what I saw made me think of the scene can offer in the street two lovers who act as if they were alone in world, despite the crowd around them. This only happens when two people are deeply fond of each other.

Like everyone, I had heard rumors surrounding their marriage several weeks ago. But I had to see them with my own eyes to realize the depth and sincerity of their love. This love, they were neither one nor the other me hide. All you need to make you aware, for looking at my pictures, especially those that I took of Lisa.

There are attitudes which can not be feigned and belong to a scenario, if the actors are good.

In fact, I did not even need to guide Michael and Lisa. I did not need, for example, to ask them to hug. They were spontaneous and most natural way. I had to tell them to put in a particular place, and the rest came naturally. They spoke in a very soft tone of two very loving one another.

How have they contacted you?

They must have thought of me when they had the intention to have pictures of the couple taken by a professional. Especially since, as I said earlier, I worked for Michael Jackson.

And how did it happen?

The usual routine, even if I live in Los Angeles and they settled in New York. I flew to New York and I rented all the equipment on site. For this shoot, I wanted to work alone without assistance. It seemed to me that would be more comfortable to work. So I arrived at Trump Tower at about 10 am, and it took me three hours to install my equipment in their wake. Throughout this installation, Michael and Lisa getting ready and dressed. The event took place in two sessions: one that lasted about an hour, after which they changed for a second meeting, which lasted about half past one.

It is they who choose their clothes. Let’s say for the first meeting they were to say the least sophisticated and for the second, at my suggestion, they were dressed so much easier.

Furthermore, I arrived home was not easy. The hotel was literally full of security guards. You could not get close to lifts without a pass and permission. And all this without speaking to the crowd that thronged in front of the building! The marriage had been confirmed officially by the two stars, and everybody wanted to meet: Paparrazzi and representatives of all major newspapers and all television channels embedded in a host of admirers who asked that to the promise. For a moment I wondered if I could be home at 10 as expected!

I was especially nervous when transporting all my gear in the hotel that people have recognized my truck. For my convenience, security guards allowed me to take the service elevator. It was the only solution.

Finally, I found myself in front of my young married couple. Real newlyweds, have I already said that?

Once the pictures were completed, however, I had to leave, and it worried me a lot: I found myself with nine rolls of pictures in a bag and I was afraid that fans unleashed stinging me. I knew, however, that nobody would recognize me. So I decided to leave through the front door, overlooking Fifth Avenue, the simplest way. I was engulfed in a taxi, I went to the laboratory, which would develop the film immediately. I had indeed made arrangements with the people of this laboratory, that had even signed a document guaranteeing me, on pain of fines, none of these photographs would be placed in the general public. Anyway, as two precautions are better than one, I stayed with the technician while the time lasted printing of these pictures and their doubles. A rather challenging experience!

Quite simply, during all those hours, I had the impression of being in a spy movie. Firstly, the flight to taxi with the fear of being followed, then the constant supervision of everyone in the lab so that no negative me is stolen and no additional photo is printed without my knowledge.

I finally left the laboratory to 11 pm and I immediately went to find my two famous clients. At that time, there was naturally far fewer people at Trump Tower, and I quickly found before them. It was the moment of truth. Pictures they liked the best?

They are so happy with the photos. Michael put Xs over the ones he liked, and the pages of photos were covered with Xs. But the loving ones with Lisa, showing their happiness, were his favourites.”

Amy Agajanian

She said she thinks she was MJ’s best friend (but of course she wouldn’t really know for sure) until Lisa Marie came along. She told me about accompanying the couple to a few outings, including at Neverland and a Disney trip, and she BURNED with jealousy, the poor little thing. She said it was obvious they were in love, always holding hands and kissing. So Michael started finding less and less time for her.

Oh, in the interest of fairness to LMP , she said LMP was as sweet as could be to her and she did come to like her.

Michael and Lisa Marie visit France (Nice, Cannes , Paris & Disneyland) and spend time with Prince Al Waleed who wants to launch a production company with Michael.

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley

Michael Jackson and his bride, Lisa Marie Presley-Jackson,treated their fans to an audience with rock royalty at the disneyland hotel at eurodisney over the weekend.

Predictably everyone went nuts,crowds at the themepark outside paris gathered below the newlyweds balcony and chanted “MICHAEL!MICHAEL!MICHAEL!” until the pair came out and waved. At midnight,Jackson a frequent eurodisney visitor-took Presley to the park to play.They romped until 3 a.m.,hours past the official closing time and yesterday the couple hit paris to do some shopping.

Findadeath, 30th June 2009

When I worked at Disneyland I talked to a fellow worker who worked at the Emporium (the parks big store on Main Street) the night MJ and Lisa Marie came in during a private party they had. She said MJ walked throughout the store saying he wanted to buy practically everything and Lisa Marie followed him continually saying NO. She said it was really funny to watch.

Michael & Lisa Marie open the MTV Video Music Awards Ceremony with a kiss.

“Afterward, they had a huge fight about it,” said Monica Pastelle. “Her whole thing was, “I told you no, and you just disregarded it.” But Michael thought it was great, a showstopper. He was all about the show, you know? What could they do that would cause headlines? That’s where his head was at. “But people will be talking about that kiss for decades,” he said. “Don’t you see? They’re gonna run that clip over and over.” Lisa was pissed off for days. “Don’t you fucking even come near me,” she told him.”

Lisa Marie on Oprah 2010 :

O: Did you ever feel manipulated in the relationship?
L:  Sometimes. But he knew that I didn’t love that and he was okay. He got it. He needed to do his thing, I would be there uncomfortably, like the MTV thing, his hand was blue afterwards after we got off that stage. He showed me and it was completely blue, I had squeezed it so hard! (laughs) I did not want to do that. It’s not in my nature to do that sort of thing. But I understood it as his way of, he needed to do things like that.

After his telephone proposal, once they were in LA together. “Lisa and I were in the living room [at Neverland] having a glass of wine,” he said. “We had just finished watching All About Eve, starring the Bette Davis. We both love that movie. I just walked over to her, reached into my pocket and pulled out this huge diamond ring. “So what do you think?” I asked her. “You want?” She screamed out, “Yes, yes yes.” I never even officially popped the question. We never actually discussed marriage. It just sort of happened.”

“This is not a hoax,” Michael insists, “I swear it’s not.”

“I want people to know that I wouldn’t marry someone just for publicity. That’s just not me. I love her. This is serious. I hope people believe it. If not, then, hey, too bad for them.”

Was Lisa pregnant, as had been reported? “No, that’s not true at all,” he sighs, “Lisa Marie is not pregnant.” But he admits: “Yes, we want to have children. Yes, we will have children.” Then he laughs: “Don’t rush me.”

There had been recent reports that Lisa had plastic surgery in an LA hospital, her breasts enlarged and liposuction on her hips, at Michael’s behest. It was preposterous, but I decided to ask him about it, anyway. “Ridiculous,” he told me. “Just try telling Lisa Marie what to do. It would never happen. I would not be able to convince her to do anything, let alone plastic surgery. The truth,” he said, “is that she had scar tissue removed from an appendectomy, and dermabrasion on her face to get rid of old acne scars.”

Did he and Lisa have a prenuptial agreement? “No way,” he said. “What kind of marriage would that be?”

“I love Lisa Marie. Why won’t people believe that? Why won’t the public let me be happy?”

Michael claims it was their similar tastes that drew them together. They love watching slapstick, screwball comedy films, like the Three Stooges and old movies, particularly ones starring Jackson’s great pal Liz Taylor.

They also share a love of animals.

“One of the things that most attracted me to Lisa is that she gets along well with the many animals in my zoo,” he says.

“Elizabeth Taylor for instance, is scared to death of all the animals, especially the horses. But Lisa Marie just loves them. It’s hard not to fall in love with a person who can relate to animals.”

Michael is astonished at the public scorn the announcement attracted. When he was told one of the reasons was because Lisa Marie’s press release only discussed her feelings for him, he was perplexed.

“Why should I have to explain how I feel about my wife in a press release?” he asked.

“The press release was Lisa Marie’s idea. She wanted to set the record straight. If it was up to me, I would have just said, “Let people think what they want.”

A final rumor Michael dismisses was the report that he and Lisa Marie will sing a duet on October 8 at a Tribute to Elvis Presley in Memphis. “But he adds, we’ll be together forever so there’s plenty of time to sing together.”

Contrary to rumour, Michael is not taking courses in Scientology. “At least not yet,” says Terry Dangers, a former center employee. “But most people believe he will, soon. For the last few months he and Lisa Marie have been so often they know everyone by first name. Michael is very open and friendly to the people there. He used to show up in disguise – once as an old woman. But not anymore.

“Recently, he enrolled in a complicated purification program which involves a lot of reading, studying and psychological testing. He passed with flying colours, meaning he’s ripe for Scientology. After the test, Lisa Marie hugged him and kissed him on the lips. She was so proud and happy. It certainly looked like they were a happy couple.
Everyone knows it’s been Lisa Marie’s intention that Michael be exposed to Scientology and then make up his own mind about it. Passing the purification tests was a big step.

According to Terry, Lisa Marie has said that by the time they couple celebrate their second anniversary, Michael will be a Scientologist. “She also believes that Scientology can help Michael with lupus,” he says.

Michael and Lisa Marie are on the cover of Ebony with an exclusive interview of Michael by Robert Johnson.


There were producers and engineers, but I didn’t ever see talent when I was there. Finally one Monday night I was told MJJ is coming. The staff and folks from his group always referred to him as “MJJ” instead of Michael. Sure enough a bit later he showed up. When he walked in it appeared he already knew the other staff but I saw him eyeballing me realizing I was new here. Someone introduced me to him, “This is Michael..”, as he walked up and shook my hand and quietly said “My name is Michael too..” with a very nice smile and firm handshake. The biggest thing I remember about it was he smelled like baby powder. Big time. That was really the only strange thing I saw from him.

My impressions of him were that he was a quiet, pleasant, very humble, normal man. Sure, I have read the stories that circulated in the years before that everyone else has as well. He didn’t come across to me as being that person that everyone read about in the tabloids. One time a very beautiful lady arrived, Lisa Marie Presley. She was only there once while I was there but it was clear they were very into each other and in love. Even displays of affection like a kiss or holding hands I noticed.

Jam can talk about how cuddly Jackson is with his wife, Lisa Marie Presley. Jam can talk about how Jackson wore essentially the same outfit to the studio every time – whether in New York, L.A. or Edina: an oversized cotton shirt over a T-shirt (usually white), black jeans, penny loafers (sometimes white socks) and makeup.

“Michael is the nicest guy in the world. I remember reading a quote from Lisa Marie when they got married. And someone asked what she liked most about him, and she said, `He’s the nicest guy in the world.’ I laughed when I read that. But he really is. It sounds corny, but he’s definitely the nicest guy I’ve ever met.”

Michael and Lisa attend an Elvis Presley tribute gala in Memphis with Janet and Rene and Lisa’s mother Priscillia Presley

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley

BLACK&WHITE : Michael is married now. What do you think about his marriage with Lisa Marie Presley?

Bruce Swedien : This marriage is not for commercial purposes. This marriage is pretty serious thing and I’m glad to see him happy finally. Lisa Marie is great, they feel very good together. They are inseparable. She comes very often to the studio.

It feels good to me, seeing that, because of that relationship Michael has changed.

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley

“In November, 1994, I spent 2 weeks with Michael and Lisa Marie at the Trump Towers in New York. I was there to work on 2 projects for Michael while he was in the recording studio. Michael and Lisa Marie were great together and a lot of fun to be with.

In 1995 Michael asked me to do a painting of the 2 of them. Not one to do a normal portrait, he came up with a creative vision of how he wanted to portray their love for each other. Michael gave me a list of things he would like to see in the painting. I made a sketch and sent the original to him. He called me when he received it. He said he loved it and not to change a thing except to make the castle more “fanciful”. At this time, I was working on 3 or 4 projects for Michael. I asked if I should set aside these projects in favor of this painting. Michael told me to finish what I was working on and to do the painting afterwards.

Sadly, by the time I got around to this painting, Michael and Lisa Marie had separated.”

We chatted for a while, and to my great surprise and relief, I didn’t have a pressing urge to drink or drug in the studio lounge.. I actually felt comfortable. From that point on, Michael carried most of the conversation. . He continued reminiscing about the early days on the road. I could tell he missed the music, as well as the love and camaraderie, not specifically mine, or his brothers’ or his crews’ or his family’s—it was more general: He missed the adulation his crews’ or his family’s—it was more general: He missed the adulation that he had always elicited up to that point in his life. . Unsurprisingly, I sensed that he was happiest when the world really loved him and everything he did, before his personal proclivities sparked constant tabloid fodder.

The tone of the conversation changed. His mood shifted and something happened that I would have never thought possible in a million years: He opened up to me about his dark feelings. Until that point our rap was all upbeat—typical musician laughing and joking around.

He said gossip in the news upset him and ultimately saddened him. I was very fragile and so was lie, and we connected over our mutual state of mind. It was as if we were on the bus in the early

seventies, only this time the secrets we shared were Far less innocent. I’d made it clear I wanted to play guitar and go home. But I was also so grateful for the Fact that Michaeljackson felt comfortable enough with me to share such intimate revelations. He confided that he was having marital problems and would probably be getting divorced. This was a full year before the slightest mention of his split with Lisa Marie Presley hit the press.

Why share this with me? I thought to myself as Michael continued to unload. Maybe because I outwardly seemed very happy and well adjusted,, and he could sense that I was trustworthy.

Pop superstar Michael Jackson and his wife Lisa Marie Presley are to divorce Just six months after their marriage, the Daily Mirror said today.

The british tabloid said Jackson had instructed lawyers to file divorce papers after complaining that his wife was ”invading his space”.

Lisa Marie, daughter of rock ‘n roll king Elivs Presley, plans to move back from Los Angeles to New York, it said.

The Daily Mirror billing its story as a world exclusive, quoted a source in Jackson’s entourage as saying the reclusive star had complained: ”He cannot go anywhere or do anything without her.”

“the idea of marriage was better than marriage itself. When Michael was facing possible child molestation charges, his life turned upside down,” the source said.

”During that time, he talked to Lisa Marie nearly every day on the phone… Since Lisa Marie was always there for him it was logical he’d ask her to marry him. But Michael does things on the spur of the moment and he lives to regret it. The reason he wants out is that he wants his privacy,” the source added.-Reuter

The official word, direct from Lisa Marie Presley: She and husband Michael Jackson are not registered at the Heartbreak Hotel. Michael did not tell Lisa to beat it.

“Once again, the media is being very irresponsible and spreading false rumors,” the daughter of rock ‘n’ roll king Elvis Presley she said. “Michael and I are very happily married . . . These rumors, in spite of their wishful and destructive thinking, are totally unfounded and false.”

What’s happened to the Graceland-Neverland love thing?

Jackson biographer Christopher Andersen said the marriage was “a scam” from Day 1, and now Lisa Marie wants out.

Gossip columnist Liz Smith intimates Michael viewed the nuptials as a “public relations coup,” but Lisa Marie fell in love and now Michael wants out.

Michael makes a break in the recording sessions to enjoy the holidays with Lisa Marie and her children at Neverland.

Michael and Lisa Marie welcome King Nana Amon Ndoufou in Los Angeles.

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley

MJ practices choreography with Travis Payne at LM residence

Michael, Lisa Marie and her daughter Danielle go to the Six Flags Amusement Park in Los Angeles.

Michael and Lisa Marie give an interview to ABC’s Primetime Live with Diane Sawyer. Lisa Marie later says that after this interview the marriage began to fall apart.

Excerpt from Child Bride, June 1995

As Lisa and Michael prepared to do their much-publicized, hugely anticipated and widely watched July 14, 1995 interview with Diane Sawyer on Primetime Live answering questions about their bizarre marriage, Lisa was seen coming out of the president’s office at the Celebrity Centre in the Hollywood Hills the afternoon before, where she was being advised on how to handle the questions and answers. Another one of Lisa’s childhood friends, Dana Rosenfeld, watched the interview, along with most of America, and was stunned. “My only take on that is that for so long she was hidden from everybody and nobody knew anything, and what better way to just catapult yourself to the center of the media’s attention than to marry someone like that?”

“It was right after the Diane Sawyer show that things started going bad,” says Monica Pastelle. “Lisa started to wonder if she’d made a mistake in choosing him as a life partner. The great sex continued, though. It was the thing that made it difficult for her to see straight where he was concerned. Whatever was going on in the privacy of their bedroom was enough to keep her hooked into the relationship. However, things were getting strained. When they weren’t in bed making love, they were fighting.”

Said James Cruse, who knew her well at the time: “It was embarrassing for her to constantly defend his actions, always explaining that he was not a pedophile, he was misunderstood, he was a child at heart, blah, blah, blah… the same stuff you always hear about the guy. He didn’t seem to care that it was hard on her. He just wanted to live his life the way he had always lived it. “What I do is none of your business,” he told her. That really set her off. “How can you say that? Of course it’s my business,” she told him. “You’re my husband. You’re my business.”

Both Life and Hello carry the same pictures of Michael and Lisa kissing (taken by Harry Benson)

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley

Dedication to Lisa Marie: “To Lisa Marie. Your being provides the star that brightens my galaxy and the force that strengthens me. Love, Michael.”

Lisa Marie goes on holiday with her children and ex-husband Danny Keough to Hawaii.

The rumors of separation between Michael Jackson and his wife arose last July when Lisa Marie took two weeks vacation in Hawaii with his mother and two children, Danielle and Benjamin, aged six and two years. The former husband of Lisa, Danny Keough, joined them to spend two days with them. He was then seen repeatedly in the company of Lisa Marie and children, which immediately led people to conclude that they were about to reconcile and form a family again. As Michael was not there, the rumor mill was soon to start.

Oprah 2010:

L: And I did things that hurt him. I did stupid things too.
O: Like what?
L:  Like, I was very torn because I broke up my family. I left my husband for Michael. I was having a hard time trying to process that.
(Lisa Marie was twenty years old when she married her first husband musician Danny Keough. Together they had two children, Riley and Ben. After more than five years together Lisa Marie divorced Danny. Twenty days later she was married again to Michael Jackson.)
O: While I was with Michael I was still trying to process what I had done. I never could feel good about it. I felt like, how could I have done that to somebody and I have these two little ones. Danny was still very much part of my life. Michael didn’t quite know what to do with that sometimes. That made him uncomfortable and I understood that. Michael would wonder, “Why are you in Hawaii with Danny?” I’d take a vacation and Danny would go. Michael would get upset and “Where are you?” and he would disappear for a couple of weeks and I couldn’t find him. Things would make him uncomfortable and when I would do things that would make Michael uncomfortable, if he got uncomfortable or felt vulnerable, he would ice you out as a mechanism. He would push you away and ice you. It was like a shark sometimes in that way, he could just like that, if you’d done him wrong or whatever, you were out. We had some moments like that. But I have to say in retrospect. that he honestly tried so hard and went through so much with me, and I know now when I look back at it, he’s never done that with any other female or anyone as much as we went through. We hit rough waters, we would fight, we would argue, three day arguments sometimes, taking a break to eat and sleep. I have to say that I really admire that he really gave it a good shot, you know, I didn’t appreciate it then and I wish I did.

Michael and Lisa Marie attend the opening of the Magic Johnson Sony Theatre in Los Angeles .

Michael and Lisa Marie shoot the video for You Are Not Alone and they also appear on the cover of Jet magazine. The director says that Michael was too shy to ask her to participate himself, but considering there was tension between them at the time, it might have had less to do with him being shy and more to do with the relationship being strained.

Michael is a fan of Maxfield Parrish’s 1922 painting “Daybreak,” which was what inspired their YANA video.

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley

“Having done videos for so long, nothing strikes me as strange anymore. Everything has a unique twist. But, the one that ranks at the top is probably Michael Jackson “You Are Not Alone.” We had planned out all these elements for the video and then Michael had this idea where he wanted to use this Greek, classical-styled, artistic imagery. And, he wanted to appear in it naked with his wife, Lisa Marie Presley. Like they were Greek gods. It had nothing to do with the video we were doing, but I said, “OK, that’s cool. We can shoot it.” We set it up and as we’re ready to shoot, he leads me into the trailer and says,

“Have you asked her?” He wanted me to ask her to appear in the video. He was too shy. So I asked. And we did it.”

It took 5 days to complete shooting of the clip “You Are Not Alone”, plus another 5 days to edit and create the special effects.

According to director Wayne Isham, the very last scene of Michael and Lisa Marie was filmed without the couple’s knowledge.

Famous for filming the You Are Not Alone short film, Backstreet Boys’ I Want It That Way and Ricky Martin’s “Living La Vida Loca , video director Wayne Isham was interviewed by Black & White Magazine in 1998. Here is an excerpt from that interview.

“The warmth displayed in the You Are Not Alone video is for real. The shots in the last scene were done without Michael and Lisa Marie knowing it, literally off-camera. Michael never at any point indicated that this was a marketing thing. It was more personal than that. The nude scenes were Michael’s idea. I thought it was ballsy and honest; you can’t get any more open than that. They’re saying, “Here we are, you want to see us?” I didn’t look at it as a marketing thing. I thought it was a statement.

The funny thing about my relation with Michael is that I did one of my first jobs serving as an electrician on the Billie Jean video!

He was great to work with. When you actually talk to Michael he really is a normal guy; there’s just a lot of layers to go through. And Lisa’s got a great sense of humor. They’re both no-nonsense kind of people.

So She took me to Gower Studio where he was shooting a music video. He works at night so we went around 11pm. I was so nervous (only he and Dolly would make me nervous).. We arrived and his body guards led us to a trailer. She went in and left me outside of the trailer for a while. Finally, she opened the door and called me in.. She said “Michael this is Tonya Tonya this is Michael”. he shook my hand.. and I said the dumbest shit ever… ” “should I faint now or later” giggle giggle.. He then said “listen to her laugh.”. so I sat in the corner in a chair while she, Michael and the makeup artist all carry on while he is getting his makeup done… not many people can say they have done that.. he is very private about his makeup affairs ha ha

Off to the set we went… I was so shy and trailed behind.. He stopped and waited on me.. Such a gentleman.. We did go in his personal trailer and there was candy all over the place..just as I would have imagined . We soon had to leave cuz Lisa Marie was on her way. She was in that video and well, it was time to go.

After an argument with Lisa Marie, Michael flies to Disneyland Paris and doesn’t see or speak to Lisa Marie for 6 weeks.

She tells Rolling Stone in 2003: “He got upset and he would just disappear.”

There’s also the event that was bizarre even by Jackson standards, and, the cynic might believe, the main weapon in the PR fightback: the marriage of the King of Pop to the daughter of the King, Lisa Marie Presley.

Janis de Silva: I was happy, very happy for him. I was just jumping with joy. I think Lisa Marie’s a very lucky woman because Michael’s very, very romantic. I was in the studio just last Sunday and he was on the phone three times to Lisa within an hour. They are very much in love and anyone who doesn’t believe that is just stupid.

Isn’t the marriage just part of some big scheme to rehabilitate Michael?

Michael would not marry somebody just for the sake of publicity or he would have done that years ago when they were saying he’d had a sex change and that he was gay.

Kevin Smith: We actually knew about it. We have great sources within the ranch now. We had all the documentation proving it was Lisa Marie but no one would print the story. No one in the world believed it.

It looks like a stunt but there’s one thing which makes me believe that it wasn’t. He was seeing her behind closed doors. If it was purely just a publicity stunt, then you’d do it for the cameras. So I think there is some truth to the fact that they are close.

You Are Not Alone is released as a single and directly reaches number 1 on the Billboard.

Bruce Ross: How has your marriage to Lisa Marie changed your life?

Michael: I think I find it more fun to appreciate what family really means. The fact that even though there were ten of us Jacksons…we were always doing things at different times, and I’m really learning the real meaning of love. Giving 100% of yourself all the time. Putting up with one another. So far it has been pretty joyous.

Sam: A story in the UK press claims a quickie divorce on the way. Is it true?

Michael: Never believe tabloid garbage. Don’t waste your time, don’t waste your money. No, it’s not true. If you hear it from my lips, then you can believe it. But no, it’s not true.

SiBiS: In Oprah’s interview you said that you wanted to raise a family one day. Do you plan to do so?

Michael: Yes. That’s my dream for a long time. My own children, I want to adopt them. Not only my own, but children from all over the world. I think we should be less territorial about it.

Kurt: How did you like working with your sister Janet on the “Scream” video and your beautiful wife Lisa Marie on “You Are Not Alone”? P.S: Best of luck to you two, don’t listen to all the B.S going around!

Michael: That’s a great question. The press creates all of these negative stories so people will buy their magazines or read their columns. You mustn’t read everything you read. Most of it is not true, most of it’s garbage. And I want everyone to be aware of what the tabloid media is like. I have had so much fun working with my sister and working on the set everyday. I haven’t seen her in quite some time and she is busy and I am as well and it’s like a reunion. I’m closest to Janet of all the family members. We were very emotional on the set. We laughed, we cried, we had a lot of fun. Everyday she’d come to me sad because of something in the press. I told her she’d just have to become resiliant. I had a lot of fun with Lisa Marie on the set. But when the director said, “Action”, she became very shy. I was giving her a hard time too!

If it’s Saturday, it must be time to air another [LISA MARIE] Presley-Michael Jackson rumor. This time rumor central has it that Lisa Marie plans to divorce.

Spokesmen have denied a British report, attributed to an unnamed aide of Lisa Marie Presley, that the daughter of the king of rock ‘n’ roll wanted a divorce.

Mommy rumors are surfacing again for Lisa Marie. This info comes during the couple’s heated denial that Lisa Marie wants a divorce and in fact was seen walking on a beach with ex-hubby Danny Keough. A source tells The Star that Danny is saying, “It’s not a matter of if she’ll get divorced – it’s just a matter of when.”

The scene is Hawaii’s plush Mauna Lani Bay resort. A happy young couple kiss and cuddle as they stroll along a pebble beach.

Then the young man spells out his undying love in white lava rocks, meticulously arranging them to say “Dan loves Lisa.”

Locals and tourists who saw the romantic happening say they suddenly realized the lovers were Lisa Marie Presley and her former husband Danny Keough – back together and openly flaunting their passion for each other.

It was the second time within a couple of months that Lisa Marie and Danny had got together in Hawaii – and both times there was no sign of Lisa Marie’s superstar husband Michael Jackon.

“They were walking hand in hand on the beach, for all the world like teenagers in love,” says restaurant boss Jim Keir.

“Danny was all over her, kissing her neck and caressing her.”

The news has come as a crushing blow to Michael, who has privately warned Lisa Marie to cool it with Danny. But publicly he has denied there is anything wrong with his wife wanting to spend time with her ex.

In a recent interview with Women’s Day, Michael said he had no concerns over Lisa Marie’s trip to Hawaii with Danny and their children, Danielle six and two year old Benjamin.

“Lisa Marie went to Hawaii with Danny. That was okay with me,” said Michael. “In fact, I wanted her to go. Lisa Marie’s kids love their dad. They wanted to have a reunion with him.”

They were spotted canoodling at the Mama Yu Japanese restaurant where a perky Lisa Marie stunned inquisitive diners by saying, “It’s okay, we were married once!”

Waitress Carla Sartori 19 says, “If they’re divorced then maybe all couples should split! hey were just totally in love.”

Jim Keir says, “Lisa Marie looked radiant. She was close to tears when Danny spelled out his love for her on the beach. And he was like a dog with two tails. Visitors who seal their love with lava rocks like that – well, local tradition has it that they stay in love for all time.”

Michael attends the MTV Video Music Awards in New York City . He opens the ceremony with a 20 minutes long medley (including Dangerous & You Are Not Alone) and accepts an award with Janet for Scream.

Lisa Marie tells Rolling Stone in 2003; She says that after about a month without any contact, his people started calling, saying that it was important that she show up at the MTV Video Music Awards. She agreed to show up if she didn’t have to go down the red carpet; they consented, and then led her down it anyway. “I was pissed. I just felt like I was being used at that point.” She was then told that he was going to sing to her and that he had a surprise for her. “I remember my whole look was: ‘Don’t you come anywhere fucking near me — we haven’t spoken in a month.’ And he got it. He didn’t come over. I talked to him later and he said, ‘I saw the look on your face, and I knew that if I walked up to you, I didn’t know what you were going to do me.’ ”

In September 1995 rumors surfaced that Michael and Lisa Marie were ending their marriage, causing an international firestorm of headlines. I managed to get Michael on the telephone for an interview for the Australian magazine, Women’s Day, to check it out. “Let me just say this,” he told me, impatiently. “No. No. No. No. These stories are damn lies made up by people who hope they’ll get lucky with one of them and hit it big.”

I asked if he wanted to further respond to reports that Lisa did not know about his vacation in Paris with the Cascio brothers. [Blognote: Michael vacationed with the entire Cascio family: both parents, and daughter Marie Nicole, his cousins and another family] “Like I wouldn’t have told her? “ Michael asked. “Like she wouldn’t read about it anyway, or see us photographed by every newspaper photographer in the world? Neither one of us could have kept a secret from the other, even if we wanted to,” he said. “We’re so happy,” he added of his marriage. “We do it our way. I don’t know if it’s conventional. My parents have been married for forty years. Is their marriage conventional? Were Lisa’s parents in a conventional marriage? I don’t think so. I love being married, knowing that Lisa’s there,” he continued. “She’s strong. She’s smart. She’s on my side, listens to me, understands me, understands my world.”

She is seen walking ahead of him and the relationship appears tense.

She also defends his (Michael’s) marriage to Lisa Marie Presley, “a true sister to the 10th power. Lisa’s wonderful. She’s beautiful inside and out. They’re good for each other.” She was disgusted when her brother’s sex life was probed in June’s Prime Time Live interview. “For Diane Sawyer to ask all the other questions and then have someone else ask that – why?” says Jackson, rolling her eyes. “I’m sick of this whole stupid thing about, ‘Do they have sex?’ Somebody asked me that and I said, “No, they just sit there, look at each other and masturbate.’ I mean it’s STUPID. I wish people would shut the fuck up and leave him alone.”

Dozens of screaming fans welcomed Michael Jackson to Germany yesterday as the enigmatic US superstar arrived for a celebrity game show billed as his first such European TV performance.

Fans tried to climb aboard his luxury minivan as his cavalcade drove out of Cologne airport Jackson wearing dark glasses and a white mask across his face stood up through the sunroof and threw flowers to the faithful. The singer 36 who witnesses say was not accompanied by his wife Lisa Marie Presley.

Jackson was whisked away to Cologne’s Hyatt hotel where he has booked the whole sixth floor for himself and an entourage of bodyguards, crew and assistants.

Michael collapses while rehearsing the concert and he is rushed to the Beth Israel Medical Center . He is suffering from gastro-enteritis, dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.

But Dr. William Alleyne had more reason to be sad than most fans. Alleyne said Tuesday, for the first time in 14 years, “I was the doctor who saved Michael Jackson’s life.”

In December 1995, Alleyne was the critical care director at Beth Israel North Hospital, on the Upper East Side in New York City across the way from the mayor’s Gracie Mansion. He was the guy in charge when one of the nurses told him, “We have Michael Jackson coming here.”

Alleyne didn’t believe it then.

“I said, ‘Ha, ha, very funny,’” Alleyne recalled.

He had seen patients who were stars, or spouses of stars, but this was different. Thousands of people started clamoring outside the hospital. The place was turning into bedlam.

“Ten minutes later, they rolled Michael Jackson in on a stretcher,” Alleyne said Tuesday from his Rock Hill office where he’s one of the partners at Carolina Pulmonary Physicians. But in 1995, Alleyne was the doctor to the King of Pop. Jackson had collapsed after a rehearsal for an upcoming HBO special at the nearby Beacon Theater.

Alleyne and his wife had seen Jackson before in concert, on television, and now, in 1995, Jackson was waiting, unconscious, for Bill Alleyne to save his life.

“Mr. Jackson was in critical condition,” Alleyne said. “He was dehydrated. He had low blood pressure. He had a rapid heart rate. He was near death.”

Alleyne went from doctor to a star to doctor of a man who could die. Alleyne, an acquaintance of Jackson’s doctor at the time who had seen some of that doctor’s patients, had been picked personally by that doctor to be the attending physician for Jackson’s emergency care. Alleyne gave the order to have the defibrillator ready if needed to treat the abnormal heart rhythm of the most famous entertainer with the best rhythm on Earth.

After about an hour or so that December dusk, Alleyne said he had Jackson stabilized with intravenous fluids and other treatment, and transferred Jackson to intensive care. But in the meantime, the crowd outside had become massive, a mob scene.

“I looked outside the window, and the crowd was shoulder to shoulder, huge, far more than when the mayor’s mansion across the street had hosted the pope, the president, even Nelson Mandela,” Alleyne recalled.

And inside the hospital, Alleyne said, “it was absolute pandemonium.”

Jackson’s entourage had muscled into intensive care. Alleyne had a brief showdown with one bodyguard who did not want to let Alleyne in the room again after Alleyne had left briefly. Alleyne recalled he said to the bodyguard, “Your boss is dying in there, and I am going in there to save his life. You can be the one who has to say you wouldn’t let me in.”

Bill Alleyne walked in and saved Michael Jackson.

But the crush of people inside wasn’t over. The entourage of Jackson’s then-wife, Lisa Marie Presley, came in. Presley came in, too. Then through the middle of the crowd, another entourage, and Janet Jackson, Michael’s sister.

“Here is Janet, drop-dead, stop-the clock gorgeous, and she said, ‘Thank you for taking care of my brother,’” Alleyne recalled.

Alleyne found time to call home. His wife, Cheryl Courtlandt, a physician herself who now is a pediatrician at Levine’s Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, was home with two small kids. ]

I’m gonna be a little late honey,” Alleyne told his wife. “Turn on the news.”

He told his wife Michael Jackson was his patient, and she said to her husband, verbatim, in words Alleyne will never forget: “Well, you take care of Mr. Jackson and hurry home, because I have two kids here and you need to take out the garbage.”

Jackson soon was stable, and Alleyne and Jackson started a doctor/patient relationship similar to all in theory but unlike any relationship Alleyne had ever had in practice. As people were climbing trees to get pictures of inside the hospital, as Jackson’s fans sang his songs outside and the world press invaded the sidewalks and street for information about the condition of this most-famous man, Bill Alleyne tried to keep Michael Jackson alive with intravenous food and care.

“Michael Jackson was the most soft-spoken, least demanding guy you would ever want to meet,” Alleyne said. “Everything he said was a whisper. His biggest concern was could he perform.

Alleyne told Jackson no way could he perform anytime soon.

Alleyne had to get permission to release information to Jackson’s family. Jackson gave it. Alleyne had to deal with other doctors who came to watch his every move, and a world that wanted information that Alleyne would not give to anybody but those Jackson said to give it to.

After about 72 hours, Alleyne and Jackson’s publicists and others realized they had to give a press conference. So Alleyne worked with Jackson’s people to go over what could be said, what to stay away from but still tell the truth. Alleyne was blunt with the world, saying Jackson did not have any immune system problems because rumors about AIDS were swirling. He was blunt that Jackson had no drugs in his system.

News accounts from 1995 show Alleyne and his then-partner, Dr. Bob Glennon, talking about Jackson’s condition to convince the world that Jackson was, in fact, critically ill.

“Michael Jackson was unconscious when he arrived,” Alleyne said. “I had to make that clear.”

Through the next few days, Alleyne was Jackson’s doctor. Other doctors came to watch behind him, but Alleyne said he was not affronted. Having others sets of eyes look at his care and treatment of Jackson was understandable.

Jackson had to do what other patients who are recovering must do, Alleyne said. Walk around, be monitored. Except he had an entourage in the next room.

“After a couple of days, Mr. Jackson told me he needed to get his hair done,” Alleyne remembered. “I told him we had a barber at the hospital.”

Jackson’s entourage laughed: A stylist traveled around the world with Jackson and would style those locks right there in intensive care. The makeup crew came in, too.

Near the end of Jackson’s hospital stay, he asked Alleyne if he could visit other patients in intensive care. Jackson met one lady, gave her an autographed picture after he prayed with her, and the lady told Alleyne, “I can die now; I prayed with Michael Jackson.”

Alleyne recalled, laughing: “I told Mr. Jackson maybe visiting with people who had suffered heart attacks or other serious problems wasn’t such a good idea.”

When Jackson was discharged, Alleyne stayed in the background as the cameras went off and the video was shot. But Jackson asked Alleyne to make house calls for the next three days. Blood pressure checks, pulse, all that stuff. Alleyne was the director of critical care — house calls were not his bag. But Michael Jackson had asked, so Alleyne said yes.
“House calls, to the penthouse of the Four Seasons hotel,” Alleyne said. “He had rented out the entire top two floors.”

In one “moment of weakness,” Alleyne said he almost asked Jackson to teach him how to moonwalk — Jackson’s famous trademark dance.

But Alleyne kept it professional with Michael Jackson, as the entourages and the world watched Alleyne’s every move.

Finally, about two weeks into this whirlwind relationship, Alleyne told Jackson, “Mr. Jackson, you are stable. I can stop being your doctor and return to being your fan.”

O: Okay, so in May of 1994 when you were married to him or during the time that you were married to him, did you suspect a drug problem?
L: Honestly, 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.
O: This was for HBO?
L: Yeah, there was an appearance he was supposed to make.
(In December 1995 Michael Jackson collapsed onstage while rehearsing for an HBO concert special in New York. His doctors said Michael was suffering from a viral infection. Lisa Marie flew to his side in the hospital where he stayed for six days.)
L: Everybody flew to the hospital. And, um, it was very confusing what was wrong, because every day there was a different report. I couldn’t tell what was happening. Dehydration, low blood pressure, exhaustion, a virus, so I couldn’t really get a straight answer as to what was happening with him. I think we were all a little bit in the dark. At that point I think I really got from various indications I believed that was going on then.


As soon as he was checked into the hospital, Michael’s press people telephoned Lisa in Los Angeles and, with frantic explanations, begged her to fly to her husband’s side. “Hell, no,” was her response. “Screw him. I’m not going. Why should I?”

Lisa Marie finally visits him and she asks for a divorce.

Lisa Marie Presley has been living at the Four Seasons while she visits her ailing husband. But she didn’t check into Jackson’s swank suite she got her own, reports a spy.

Michael goes resting at Disneyland Paris taking with him the Cascio family

Lisa Marie officially files for divorce. Michael’s spokesman states that they remain friends.

Oprah 2010:

O: So you still loved him even when you left him?
L: Very much. I left him to sort of stomp my foot in the ground and go… I was trying to take a stand and say, come with me, don’t do this. That was a stupid move, because he didn’t. And he’s you know, he’s a stubborn… I’m stubborn, he’s stubborn. The two of us it was like you know…
O: Don’t make a dare you’re not willing to follow through on. ]

“Lisa said that the part of him that is critical of himself – the beaten child part of him – really kicked in after the divorce was finalized,” said Monica Pastelle. “He wanted to call and talk to his best friend, her. He didn’t want to let go. She needed space, though. She really needed time away from him. She felt that he had really screwed with her mind, and she got sick and her body started breaking down after the divorce. She poured her life into him. Now, she had to reclaim it for herself. He had a hard time with that.”

Lisa’s ill-founded marriage to Michael came tumbling down within six months of the Diane Sawyer interview, when Lisa filed for divorce in January 1996. The inside word was that, before the marriage, Michael had promised Lisa a recording contract with his company and had later reneged. “That’s what he might have been promising her,” commented Myrna, who disapproved of the marriage from the outset, “but that might not have been his intention.” Lisa, she revealed, was devastated by the experience. “He’s very much top of the pile in his world, and that’s probably one reason why Lisa filed for divorce,” said Brett. “And the things she asked for from Michael, he wasn’t willing to do.”

Priscilla’s response when she heard that Lisa had filed for divorce, said Rick Stanley, Elvis’ stepbrother, was “Praise the Lord!” Marco said simply, “The wart has been removed.”

“There are no disputes as to property or anything else,” Coale said by phone from his office in Washington, D.C. “It’s going to be a very simple and clean divorce and they’re going to remain friends.” ]

The petition, filed in the state that spawned no-fault divorce, said their community property has yet to be determined. It also asks that Jackson pay legal fees and that her name be restored to Lisa Marie Presley.

A spokeswoman for Michael Jackson’s British fan club said: “A lot of the fans didn’t really think Lisa-Marie was being supportive enough of Michael. Many didn’t really think she was the one for him, she wasn’t very demonstrative, so they will probably be quite happy with this news.

“It’s going to be a very simple and clean divorce,” Coale said.

Pop superstar Michael Jackson came out of hiding last night, enjoying a sushi dinner and the company of a mystery blond in midtown (Karen Faye, his make up artist) just a week after his impending divorce was made public.

“I am having a great time,” Jackson said, his first public words since Lisa Marie Presley told him to beat it last week, ending a 19-month marriage that has often been described as a giant publicity stunt.

It was hard to tell whether the carefully choreographed public appearance at the Motown Cafe was meant for his personal enjoyment or to quell questions over his sexuality that have dogged him for the last several years.

No one could figure out who Jackson’s friend for the evening was but judging from their body language the pair seemed very well-acquainted, right down to their matching mirrored sunglasses, which never came off during the hour they spent together at the W. 57th St. spot.

The woman, who appeared to be in her late 20s or early 30s, did not answer when asked her name. Restaurant personnel said they did not know who she was.

The self-described King of Pop looked healthy, relaxed and true to character heavily made up when he entered the theme restaurant just after 10 p.m.

Rubbing shoulders with fans, tourists and executives from CBS Records, he was dressed casually in jeans and a red button down shirt. A light red lipstick and base makeup covered his face.

As the couple and an entourage of bodyguards entered through the cafe’s revolving doors, the crowd hushed, then stared and cheered while Jackson and his group mounted the stairs to an upstairs dining area.

The area where they ate was just behind a metal statue of the singer as a boy.”That’s 10,” Jackson said when asked how old he was in the statue.

A crush of people clamored for a glimpse of the singer, who signed a few autographs. He spent several minutes holding 1-year-old Juelle Dixson, whose father, Julius, is a performer with the restaurant singing group, the Motown Moments.

“I am a big fan of his,” Dixson said. “It feels good when you are really a fan of someone’s. He is someone I really like.”

Jackson was equally impressed with Juelle. “She’s so beautiful,” he said.

His waitress brought out Evian water, orange juice and a specially prepared plate of sushi California roll, salmon and shrimp. Eating with their hands, the couple dunked the sushi in sauce, clinked their glasses and giggled.

After a few moments, Jackson called over the waitress, Andrea Whitaker.”He said, ‘Can I request ‘I’ll be There,’?” Whitaker said. “I said, ‘You can request anything you want!’ ”

The day after this PR date, Lisa Marie contacts Karen Faye and calls her a bitch.

“Michael is a workaholic and Lisa Marie has no idea what that is all about,” said one fan. “She hasn’t worked a day in her life. We thought it was pretty tacky for her to separate from him while he was sick.” A Presley source asserted that even if Jackson friends found the timing tacky, the Jackson family genuinely liked Presley. Some wondered if Jackson’s refusal to join the Church of Scientology, to which Presley and her mother, Priscilla, belong, contributed to the rift. “It was an issue at the beginning,” said J. Randy Taraborrelli, a Jackson biographer. “Michael actually went and took a couple of tests. I understand he flunked the personality test, but I understand everybody does. In the end, he decided not to become a Scientologist, but it wasn’t a major factor.” And some blamed Lisa Marie’s interlude last August in Hawaii with her ex-husband, musician Danny Keough, the father of her two children. Not so, said Jackson family friend Flo Anthony: “Michael OK’d that trip.” ]

Through all the muck and innuendo, most immediate family remained silent. Priscilla Presley was unavailable for comment, although we know she was very fond of first husband Danny and less wacko about Jacko. “Lisa Marie should come to her senses and kick this freak out before these allegations taint her,” Priscilla reportedly said in August, referring to child-molestation charges that follow Jackson even today. Jackson’s family, too, was silent, unless you count La Toya’s husband Jack Gordon as family. “La Toya warned Michael that this marriage would be his downfall,” said Gordon. “It’s one thing to get married, but to Elvis’s daughter was totally absurd. Something went wrong in that marriage and Lisa Marie will soon be telling it all, and Michael will be destroyed.”

IF THIS WERE TELEVISION—AND rest assured, it soon will be—Lisa Marie Presley would wake with a start, just as Pamela Ewing did a decade ago, and say, “Zowie! Was that a weird dream or what?” The fact is, we the people could have been pinching ourselves nonstop for nearly two years now: What was Elvis’s kid doing eating pizza with Michael Jackson and Michu the circus midget outside a castle in Hungary? Could that really be little Lisa Marie saying, “Yes, yes, yes!” when asked right there on prime-time TV if she was having sex with her husband?

[Indeed, fans, it all happened. But take heart: it's also all over. Last week, in a move that managed to be at once sensation-making and entirely unsurprising, Lisa Marie Presley-Jackson, who turns 28 on Feb. 1, filed for divorce from her superstar husband, asking L.A.'s Superior Court only for the restoration of her maiden name and the right to have Jackson, 37, foot her legal bills.

"This is a no-brainer," says John Coale, Presley's attorney. She will keep the estimated $100 million she has inherited from her father's estate; Jackson will keep the $150-or-so million he has earned in a lifetime at the top of the music charts. "We wait six months. Then they're divorced," says Coale. "There's really not that much to it."

Some claim, in fact, to have detected a certain chemistry when the couple got together. "There was a lot of teasing, a lot of kidding around, like any other newlywed couple," says Jackson family friend and former publicist Steve Manning.

Why did Presley keep her distance from Jackson? A reliable source close to Presley says, "There are a lot of shady characters around Michael who were upsetting to Lisa. She felt that in their minds she was part of a machinery to re-create his image."

Jackson, for his part, saw the separation as a sad but far from shady turn of events. "They spent a lot of time away from each other, and both realized it wasn't working out," says a source close to him. Jackson had hoped to make a joint statement announcing the split in the near future, says the source, and is only upset "about Lisa Marie's jumping the gun."

But if either of them had doubts, they kept them to themselves. "I had no idea it was coming," says Paul Bloch, longtime publicist for both Lisa Marie and her mother, Priscilla, 50. Nor did the Jackson family expect the split. In a phone conversation with a close family friend just two weeks ago, Jackson's mother, Katherine, gave no indication that the couple were having major marital woes. She did say, though, that there were problems—notably, Presley's frustration with the expensive toys Jackson showered on her children by first husband Danny Keough—Danielle, 6, and Benjamin, 3. Presley, according to Katherine, was concerned that Jackson would spoil her children. "She's got a point," says the family friend. "Michael just likes to see the kids smile. He's a kid himself. He doesn't get how much it annoys Lisa Marie." ]

“He is disappointed,” says Taraborrelli; and yet, adds another close associate, he’s ready to move on: “He’s happy that it’s over.”

“Lisa Marie wanted to help Michael with his life,” says the Presley source. “She fell in love with him.”

“I’ve never seen her look so happy,” her former manager and lifelong friend Jerry Schilling told PEOPLE at the time. “They have fun together.”

But was she, as has been suggested in published reports, on a mission to lure Jackson into her church? A source close to Presley says no. “Jackson had just been accused of being a pedophile,” this source says. “He’s not going to help any organization, whether it’s the church or the Kiwanis Club. I’d have a harder argument if Kevin Costner were the guy. You could say a lot about Scientologists, but they ain’t stupid.”

By the time Jackson fell ill in December, Presley felt enough was enough. “Once she makes up her mind,” says a friend, “she doesn’t look back.”

For the moment, Presley’s spirits, friends say, are good. “She’s disappointed,” says the close source, “but she’s not crying in her soup.” Instead, she is “focusing on being a good mother,” says Paul Bloch—which may, according to Liz Smith, mean reuniting with her children’s father. But Presley’s camp denies she still has a romantic interest in Keough. “He played no part in the breakup,” says the source. Still, the two have remained close—vacationing together, as friends, sources say, at Hawaii’s Mauna Lani hotel last June.

Beyond the divorce proceeding, what lies ahead for Jackson is unclear. “Michael is still an icon,” says Vernon Slaughter, an Atlanta-based entertainment attorney who was a vice president for CBS Records in 1982 when Jackson’s Thriller was released. “The real question is, can he become bigger than he is? The game plan for him should be back to basics. Let’s strip away all the King of Pop stuff and get to the core of what he’s about.”

The hectic schedule has left him little time to figure out what went wrong with his marriage. But Presley’s lawyer could put it to him in two words. “Irreconcilable differences,” says Coale. “Which means nothing—and everything.”

Pop star Michael Jackson will produce the debut album of his estranged wife, Lisa Marie Presley, “Day &; Date” reported yesterday.

On the program, celebrity writer J. Randy Taraborrelli said, “Michael Jackson will be producing Lisa Marie Presley’s first album in the next few months.And chances are there will be a duet between Jackson and Presley.

Taraborrelli, who wrote the unauthorized biography “Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness,” added: “Lisa Marie will make her record industry debut in the next six months.”

Is Lisa happy with her face? “God, no. NO! How could I like what I see in the mirror?” she asks. “I wouldn’t hang out with a human who woke up in the morning and looked in the mirror and said, ‘I look beautiful.’” But she’s content. She’s not about to go run off to a cosmetic surgeon like some people we could mention. And if she does, it will be for routine repair, not rebirth as a different person. “I’m pretty vain. And I don’t like things falling without my permission. If something does, then I’ll get it fixed.”

The face in the mirror is one thing; the naked body showed with Michael Jackson’s pasty flesh in the “You Are Not Alone” video is another. I wanted to know how she saw her public image. “That’s a hard one.” You bet it is — only partly through her own fault (she presumably chose to make those videos) but mostly because of the fatal star that made her Elvis’s only child. In person, she is reserved and private — “terribly shy,” she says — but she’s been a honey pot in the press since the day she was born and lives fenced in by minder staff, and security that beat anything I’ve ever seen.


She came into Vogue’s offices to try on the clothes for the photo shoot. She was as nervous as a two-year-old colt at the thought — “of talking” — even about clothes. She doesn’t talk to the press. She’s done only one other press interview in her life, though her tabloid clippings could fill a room. The clippings will be doubling and redoubling as the divorce — about which she will not say one word — goes through.

Debbie Rowe becomes pregnant again with Michael’s baby.

They both married in their early twenties, were divorced single mothers by their late twenties and will be linked forever by royal marriages to messed-up pop-music messiahs.

Small wonder that Priscilla Presley and daughter Lisa Marie are attached by a fiercely protective, almost mystical bond that has influenced their tumultuous journeys to Graceland and Neverland and back. It is a tie, Presley says, that grew stronger through Lisa Marie’s rumor-ridden twenty-month union with Michael Jackson, which ended just before her twenty-eighth birthday early this year.

“I’m her mom,” Presley says. “I’m there for her. She knows that. It’s a very delicate situation, for her and for everybody involved.”


She is animated and expansive talking about comfortable topics like family values and child rearing, but ask about Lisa Marie’s life since her Caribbean elopement with Jackson, in May 1994, and a curtain drops behind Presley’s blue eyes. She won’t even mention what’s-his-name–and certainly won’t comment on all those tabloid reports. Among them: that she pressured Lisa Marie to split from Jackson, hoping for a reconciliation with Keough, whom she calls a “terrific father”; or that Jackson continued to spend time with young boys while married.

“I don’t want to get into these questions” is all she will say. “I have a very difficult time with divorce. I would never betray her. But there’s one great thing about Lisa Marie: She understands surviving.”


Still, there’s no controlling what Navarone picks up at school about his famous half-sister’s much-publicized marriage to Jackson. “He’ll come home with crazy things, and I’ll have to change the opinion right away,” she says. “That’s the hardest thing–to keep on top of the information he hears.”


Lisa Marie is, says Presley, far more complex than the sassy, posturing princess America saw interviewed with Jackson by Diane Sawyer for PrimeTime Live. “I know someone very different. I hope the public doesn’t judge her for that.”


Interestingly, just as Lisa Marie’s divorced parents spent amicable time together, she and Keough “want to be together and want their children to see them together,” says Presley. “She gets along wonderfully with Danny.” Asked how the marriage to Jackson affected that connection, Presley instinctively pulls back: “I don’t want to even–that’s another story.”

The woman who is carrying Michael Jackson’s baby has told friends that the King of Pop’s marriage to Lisa Marie Presley broke up because she wouldn’t have his child.

Michael Jackson was still married to Lisa Marie Presley when he first started trying to have a baby with a secret girlfriend!

LISA MARIE PRESLEY was in New York recently being photographed by the dynamic makeup genius Kevyn Aucoin for his second book The one-time Mrs Michael Jackson, daughter of Elvis, is nothing if not loyal and faithful to her friends, her family and her two ex-husbands Lisa Marie tells me she watched in dismay as Entertainment Tonight and much of the rest of the media seized on a made-up story out of London that says she’s planning to remarry her first husband Danny Keough.

She said:”This kind of thing gets so irritating seeing it reported everywhere as truth. It’s completely false! We made a statement when we divorced that we would remain friends for our children’s sake. And that’s how it stands. We are friends That’s our relationship.”

I asked Lisa Marie how she was otherwise. ”Otherwise, I’m alive. Im concentrating on my children. I did an ad for Versace recently that is being seen internationally. But I have no comments to make, nor do I want to talk about Michael Jackson. I do wish him the best in life. And I am sure he wants the best for me.”

This is the Lisa Marie of today, sounding quite mature, responsible and grownup. (There was no question of my pursuing anything more about Michael Jackson. Lisa Marie was polite and gracious but firm. She is not a woman one can ”push” too far, or one from whom information can be craftily wheedled.)

ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT reps say Lisa Marie Presley was mistaken when she told me their show was among the news entities that reported she would remarry her first husband Danny Keough .They never said any such thing. But I guess Lisa Marie is no different from the rest of us she always has ET on the brain.

MICHAEL JACKSON is upset with me. He reportedly asked a member of his inner circle the other day, “Why is Liz always picking on me?” Well, I don’t believe I pick on Michael at all; I think I bend over backwards where he is concerned. I am just about the only press person who wished Jackson and Debbie Rowe well upon hearing that he was going to be a father.

Every body else went out of their way to make fun of him. And I have said over and over that no matter what the rumors are, or what one hears or assumes, Michael has never been indicted or convicted of any crime. I have also reiterated how talented he is.

Michael’s problems with the media are mostly of his own making. Too much spin control and too much disregard for plain common sense.

But I love it that Michael has complained. He also supposedly said, “Liz is always nice to Lisa Marie, and Lisa Marie is much weirder than I am! (The Daughter of Elvis was, for a brief shining moment, the Wife of Michael.)

Michael, we all appreciate your occasional candor.

Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley and the former Mrs. Michael Jackson, has been hospitalized since Sunday in Florida, says USA Today. The twenty-nine-year-old mother of two has been diagnosed with a bronchial infection and stomach and liver infections. Her spokesman, Paul Bloch, said Presley’s condition is improving. “The prognosis for recovery is excellent, and she hopes to leave the hospital this week.” Presley, a practicing Scientologist, had a fever for nine days before she was admitted to the hospital.

After splitting from Jackson in 1995, Lisa Marie Presley fell seriously ill, sparking rumours of suicide attempts and a nervous breakdown. In fact, she now believes, her health problems (which included everything from asthma to weird allergies) were related to stress and old mercury fillings. At the same time she was trying to get her emotions back to a stage approaching normality. In her case, this meant reaching a stage where she felt nothing towards Jackson at all. As opposed to just hating his guts.

Lisa’s friend Monica Pastelle,

“She felt that he had really screwed with her mind, and she got sick and her body started breaking down after the divorce.”

Lisa Marie on Diane Sawyer 2003

Lisa Marie Presley: No, he… I think he got on to, you know, getting somebody else pregnant, right? Or having a baby. That’s what he wanted. He seemed to get on that pretty quick. You know, I don’t know.

Diane Sawyer: Did it shake your confidence?

Lisa Marie Presley: Yeah, I was pretty much needed to be mopped up off the floor after that one.

Rolling Stone 2003

You pulled the plug?

“Yes. I told him I wanted a divorce. Then he didn’t talk to me for a couple of weeks.”

In the period following her split from Jackson, her health collapsed: “My body started to deteriorate. I started to have panic attacks. I went through two years of baffling every doctor from East to West Coast. One week it was asthma . . . hypoglycemia . . . candida . . . reflux . . . I had everything. My gall bladder just fucking stopped working, and I had to get it taken out. This was when the tabloids said I tried to kill myself or something like that. We settled out of court. But anyway, I wound up in the hospital. I had everything happening; my body completely fell apart. And nobody knew what the hell was wrong with me.” She was allergic to everything. “I had to eat chicken and broccoli for a year,” she remembers. “I was absolutely falling apart, physically and emotionally, for a two-year period.” At times she thought of death. “It was the constant physical breakdowns that were going on that I didn’t understand.”

You really thought you might not make it?

“I really thought it. It was just non-stop.” Then she went to a homeopathic doctor, told him all her symptoms, and he asked her to open her mouth. He told her to get her fillings removed. “But once I started to get it out, it all stopped.” (She now thinks her problems were caused by a mixture of mercury fillings and extreme stress.) “

Idiot, song from Lisa’s Album “Now What?” 2005

You’re raining, you’re boring
Oh, did you hear me snoring?
I’d wanna mutilate myself when I talk to you
So here we are, I hope you can tell that I’m no referral
You can have ‘em, call hell
You’re gonna drive ‘em nuts
They’re gonna hate your guts

JACKSON AND HIS WIFE DEBBIE ROWE: Lisa Marie was shattered when Debbie gave him a child – and she didn’t.

Lisa Marie Presley was found crumpled on a bathroom floor at her home, sobbing hysterically after scrawling “Nobody loves me – I’m ugly” all over her arms.

It was the bizarre start of a shocking spiral into self-loathing and self-destructive behavior that landed Elvis daughter in a hospital – and in the midst of a suicide drama. Lisa Marie, who wanted a baby by Michael Jackson, was shattered when their marriage fell apart. She plummeted into self-mutilation and a weird routine of body “cleansing” that wrecked her system, sources reveal.

Now she’s a physical and emotional mess, say friends – who fear the 29-year-old beauty will destroy herself if she doesn’t get professional help. That’s the untold story behind Lisas recent, frightening five-day hospitalization in Clearwater, Fla.

She was rushed to Morton Plant Hospital on May 25 from her home in Clearwater.

A spokesman for Lisa announced she was “diagnosed with a bronchial infection, a stomach infection and a liver infection.”

In fact, Lisa’s condition was far more serious. She also was suffering heart palpitations and a high fever.

JUST DAYS AFTER SHE LEFT THE HOSPITAL . . . bikini-clad Lisa Marie takes a lonely stroll (left) on the grounds of her bay front home and (above) sits dejectedly with her thoughts.

“Lisa Marie’s friends and family have every right to be worried. This is a life-threatening situation,” Dr. Danilo Ponce, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Hawaii, told The ENQUIRER. “I would say she was in the midst of a moderate to severe nervous breakdown. If this patient were brought to me, I would put her under a suicide watch. She is suicidal.”

Confided a source close to the gorgeous heiress: “Lisa Marie is a very sick girl. She’s mentally drained and emotionally upset.

“Now she’s relating to how lonely and depressed her father Elvis was feeling just prior to his own death.

“Friends and family fear she might try to kill herself. “In March of last year, two months after she filed for divorce from Michael, Lisa Marie tried to mutilate herself. “When she was found on her bathroom floor she was bloody from head to toe due to cuts shed made on her arms.

“Asked why she was trying to harm herself, Lisa Marie replied: ‘Because nobody loves me.’

“None of the wounds were deep enough to cause serious injury – but it was a cry for help.”

A month before that scary incident, Lisa Marie had already been found on her bathroom floor expressing her unhappiness by writing “Nobody loves me” and “I’m ugly” on her arms with a ballpoint pen, an insider told The ENQUIRER.

Explained Dr. Ponce: “By writing on her arms, Lisa Marie shows poor self-esteem.”

After that episode, Lisa – a member of the Scientology church – was escorted to a Scientology retreat in the California desert where she spent ten days getting special counseling from church members.

“A VERY SICK GIRL”: Just like her cigarette, Lisa Marie’s world is going up in smoke

“Unfortunately, this treatment wasn’t enough to combat her depression and low self-esteem,” said the insider.

Despite her beauty, wealth and fame, Lisa’s self-worth continued to plunge over the following months. “She had trouble looking anyone in the eyes, isolated herself at home and looked sickly,” said a pal. Instead of seeking conventional professional help, Lisa began a strange process of self-medication she calls “Cleanse Thyself.” It involves swallowing as many as 60 different kinds of herbs while eating decreased amounts of vegetables and fruit, followed by complete fasting.

Lisa also resorted to “purifying” her body with wheat grass – a type of grass that’s harvested and squeezed to yield a green liquid, said the close source.

“The liquid is used in enemas. To cleanse the eyes, you wash them with the juice – which burns terribly. And the hemp-like residue is inserted into the nostrils and mouth to cleanse them.”

Lisa added her own twists to the “Cleanse Thyself” ritual – including mega doses of vitamins, algae pills, and strenuous exercise, say insiders.

Finally, in late May, the abuse of her body came crashing down on her and she wound up in a hospital bed.

Lisa became a physical and emotional mess because “she loved Michael and really wanted to have a child with him while they were married, but it never happened,” said the close source. “Then Michael really did a number on her by having a child with his new wife Debbie Rowe. Now he’s telling friends that he and Debbie want to have another baby, and that’s another devastating blow to Lisa Marie.”

Lisa, a loving and devoted mother to her two children by ex-hubby Danny Keough, told a pal: “It makes me feel like I wasn’t good enough to have Michaels child.”

The internationally known stunner also feels unworthy because she wanted to follow in Elvis’ giant footsteps, but she’s never been able to get a showbiz career off the ground. She told a friend: “My father comes to me in dreams and says: ‘Lisa, when are you going to make me proud?’ “I wake up sobbing, saying: ‘Sorry, Daddy, I’ve let you down.’ “My heart is breaking. I feel my life is falling apart.”

Contacted by The ENQUIRER, Lisa’s spokesman denied she has exhibited suicidal behavior and engaged in self-mutilation. That’s “totally false,” he said.

But the close source declared: “Lisa is so emotionally fragile right now that her friends and family fear she could take her own life.” Lisa’s concerned ex-husband Danny Keough joined her in Clearwater after she was released from the hospital May 30.

Her symptoms – heart palpitations, liver and intestinal problems – are all compatible with an abusive disorder, Dr. Ponce told The ENQUIRER.

“Lisa Marie needs a medical doctor to deal with her health problems, a nutritionist to deal with her nutritional needs and a psychiatrist to deal with her emotional state.”

Said her pal: “If Lisa Marie doesn’t turn her life around soon, friends fear she could wind up like her father.”

Q: So what about Uncle Michael and Lisa Marie getting a divorce?

TJ: They’ve had so much pressure on them, especially from the press – it must be hard to stay together.

Taryll: The press only report the bad things. They don’t know how much love there is between them.

Taj: Nobody ever said about Michael and Lisa Marie, “oh, that’s nice, I hope it lasts”. Everybody wanted to kill the relationship before it had a chance.

Taj: We only got to meet her twice, but she was great. We all got along fine. It was sad when it ended, because we know how special she was to our uncle. Right from the beginning, everyone wanted to see it fail. A lot of it was media pressure and rumors – maybe she just didn’t want to be under the spotlight.

While a pregnant Debbie returns to the states, Michael goes to London where he is joined by his ex wife LIsa Marie.

Michael performs 3 concerts at the Wembley Stadium in London . (Katherine and Lisa Marie attend the shows)

Lisa Marie on Oprah:

L: Then that ended. We again, were going to get back together, we spent four more years after we’d divorced getting back together and breaking up and talking about getting back together and breaking up. At some point, I had to push it away because it was not, I wasn’t moving forward with myself.

L: And actually afterwards, he and I were still… I was still flying all over the world still with him to follow.

Lisa Marie Presley is in London at the invitation of ex-husband Michael Jackson, “who she’s very good friends with,” says Presley rep Paul Bloch. She was expected at Jackson’s Wembley concert Tuesday.

Lisa Marie Presley Sues Enquirer Michael Jackson’s ex-wife, Lisa Marie Presley, filed a lawsuit against the National Enquirer on Monday, claiming a report in the tabloid contained false and fabricated statements about her. The lawsuit charges defamation, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. No dollar amount was specified. Her lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli, who represented Fred Goldman in the successful civil suit against O.J. Simpson, told USA Today that his client “isn’t interested in the money.” Instead, “she just wants to put a stop to the stories being made up about her.” The June 17 article, titled “Lisa Marie Suicide Drama,” alleged that the King’s daughter was “found crumpled on a bathroom floor at her home, sobbing hysterically after scrawling ‘Nobody loves me–I’m ugly’ all over her arms.

Lisa Marie Presley Sues Enquirer Michael Jackson’s ex-wife, Lisa Marie Presley, filed a lawsuit against the National Enquirer on Monday, claiming a report in the tabloid contained false and fabricated statements about her. The lawsuit charges defamation, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. No dollar amount was specified. Her lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli, who represented Fred Goldman in the successful civil suit against O.J. Simpson, told USA Today that his client “isn’t interested in the money.” Instead, “she just wants to put a stop to the stories being made up about her.” The June 17 article, titled “Lisa Marie Suicide Drama,” alleged that the King’s daughter was “found crumpled on a bathroom floor at her home, sobbing hysterically after scrawling ‘Nobody loves me–I’m ugly’ all over her arms.”

Presley contends the article wrongly stated she was suicidal and into self-mutilation. The tabloid quoted unnamed friends as saying Presley was “an emotional mess” and was hospitalized for five days. Her spokesman confirmed she was in the hospital, but said she was there for treatment of bronchial, stomach, and liver infections. The Enquirer has refused to retract the statements, although a recent article claims that the twenty-nine-year-old heiress has “bounced back” and is now “doing great.” In a statement, Steve Coz, the tabloid’s editor, said, “The Enquirer gathered its information from trusted and reliable sources and stands by its story. The Enquirer was the first publication in the world to break the story of Lisa Marie and Michael Jackson’s marriage–despite public denials.”

There were near riot scenes as Jacko, wearing his face mask, left his London hotel at tea-time with ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley.

They split last year, but Michael Jackson and former wife Lisa Marie Presley were hand-in-hand Tuesday night returning to his hotel after his sell-out London concert. Presley stood at the edge of the stage through the show at Wembley stadium. Afterward, the two returned to the Carlton Towers hotel and Jackson waved to fans.

HE’S GONE OFF THE WALL: Who’da thought Michael Jackson would ever show signs of a libido run amok? But there they are: reports that he was cozying up with ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley in London.

Presley stood at the edge of the stage through Jackson’s show at Wembley Stadium. Afterward, the two ambled to the Carlton Towers hotel, hand-in-hand. No sign of Deborah Rowe, you know, Jackson’s wife and the mother of his son. Presley divorced the King of Pop last year after a 20-month marriage.

[Lisa Marie Presley is back with ex-hubby Michael Jackson and telling friends she'll always love the wacky pop star. The two staged a touching reunion after a concert Michael gave in London - as Globe's exclusive pictures reveal. "Michael is wonderful," Lisa Marie, 29, told pals.

Michael Jackson is a hunk in the bunk, according to his wife Debbie Rowe. Speaking for the first time about their bizarre marriage, Debbie said Michael Jackson lives to make love round the clock. Debbie, 38, said she doesn’t give a hoot that he and first wife Lisa Marie Presley spent time together in London recently.

Lisa Marie Presley is going to marry Michael Jackson again — and she has the full blessing of Michael’s mom!

That’s the shocking secret behind the couple’s recent reunion in London, reveals a Jackson family member who’s in constant touch with both Michael and Lisa Marie.

Michael is in Johannesburg, the second leg of his South African tour. He will give two concerts in this city, 10 and 12 October. To keep him company, a young woman came specially from the United States. Michael knows her well since she is his ex-wife Lisa Marie…

Together again for a few days, Michael and Lisa Marie did not leave. They visited the Johannesburg Zoo, strolled in the parks of the region, parasailed, dined face-to-face…

On October 11, Michael and Lisa Marie [accompanied by her two children] go to Phokeng, a village located 90 km north-west of Johannesburg, in the Bafokeng tribe Ka Bakwena [ "The People of the Crocodile"]

During a solemn ceremony, the Master of Pop was elected an honorary member of the tribe. A few days earlier, Joseph and Katherine Jackson had also received the honorary title.

The Bafokeng are delighted to welcome into their community – one of the richest countries, with the platinum mines – this strange golden jacket on the soft hat and mirrored sunglasses.

Michael had wandered into the village traditional arms of his ex-wife, her face sheltered under an umbrella.

Michael is made honorary member of a tribe in Phoheng. His parents Joe and Katherine and his ex wife Lisa Marie attend the event.

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley

Flo Anthony Has Stated That Michael brought for Lisa a $10,000 perfume that was made with roses in a diamond shape bottle! He purchased it after their South African 8 day trip in 98 After attending his Sister’s Concert Tour. He gave it to her the a year later from the trip.

MICHAEL JACKSON has reportedly begged LISA MARIE PRESLEY to give marriage a second try. The king of pop whisked his ex-wife away for a hush-hush second honeymoon in exotic South Africa. And during the romantic getaway with Lisa Marie’s daughter DANIELLE, Jackson popped the question to her. A source told American tabloid THE STAR, “He’s really excited about the possibility of starting over with Lisa Marie. While they were in Africa they both realized how much they had missed each other.” Michael’s kid sister, a great friend of Lisa Marie, played matchmaker to bring the couple together. And despite Jackson being married, his wife DEBBIE ROWE was unaware of the they secret tryst at the Palace Hotel, in Johannesburg. Jackson and Lisa Marie stunned the world when they married in the Dominican Republic. But 20 months later the fairy tale union ended in divorce. Even though Jackson has fathered a baby with his new wife, Rowe, he has always remained close to ELVIS PRESLEY’s little girl.

Debbie Rowe Jackson gives an interview to KNBC in Neverland where she denies tabloid rumors of an affair between Michael and Lisa Marie and announces that she is pregnant with a baby girl that she and Michael want to name Paris Michael Katherine.

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley

But there is one subject to which Michael repeatedly returns during four hours of conversation and picture-taking: Lisa Marie Presley.

Michael’s voice quickens, even quavers, when he speaks of Lisa Marie. How she enjoys the baby. How they are still close after an amicable divorce. How they frolicked overseas the month before. He seems to pine for her. “Lisa Marie was just with me in Africa,” Michael says. “We (went to) IMAX theaters, simulated-ride safaris, dinner. We went parasailing. It was wonderful.”

Even Debbie has acknowledged that Michael is still smitten. “He cares about her very much, but it didn’t work out and he was devastated,” she has said. “He loved her very much. Still does.”

When asked if Lisa Marie has ever expressed second thoughts about not having been the one to bear his son, Michael insists, “She regrets it. She said so.” Would she still consider having a kid with him? “She’d like to, yes,” he says putting a mischievous finger to his lips. “Shh.”


And there, on one nightstand, rests a framed photograph of Lisa Marie. Not a recent snapshot. Or even a formal portrait. But a picture apparently cut out of a magazine, placed as a child would place it, cockeyed, in a frame meant to hold a photo twice its size. A picture of Elvis and is little girl, then only five years old.” This is the age,” Michael says, “when I first met Lisa Marie. When her father first came to my concerts. I’ve known her ever since.”

To the older generation, LISA MARIE PRESLEY is known for her famous father. Kids want to know about her ex. where is MICHAEL JACKSON?” 7-year old MARIKA ROEBUCK asked Presley on Friday night during a piped up this weekend during a Scientology Christmas party in Memphis. “I don’t know where he is right now,” Presley said. She and Jackson divorced in 1996.

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley

LISA MARIE PRESLEY is back in the clutches of ex-husband MICHAEL JACKSON, sparking fears that he’ll grab control of the multi-million dollar Presley empire. The couple have been spotted spending hours together chatting business and pleasure despite Jackson having a wife and child, with another on the way, back at his Neverland Ranch in California. And family friends of Presley say mom PRISCILLA is freaking out that the singer is only interested in her daughter’s fortune, left to her by ELVIS PRESLEY. A friend told American tabloid NATIONAL EXAMINER, “She’s starstruck over Michael. And he’s convinced her she can trust him over anyone else. She told me ‘I can trust Michael. Michael has all the money he could ever use. He has no reason to try to get part of mine.” Presley is due to inherit the $300 million Elvis estate when she turns 30 on February 1st. A friend said, “Priscilla is scared to death that Michael will take over and fire her. This is the guy who shrewdly bought up the rights to all the Beatles songs. So now PAUL McCARTNEY would have to pay Michael if he wants to record one of his own songs. Priscilla’s petrified Michael is up to the same game with Lisa.”

Michael has dinner with Lisa Marie at the Ivy Restaurant in L.A.

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie PresleyMichael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley


King of Pop MICHAEL JACKSON has set tongues wagging again after being spotted out on the town with ex-wife LISA MARIE PRESLEY. The THRILLER star left pregnant wife DEBBIE ROWE at home while he wined and dined Presley at the exclusive IVY restaurant in Beverly Hills, California last Saturday night. Jackson emerged from the eaterie hand in hand with the 30-year- old daughter of ELVIS, and the couple sped off in a waiting car. Rumors are now rife that Presley’s bizarre romance with the megastar is back on again. The news will not be welcomed by her first husband DANNY KEOUGH, who only recently was reported to have reunited with Presley. Keough banned Presley from letting the singer near their two children after seeing pictures of five year-old son BEN sitting on Jackson’s lap. Now with the latest sightings, Jacko is well and truly in Keough’s bad books.

I’m on the radio everyday. I did give both sides of the story. However, I can’t confirm that Lisa was in New York with M.J. last week because I didn’t see her myself.

The only thing I know for sure is Lisa definitely is not back with Danny.

She really did visit him there. [refering to the Beverly Hills hotel MJ was staying at] ]

Debbie and Michael are not separated. They do not live together, but it’s an arrangement Debbie wants. She’s told me that over and over. I guess those people in the pictures are friends of hers.’ She has a house in Beverly Hills.

- I definitely think Lisa wants Michael back. They spend a lot of time together. I talk to Mike pretty often.

- Debbie has constantly told me she has no problem with Lisa and Michael’s friendship.

- Michael and Debbie are definitely still married. She really doesn’t like making public appearances. Lisa and Michael MAINTAIN they are just friends.

Who needs Michael Jackson? Ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley has signed a debut deal with Java Records, a joint venture with Capitol, and goes into the studio in January.

Java is owned by Glen Ballard, who produced Alanis Morrissette’s smash album Jagged Little Pill. People’s Mitchell Fink scooped this Wednesday on CNN’s Showbiz Today, and it was confirmed to me by a Presley spokesman.

Ballard will co-write and produce with Elvis’ only child. He said in a statement Wednesday: ”Lisa and I met through a mutual friend, and I was struck by her intelligence, her talent and her passion for music. There has been a genuine creative connection between us, and it is clear to me that Lisa will make an artistic statement that is unique and compelling.”

Jackson tried to get a record deal for Presley but nothing came of it. Ballard co-wrote Jackson’s Man in the Mirror.

One family member she has yet to get the chance to accept is Michael’s wife Debbie Rowe, the mother of his heir Prince Michael Jr. “I have never met Debbie, so I don’t know what she’s like,” she explains. But one ‘outsider’ Rebbie is happy to befriend is Michael’s first wife, Lisa Marie Presley. She says: “Her six year old son Benjamin is so in love with my two daughters – he flirts with them all the time when Lisa’s visiting my home!”

Lisa Marie Presley, 30, has signed an exclusive recording contract with Java Records. Asked if Presley would be a rock and roller like her father or a pop singer like her ex-husband Michael Jackson, her publicist said `I have no idea. I am as intrigued as anybody else,” she said. There was no information on a release date for her debut recording. ]

When you see Quincy’s own Chivalry songman Brian Galligan, ask about the private concert he gave for Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley the other night in a chi-chi L.A. eatery.

But first, let’s rewind to earlier that day when Galligan – who was on the Left Coast last week making the record-company rounds with his group and manager Richie Balsbaugh – was asked by an MCA Records exec to name his musical influences.

Brian, who has no trouble hitting the high notes, told the exec it was the Prince of Neverland. So imagine his surprise when he and the rest of Chivalry sat down at The Ivy and noticed Jackson and his ex chowing at a window table.

“Brian was trembling so much that the waiter asked me what was wrong with him,” Richie reported. “I told him that Michael Jackson was his idol and that he could sing just like him.

“He didn’t believe me, so I told Brian to sing a few bars of ‘You Are Not Alone,’ which he did, and the waiter couldn’t believe it.”

By the time the server came back with their drink order, Jackson – dressed head-to-toe in black, including his surgical mask – had approached the table with Lisa Marie. He said to Brian, “I heard you sing. You have a high tenor like me,” said Balsbaugh.

“He asked if he would sing again for him and Brian did and Michael said, ‘You don’t have a deal yet? You’ve got such heart and soul. Everything’s going to be fine,’ ” he said. “It’s such a bizarre story. It’s almost unbelievable.”

After Michael and Elvis’ daughter blew out of The Ivy, all five members of Chivalry beat feet to call home to Boston to tell their families about their close encounter with the Thriller.

“It was after 1 a.m. at home, but they said they couldn’t wait until the morning,” Balsbaugh said, adding that the boys also ran into Estee Lauder lady Liz Hurley, Puff Daddy, Jennifer Lopez and Molly Shannon during their fantasy trip to La-La.

But Balsbaugh said running into the Gloved One hasn’t helped to reschedule an appointment with an executive at Michael’s record label,, who canceled Chivalry’s audience with him the day before Brian sang before supper!

Lawrence Wollersheim and Jesse Prince

L: They would bring out their top auditors, people that you would have to pay $1,000 an hour at Flagg, $500 if you requested Bob Mithoff you would be charged an outrageous amount, right? They were getting these services free from – Were there any other divorces that Scientology was involved in, or breaking up celebrity couples, or matching celebrity couples. Did you ever hear of anything?

J: Lisa Marie. When she started in with Michael Jackson. David Miscavige just had an insane fascination for Michael Jackson.The whole crew had to listen to his music. We would have special showings, make sure you watch the Thriller video.

L: The whole staff would have to watch Michael Jackson movies? Was this before Michael Jackson got an audit?

J: This was while all of this was going on. David would proudly announce how we just almost got Michael Jackson, we’re doing everything that we can, and Lisa Marie, and. I guess it didn’t work out.

L: Do you know anything about the details of what happened?

J: I’ll tell you want I do know. They had a good relationship, however, with Jackson’s people, to the point where L. Ron Hubbard Battlefield Earth album was coming out and the executive producer of the Thriller album was a man named Bruce Swedien. He agreed to come out, based on the relationship that existed with Michael Jackson and Lisa to come out and work on the Battlefield Earth album. They shot themselves in the foot on that part, because Bruce Swedien’s wife came in with him, I guess he didn’t want to be alone, he had allocated a certain amount of days to work on this Battlefield project for them, and his wife wore cologne, perfume. She came into their magnificently elaborate studio wearing that cologne, and you know, no one at that base is allowed to wear any form of fragrance. The one person who was told, I forget her name, a little blonde girl, she was told to speak to his wife about her smelling, and she actually went to Bruce Swedien’s wife and said that cologne you are wearing is irritating, it’s stinking up the whole place. She was rough. She just had a fit, ran to Bruce and told him, and they left that day. He was like, “what kind of people are you? You people are nuts.” The girl’s name was Marilyn somebody. She ended up having to do conditions forever. That just blew it. She was told.

L: That blew the Michael Jackson deal?

J: Completely. I mean I know you didn’t hear much about Michael Jackson after that.

L: Did he get any auditing?

J: I think he may have got something, I don’t know personally, he might have gotten a little bit of something.

L: Do you think that there was anything suggested by the church that if Lisa Marie got him into Scientology, that she would be a special star, that she would obtain, be considered a very important person if she got him into Scientology?

J: I can’t really say that. I don’t have knowledge. I do have knowledge that she got as much free auditing as she wanted.

L: While she was working on Michael Jackson.

J: Right, prior to their marriage. She was married to someone – She was married to someone earlier, some guy that was a Scientologist, a Sea Org member, and she became infatuated with Michael Jackson, at which point that marriage ended. You asked me about divorces, the divorce between her and that fella that she was with was monitored and gotten done very quickly.

L: Do you think it was done to assist her to try to recruit Michael Jackson.

J: Yes. Lose this guy you’re with.

L: Orders went to this Sea Org member.

J: The CO of CC, what was her name, Karen Hounder. I forget the name. It was her job to specifically handle the Lisa Marie. I had an auditor who was auditing her, that went and audited her mother, and decided to get into a sexual relationship with Priscilla and ended up having to be – It was just a mess. Priscilla Presley, this is another one I would send out to Memphis, wherever she was, on a movie set, to just give her auditing for free

Michael goes to South Africa with his kids as well as Lisa Marie and her kids and together they attend a Janet concert.

Michael spends Thanksgiving at Hayvenhurst with the Jackson family + Lisa Marie and her kids

Michael goes to the Hit Factory in New York where he meets Teddy Riley, Janet and Lisa Marie.

From Mr.Showbiz. Lisa Marie Presley says she’s checked out of the Heartbreak Hotel of tabloid lawsuits, but the National Enquirer insists she’s All Shook Up.

Elvis’ little princess announced on Wednesday that she has agreed to drop her defamation suit against the tabloid after reaching a confidential settlement.

In 1997, the weekly rag claimed that Lisa Marie, the mother of two and ex-wife of Michael Jackson, had tried to commit suicide and had mutilated herself, scrawling “Nobody loves me” and “I’m ugly” on her arms with her own blood.

“I am satisfied with the settlement,” Presley said in a statement. “I hope suits like mine will force tabloids to think twice before they publish false information about me or others.”

That message got Enquirer editor Steve Coz’s blood boiling. “She is lying if she means to suggest that she proved false the 1997 article,” Coz said. “If Lisa Marie wanted a public airing of the facts surrounding these matters, she would not have dropped her lawsuit.”

Enquirer executive editor David Perel tells USA Today that Presley was the one who offered to settle. The agreement does not include a retraction or a correction.

Presley’s attorney Daniel Petrocelli denies that his client offered to settle first and tells the paper he advised her against seeking a retraction “because it only serves to republish the ugly allegations. The Enquirer has been anxious to settle this from Day One.”

Lisa Marie then wanted me to tell her my sources for various items about her ex-husband Michael Jackson and his current wife, Debbie Rowe! I declined, of course. And she declined to say much else either – merely that she is busy in the recording studio making an album. “Things are going well; my kids are good!”

Presley princess marks 31 at L.A. bash from USA Today

Lisa Marie Presley danced till dawn to celebrate her 31st birthday with 300 guests at L.A.’s Argyle Hotel on Sunset Boulevard.

Elvis’s little girl, in a sexy red Dolce and Gabbana dress, partied Friday (her actual birth date was Feb. 1) with Janet Jackson, who stuck close, Seal, Kirstie Alley, Marisa Tomei, Andy Dick, Jimmy Jam, David Foster and Glenn Ballard, who’s working with Presley in the studio on her forthcoming record. Juliette Lewis picked up a mike to sing Happy Birthday. Guests enjoyed backrubs and a photo booth. No sign of Presley exes Danny Keough and that Michael guy. But an unidentified beau supposedly hosted the event.

Elton John Hosts Seventh Annual Oscar Night Party to Benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation Sponsored by InStyle Magazine Jim Carrey greeted Mariah Carey and both joined the booth of Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, and Lisa Marie Presley.

“I start dancing and Prince is all in the way trying to dance with me,” Jackson never plays his own music to his children – “I’m saving that for a surprise when they are a bit older,”‘ he smiles. He would love them to go into the entertainment world but he’s aware of the dangers.

He says: “It’s going to be hard for them. When Lisa-Marie wants to sing, people always compare her to her father, which is so tough.”

Lisa attended Michael’s father Joseph Jackson’s 70th birthday party at Michael’s Neverland ranch.

Lisa Marie Begs Michael: Please Take Me Back!

Lisa Marie Presley is desperately pleading with ex-husband Michael Jackson to take her back.

In a heartfelt phone call to her ex-mother-in-law, Katherine Jackson, “Lisa Marie made it very clear she wants Michael again,” said an insider.

Lisa Marie told Katherine, “Our divorce was a mistake — a bad mistake,” the insider revealed to The ENQUIRER.

“I know how to love Michael. I want him to know I’m here for him.”

Elvis’ only child married pop star Michael in 1994, and divorced nearly two years later.

Lisa Marie’s attempt to rekindle Michael’s interest comes when her ex-husband’s marriage to Debbie Rowe is on the rocks.

The couple had a bitter fight when Michael announced the couple’s 2-year-old boy Prince was dying — and backed out of a planned concert in Italy. But Debbie stated publicly in a televised interview that reports the boy was in danger were false.

“Lisa Marie wanted Michael to know that, unlike Debbie, she would NEVER publicly dispute anything he said,” noted the insider.

“Don’t forget, when Lisa Marie and Michael were married, she went on television with him and defended everything he has ever done.”

Debbie’s considering ending the bizarre, 21 2-year union with the pop star, and Michael’s terrified he’ll lose his beloved son Prince, and the couple’s 1-year-old daughter Paris.

But not if Lisa Marie can help it. She told Katherine Jackson, “I’ll treat his two adorable kids as my own,” said the insider.

“I want to be back with Michael.”

Oprah 2010:

L: Then that ended. We again, were going to get back together, we spent four more years after we’d divorced getting back together and breaking up and talking about getting back together and breaking up. At some point, I had to push it away because it was not, I wasn’t moving forward with myself.

What about the plastic surgery?

All of Hollywood has plastic surgery! I don’t know why they point me out. The press exaggerated it. It’s just to my nose. They want it to be everything. Just the nose isn’t enough. Elvis had his nose done Lisa Marie told me. They don’t talk about that. They singled me out. It’s not fair.

OK, well, now that you bring up Lisa Marie, I read that she said she regrets not having had your son and that she may still want to have a child with you. Is that true?

I remember that’s how she felt at the time [laughs]. No matter what I say, I’m in trouble with this question. The next issue of TV Guide will probably say “Well, Lisa said she doesn’t ever want to see him again!”

Are you two friends now?

Lisa’s sweet. I like her very much and we are friends. And who knows what tomorrow brings? I have no idea how she feels today. I’ll just say that. She comes to my house and sees the children, and we talk on the phone, that sort of thing.

Do you think you will marry again?

That would be nice.

What would make the third time the charm?

It just has to hit me. You have to see that person and go, “This is it. This is the one.”

Did you feel that way with both of your marriages?

Yeah. Of course.

MICHAEL JACKSON destroyed his friendship with ex-wife LISA MARIE PRESLEY when he claimed in a recent interview that Lisa told him ELVIS had a nose job.

Lisa is so furious with Michael for breaking her confidence that she’s stopped taking his calls and is vowing never to speak to him again!

Michael didn’t realize his casual remark about her father would upset Lisa and quickly sent her 100 of her favorite peach-colored long-stem roses as a peace offering.

But she refused to accept the delivery!

Michael is so distraught over the thought of losing access to Lisa that he’s leaning on ELIZABETH TAYLOR to intervene on his behalf.

FED UP: Lisa Marie’s fiance John Oszajca.

Once Lisa Marie got engaged to rocker John Oszajca in December, the Gloved One started pestering her with nonstop pleas to stay close. But a steamed Oszajca has demanded that Lisa Marie ditch Michael once and for all.

“Ever since he heard she was getting married, Michael constantly calls her and sends her flowers,” a close insider told The ENQUIRER.

Michael considers Lisa Marie his playmate — someone to have fun with — and his best friend.

“He doesn’t want to be married to her, but he wants to continue to pal around with her,” revealed the insider. “Michael won’t accept that she’s in love with someone else.

“He doesn’t want anything — or any husband — standing in the way of their special friendship.”

Until John came into Lisa Marie’s life, that arrangement suited her fine.

“They were so close after their marriage ended that it caused big problems with Michael’s second wife Debbie Rowe,” added the insider. “While his marriage to Debbie collapsed, his close friendship with Lisa Marie continued to thrive.”

But everything has changed. Lisa Marie, 32, will do anything to please John, 25– and he made it clear that Michael’s got to go.

“He told Lisa Marie, ‘Make him stop calling,’ ” a family friend told The ENQUIRER.

John doesn’t mind if Lisa Marie stays in contact with her first ex-husband Danny Keough, who’s the father of her children Danielle, 10, and Ben, 7.

“But John says Michael and Lisa Marie don’t have any ties and that Michael should get lost. He also feels Michael is a weirdo and shouldn’t be around the kids anyway,” divulged the family friend.

Lisa Marie doesn’t want Michael to come between her and John. She’s told him to stop calling her and is refusing to take Michael’s calls.

But Jackson is living in La-La-Land. Said the insider. “Michael told a friend ‘She just needs time.

” ‘I know she’ll always be there for me.’ ”

“The marriage to Michael was a mistake. Everyone knows that it was a mistake.” Lisa Marie’s Attorney John P. Coale

Elvis’ little girl Lisa Marie Presley has ditched her rocker fiancé John Oszajca and is telling pals she wants to remarry ex-hubby Michael Jackson-and have his baby, reveal insiders.

“She’s even called Michael and begged him to take her back,” confides a Presley family insider.

But the source close to the Presleys says Lisa Marie’s feelings for Jackson are what really destroyed the relationship with Oszajca.

“She kept on having love pangs for Michael,” reveals the insider. “Her feelings for him kept intruding on her relationship with John. He would get furious and tell her to forget Michael. But she wouldn’t.”

Finally, fed up Oszajca told her to choose between him and Jackson-and she chose The Gloved One, according to the source.

Lisa Marie and Jackson, 42, divorced in 1996, following a two-year marriage. Since then he’s had a son, Prince, 4, and daughter, Paris, 3, with estranged wife Debbie Rowe, who filed for divorce in 1999.

Now Lisa Marie-who has children, Danielle, 11 and Benjamin, 8, from her first marriage to musician Danny Keough-is telling freinds that she wants to swap vows with Jackson again, sources report.

“She says her biological clock is ticking and she’d like to have his baby,” reveals the Presley family insider. And her dream might just come true.

Lisa Marie and Michael Jackson have remained close friends and continue to see each other, sources say. “She’s made no secret that the happiest time in her life was when they were married. Over the years, she’s also kept in touch with his family, includinghis mom, Katherine.”

Lisa Marie’s spokesman, Paul Bloch, confirmed her breakup with Oszajca and added that while she is still friends with Jackson and loves him, she does not want to remarry him.

But insiders say Elvis’ only child is determined to woo Jackson back. “Lisa Marie’s predicting to friends that she and Michael will be walking down the aisle by year’s end,” says the source.

“And if you know Lisa Marie, she never lets anything get in her way.”

MJ: Lisa.. we’re still friendly, but she’s running around. She just changed her number and we don’t have the new one yet.


How do your feel about men who are not faithful to their wives?

MJ:I don’t think it’s good but I understand it. I know that is a strange answer.

You find women fall in love with your all the time as the megastar so you don’t judge men who are unfaithful, because sometimes you’ll ascribe it to women who make themselves available?

MJ:I don’t judge them because women can do some things that make guys very unhappy. I have seen it with my brothers. I have seen my brothers crying, in tears and pulling grass out of the lawn with frustrations because of their wives.

Do you think a lot of their wives are interested in their success than them?

MJ: Absolutely. They were after their money. That’s why I said to myself that I would never be married. I held out the longest. I stayed at home until I was twenty-seven, twenty-eight.

So part of the attraction to LMP that she had her own money and her own fame and you didn’t have to become anxious that she was interested in you for the wrong reasons?

MJ: Absolutely she didn’t take a penny [when we got divorce] she didn’t want anything. She makes about a million dollars a year from Elvis memorabilia and selling all that stuff and she has her own thing. She is not her to take, you know.

So that means there was almost like one girl in the whole world that you could marry because even a rich woman would want your name. Yu needed someone with money and a name. You were down to a Presley or a McCartney or something like that.

MJ: I know Lisa was great. She was a sweet person. But it is hard to tie me down. I can’t stay in one place one time so that’s why I don’t know if I can really be completely married all the time.

Did you want to be a father to her kids?

MJ: Yes

Do you still stay in touch with the children?

MJ: Yes and with her.

But marriage is too confining?

MJ: Yes. I don’t know whether I’m disciplined enough because I am such a rolling stone. I have such a life when I am always on the move and women don’t like that. They want you to be settled in one place all the time but I have to move. I have been in the same city as where my house is and I’ll check into a hotel just to feel like I’m going somewhere. My house is right there. I guess I’m just moving all the time, moving.

Do you get lonely? Or is there so much going on in your life that it doesn’t really happen?

MJ: Like lonely for a wife? For like a mate? Like that?

SB: Yeah

MJ: I’ve been through two bad divorces. I just got out of the second one. Even when married to those women that I was married to, I’d go to bed hurting. I was hurting. I was crying last night as I went to sleep and I didn’t sleep good last night and I cry Shmuley, because I feel this… and I’m not trying. I’m telling you the honest truth and if you don’t believe me you can ask Frank. Frank knew how I was hurting. I just was feeling all the pain of the children who suffer and I was hurting so much. That’s why I was trying to reach any child I knew who had pain from [Michael mention a little girl who was battling cancer and whose family he met at our home] to Gavin[Michael's later accuser]. I was trying to like calling, dialing and I woke up the first thing, the first person I called was the little girl’s house and she had gone already. It hurts me. But I think that’s where my real love comes from, Shmuley. If I can help in that way I’m fine and I don’t need the other [romantic love].

You know if I meet some girl somewhere and I think she’s beautiful, which I see a lot of them, that’s great. I mean, I’ll go on a date or something. Nothing wrong with that. Jennifer Lopez looked awfully good the other day, she did. I was shocked’ cause I never thought….She looked good.

But have you given up on women understanding you? You tend to think that children will understand you a lot better?

MJ: I’m not easy to live with in that way for a wife. I not easy and I know I’m not easy. Because I give all my time to someone else. I give it to children. I give it to somebody sick somewhere, to the music. And women want to be the center. And I remember LMP would always say to me,” I’m not a piece of furniture.” “I’m not a piece of furniture.” “You just can’t…” and I say, “I don’t want you to be a piece of furniture,” and you know, there’d be some sick little girls calling on the phone and she’d get mad and hang up on them. And, you know, I feel that’s my mission, Shmuley. I have to do it.

What if you found a woman you was soft, who was incredibly soft?

MJ: Like a Mother Teresa or a Lady Diana or…That would be great. I would be perfect.

Would it be better than having to do it on your own?

MJ: Absolutely, and Lisa was great with going to the hospitals with me, and she was so sweet about that. They would tie the babies to the bed of chain children down. We’d go unchain…we’d go free all these babies. I hated that and she discovered a lot of that injustice with me. Countries like Romania and Prague, Czech and all that, Russia.


Lisa Marie was good about at least visiting. So she had no problem going and doing some of the compassionate things of giving these children love and making them feel special.

MJ: She had no problem doing that but her and I had several big arguments ‘ cause she’s very territorial with her children. Her children were [her major concern]….and I said “No, all children are our concern,” and she never liked that coming from me. She was very angry about that. Plus she a had fight with me one time when two little boys in London killed this other kid and I was going to visit them cause the Queen gave them adult sentencing of life. These were like 11 and 10 year old boys and I was going to the prison and visiting them. She said, “You idiot. You’re just rewarding them for what they did.” I said, “How dare you say that.” I bet if you trace their lives you can find they didn’t have parents around, they didn’t have any love, nobody there to hold them look in their eyes and say “I love you,.” They deserve that even if they are going to get life, I just want to say I love you and hold them. “She said, “Well you’re wrong.” I said “No, you’re wrong.” The information came out they came from broken families, were never watched as little kids, attended to. Their pacifier was those Chucky movies with the stabbings and the killings. And that’s how they became conditioned to that.

SB: Did she admit then you had a good point?

MJ: Nope, she thinks I’m rewarding bad kids.

Did she want you to be a father to her kids?

Well that was once asked of her. She was asked that question on TV and she said, “No, they have a father. Their father is Keogh,” that other guy. But I was really good to her children. Every day I’d bring them home something and they’d be waiting by the window for me and hug me. I love them. I miss them so much.

SB: Did she get used to living at Neverland or was it too isolated?

MJ: Lisa didn’t live at Neverland. We visited Neverland the way…I lived at her house in the city and every once in a while we visited Neverland. It would be like our fun weekend.

And her children liked it?

MJ: Are you kidding me? They were like in heaven.

And you were happy to show it to them?

MJ: Mmm hmm

SB: Since you idolize the family was it very hard for you when you had to go through that divorce then?

MJ: Which one?

SB: With Lisa.

MJ: as it hard for me?

SB: Did you see the writing on the wall? That you were different? Meaning my parents divorced when I was eight. So I really, really romanticized marriage.

MJ: Really?


But I’m a believer in marriage. So when your relationship with Lisa started to fall apart was it very hard? Your idealism about the family, everything you believed in building the intimate family you always wanted, especially because you knew….

MJ: I wanted children and she didn’t.

She felt she had her kids.

MJ: Yeah, and she promised me before we married, that would be the first thing we’d do was have children. So I was broken-hearted and I walked around al the time holding these little baby dolls and I’d be crying, that’s how badly I wanted them. So I was determined to have children. It disappointed me that she wouldn’t keep her promise to me, you know? After we got divorced she would hang out with my mother all the time. I have all these letters saying, ” I’ll give you nine children. I’ll do whatever you want.” and of course the press don’t know all these stories and she just tried for months and months and I just became too hard-hearted at that point. I closed my mind on the whole situation.

So she thought maybe you could get back together?

MJ: Uh huh

But children were a major, major issue?

MJ: Of course.

She had the kids and that was it.

MJ: She had hers and I wanted us to feel like we all were one big family and have more. Just my dream is to have 9 or 10 children, that’s what I want.

SB: You’re still very young. Do you think that will happen?

MJ: Yeah

SB: But then it means getting married again.

MJ: Yeah

Are you happy to do that?

MJ: Uh huh… or adopt.

SB: Is it possible Michael you’re attracting the wrong kind of girl because of your celebrity?

MJ: It’s hard. That’s why it’s hard, it’s hard for me. It is hard. It’s not easy for celebrities to be married.

Do you think that you could only really marry celebrities so that they don’t need you as much?

MJ: That helps, in my opinion. And they understand what you go through. They’ve been there.

They help you for the right reasons, then?

MJ: Yeah, they’re not after you know, what you’ve made [ the money] or you know? [singing] “That’s what you are….” [ He won a Grammy for that.] Right? Right.


MJ: I’ve been through two bad divorced and I just got out of the second one. Even when married to those women that I was married to, I’d go to bed hurting. I was hurting. I was crying last night as I went to sleep and I didn’t sleep good last night. And I cry, Shmuley, because I feel this… and I’m not trying, I’m telling you the honest truth and if you don’t believe me you can ask Frank. Frank knew how I was hurting. I just was feeling all the pain of the children who suffer and I was hurting so much.


“Michael always spoke with affection and respect for Lisa Marie Presley, with the one exception when he told me that she has wanted him to get involved with Scientology and got pushy. He had to tell her that he had no interest in becoming a Scientologist. Michael was dismissive of Scientology and spoke of how the practices of Scientologists that he had been exposed to were not sufficiently spiritual or substantive for him”

While friends are predicting wedding bells will soon ring for Nicolas Cage and his love, Lisa Marie Presley, those same pals are also saying Cage is giving Presley an ultimatum.

Reportedly, the actor is VERY tired of his girlfriend’s continuing obsession with her ex-hubby, Michael Jackson. While a close Cage associate laughs off some press reports claiming Cage has demanded Presley stop ALL contact with Jackson (“Or else!”), he does stress the Oscar winner has asked his intended to “cool it,” regarding Jackson.

Though divorced, the daughter of “The King” speaks to the “King of Pop” quite frequently and also is a regular phone chatter with Jackson’s mother, to whom she’s remained close. Apparently, Cage is somewhat jealous of her relationship with Jackson and bored with her constantly bringing him up in conversation.

Nicolas Cage was on the Howard Stern show Thursday morning where he sidestepped his sex life with Lisa Marie Presley. He said the relationship is good but he’s not going to talk about his sex life on the show. Howard asked him if it bothers him that Lisa Marie had been married to Michael Jackson a few years back. Nic said he’s heard that Michael is a nice man and he didn’t want to bad mouth him.

You’ve met some very interesting American Pop Icons in your lifetime.
What was meeting Michael Jackson and Andy Warhol like?

Michael Jackson was really interesting. He was very smart and very intelligent. I remember talking with him for an hour, and he brought Lisa (Marie Presley) along with him. So we talked about art and he was asking me about what techniques I use and telling me about what paintings he liked. And then he left. And Lisa looked at me and said, “Oh my god. He was totally normal. That’s amazing!” I mean, this is his wife saying this!”


A couple of weeks ago, Lisa Marie Presley and her husband of three months, actor Nicolas Cage, watched on TV news the disturbing footage of Michael Jackson – her ex-husband – dangling his infant son from a balcony in Germany.

Afterwards, Elvis’s only daughter, who bears an uncanny resemblance to her father, had a furious row with Cage.

Nicolas, like most people, thought it a bizarre and careless thing to have done – the clumsy way Jackson held the baby, Prince Michael II, so precariously over a ledge, with a cloth thrown over its head.

However, Lisa Marie felt that Michael’s actions were not at all disturbing and maintained the incident had been blown out of proportion. ‘Michael would never hurt one of his children,’ Lisa Marie said. ‘It was the camera angle that made it look so dangerous.’

But, as she later recounted to one of her friends, Nicolas demanded to know why she was always so protective of Michael.

‘What is that about?’ he asked, trying to dig to the core of her feelings for her second husband. ‘I know you’re not still in love with the guy. Or are you?’

Six years after her divorce from him, Lisa Marie Presley does have strong feelings for Michael Jackson – though probably not of the romantic variety.

She speaks to him often and visits him at his Neverland home in California at least once a month.

For Nicolas to even comment on the long-standing, albeit odd, relationship was not a good idea. Lisa Marie loathes it when others attempt to probe her psyche. ‘Stop trying to analyse me,’ she told him, angrily.

‘It went on from there, a disagreement about Lisa not wanting Nicolas to delve into the reasons for her friendship with Michael,’ said Monica Pastelle, a friend of Lisa Marie’s.

‘Throughout his relationship with her, Nicolas was always asking Lisa questions and trying to figure her out. I think, though, that he learned what many people already know: you can’t figure out Lisa Marie Presley.’

Two weeks after that row, Cage filed for divorce. It was his second marriage and her third.

Those who have watched Lisa Marie endure the ups and downs of life in her father’s shadow are now wondering if she will ever find a man who can lay the ghost of Elvis to rest.

She has been married to a little known musician, her first husband, Danny Keough; a global superstar, Michael Jackson; and now an Oscar-winning actor. And she hasn’t found happiness with any of them.

Married just 107 days, Lisa Marie and Cage spent most of their time as newlyweds at her $2 million estate in Hidden Hills, outside Los Angeles. However, Nicolas continued to maintain his $7 million home in Bel-Air.

Though they planned to take a one year lease on a seven-bedroom home next door to actress Michelle Pfeiffer, they changed their minds at the last minute. So the couple never officially moved in with one another.

‘I’m really crushed by the way things have turned out,’ said Jerry Schilling, a longtime friend of the Presley family. ‘I know Lisa loved Nicolas. I saw them together. The way she felt for him was obvious. I thought this would last. None of us saw it coming.’

Perhaps they should have done. But basic personality differences between Lisa Marie and Nicolas Cage were obvious from the start – highlighted by a bitter row just before the wedding. In July, during a trip on Cage’s yacht, the Weston – named after his ten-year-old son by actress Patricia Arquette – Lisa threw her $65,000 engagement ring overboard.

The couple made it up and the marriage ceremony went ahead in Hawaii on August 10. In a strapless cream gown with a 6ft train, Lisa looked both vulnerable and innocent that day. And in a moving exchange before she spoke her vows, she reassured her mother, Priscilla Presley, that she was doing the right thing.

‘I promise you, Mom,’ she said, ‘I will not have three failed marriages.’ She didn’t dream that she and Cage would turn out to have so little in common or that it would matter so much.

Lisa Marie, 34, is a loner and a committed follower of Scientology, the controversial religion which numbers many of Hollywood’s elite as members.

She likes her solitude and enjoys long walks during which she can clear her head. She’s moody, too. One moment, up. The next, down. Way down. In contrast, Cage is an altogether bouncier individual: out of bed at five in the morning, ready for the new day, anxious to discuss big plans and new ideas.

Lisa Marie is also an early-riser, but only to see her two children, Danielle, 13, and Benjamin, ten (by her first husband) off to school.

She then drags herself back to bed until she feels like waking up again.

‘Lisa is such a sour-puss in the morning,’ Cage once complained. ‘She’s so negative it brings me down and ruins my morning.’

Their interests are also profoundly different. The more cerebral Cage enjoys reading about philosophy and has deep discussions with friends. Lisa Marie prefers romance novels, mysteries and other works of fiction.

‘Nicolas can spend hours with a book that doesn’t interest me at all,’ she once said, privately. ‘That’s all fine and good – except for the fact that he then wants to explain it to me and he wants me to enjoy hearing about it. Forget it! That’s not going to happen.’

He watches educational television. She prefers soaps and sitcoms. He’s usually charming and handles himself with diplomacy. She’s blunt, speaks her mind and doesn’t care what people think about it, or her.

Money was a sore subject from the start, too. Early on, Nicolas tried to advise Lisa, the sole heir to her father’s $100 million plus estate, on certain Presley family investments. She wouldn’t allow it.

‘It was one thing after another over three-and-a-half months,’ said Monica Pastelle. ‘A lot of bickering and bitching, and not much sex. In fact, I think it would be safe to say that they were probably intimate only three or four times after they married.

‘It might have helped if they’d actually moved in together. But Lisa said that she didn’t want to live in a house that smelled of cigar smoke, and Nic was not willing to give up his cigars.’

On November 22, Lisa Marie and Cage posed for celebrity photographer Annie Lebovitz for a magazine spread. Though the couple endeavoured to maintain a civilised front, it was clear to observers that something was already wrong.

‘It was tense,’ said a source. ‘At one point, she touched him and he recoiled, as if bitten by a snake.’

The next day, the Cages were scheduled to attend the Los Angeles premiere of Nicolas’s new movie, Adaptation. The evening started out badly, according to sources close to the couple, with a disagreement over Lisa Marie’s wardrobe.

‘Lisa Marie walked into the living room in an over-size orange and red sweat shirt, a pair of blue combat pants and orange tennis shoes,’ says a friend of the couple’s.

‘Nic was crestfallen. You could see a look of disbelief spread across his face. “Please tell me you’re not wearing that to my premiere,” he said.’ Lisa Marie just threw her husband an icy smile.

Nicolas went to the bar, poured himself a brandy and threw it back. He then changed into a redstriped shirt and awful, orange jacket so that at least he and Lisa Marie would appear coordinated.

When Lisa Marie’s mother, Priscilla, saw photos from the event the next day, she was alarmed at how unhappy the couple looked. In the company of a household employee, she challenged her daughter about her choice of clothes.

‘I want to have a music career! I have to look hip,’ Lisa Marie argued back.

‘You have to dress like a movie star’s wife, Lisa,’ Priscilla told her. ‘Not a silly rap star.’

She threw her mother a scathing look and walked away. It was the very next day that Nicolas Cage filed for divorce.

Priscilla was distraught. She had had confided to her friends that, even though the age difference between the two is negligible (at 38, he’s just four years older), she was concerned that Lisa Marie may have been looking for a father-figure in Nicolas, much the way she herself had in Elvis Presley.

‘I was just a kid when I married Elvis, but he really was a father-figure in so many ways, which is one of the reasons we were never intimate after Lisa Marie was born,’ Priscilla has confided.

‘I want more than that for Lisa. But Nicolas is so much more mature, so much more sensible – and I have seen him take her to task once or twice in a way that was a little too parental.’

Lisa likes laughing, and she likes making people laugh,’ says Monica Pastelle. ‘She’s as much of a kid as her own kids and you can see that when she’s with them.

‘She has struggled for years to come to an understanding with Priscilla. And she’d managed just that. For her to now start working to try to please Nicolas was just not on. He was always telling her to grow up.’

For his part, Cage is devastated by the split. He knew Lisa Marie could be a challenge but he loved her anyway.

‘He loved her indomitability, her enormous strength,’ said one of his close friends. ‘He wasn’t crazy about the fact that she swears like a truck driver. However, he did think he could be the one for her to lean on. She wanted that, too, more than anything.’

However, Samantha Kaplan, an acquaintance of the Presley family, believes Lisa Marie had embarked on this marriage without a thought for its long-term viability.

‘She loved Nicolas, yes. But was it the kind of love that would guarantee future happiness for her, or was she just living blindly in temporary ecstasy? She didn’t take the time to find out,’ says Ms Kaplan.

‘She so much wants to be the little princess who lives happily ever after. She talked herself into believing it was true.

‘Nic has a winning way with her children, and that was also a factor in her decision to marry him. I do think she’s willing to compromise, to settle for less out of necessity in a belief that great love will never really happen for her.’

There are cynics who say that Nicolas Cage was following more than his heart when he began wooing Lisa Marie two years ago.

He owns a vast and valuable Elvis Presley collection – including The King’s 1959 Cadillac Eldorado, worth more than £200,000. There was speculation that Lisa Marie represented nothing more than just another collectible item for him.

‘Well, that’s just not true,’ said a close friend of Cage this week. ‘It’s ridiculous. Nic thought she was the woman for him. But after he really got to know her, he realised that she’s not.

A few days ago, Lisa Marie was shopping for Christmas gifts with a friend in a suburban shopping mall in LA. Though her hair was pulled up under a large cap and her eyes hidden by dark shades, she still drew stares from passers-by. ‘Why can’t we be the way we were when we first met?’ she was heard to ask her friend.

‘I tried with Nicolas, I really did. Those first few weeks were so good,’ she said, wistfully. ‘I still love him. I wish we could go back.

‘The first few weeks of love are always good, aren’t they?’ observed her friend.

‘Well, I’ll be OK,’ Lisa Marie said, ignoring her friend’s observation. ‘I can get through it. I can handle it. I like being on my own, anyway.’

For the moment, that would seem to be where her future lies.

KING: Michael Jackson and his ex-wife, Lisa Marie Presley. Are they friendly?

JERMAINE JACKSON: Yes. Yes. Very much.

KING: So even though the marriage ended, they’re still remain friends.


CALLER: Hey, Jeremy, one question I’ve had is Elvis Presley. Is Michael a fan of his? Because they’re so much alike.

JERMAINE JACKSON: Yes, very much. We’re fans of Elvis, too. We grew up watching his movies, everything. We like him.

KING: Did you ever meet him?
JERMAINE JACKSON: We met him one time in the elevator in…

KING: Vegas?

JERMAINE JACKSON: I think it was Tahoe. And he came and we were doing a show there. And he came in and we were coming down or some were going up. And he said — something like, Oh, yeah, you Jackson boys. But we were in awe because it’s Elvis.

KING: Michael was there, too?


KING: It’s Elvis. So it’s the Jackson 5 and Elvis on this elevator? Just an ordinary little elevator trip.


Walters: Did Lisa Marie ever discussed Michael Jackson or did her marriage to him ever gave you any pause?

Cage: No. I never… I met the man once, I was still Nicolas Coppola and I’m sure he doesn’t remember… but it didn’t… it didn’t come up to me. That was her past. It wasn’t an issue.

After decades of running from the press, this record is enabling Presley to settle the score. Her marriages to Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage, along with her involvement in the Church of Scientology, have swamped scandal sheets. And once again, Presley is eager to clear up all the bullshit. “I’ve developed a reptile skin to it,” Presley says of the media. “I didn’t want to address them. I went: ‘Fuck that! Fuck them!’ It got out of control. Jesus, its all a misconception in some sense. The biggest misconception is that I married Michael [Jackson] for some reason, that I’m some wannabe pop star, wannabe whatever. And Nic [Cage] and I — they love to say we got married because he is an Elvis fanatic. That really pissed me off — and that I could marry somebody for any other reason other than the fact that I fell in love with them. There’s nothing in me that’s a pretense. Everything’s right there, almost to a fault. The biggest misconception about me is to even look for a fucking motive. I’m not trying to climb some ladder.”

Jackson had aggressively courted Presley with flowers, presents and phone calls. They got married in May of 1994 in the Dominican Republic. At the time, Jackson had been accused of sexual misconduct with a 13-year-old boy. More jaw-dropping than the couple’s seemingly staged smooch at the MTV Video Music Awards was their televised interview with Diane Sawyer in 1995, where she professed her love for Jackson. “I was really naive,” Presley explains, narrowing her blue eyes into slits. “Its like if you watch yourself talking with a blanket over your head and you pull it off and go, ‘Aaah! There you are.’”

Presley and Jackson have had a few “benign” conversations recently, but, she adds, “I wouldn’t consider us friends.” They didn’t speak for four years, and Presley doesn’t seem surprised or saddened by the recent downpour of negative Jackson publicity.

What hurt Presley the most about that relationship is that, as his wife, she supported Jackson during his darkest hours. Her face twists with visible pain as I press the Jackson issue further. “I didn’t want to get into this,” she moans, shifting in her seat. “But I want to say this because it’s important: I didn’t feel appreciated [by Jackson]. That was why I left. It might have hit him later because I never took or wanted anything. He may have realized that at some point. I have no idea.” When Presley and Jackson’s union dissolved 19 months after they wed, she suffered a physical breakdown, which she attributes to stress and mercury fillings that were in her teeth and “poisoning” her body.

“The thing is that I would have never had children with somebody I didn’t think I could be connected to for the rest of my life. Somewhere along the line, I had enough sense to know that.”


Which brings us to Jackson and what she thought of the recent and controversial Martin Bashir TV documentary on Jackson, which raised fears again the pop star was having inappropriate relationships with children.

“I thought what everyone else thought — it seemed manipulated,” she said.

Still, she added she wasn’t surprised at how strange and possibly dangerous Jackson came across. “Honestly, not really. If I thought he was that okay (a guy), I would have stayed.”


FAMOUS SINCE THE moment she was born on February 1, 1968, Lisa Marie Presley has spent most of her 35 years ducking the spotlight: the glare that will always surround her father, Elvis Aron, and the flashbulbs that popped around two of her three husbands: Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage.


What inspires you to write?

Pain. I use songs as weapons. I’ve written some really good, nasty songs about people I’ve been involved with and then I make sure they hear it somehow. “Better Beware” is like that, “Gone,” too–I was pissed off.

Is “Gone” about Nicolas Cage?

[Raises eyebrows] Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know.

How’s your love life at the moment?

Quiet. It needs to stay quiet right now. I have something else to focus on, thank God. If I don’t have something to keep me busy, I get into all kinds of trouble.

Do you ever think that maybe you got married too young?

No, but I live my life in reverse. [Presley married fellow Scientologist Danny Keough when she was 20.] All the friends I had back then were crazy. Now they’re married with kids, and I’ve turned back into a fucking 12-year-old. So that’s funny. I got married early and had two kids and lived very stably for six years and then went fucking crazy.

Like going from Danny Keough… to Michael Jackson!

You know, nobody knows him. He’s like the Wizard of Oz, working this whole machine about himself. And he doesn’t let a lot of people see who he really is, but he let me see, and he was very normal. I felt like I was talking to someone I knew, like a brother. OK, maybe we shouldn’t have gotten married, but we were both raised a little differently and we were in situations that normal people would not be in, so we had a connection.

I don’t see why people can’t see that. They kept saying, “She wants a singing career, she wants this, she wants that,” and I’m like, “Wait a minute: I have never once, of my own free will, been in the spotlight.” I got his stigma, I was caught in his loop. We’re not in contact now.

Do you now think, “Was I crazy?”

Yeah, of course. I don’t relate anymore to the person I was at that time. I was really in Michael’s world–I went into his head, and into his land, and it took me years to get out of it. It’s quite a web you got into. Being the small young bug that I was.


When you think of your father, what do you think of?

That he could do no wrong in my eyes. He was a larger-than-life figure to me, someone I admired in everyway. I was daddy’s girl.

There’s a saying that the true test of a human is his ability to handle power. I think it’s true. You could give a perfectly fine person a lot of power and watch him struggle with it and try to figure it out. He was in a situation that would never be easy for anyone, and he didn’t understand why it was all happening to him.

People in that situation destroy themselves, because they don’t know what to do with the admiration. Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin–they overdo it, over-indulge, because there’s nothing else to compensate. I understand all that.


I had a good feeling when I woke up

But I missed it ’cause I was sleeping

Did you know I broke up my family

Oh the guilt it’s really killing me

-Excuse Me

When asked how Danny feels about her, she says, “He finds me very entertaining, oddly enough. I’m his entertainment, I guess.”

Tad Pierson has a theory about why Lisa Marie ever left Danny. The jist of it is- “She divorced Danny over the Presley name-she thought Michael Jackson could handle it.” Whether that theory is true or not, she does say, “I made the mistake of saying I was not happy in my marriage-and the courting started. And I left probably quicker than I would have, and that was probably one of the biggest mistakes of my whole life.”

Larry King suggested that, “one of the attractions to someone like Jackson is that Jackson had been somewhat of a Presley. I mean, a pinnacle of attention and focus.” Priscilla expressed, “Concern. Concern. I think – I think any mother would be concerned. You know, obviously, if my daughter’s happy, you know, then I don’t have any problem. But she’s very strong-willed.”

Says Lisa Marie, “You know, I’m sure it’s connected in some way to the grandness and the bigness of an earlier loss in my life. Some sort of representation of this grand, powerful… thing in my life that went away. That’s what he was to me as a child-this huge, electrifyingly powerful, grand, beautiful presence. It’s like a lost duckling, walking around looking for that.”

So how did Michael Jackson enter the picture in the first place? According to Lisa Marie, in Rolling Stone, he attempted to meet her when she was 18, but she was unwilling at the time because she thought he was a “freak”. But years later, when they finally did meet, they slowly bonded, through phone calls, flowers, candlelight dinners, “I just want to say he’s not stupid, he didn’t get where he was because he’s stupid. It’s unfortunate that not a lot of people know who he really is. He doesn’t let anybody see it. And he has some idea about how he should represent himself in the public, that he thinks works for him, which is the sort-of meek victim, meek-quiet thing that he does, which is not like how he really is. So, he doesn’t let a lot of people see that. When he wants to lock into you, or intrigue you, or capture you, or, you know, whatever he wants to do with you, he can do it. He is very capable of doing that. He was very quick to, the first time I met him, sit me down and go, ‘listen, I’m not gay, I know you think this and I know you think that. And he started cursing, and he started being a real person. And I thought ‘wow’.

So I get caught up in that. I’m pulled in right away. I’m like, ‘wow, you’ve so misunderstood’. Oh my God, you’ve this guy. I fell into this whole you-poor-sweet-misunderstood thing, I’m going to save you. I fell into his act. I fell in love with him. I did.”

Apparently, the marriage, which had a romantic and sexual beginning, rapidly deteriorated. He disappeared for weeks at a time, “There would be periods of time where I had no idea where he was- only by the press,” she has said, and even worse, used her to prove he was a man who loved a women, perhaps to protect himself from pending child-abuse charges, or to save his reputation.

Lisa Marie ended it, but suffered depression and severe ill health for some time afterward. In spite of it all, she has spoken with Jackson recently by phone, to offer her support, in the light of the widely watched Bashir documentary.

“I told you, see now, I’m not attracted to mediocrity or normalcy or things like that. I think certain things are attractive. I’m weird. I don’t know. I’m wacked,” she has said.

“You know what it is?” she told Diane Sawyer. “It’s that I get attracted to artists. I’m attracted to artists. I like when someone is shaking it up, when they’re different. I don’t know why, and I’ll never know why. But it’s just what I get attracted to.”


She is also a loyal member of the Church of Scientology, about which there is always so much speculation.

“Church isn’t going to tell me what to do with my relationships or my life. That’s not what they’ve there for. In fact, I walked in there, I don’t know, two months ago and said; You haven’t seen me in four months, now look what happens. I just got a divorce again. They haven’t seen me, so here we go. They put me back together. Humpty Dumpty falls off the wall, and then there they are with the glue,” she has said.

Schilling says Lisa Marie, 34, shied away from a career in music for years, one reason being the perception of living up to her father’s legendary legacy. Nevertheless, Lisa Marie had several offers on the table in the early ’90s, including a production deal at one label that Schilling says he snagged without using her name “to make sure that what I was hearing was good.”

“We were closing a deal at Epic Records and we had a firm offer from RCA,” continues Schilling. “And she called me and said, ‘I can’t sign the deal.’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ I thought she was kidding. She said, ‘Jerry, I just can’t do it, and you’ll know why.’

“And a couple of days later she married Michael Jackson.”

Lisa Marie married Jackson in 1994. They divorced less than two years later in 1996.

While on Siegel’s show, Presley said she felt sorry about her former husband Michael Jackson ‘s troubles but added that they’ve had no contact since their divorce and noted that she wishes he would ”get help.”

Lisa Marie Presley lost her virginity to STAR 94, kinda. Lisa Marie woke up this morning on the Steve and Vikki morning show on star 94 to debut her new CD “To Whom it may concern”. As we opened up the interview coming out of her new song, she remarked this was the first time she had ever heard herself sing on the radio,and it was her first time doing a radio show. She was a little nervous, but answered everything we asked including questions about the King of Pop (she said “it was dark a lot in their rooms”) to Nick Cage,  who she realized just wanted to collect her as ELVIS memorabilia. She said she regrets the haze of the Michael Jackson interview years.

“It was a real marriage, believe it or not. Michael is a different person to the public image they have,” replied the new singer, however, said he did not recall whether there was a romantic proposal before the wedding.

When the offspring of rock royalty married the self-anointed King of Pop in 1994, eyebrows jumped. Michael Jackson wed Presley amid the media circus triggered by child-molestation allegations in 1993, prompting observers to declare the match an effort at image rehabilitation. They split 19 months later. Presley insists the marriage was “real” for her but sees fishy signs in hindsight.

“It was funny timing,” she allows. “I was blindsided. He’s very smart, and it’s not often that he lets someone into his world. I genuinely did love him. I wouldn’t have been involved for a weird reason, especially to cover up something.”

Ending years of no communication, Presley called Jackson to express support after a documentary earlier this year rekindled pedophilia suspicions. She stops short of echoing the “wacko” judgments, saying only, “He’s very different now. I can’t keep up with what’s going on. It’s not my mess to clean up anymore. I walked away a long time ago.”

A bewildering 20-month marriage to Michael Jackson in the 90′s – epitomized by the couple’s cringingly awkward televised kiss at an MTV awards show, and Ms. Presley’s memorable suggestion in a “Primetime Live” interview that anyone who harbored questions about their relationship could “Eat it!” – solidified a perception of her as a brassy, unpredictable flake.


But the radio hosts Ms. Presley spoke to often seemed more interested in asking her about Mr. Jackson, whose appearance on ABC’s “20/20″ in a documentary by the British journalist Martin Bashir had recently triggered a fresh round of controversy about his obsessive interest in children, his plastic surgeries and his all-around weirdness. She took the inquiries in stride.

“I walked away from that a long time ago,” she said of her marriage to Mr. Jackson, whom she divorced in 1996. “I was still relatively young, and trying to decide what would be better for me: being with someone who doesn’t have anything, and then they get trampled and have no ego because they just become `Mr. Presley,’ or being with someone whose situation is comparable to mine.” Before Mr. Jackson, Ms. Presley was married to the musician Danny Keough for six years; they had two children together and remain close friends.

“I was hoping that we’d be more equal,” she continued about Mr. Jackson. “I was in love with him at the time – and he doesn’t always act the way he did in that interview. I did feel bad about that – the director followed him around for eight months and edited it down to two hours. You can manipulate it any way you want. I mean, somebody could do that to me. But I’m sure I had the same reaction everybody else did when they saw it: it was a train wreck. I don’t have to clean up that mess.

“Then I read about all this voodoo stuff,” she went on, alluding to a recent Vanity Fair article that claimed Mr. Jackson had paid someone to cast spells on people he thought of as his enemies. “I thought, `What the hell’s going on now?’ I can’t even follow it, it’s so crazy. I have no sympathy for that.”


Wary of producing work that would only subject her to withering criticism, Ms. Presley sought – including in her relationships, most notably her marriage to Mr. Jackson – a collaborator who could help her sharpen her musical vision.


“That’s part of the problem with my love life,” she continued. “I’m looking for someone similar to him, and nobody could ever compare. He was so extraordinary a presence – not even as an entertainer, just as a person.”

I’d like to say Lisa Marie Presley should have her head examined. But she can’t, since she doesn’t believe in psychiatry. I mean, she really doesn’t believe in it.

On her album, which will be released next Tuesday, Presley even sings the whole title track about this. The song, “To Whom It May Concern,” is a screed about psychotropic drugs being bad for kids. (“When there’s something wrong take an antidepressant. You can even choose which kind you want by the latest suicide.”)

Nice, huh?

Of course, this is the position of the Church of Scientology, of which Presley is an adherent: They are anti-psychiatry and anti-medication. They would rather be the cure for what ails you.

You’d think Rolling Stone, which has Lisa Marie on its new cover and has promoted the heck out of this fact, would have asked Presley about some of this in the story. In fact, the writer of the 8,000-word piece glosses over it, as well as the fact Presley’s Web site promotes a charity called the Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights, or CCHR. The initials make it seem like Creedence Clearwater Revival, or Contemporary Hits Radio.

In fact, this is Scientology. There are 23 registered non-profit chapters of CCHR, and their purpose, besides lobbying and promoting Scientology, seems to be to raise money for the group. On their tax filings, CCHR chapters spend lavish amounts on promotion and press, paying consultants far more than the charity’s local directors.

I had to laugh, too. In the Rolling Stone piece, there are not one but two references to Beck — his album is playing in the background during the interview, and later Presley is at his house until the wee hours of the morning. Beck is a well-publicized Scientologist, who proselytizes the “religion” with zeal.

Writer Chris Heath could have asked Lisa Marie if she only listens to Scientologists or goes to their parties based on this information. After all, that’s why some people think it’s a cult.

Presley does break with Scientology philosophy, which says we shouldn’t blame others for our mistakes. To get publicity for her album, she turns on Michael Jackson and blames him for their highly publicized bad marriage. She even sends Heath lyrics to a song not on the album that imply Jackson is “masturbative.” (There’s a word you won’t find in any other pop song.) The song, “Disciple,” is not even on the album. But Rolling Stone’s press release about their article would make you think it’s there.

Yet Presley manages to use Jackson throughout the article in order to promote herself. She also takes a swipe at her most recent ex, Nicolas Cage, in the song “Gone”: “Turned out to be a coward. When I turned my back, you cut my throat it bled for hours. Was that your power…You with the advisors in your ear. You did everything right it’s clear. I know I begged you to stay around. But I’m gone now. Well, here’s to you my darling leave. You’re stubborn and you’re free and of course, right. I don’t respect the way you leave. You can be no friend to me.”

Presley says in the article this will probably be her only album, and she will most likely go back to being a recluse. It may not be such a bad idea.

As for Rolling Stone, well, I don’t know why I expected more. They’ve taken their whole journalistic legacy and flushed it away, it seems. All that good reporting down the drain.

Diane Sawyer: Though nothing Lisa Marie Presley would ever do to her mum would equal this. Okay? Michael Jackson?

Lisa Marie Presley: Oh, God.

Diane Sawyer: Michael Jackson!

Lisa Marie Presley: I thought you were going to go here first. I was hoping you’d forgot.

Diane Sawyer: Why did you marry Michael Jackson?

Lisa Marie Presley: Okay, can I just, well …

Diane Sawyer: What were you doing?

Lisa Marie Presley: Um, let me, let me now … I’ve been trying to go through this. I haven’t thought much about this, what I was going to say and I just figured it would fly out of my mouth. Okay, first of all, he was very quick to … the first time I met him, sit me down and go, “Listen, I’m not gay. I know you think this, I know you think that”, and he started cursing and started, you know, being a normal person. And I was like, “Wow!” So I get caught up in that I’m pulled in right away. Like, “Wow, you’re so misunderstood. Oh my God, you’re this guy.” I fell into this whole, “You poor, sweet misunderstood thing, I’m going to save you.” I fell into that. I fell in love with him, I did.

Diane Sawyer: In love?

Lisa Marie Presley: Yes, I fell in love at the time. Now …

Diane Sawyer: Sexual attraction?

Lisa Marie Presley: I told you everything I said was the truth.

Diane Sawyer: Sexual attraction?

Lisa Marie Presley: At the time. Yeah.

Diane Sawyer: What did your mother say?

Lisa Marie Presley: She called me and said, you know, “Oh Lisa, there’s helicopters outside the house and they’re saying you married Michael Jackson”, and I go … I was just quiet and she goes, “You didn’t?” She goes, “You didn’t?” And I go, “Yeah, I did” and then it was just, you know, that was that was game on for me. Whoo! Mum doesn’t like it, let’s go!

Diane Sawyer: She didn’t you know you were going to get married?

Lisa Marie Presley: No, no that was quick, that was like run away and do this quick thing.

Diane Sawyer: And you did live together?

Lisa Marie Presley: Yeah.

Diane Sawyer: I didn’t believe that.

Lisa Marie Presley: Well, let’s just put it this way, if he was in town, he was at my house.

Diane Sawyer: Which was how often?

Lisa Marie Presley: I don’t know. It started to get less and less towards the end.

Diane Sawyer: Again, you can slug me on this question but I’ve got to go back. So these were, like, romantic nights?

Lisa Marie Presley: Mmm, mmm, yeah. I don’t remember them very well, but yes. I mean, it was normal. I wasn’t going to get married if it wasn’t that.

Diane Sawyer: By the time Lisa Marie Presley married Michael Jackson, Jackson reportedly had been treated for addiction to painkillers. He was also under siege. He had been investigated for child molestation with a 12-year-old boy. Jackson settled a civil suit with the family reportedly for millions of dollars and his camp implied he was the victim of extortion.

Lisa Marie Presley: I was already friends with him, there was already some romantic stuff going on a little bit before that happened. So it was like, I was already like, you know, I was the only one he would be calling so I felt all privileged and, you know, that he was trusting me and telling me what happened and it was very convincing and I believed him, at the time.

Diane Sawyer: But she says her mother looked at the timing of the marriage and tried to make her see something else.

Lisa Marie Presley: That’s what my mum was trying to point out like “Hello, are you awake? Can you see this might be co-ordinating or coinciding with something else?” And I didn’t see that, like, I was young. I don’t know. I mean, it looked a little suspicious but at the same time I know that he loved me, you know, as much as he can love someone, I think he did.

Diane Sawyer: What do you mean as much as he can love someone?

Lisa Marie Presley: I just mean, you know, as much as he can be capable of doing that. It’s not something he’s used to doing is having relationships with women, you know? He’s sort of been a one-man show his whole life.

Diane Sawyer: How did it end? What happened?

Lisa Marie Presley: It just kind of went really sour, really fast.

Diane Sawyer: But you filed for divorce from Michael?

Lisa Marie Presley: Yes.

Diane Sawyer: And how did you tell him that was it?

Lisa Marie Presley: It was when he was, you know, it was over the phone. I’d had enough. There was a lot of stuff going on then. It got really ugly at the end. It wasn’t pretty but I don’t want to get into it.

Diane Sawyer: Did he fight you getting a divorce?

Lisa Marie Presley: No, he … I think he got on to, you know, getting somebody else pregnant, right? Or having a baby. That’s what he wanted. He seemed to get on that pretty quick. You know, I don’t know.

Diane Sawyer: Did it shake your confidence?

Lisa Marie Presley: Yeah, I was pretty much needed to be mopped up off the floor after that one.

Diane Sawyer: And then 108 days of nuptial nitroglycerine with actor Nicolas Cage … a relationship so tempestuous she reportedly threw her $65,000 engagement ring into the ocean. You were really in love?

Lisa Marie Presley: With which one?

Diane Sawyer: With Nic Cage?

Lisa Marie Presley: Yeah, I was.


Diane Sawyer: Why do you marry them when it’s like this?

Lisa Marie Presley: You know what it is? It’s I get attracted to artists. I’m attracted to artists. I like it when someone’s shaking it up, when they’re different. I don’t know why, I’ll never know why but it’s just what I get attracted to.

Diane Sawyer: Anyone out there who says “she’s loony” …

Lisa Marie Presley: Yeah.

Diane Sawyer: I mean, how do you explain to them?

Lisa Marie Presley: I’ll say it loud and say it proud, I’m completely insane.

Diane Sawyer: Have you figured out why?

Lisa Marie Presley: Um, God … no. No, I think when I figure out why I might stop and that might be boring.


Diane Sawyer: Five years from now, imagine a perfect day for me.

Lisa Marie Presley: It doesn’t take much for me to be a perfect day. So long as there’s not divorce involved in it, I’m fine.

dandystuff in Onstage_1 asks: Do you hate Michael Jackson?

Lisa_Marie_Presley says: No I do not hate Michael Jackson. The opposite of love is not hate it’s indifferent. I’m indifferent.

Presley first leapt into the limelight in 1994 by marrying Michael “King of Pop” Jackson. Many dismissed the union as a ploy to divert attention away from the superstar’s child abuse charges and towards Lisa Marie’s nascent singing career. It didn’t work. The sloppy kiss seen around the world on the MTV VMAs couldn’t deter those pesky “irreconcilable differences.”


There’s more, too. “Nobody Noticed It” slams the hangers-on and handlers who won’t let her father lie, “Disciple” does much the same for Wacko Jacko’s entourage, and the ballad “Gone” may or may not be raking Cage over the coals.


VH1: John Travolta, who is also a Scientologist, recently said you’re like a surrogate daughter to him. Do you feel that way?

Presley: Yeah. We kind of went into that [relationship] straight away. He gets protective. I think after the Michael episode he got very protective. He was concerned about who I was going to date next! He’s a sweetheart. He’s such a teddybear, that man, I swear to god. So genuine and so sweet.

Presley knows that every story written about her — even her obituary — will probably include the names Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson. So the daughter of rock’s greatest star is out to claim a piece of that obituary for herself. After years of being intimidated by the legacy of her father, she is hoping to have a recording career — and her goal is to prove that there is more to her than her birthright and ex-marriage partners.

“I’m not doing this to be a pop star,” says Presley, pausing to reflect the week before the performance. “I’ve had plenty of money and attention. I’m doing it for credibility.”

It’s only natural to scoff at such a lofty ambition, especially given the oddball turns in her private life (marrying Michael Jackson — hello!) and the image many probably have of her as a pampered rich girl. But the 5-foot-2 Memphis native is serious and disarmingly open during a break at the studio.


“I had no reason to do interviews before,” she says a week before the dress rehearsal. “The only thing I could talk about was my fame or my parents. Why the hell would I go out and do that?”

Though her mood is much lighter than at the public rehearsal, Presley is shy and reserved. She smiles nervously when introduced, and she tends to avoid eye contact. So it’s surprising when she eventually proves strong-willed and disarmingly open about her personal life. It’s as if she wants people to know her rather than her image, so she has to open up in her music and in interviews.

Nothing contributed more to her tabloid fodder than the 1994 marriage to Jackson, and no question is asked more than “Why?”

Even in trying to be candid, she finds it hard to settle on an answer, though in Rolling Stone, for instance, she talks enough about Jackson alone to fill a page. She felt sorry for him, especially after the child-abuse accusations came out, and was protective. And, yes, she said, they had sex. But she also points out that things got “ugly” at the end — that he would sometimes disappear for weeks at a time.

In the rehearsal studio, it’s clear that she regards the marriage as a horrible mistake.

She says her first husband, musician Danny Keough, is still a close friend. But that’s not the case with Jackson.

What about the recent documentaries on Jackson? Does she feel sorry for all the public ridicule?

“I did see the British program, and it does look like he was set up,” she responds. “But, no, I could never feel sorry for Michael Jackson.”

Trials of love

One senses that Lisa Marie’s highly publicized romantic trials have had much to do with the weight of being a Presley.

The young mother of two was devastated by the breakup of her marriage to Keough, which she clearly does blame on the Presley pressures.

“Even if you have talent, which Danny does, you immediately becomes Mr. Presley in the world’s eyes, and it eventually tore the marriage apart,” she says.

She pauses and looks around the room at the empty stage.

“That has been a constant problem for me,” she says, pursuing the thought. “If I’m going with a musician, they become Mr. Presley and they get squashed and they get resentful and we end up going after each other. After Danny, I thought maybe I should be with someone who is famous. I married Michael.”

You’ve been in plenty of surreal situations by now, like being married to Michael Jackson. You must have known that it was going to be a circus.

I was naive on that front. I was in this constant struggle that went something like this: a man who’s with me who has nothing is gonna be stomped on and have no identity left by the time [the press] get done with him. He’ll be Mr. F–kin’ Presley. I thought, I need to be with someone bigger than I am – or at least comparable – so they don’t get trampled. Michael wanted to meet me earlier in my life, and I said, “No way.” I thought he was a freak, and I had no interest in meeting him. But when I finally did, he immediately dashed any preconceived idea I had about him. We had a perfectly normal conversation, and I completely forgot who he was within 20 minutes. I actually did fall in love with him, but I don’t know what was on his menu.

You married Michael at 26. You seemed miffed that people didn’t believe the marriage was real. Now can you understand why everyone thought it was weird?

Absolutely! But at the time I was like, “What the f–k is the problem? Why am I getting all this bad press? They think I married him because I want to be a singer or I want publicity? All I ever did prior to the marriage was stay the hell away from that!” It took me a while to realize that maybe he manipulated stories or did things for public reasons, and that I was getting dragged into it. I can see that now.

Do you think he was truly invested in the marriage? [Jackson married Presley only months after he was accused of child molestation.]

I can’t say what his intentions were with me, but I can say it was the most real thing I think he’s had. My mother was like, “Timing – hello! Wakey, wakey!” But I rebelled against my mom, of course, and tried really hard not to think like that, not to believe that.

Was it a mutual decision to break it off?

No, it wasn’t mutual. He was in the hospital, and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him. I started asking questions, and it was always a different story. He said I was “causing trouble” and “stirring up problems.” He told me, “you’re making my heart rate go up,” and asked me to go home, and I said, “Good. I want out.” This person is one of the biggest entertainers out there. He is not stupid. He’s very charming when he wants to be, and when you go into his world you step into this whole other realm. I could tell you all about the craziness – all these things that were odd, different, evil or not cool – but it still took me two and a half years to get my head out of it.

You say you were naive, but you seem tough and savvy in person.

Well, when it comes to love I’m naive. I’m a noodle. I go haywire. I’m getting better at it, though. I’m getting faster at coming to the conclusion that something’s not right.

What went wrong with you and Nicolas Cage?

With people like me and Nic, it’s difficult because there’s the camps. You’ve got 15 people around. That’s something that contributed – same with Michael. They may be claiming to love you or seemingly happy you’ve together, but any minute they can throw a wrench in, they do. They’re so dependent on that person that you may be raining on their parade.

In the cover story of the current Rolling Stone, Presley patiently deals with all of the gossip: her bout with drugs (it was short, she was young and it’s over); her marriage to Michael Jackson (also short, also over and something she now describes as a result of being manipulated by Jackson’s charming ways); her third marriage, to actor Nicolas Cage (another failure–it was true love, but they just couldn’t live together), and her religion (Scientology is not a cult, she maintains, but something that helps her center herself).


Q. Now you have to deal with the selling part of the process, which I gather you don’t enjoy.

A. That’s where I’m having some trouble! [Laughs.] It’s hard for me, and then I have to deal with all the other stuff [the gossip], which I’m very happy you’re not asking about right now. But I’m sure you will.

Q. Oh, hell no. I want to talk about music.

A. Wow, thanks! The thing is, I’ve been doing these interviews, and I’m just hearing about my dad, Nic or Michael.


Presley doesn’t hold much back in her lyrics, railing against men who can’t hold their own in a relationship with a strong woman (several tunes seem to be directed at ex-husbands Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage) and the way that a prying media can trivialize genuine emotion. (The first single, “Lights Out,” is a poignant evocation of her father’s ghost, inspired by her recollections of the mood at Graceland the day he died.)

R: The thing with Lisa Marie is that she left her husband to go off with Michael Jackson.

H: That I don’t get. Let’s get into this.

L: K.

H: Alright.

L: *clears throat*

H: Yeah, clear your throat.

L: Here we go.

H: Alright.

L: Do You want it? Next time?

H: No, no, don’t hawk any loogies on me. You meet Michael Jackson. Now, where do you meet a guy like this?

L: I met him at a friend’s house – at the time, a mutual friend that we both knew.

H: Who’s the friend, Elizabeth Taylor? Or one of the…

L: No.

H: Uri Geller?

L: This guy was an artist.

H: Rabbi Shmuley Boteach?

L: Maybe…

H: Who’s this, an artist guy?

L: Yeah. A painter.

H: A painter?

L: Mmmm.

H: And he had a friendship with Michael Jackson?

L: Mm-hm.

H: I’ve sat with this guy – he has nothing to say.

L: Which guy?

H: Michael Jackson.

L: You did?

H: Sure.

L: Oh, this is that thing in your book when you said he wanted you to…

H: He wanted me to parade through the streets, rally here, the guy’s insane! I sized him up in two seconds. Before you get married again, you let me meet the guy.

L: OK.

H: So you meet this guy and he’s charming?

L: Yes. This was before all that garbage happened.

H: With the boys.

L: Yeah.

H: Yeah… so you meet up with him, he’s a good guy… and what does he do – he take you out on dates?

L: No, it was just more like a… we talked for a while. I forgot who he was after about 20 minutes, just ’cause he was so real with me.

H: You thought he was hot?

L: No, I didn’t think of him like that at all. But then um, I dunno, we started talking on the phone.

H: He starts calling you?

L: I started calling him, he started calling me, I sort of became his friend.

H: That’s what I would do with you.

R: Now, when does Michael actually make a sexual move?

L: [to Howard] You’re actually very sweet.

H: Thank you. You are too.

L: Thank you.

R: But let’s get back to this. When does Michael make a sexual move?

L: Um… I don’t wanna get into anything sexual…

H: I’ll get into it.

L: I’m not answering sexual!

H: [to Robin] You went too fast, you went too fast. Let me butter her up. Let me work on her.

L: No, you can talk to me about MY sex, whatever, but not like… you’re gonna try to get like, genitals and sex out of… with other people, no.

H: Fair enough. Did he make you wear a strap on?

L: Yes. No!

H: That’s what I thought. Alright. Now wait a second… so you meet the guy and he’s talking to you and stuff, and you think you’re falling in love with him.

L: Mmm…

H: Coz you like his conversation, you like his rap.

L: Mmmm.

H: But aren’t you just… ’cause when I sat with him, I was really disturbed by the nose and all the plastic surgery, I mean, it really… but I’m a guy, I don’t know.

R: And the make up!

H: At any point did you see him without the make up?

L: Um… what make up? I mean, powder, I don’t know…

H: You know what I mean, the tape over the nose, and the…

L: Yes, um…

H: And was it freaking you out?

L: I didn’t look at him like that, I was kind of beyond that, I know that sounds whatever but I just, you know.

H: So you’re going out with the dude, but it’s all private on the phone, then you probably go over to that Neverland ranch…

L: Yeah.

H: …hanging out there, because you can’t go out and be seen together…

L: Right.

H: …you gotta keep things quiet… and you go over there, and does the guy like, what does he do – does he make you dinner? How does a date go?

L: Um, it was just… I dunno, we used to hang out at his house, things like that.

H: What would you do for fun? Watch movies?

L: He’s got quite a spread there, you know?

H: Yeah. Did you go on those rides and stuff?

L: Yeah.

R: And play video games?

H: But you’re a full bodied sexual woman, I ain’t gonna sit there and play rides with you. The only ride I’m taking is you. Is he like a real perfect gentleman, a little too nice, or did he make some moves on you?

L: No, he was… whenever he was ready, it happened.

H: How long did that take?

L: I wasn’t the instigator, I wouldn’t, you know, I um… that wasn’t something I could imagine at the time.

H: So he moves in and starts kissing you, you don’t resist?

L: *laughs* Obviously not!

H: You liked it. Did he tongue you?

L: Huh?

H: Did he give you the tongue?

L: Will you stop it?

H: Yes.

L: Thank you. I married the… MF. Well, I can’t say it, right?

H: Did he spank you?

L: No.


R: but can you even tell us, alright, Were you sexually satisfied by Michael Jackson?

L: Um… you know, I… see…

H: The answer’s either yes or no.

L: Well, the answer would be I wouldn’t have married someone that I wasn’t.


H: Alright, so you’re with Michael Jackson and uh… you start to realise things are going horribly bad.

L: Mm-hm.

R: Wait a minute, who asked – he asked you to marry him? He wanted to get married?

L: Mmm.

H: Do you think it was a publicity stunt for him?

L: I don’t know. I think you should ask him.

H: What do you think?

L: I don’t know.

H: You think he used you?

L: Mmm… you know, sketchy.

H: Sketchy?

L: Mmm. Timing-wise.

R: But the whole, you know, MTV kiss?

L: That wasn’t my idea. I was… yeah.

H: So all these men are using you? Michael used you, and we’re not even sure about Nicolas Cage, I mean that was such a short marriage.

L: Nic didn’t use me.


H: Ever had a black guy?

L: *laughs*

R: Michael Jackson!

H: Oh that’s right.


H: You’re not gonna tell me about Michael Jackson’s penis, why it was so special?

L: I’m not.

H: There’s something on it though that that kid said he… should explain it, what is the… just give me the…

L: Something on it?!

H: Just come here, listen to me.

L: Come here?

H: Yeah come over here and if you don’t answer this I’m going to have to spank you. What is it that’s different about Michael Jackson’s penis that distinguishes it? Just answer that please.

L: I’m not answering any questions about anybody’s…

H: …penis?

L: Penis, right, I know.

H: Is it a vagina and not a penis, is that the mind blowing secret down there?

L: …

H: I’ll wait for your answer.

L: I’m not answering!

H: I can wait you out. I need to know. Tell me during the commerical.

L: I’m not… I’m not, I’m not!

H: Wink yes if there’s something weird down there. … Ah, thank you.

L: No I didn’t, I didn’t wink! I blinked.


Lisa Marie said that Jackson would give her all kinds of gifts and stuff when she was with him. She said she knew things weren’t right when he did an interview with Diane Sawyer.

She said she wasn’t drinking then either, that came after the marriage.

Howard asked her who she spoke to when she wanted to get away from Jackson. She said she talked to her mother and her mother just listened to what she had to say. Lisa said she and Jackson divorced but they had signed a pre-nuptial agreement so it wasn’t a major thing.

Link to a play by play of the full Howard Stern interview

What can she tell us about Michael Jackson?

“Ahhhhhhh! Wow!”

She seems to have a lot to say but isn’t saying much.

Dave wants to know what happened to him, if anything HAS happened to him? Something is obviously wrong. “Were there signs when you were married that he was odd?”

Lisa simply says, “I left.”

I guess there was something oddly wrong.

Lisa Marie Presley has been receiving much press attention lately, mainly in regards to her past marriage to Michael Jackson.

The Diane Sawyer interview seemed to be solely based on the marriage, well – in the medias eye anyway. No article’s after the interview had anything to do with her album, that’s for sure. Lisa Marie seems to be building a pre-success through every statement and interview she makes regarding Michael – headlines are made, articles are written, but what is all of this really for?

The obvious answer to that question would be for the publicity, to promote her new album – no, thats not the why says Lisa. So why then? Why speak about Michael at every available opportunity? Why let peoples imaginations run wild with every dissecting and word-playing statement she makes?

Lisa shares similarities with Fox News `journalist’, Roger Friedman. When Michael Jackson’s name is brought up, their facial expressions show certain ridiculousness on Michael’s part. Lisa has `revealed’ that Michael has everyone fooled. “He knows exactly what he’s doing … that little victimy thing that he does.” Lisa’s words play with our imaginations about what Michael is `really’ like.

Here is the full impression that I get from Lisa about Michael Jackson: Michael Jackson is an extremely manipulative person who uses people as puppets in a media success war. Sorry Lisa, I’m not buying it.

Maybe at the bottom of her album cover will be a little message saying, “I was married to Michael Jackson.” – that should sell a few more albums. Would Lisa be anywhere if she weren’t ever married to Michael? Is it really a coincidence that the daughter of Elvis Presley is able to release an album? One thing’s for sure, Lisa certainly didn’t start from the bottom.

Maybe people should think about this – Lisa’s words seem incredibly different to those of former ex-wife, Debbie Rowe. But then again, Michael and Debbie did split up on better terms.

Lisa’s success, really, should come directly from her talent, her music, her performance and her personality – just as Michael’s does. Lisa is giving out a manipulative image; she manipulates the true personality of Michael Jackson to a media world, which are ready to eat it up, all just to publicise herself. The fact is, Lisa Marie and her new album has nothing to do with Michael Jackson in anyway. Is it really a coincidence that she is telling us all about her marriage to Michael now that she is promoting her new album? Now that she is trying to break into the music industry? Maybe, but not likely, and not plausible.

We wish Lisa the best of luck, just as Michael does – she’ll need it, as soon as her story dies down, so will her success. Now, if her fame and success were built upon talent and hard work, then there’ll be nothing to worry about – but Michael Jackson is still in the picture, if he weren’t, maybe she wouldn’t have gotten as far as she has, or will get.

But in interviews with Rolling Stone, Diane Sawyer, Howard Stern and others, she found herself defending and explaining brief and bizarre marriages to Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage.

She claimed she fell in love with Michael Jackson because she fell for his story about being a victim of publicity and that was before allegations surfaced about child abuse.


With the celebrity marriages (to Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage) some would say you were asking for it.

You know what? That’s not the case. Here’s the deal: I was with 14 men in my life — like relationships. Two of them were celebrities. Two out of 14 ain’t bad. The other ones do exist, they are living, breathing human beings and nobody gives a crap about them.

Do they feel unloved with all of the attention through all this?

I know one. I don’t speak to the other kind of post-Danny (Keough, her first husband with whom she continues to have a close relationship). Prior to that, I don’t know any of them anymore.

I wasn’t trying to go out with celebrities. But one of the things I did try to figure out was “Should I go out with someone who is one or who isn’t (a celebrity)?”

They both have their drawbacks. With me being strong, being a woman, being the one who has all the celebrity, the interest, the power, the this, the that — it’s not easy for a man to be in a position like this, especially if he is talented on his own.

He gets kind of smothered or they get pummelled and they turn into Mr. Presley and they get this whole stigma on them and I hate that. And so I go to the other extreme and that’s what you see happening and not anything else.

What she craves, she says, is to be known for “something that I created. Not who I married, or where I came from — not that I’m trying to run from that.”

“It’s Michael (Jackson), Nic (Cage), your dad. Did you really have sex with Michael Jackson? Where were you when your father died?”

(For the record, the answers are: Hard as it is to believe, yes. And, home at Graceland, at age 9.)

Presley understands people’s fascination with her lineage and hersecond and third failed marriages — she refers to herself as a “tabloid queen” — and she wants people to know that she’s not dishing for self-serving reasons.

“Michael Jackson fans claim that I’m trying to sell records by talking about it. No!” she says, emphatically. “Like I’m enjoying this?”

“I was exposed to a lot of things real fast,” she remembers of the crowd that surrounded her father. “I had to watch these guys cheating on their wives,” which led her to a low opinion of women, not men. To this day, “I don’t have many close friends who are women.”

Though her three failed marriages were a great impetus to start putting her life on paper, and much will be made of songs that seemingly reference her second and third husbands Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage, it’s Presley’s first husband, Danny Keough, who’s all over this record. Presley worked with Keough in addition to producers Eric Rosse (Tori Amos) and Andrew Slater (Fiona Apple, the Wallflowers), but there’s not enough drama in their peaceful reconciliation and collaboration for anyone to notice. But Jacko or Nic? Could the breakup song “Gone” be about one of them? She won’t say, except to say that she’s “done worrying” about them.

“God, I don’t know, lately I can’t follow any of it,” she said of the past year’s Michael Jackson news. “He’s seemingly progressively more [unusual] lately, more in these last couple of years, more than when I was around.”

Her rocking debut single, Lights Out, contains a chilling reference to the famed Graceland mansion (“That’s where my family’s buried and gone / Last time I was there I noticed a space left next to them”), but other songs have been inspired by her failed marriages to singer Michael Jackson and actor Nicolas Cage, as well as her love for her two children.


You’ve said you dove deeply into writing after your divorce from Michael Jackson. Was that due to the stress you were under?

That’s kind of how I get through everything: I start writing. But none of those songs ended up on the record, believe it or not. For the first year or two of my writing after that, every song was about that. Then I got bored of it and started having other things going on in my life that I was much more amused by or affected by, and it ended up taking over. I ended up throwing (the earlier songs) aside.

Do songs such as S.O.B., Sinking In and Important relate to Michael? It also seems that Gone refers to Nicolas.

Maybe some references and a concept here or there, but nothing specific. I’m not really answering (questions of) who they’re about. When I’m listening to records and (the songwriter) tells me what they were thinking, I hate it, because I can’t interpret it for myself.

Did Michael show any interest toward your musical side during your marriage?

I didn’t have any musical interests particularly at that point. I wasn’t planning to do anything, contrary to popular belief at the time. I had no interest in a record. I was more interested in trying to be a wife, trying to be supportive and basking in the idea that someone else was even more in the limelight than I was.


What do your children think about Mom cutting a CD and filming a music video?

They like it, but they have other things going on in their minds. They have their friends and their own interests, which is good. They’re not all wrapped up in me.


Do you consider yourself a happy person these days?

Yes. I’ve produced something that was mine, that I’m proud of, so it helps me hold my head up a bit higher. It’s not based on some other B.S. that I’m getting attention. I get attention for the right reasons, which makes me happy with the record.

Daughter of Elvis, ex-wife of Michael Jackson — you better believe she has a story to tell. In a no-holds-barred interview, she speaks about her three marriages, her dad and her crush on Darth Vader.


For most of these years she has avoided talking in public. (There was, of course, the very surreal live TV interview with Diane Sawyer alongside her second husband, Michael Jackson, but we will get to all of that.)


“He’s a sweetheart,” Presley says. “He and his wife, Sheri.” They met though one of her closest friends, Johnny Ramone, about whom she says, “I think we’re both pretty no-bullshit, and we don’t put up any fronts.” She laughs and adds, “We’re irritable assholes, really.” She didn’t even know any Ramones records until after they’d met. “I was into the Sex Pistols and Devo and all that stuff when I was a teen, but I didn’t get into the Ramones. I had a huge crush on Sid Vicious.”

Your taste in men . . . , I sigh.

“I know,” she says. “If you lined up all the men I’ve been with in a row, you’d think that I was completely psychotic.”

Presley knows that the world has never thought about her in quite the same way since her second marriage, her 1994 union with Michael Jackson. She is infuriated by this and by the notion that she wanted anything else out of it other than those things most people hope for in a marriage.

“All I did get out of it was a shit storm,” she says. “And I got out of it. Now people go, ‘You seem somewhat sane, you seem pretty together — what the hell was that all about?’ It put a stigma on me. A ‘What the hell was she thinking?’ stigma.”

She says that Jackson first tried to get in touch with her when she was a teenager. She got a message through her lawyer — “He wants to meet you; he thinks you’re very pretty” — but she blew it off: “I was completely in love with Danny, and I thought he was weird, and I had no interest in meeting him.”

A few years later a friend called and said that Jackson wanted to hear a demo she had made. She wasn’t interested in being on his label but was persuaded it would at least be good manners to take the meeting. They were introduced at the friend’s house, and that is how it started.

“He was very real with me off the bat. He immediately went into this whole explanation of what he knew people thought of him and what the truth was.”

Which was persuasive?

“Yeah. You get sucked into the ‘you poor, misunderstood person, you.’ I’m a sucker for that. Then we sat down to talk, and he was so not what I thought he was. He was very real — he was cursing, he was funny, and I was like, ‘Wow. . . .’ I fell into that ‘You have this whole Howard Hughes thing that goes on in the press, and you’re not anything like that.’ ”

But why wouldn’t he want people to know that?

“I don’t know. I think it worked for him to manipulate that image for a little while. The hyperbaric chamber thing and all that monkey shit and the elephant shit. It made him mysterious, and I think he thought that was cool. But then it backfired, like it always does.

“I was always saying, ‘People wouldn’t think I was so crazy if they saw who the hell you really are: that you sit around and you drink and you curse and you’re fucking funny, and you have a bad mouth, and you don’t have that high voice all the time. I don’t know why you think that works for you, because it doesn’t anymore.’ ”

After that first conversation, they were friends who talked. Then the child-abuse accusations surfaced, and Michael Jackson’s world exploded. “That whole shit hit the fan,” Presley recalls, “and he was quick to call me and tell me what his side of the story was, so it looked like an extortion situation. I believed him, because he was so convincing.” She frowns wryly. “I don’t know. . . . I just believed everything he said, for some reason. It’s very strange, because there’s not a lot of people who he’ll allow to see who he really is — there’s probably only five or six people, not including kids, who have seen who he really is. But when you do . . . ” She smiles. “He didn’t get where he is because he’s an idiot. You see a real person who’s very much the opposite of what he was presenting.” Jackson was under attack, and it brought out Presley’s protectiveness. “I got into this whole ‘I’m going to save you’ thing,” she says. “I thought all that stuff he was doing — philanthropy and the children thing and all this stuff — was awesome, and maybe we could save the world together.” She pauses. “OK. Hello. I was delusionary. I got some romantic idea in my head that I could save him and we could save the world.”

At this point she was still married, and they were yet to become girlfriend and boyfriend. “He called me a lot,” she says. “Confided in me a lot. Which could be very manipulative — I don’t know. I hung out with him more, and I made the mistake of saying I was not happy in my marriage, and the courting started. And I left [my marriage] probably quicker than I would have, and that was probably one of the bigger mistakes of my whole life.”

When you say “courting,” do you mean as between any boy and girl?

“Yeah. Flowers. Calls. Candies. You name it . . . everything started coming.”

I think people are still pretty incredulous at the idea that you had any kind of normal married relationship with him.


But I presume that is the case.

“That is the case. Like I said, I got caught up in this thing of ‘it was all a show.’ That was my first experience with being accused of that, which was shocking for me.”

But, to be clear, is it fair to say that in private you were doing all the things that married people do: kissing, going to bed together, having sex?

“Yeah. That was part of it, for a while. And then it became the Def Con 2. It just got really ugly at the end.”

Before that, when it was good, was it your understanding that that was what he wanted?

A pause. “I don’t know what he wanted anymore. I know that it looks very timely for him, in retrospect — the record was coming out, that other shit was happening, and I was too caught up in . . . ” She stops, and recasts the thought. “I can tell you my intentions; I can’t tell you what his were.”

News of their union leaked out slowly — of a marriage in the Dominican Republic in May 1994, first denied, then confirmed. Their first surreal public appearance was opening the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards, during which — as they stood center stage — Jackson kissed her fully on the lips.

“That was not my idea, by the way,” she says. “I was terrified. It was his manager’s idea. I thought it was stupid. All of a sudden I became part of a PR machine.”

It seemed like a blatant gimmick to prove — to start with — that he was straight.

“Yeah, but again, I wasn’t looking at it like that. See, if I had been, that wouldn’t have ever happened.”

Even stranger and more astonishing was the interview the married couple gave to Diane Sawyer in 1995, in which Presley steadfastly defended her husband, the genuineness of their relationship and his character.

“I don’t recognize who I was then, now, watching it,” she says. “I was really in this lioness thing with him — I wanted to protect him. Naive as all hell. I never thought for a moment that someone like him could actually use me for any reason like that. It never crossed my mind, and I don’t know why — I’m sure it crossed everybody else’s.”

People are still confused by Michael Jackson’s love of a certain kind of relationship with young kids, whether it’s totally innocent or not. And you made a huge defense in the Diane Sawyer interview of how you watched him with kids and how it was all totally innocent. Is that what you think on reflection?

“The only thing I can say is that I didn’t see anything that would ever allude to that ever. Otherwise I would have been the first one out there going, ‘You motherfucker.’ I’ve got children. But I never saw anything like that. I meant what I said when I said it, because I didn’t see anything weird or bizarre like that ever. And I did notice that he had an amazing connection to kids, whether it be a small baby or a two-year-old girl or a four-year-old — children really responded to him.”

Back then did you ever worry or even think whether there could be any truth in what he was accused of?

“Did I ever worry? Of course I fucking worried. Yeah. I did. But I could only come up with what he told me. The only two people that were in the room was him and that kid, so how the hell was I going to know? I could only go off what he told me.”

And what do you think now?

She purses her lips. “I don’t know. I still don’t know. I wasn’t there. I never saw anything else that could possibly lead to that. And there’s two sides of it. There’s the side of the dad. Why would the dad take the fucking money? If I had a kid and he was molested, I would fucking take that guy and hang him by his balls off a tree and let him sit there and die like that. Nobody could buy me, ever, if my child were molested. Fuck that. I don’t care if I didn’t have a penny — I would take his ass down in front of everybody.”

She says, by way of recap, this: “I understand it did affect people’s perception of me. That’s fine; I understand why. But I did fall in love with him. I can’t say what his intentions were, but I can tell you mine was that I absolutely fell in love with him and fell into this whole thing which I’m not proud of now.”

Do you rule out that he fell in love with you?

“As much as he can, possibly. I don’t know how much he can access love, really. I think as much as he can love somebody he might have loved me. It was always like a mind that was constantly working. It was a scary thing — somebody who’s constantly at work, calculating, calculating, manipulating. And he scared me like that.”


When I am sent the lyrics to her new album, there’s one more lyric than there are songs on the advance CD. It is called “Disciple,” and its remarkable first verse is:

You will flourish in your bringing you pleasure In so many masturbative ways Until you’ve simply no use for them anymore And then they will remain and suffer in your concentrated haze

The first seven songs that spilled out of her in the aftermath of her split with Jackson were all about the same thing, and “Disciple” was the one that summed it all up the best.

Everyone around you, they’re sick, they’re on medication or they willFinally lose their mindsBut they will always defend you and justify your insanity like I didBecause you make them blind

“I’m not into Michael-bashing at all,” she says, when I discuss the song with her. “I have no interest in doing that. He is who he is. I know people want to know what that was about, and I’m trying to say it without making him a bad guy, you know. . . . It’s hard to do, because it was such a bad situation and it was so fucked up.”

It wasn’t too long after the Diane Sawyer interview that things started going wrong. “We were really on shaky ground,” she says. “There would be periods of time where I had no idea where he was — only by the press. He would just disappear.” The final media spectacle documenting their union’s disintegration was the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards. She was in the audience; he was singing a medley of his greatest moments onstage.

“I was glaring at him,” she says. “That was a pretty infamous moment.”

Why were you glaring at him?

“Because I hadn’t seen him, or heard from him, in six weeks. He got upset and he would just disappear.” She says that after about a month without any contact, his people started calling, saying that it was important that she show up at the MTV Video Music Awards. She agreed to show up if she didn’t have to go down the red carpet; they consented, then led her down it anyway. “I was pissed. I just felt like I was being used at that point.” She was then told that he was going to sing to her and that he had a surprise for her. “I remember my whole look was: ‘Don’t you come anywhere fucking near me — we haven’t spoken in a month.’ And he got it. He didn’t come over. I talked to him later and he said, ‘I saw the look on your face, and I knew that if I walked up to you, I didn’t know what you were going to do me.’ ” (Weirdly, this performance — glare and all — would later be included on Michael Jackson’s video collection History on Film.)

There were other fault lines opening. Jackson had asked her never to speak about him, and she felt he was taking liberties, particularly in a TV Guide story at the time. “He was quoting me, ‘Lisa Marie told me Elvis had a nose job,’ which is absolute bullshit,” she says. “I think it justified something in his mind — they were asking him about his plastic surgery. I read that, and I threw it across the kitchen. ‘I told you what?’ ”

How did it come to a head?

“I’d had enough. That’s all.”

You pulled the plug?

“Yes. I told him I wanted a divorce. Then he didn’t talk to me for a couple of weeks.”

In the period following her split from Jackson, her health collapsed: “My body started to deteriorate. I started to have panic attacks. I went through two years of baffling every doctor from East to West Coast. One week it was asthma . . . hypoglycemia . . . candida . . . reflux . . . I had everything. My gall bladder just fucking stopped working, and I had to get it taken out. This was when the tabloids said I tried to kill myself or something like that. We settled out of court. But anyway, I wound up in the hospital. I had everything happening; my body completely fell apart. And nobody knew what the hell was wrong with me.” She was allergic to everything. “I had to eat chicken and broccoli for a year,” she remembers. “I was absolutely falling apart, physically and emotionally, for a two-year period.” At times she thought of death. “It was the constant physical breakdowns that were going on that I didn’t understand.”

You really thought you might not make it?

“I really thought it. It was just non-stop.” Then she went to a homeopathic doctor, told him all her symptoms, and he asked her to open her mouth. He told her to get her fillings removed. “But once I started to get it out, it all stopped.” (She now thinks her problems were caused by a mixture of mercury fillings and extreme stress.) “Mercury can make you go fucking crazy. That term ‘mad as a hatter’ comes from mercury: people working in felt factories and going crazy. They try to say mercury is safe, but it’s the second-deadliest poison known to man, underneath plutonium, and it’s in people’s fucking teeth.”


Like everybody else, she saw Martin Bashir’s interview with Michael Jackson. “I watched it and cringed,” she says. “I had the same reaction everybody else had — it was like watching a train wreck. It seemed like it was overly cruel — the guy [Bashir] had his agenda and was after him. I don’t make a habit of feeling bad for that guy [Jackson], because he kind of likes to push that sympathy button sometimes, and I don’t really go for it anymore, but that time I did. I was, ‘Oh, no, you really just got screwed.’ It honestly looked to me like, it would be like somebody walking into a convalescent home and just antagonizing someone and having it on film the whole time.”

Michael Jackson has responded to Lisa Marie Presley’s recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine. He said in a statement, “Michael Jackson wishes Lisa Marie all the best in the world. However, as to a comment on anything to do with their marriage, as a gentleman Michael prefers not to respond.”

In music, as in men, Presley is attracted to the dark side.

“I’m drawn to artists. I’m drawn to people who rattle, who shake things up. I’m definitely attracted to that. I don’t like mediocrity. I like people who are different, tortured. I like people that are shaken up and that aren’t status quo.

“And that’s the problem. You get attracted to them and there’s just another side – it’s attractive but it’s also destructive.”

Have you ever met Michael Jackson?

No, but I have a puppet of him! (Manson dashes out the room and returns gleefully with a horrendous figurine.) I shipped this home and – no lie – the nose broke off! (He shows me. It has no nose.) And I’m very good friends with Lisa Marie Presley, but I forgot about her relationship with Michael Jackson – as she would probably like to- and this was hanging in my hall. I felt kind of bad when she came over. So I did a little puppet show with it and made her laugh.

Isn’t she a bonkers Scientologist?

I don’t talk about religion with her, but I don’t think she’s bonkers. I said to her, look, you can’t get more punk rock than getting married to and/or fucking a baby dangler. He’s a baby dangler! At this point he’s saying, “fuck it, my nose has gone, I’m gonna dangle a baby.”

Manson suddenly leaps to his feet again. ‘I also have this! Worth about 700 bucks!’ He bounces back in clutching another Jackson doll more horrible than the first, ‘This is about when he built the big statue and thought he was Stalin. You’ll notice they went back and reconfigured his face to look more like now,’ He flips a button and the doll sings ‘Black or White’, Manson is delighted.

Did Macaulay Culkin buy any of your art?

He didn’t come to the art show but he did buy me cigarettes. I play this character in Party Monster and I really wanted to go for broke on it.” So I put on my man- boobs, this gut and padded ass and I had a fake German accent and I smoked cigarettes. I wanted to practice, so I went with Macaulay to the liquor store. They didn’t recognize either one of us! They carded him!

Q: I know. Are you ever going to get married again?

A: I’m not saying I wouldn’t. It just has to be the right situation. I’m not going to be whimsical about it. If it ever happened again, it would be a really long time before it happened, and I’m sure it wouldn’t be some big romantic, I don’t know, outburst.

Q: So you still believe in the institution of marriage.

A: I do. But I come from a different situation than most people. I don’t want to be looked at as an example. I’ve been handed a different set of chips, and I’ve tried to find my way with it. Unfortunately, it’s been in front of the public, but it’s a genuine search to find the right mate. It’s just that I can’t quite find the right way to go because of the situation I’ve been handed. It’s been difficult. I’ve struggled, and it’s been obvious, so I don’t necessarily want to be looked at as the cheerleader in that department. I probably shouldn’t have too much attention in that area.

Q: Oh wait, I forgot to ask you about Michael Jackson, Nicolas Cage, your dad, drugs, Scientology and Macaulay Culkin.

A: Macaulay Culkin? How did he get in there?

KING: What broke you out at 20?

LISA: Oh, God. I think I just needed to start — I don’t know, I just started to write to get myself through, you know, things, so …

KING: You were having tough periods in your life?

LISA: Yes, I think I was really having tough periods, but …

KING: And writing helped?

LISA: Writing got me through, yes, it was very cathartic, very therapeutic, so I did that.

KING: And then how finally did you make the break through to say I’m going to record and appear, concert, and …

LISA: I think it sort of happened all at a good period where I had just gone through my second divorce and was kind of aimless and somebody — Foster — David Foster came. We had worked on something and he basically said, you know, why don’t you do this now, you should do it, you know, you can do this and you should and it kind of came at a time where I was somewhat purposeless in my life, or aimless, not quite sure what to do at that point, and thought it was a great idea that I just sort of do the record, you know, put everything I had and felt and went through into that album.


KING: How did you handle when she got all that attention for being married to Michael Jackson? How did you as the mother handle that?

PRISCILLA PRESLEY: Concern. Concern. I think — I think any mother would be concerned, you know. I — you know, obviously, If my daughter is happy, you know, then I don’t have any problem. But she’s very strong willed.

KING: Wonder where she got that from.


KING: Was she happy for a time?

PRISCILLA PRESLEY: I think so. I think so.


KING: All right, we have to ask it. How do you explain the Michael Jackson thing?

LISA: You know I’m going to explain this over and over and over…

KING: Yes, but I haven’t heard it.

LISA: You haven’t heard it? God, it wasn’t — it was just.

KING: How’d you explain it to little Larry?

LISA: OK. I just met someone who — because we were born, raised in different situations, different upbringings, there was a connection, on that front. You know?

KING: Superstars, superstars.

LISA: Yes, this fishbowl life, oddities, different circumstances thing. I think that I was trying to, at the time, obviously the marriage to somebody who wasn’t you know — what’s the word- – famous enough or enough on their own.

It wasn’t really working out like that.

KING: In other words, he wasn’t going to be bothered that you were a Presley.

LISA: Right. I kind of — right — so in my mind at the time I’m thinking I’ll marry somebody who’s even bigger or as big or whatever than I am and I can actually feel like a wife, feel like somebody who which I really liked feeling to be honest with you.

I liked the idea that I could be next to someone and they are getting all the attention and I was fine with that.

You know? It felt more natural, like a female type of a natural.

KING: Very understandable.

LISA: So I thought that would be a good thing now because of that and things seemed relatively normal to begin with.

KING: Why didn’t it work?

LISA: A lot of reasons but I — you know it was just — it was a messy — you know it’s never — when you have that situation then you have – it’s drawbacks which is, you know, entourages of people.

I didn’t like the attention, particularly. I really did sort of thrive in being finally a woman who could take care of someone and have that person be getting all the attention. I liked that whole idea.

But then that had it’s own things connected with it, you know?

KING: So you were smart enough to know that once that took place, you were going to be in the tabloids every week.

LISA: I kind of — yes , I wasn’t trying to live my life via some of the damn tabloids, pardon my French, but I just kind of did what I wanted to do, but I thought I…

KING: Was he good to your kids?

LISA: Yes, he was always good to my kids.

KING: Are you friendly now?

LISA: Don’t talk to him right now. But, you know, it’s kind of something I walked away from a long time ago, not something I try to keep in my life any more.

KING: Is his life going to straighten out, do you think?

LISA: I have no idea.

KING: Because he keeps seeming to always have little problems that develop around like there’s a little cloud that follows him around with all that talent.

LISA: It’s true. I don’t know. You know, it’s kind of — I really can’t even predict it any more. I can’t keep up with it either. It’s always changing. I can’t keep up.

KING: Do you think he’s a good father to his kids?

LISA: I’m sure. I met — I only got a chance to meet his son and he was adorable and he was great with him. But when I did have — it was very brief; it was a long time ago, it was fine.

KING: Was he interested in your father’s music, by the way?

LISA: I — you know — he didn’t go out of his way to tell me that but I heard from others and I kind of got the idea that he was.

KING: And the Nicolas Cage thing, what went – I like Nic.

LISA: Yes.

KING: Don’t you like Nic?

LISA: I adore Nic. I do.

KING: What was — what happened there?

LISA: That was — you know — again, I’d been with two people that in between, Michael and Nic, that were really known people…


KING: We’re back with Lisa Marie Presley. The album is “To Whom It May Concern.”

We’ll get back to the music — remember that Diane Sawyer interview of you and Michael?

Was that weird?

LISA: Yes that was a little strange. That was very strange. I mean, I was a nervous wreck, so…

KING: Did you regret doing that?

LISA: I did after I sort of got my head and cleared of all that.

You know it took me a long time to come out of that emotionally and once I did and I watched it again I was — it was a little disturbing, startling.


KING: Now, about relationships, are you — do you want to meet, finally, Mr. Right, or whatever his name may be? And get married? Would you have another kid?

LISA: Yes, I do. I do. But I want — I try not to focus on that right now. I’m obviously not very good at it, just yet, so I’ll just lay low until I figure it out.

KING: Why do you think you’re not good at it?

LISA: Because I have an unusual situation, you know? I’m not…

KING: I would say.

LISA: Yes, I’m not an average — you know, I’m not living an average situation here where it’s easy to just meet your match and you know — with me it’s a little different.

You get with somebody who doesn’t have a name or doesn’t quite have the whatever it is to stand up next to me they get — they get swamped and then you get somebody who is a celebrity then that’s got it’s things where you get too bold an opinion and then there’s another problem.

So, it’s kind of you know, it’s me trying to find something in the middle, something right.

KING: There’s no natural life for you. If you meet a guy who isn’t well known he’s going to have a tough time. If you meet a guy who’s very well known, he’s going to have a rough time for the opposite reasons of the other guy.

LISA: Exactly.

KING: So you’re almost in a no-win.

LISA: Almost.

KING: Yes. Do you miss being in love?

LISA: Do I miss it?

KING: Well I’m assuming you’re not in love now.

LISA: No. Do I miss it? You know it’s too distracting…

KING: You know what those moments are like.

LISA: I get too distracted when I’m in love. It’s better that I’m not.

KING: Better to be in like.

LISA: Yes, yes.

KING: Do you date?

LISA: Not right now.

KING: Do you intimidate men?

LISA: Probably.

KING: The average guy don’t call up and say, Hey, Lisa Marie, what are you doing Saturday night, we’ll go to the movies.

The relationship lasted six years, until she left Keough for Michael Jackson in 1994, marrying him in the Dominican Republic in a ceremony even Priscilla didn’t know about. There was widespread skepticism about any physical union, especially since Jackson had recently faced civil charges of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy. JACKSON-PRESLEY UNION SPARKS SHOCK, DOUBT, LAUGHS read one headline. During an interview around the time of their one-year anniversary, Diane Sawyer asked the couple if they had sex. Lisa Marie responded indignantly, “Yes, yes, yes.” Seven months later she filed for a divorce. The marriage was “a mistake, everyone knows,” her lawyer declared.

After that mistake, she met actor (and longtime Elvis aficionado) Nicolas Cage at a party in 2001. They started a relationship, broke up, got back together, broke up, got back together and got married in Hawaii. He filed for divorce 107 days later.


PLAYBOY: What are people most eager to know about you?

PRESLEY: It’s the same thing: “Three marriages! Three marriages!”

PLAYBOY: Your ex-husband was involved with the record right?

PRESLEY: When you say “ex-husband” you have to be specific. [Laughs] I almost said, “Which ex-husband?” Yeah, Danny and I wrote two songs together.


PLAYBOY: Your dad died at 42, and his mother died at 46. You’re 35. Do you think more about death these days?

PRESLEY: No. When I was writing this album, I went through a period when I was not doing very well physically. It was mercury poisoning, from fillings. Everyone has a threshold, but after my divorce from Michael, I was under a lot of stress. My allergies caused craziness–I had my gallbladder removed, I went through hell. I constantly had these weird symptoms no one could explain. That was probably the worst period in my life, those two or three years.

PLAYBOY: Hey, at least you got some songs out of it.


PLAYBOY: OK, let’s discuss your ex-husbands instead.

PRESLEY: No–we’re going to stay on my dad, then. [Laughs]


PLAYBOY: Do you provide romantic advice to each other?

PRESLEY: No. He just shakes his head and laughs at me. I’m his entertainment. “How much of a shit-storm can you cause?” He intervened with Michael. But even then he wasn’t vocal. He just let me know he wasn’t happy about that one.

PLAYBOY: So you left Danny, an insecure, struggling musician, to marry Michael Jackson, the King of Pop.

PRESLEY: I walked away from Danny and went into Michael. And that was stupid. I thought it would help, because Michael and I had so much in common, our upbringings. And then it hit me in the face a year later.

PLAYBOY: Other than Danny, who know you were going to marry Michael?

PRESLEY: No one except the people who arranged the wedding.

PLAYBOY: Why didn’t you tell your mom?

PRESLEY: Because I knew she was against it. She was already saying, “Don’t you think this is just good timing for him? Wake up.” But I wouldn’t hear anything about it.

PLAYBOY: What did Priscilla say when you told her you had married him?

PRESLEY: She called me casually one day and said, “Ugh, there are helicopters flying over my house, driving me crazy. They’re saying that you married Michael Jackson.” And I was silent. And she went, “No, you didn’t. Lisa! Tell me.” And I went, “Yup, I did.” And I have to say I got a bit of a kick out of it, just for old times’ sake. One more middle finger going going up.

PLAYBOY: Lots of other people suspected it was a publicity stunt, because he had been accused of child molestation.

PRESLEY: We met casually at a friend’s house, and he immediately disillusioned me of any preconceived ideas I had of him. He said, “I know you think this about me, you think that,” and I immediately said, “Oh my god, you’re so misunderstood!” I forgot who he was within 20 minutes, because we were so locked into a conversation.

PLAYBOY: You’re saying that Michael Jackson is seductive?

PRESLEY: He’s not sexually seductive, but there is something riveting about him. He doesn’t let people see who he is. When he does, it’s hard to shake. I got caught up and thought I was in love with the man. I don’t know what else to say.

PLAYBOY: When you announced the marriage, you said in a press release, “I understand and support him.” Please explain Michael to those of us who really don’t understand him.

PRESLEY: Here’s the thing: For awhile, Michael was like the Wizard of Oz, the man behind the curtain. At one time he was really good at manipulating a Howard Hughes type of image: “He’s mysterious, fascinating.” He became this freak. And now he can’t get out from under it. When you’re the king of your own palace, there are no morals or ethics or integrity. Everyone will kiss your ass and then give you the push that knocks you over.

PLAYBOY: Did you and he ever have children join you in your bed?

PRESLEY: Never. Never, never, never, never. I never saw him sleep in bed with a child, ever.

PLAYBOY: Did you ever see him with photos of nude children?

PRESLEY: Never. Never.

PLAYBOY: Do you have any reason to think he’s a child molester?

PRESLEY: If I’d had any reason to suspect that, I would have had nothing to do with the guy. I had no reason to, other than the allegations themselves. The only two people who know are Michael and that kid in the room. I’ve never seen him behave inappropriately. He was great with my kids. He does have a connection with kids, babies. He’s a kid, and other kids sense that in him.

PLAYBOY: It would help his case if he’d stop saying, “Yes, I sleep with children.”

PRESLEY: I know! Someone should call him and go, “Would you just stop saying that? It’s not working for you!”

PLAYBOY: Did you and Michael discuss having kids?

PRESLEY: Yeah. [Laughs] I got out of that one. “I just don’t think it’s a good idea right now.” But I knew that’s what he wanted. And I knew Debbie Rowe was offering to do it for him while we were married, according to him. She was a nurse who had a crush on him and offered to have his babies.

PLAYBOY: Was he trying to leverage you into agreeing?

PRESLEY: Kind of. “Debbie Rowe says she’ll do it.” Ok, have Debbie Rowe do it! And it’s funny, when I imagined having a child with him, all I could ever see was a custody battle nightmare.

PLAYBOY: He just wanted to find someone to bear his children.

PRESLEY: I think so, but I don’t know.

PLAYBOY: Did you watch his TV interviews last winter with Martin Bashir?

PRESLEY: I watched, because I was on the radio tour that week and I was being asked about it everyday. I was like, Could there be any worse timing? I walked away in 1996. It’s not something consuming my thoughts anymore.

PLAYBOY: When Diane Sawyer interviewed you and Michael, she asked if you two had sex, and you were indignant. Can you see how the marriage looked suspicious to people.

PRESLEY: I can see that, only because that’s his thing, not mine. That always upset me. I was married for several years to a bass player nobody knew and before that never dated a celebrity. I never did anything to try and get publicity. I got caught up in Michael’s thing, which was manipulation. I was like, “Fuck you people, that’s not who I am. Why am I being blamed for a publicity stunt? Oh, I’m Miss Aspiring Singer, and now I want a record deal? That’s why I’m with him?”

PLAYBOY: It sounds like you think he used you.

PRESLEY: I’m not going to say he did or he didn’t. There are things that don’t look good, that’s all I can say. And most people saw it at the time except me.

PLAYBOY: When did the relationship go sour for you?

PRESLEY: Not long after Diane Sawyer. I started to wake up and ask a lot of questions. I don’t want to go into detail, but it went downhill pretty quick.

PLAYBOY: What about your kiss at the Video Music Awards in 1994? It looked staged and awkward.

PRESLEY: It looked awkward because I wanted out of my skin. At the 11th hour, he says, “I’m gonna kiss you.” I was like, “No, I don’t want to do that. Do we have to? That’s bullshit.” On the way there I kept saying, “Do we have to?” I squeezed his hand so hard that I cut off the circulation. He wouldn’t tell me when it was going to happen.

PLAYBOY: It was reported that you asked him for a divorce while he was in the hospital recovering from “exhaustion.”

PRESLEY: Not true. There was a bit of a showdown in the hospital, and I didn’t understand what was wrong with him. I didn’t know what he was up to. When I started asking too many questions about what was wrong, he asked me to leave. This is the real story. He said, “You’re causing trouble.” The doctors wanted me to go. I freaked out, because it was all too familiar. When he got out, I called him and said, “I want out.”

PLAYBOY: Later, when you met Nic Cage, were you thinking marriage?

PRESLEY: After Michael, I wasn’t in a hurry to get married again.


PRESLEY: Like when Michael and I split up, he said, “Don’t talk about me.” He never wanted anybody talking about him. I didn’t say a word about him. So the next three interviews I saw, he was talking about me. And I was like, “All bets are off, dude. You did it.”


PLAYBOY: How would you characterize your taste in sex?

PRESLEY: Probably “porn style.” [Laughs] I am a little dark on the subject. I like it rough, the way they do things in porn movies.


PRELSEY: [Laughs] If I get married again, I’ll stay married. I don’t know if I really thought I’d stay married with the last two. I’m whimsical about things. I get caught up in the moment. It’s the one area where I’m naive.


PLAYBOY: Do you want more kids?

PRESLEY: I’d like two more.

PLAYBOY: And if you don’t have someone to be the father–

PRESLEY: Are you kidding me? No, I will not go to a sperm donor. I could ask Debbie Rowe to be a surrogate for me.

As if her enduring adherence to Scientology, her children, even her highly publicised, at times disastrous, relationships, have all been an attempt to dress some ancient wound – the wound being caused by her own name, and her lifelong search for her own identity.


Her subsequent marriage to Michael Jackson would present the 1990s – a decade obsessed with celebrity – with the ultimate pairing of famous names. From the outside, the Jackson-Presley union looked like monolithic pop art: a pure Warholian fantasy of fame, wealth and beauty, as it might have been staged by Jeff Koons. The couple’s now legendary television interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC’s Prime Time Live, in which they announced that they were “just a normal married couple” and would indeed “be expecting a child”, prompted the gossip columnist Cindy Adams to retort, “I’ll bet my pearls he gets pregnant before she does.”

The marriage lasted 21 months, with Lisa Marie allegedly asking for a separation in December 1995 while Jackson was in New York’s Beth Israel North Medical Centre after collapsing with what was reported as low blood pressure. Of Martin Bashir’s recent television interview with Jackson, she says simply, “It was like someone antagonising a patient in a hospital – not that he’s a patient; but someone who’s in a vulnerable position. It just seemed cruel.”

But if the Presley-Jackson marriage seemed weighed down by the celebrity, wealth and eccentricity involved, there was, perhaps, a kind of method in its madness. Until now, she has spoken of the marriage only as a “delusional” episode in her life, prompted by a desire to save Jackson from his own demons, and a greater, more infantilist desire that together they could save the world; she has chosen not to comment on what might be seen as the far more understandable reasons she had for attempting marriage to Jackson – and for seeking happiness with the actor Nicolas Cage.

“I think I’ve been with 14 people in my life, and I’m 35, so that’s not too bad,” she begins. “Two of them were famous because I realised that, in the other situations I was in, although the men may be amazing people, may be beautiful, may be talented, they would just get pummelled by me. Their egos would be shot to hell, and it would create resentment, and love would never overcome that in the end. Because their identities would be taken away from them, or their importance; basically, they’d have their balls cut off, every time. Probably Michael and I connected because there was an unusual upbringing, unusual circumstances, and I felt honestly more comfortable being with someone who was as famous, or more famous, than me.

Because it took the pressure off me and I could feel like a female for the first time – like a regular female, not some female who has balls and who runs everything. I never liked that positioning, even though I’m strong and I have the name and the celebrity and whatever it is I have, it doesn’t feel natural. Because I want to be able to have a man who’s running things, and who I can admire and respect – and that’s always been my dilemma. So… I go with Michael.

“And then when you go with that, that’s got its drawbacks; because then you’re surrounded by whatever circumstances that person’s been in their whole life – which can be completely unrealistic, but that’s the way they are and you have to deal with whatever’s going on around that person – like entourages, shady people, all that that’s about. Then, I left Michael; two more people in a row that weren’t anyone. Again, it was all about me, and they’d get…” Here, Lisa Marie pauses for breath.

“…Like, I was engaged to someone who was an amazing singer and had a great record out, and none of that mattered – it was about me. And I saw too many men lose their identity and purpose in life because it was all about me. And so I ended up with Nic… It’s like ping pong, what do I do? And, somewhere in the middle, there’s got to be the answer. But I’ve got to find something in between where it’s not too extreme – right now, I go to extremes.

“And you know what I’ll say that I’ve not said before? I think that me being with these high-profile people is an attempt to hide – it’s kind of like I was too afraid, too uncomfortable with the attention on me, so it was kind of a way to hide behind someone, you know what I mean? That’s what’s really underneath it for me, it’s like I can just exist and be a female and not have the pressure on me. It was probably a way to run away and never deal with who I am and what I can do. It was always: hide behind somebody else, because they’re good at what they can do. I just realised that. And that probably has a lot to do with it.”

She also sings about misery and drugs, and specialises in character assassinations of former lovers.

“Perhaps I should go on record now and say that there are no songs on this album that refer in any way to [second husband] Michael Jackson,” she says, impatiently. “Sure, I’ve written a bunch of songs about him in the past, but they are old songs and I ditched them long ago.”

“I write about subjects that are close to my heart, but not every one of them is necessarily about the men in my life. Maybe two or three at most.” Which? “I won’t say. That’s why it’s called To Whom It May Concern. Go speculate.”


Come May 1994, Lisa Marie Presley would do something very strange indeed, something that would further propel her into the limelight she claimed to so loathe. As news was reverberating around the world of Michael Jackson’s alleged pedophilia, she married him in a secret ceremony in the Dominican Republic, before subsequently announcing it to the world’s media with a full kiss on stage at that year’s MTV Video Music Awards.

The very mention of Jackson now causes the atmosphere in the hotel room to plummet further still. Her decision to enter into wedlock with the King of Weird is something she no longer wishes to discuss. “It was a moment of madness, old news, boring,” she says.

But then in the ensuing heavy silence she decides to explain herself.

“Look my whole life has been a constant battle of trying to find my own way. I have never met a man who could cope with me – who I am, the Presley name. I was always the dominant one in any relationship, and it’s unnatural for the woman to be the bread maker, the bread… whatever.” Winner? “The breadwinner, exactly. Which is why I ended up marrying someone even more famous than myself. Being Elvis Presley’s daughter is a whole lot of pressure. It’s been a constant burden in my life. Believe me, I had no idea just how great the pressure would get sometimes. Ultimately, it made me too chickenshit to step out of the shadow and into my own identity. Hiding behind someone else’s was, I guess easier, although not necessarily the right thing to do…”

The marriage remained a bizarrely public one – the couple being interview on US TV, seemingly happy to answer even the most intimate questions (yes, they were a regular couple; yes, they had sex) – but Presley became increasingly wary that she was merely a pawn in Jackson’s PR rebuilding exercise. Exasperated by his increasingly erratic behaviour, she divorced him three years later, and promptly fell ill with stress. She suffered from panic attacks, suspected asthma, hypoglycaemia, and had her gall bladder removed. The tabloids were convinced she was trying to kill herself, and her depression deepened, she lived on a diet of chicken and broccoli, and lost a lot of weight. Eventual salvation came from some unlikely advice: a homeopathic doctor told her to have the fillings in her teeth removed because mercury fillings, as she so succinctly puts it, “can make you go fucking crazy”. As soon as she had them taken out, her health started to improve.

And who can blame her? Her first marriage to musician Danny Keough may have lasted six years and produced two children – Danielle, 13, and Ben, nine – but her second, to Michael Jackson, lasted just 21 months. And the most recent, to volatile actor Nicolas Cage, ended when he filed for divorce, after 107 days, last November.

“I’m sure there was happiness, at some point, in the beginning, with all of them,” she tells me in her ultra-cool London hotel suite. “The first, the most. In fact, I’m still friends with Danny. He’s holding the fort right now, looking after my daughter in the States.

“And I’m still in contact with Nicolas. We talk on the phone all the time. We’re friends – we’ve managed to work that one out. I can’t say that about everyone I’ve been with.”

She smiles ruefully. In repose, you see strong echoes of her mother Priscilla’s doll-like features. But when she smiles, her mouth makes her look so much like Elvis, it’s heart-stopping.

And she adds: “If I were to bump into Michael in the hotel lobby, I’d just say “Hi’… and then walk. We have no contact at all.”

Her other less high-profile relationships have foundered because of her fame. Lisa Marie has been in the spotlight since the day she was born. “Because of the baggage I’ve got, unless they have their own thing they feel really good about, men just get bowled over,” she says. “If a man isn’t confident in himself, it just won’t work.

“So with Michael, I had the bright idea that being with someone more famous than me would be better.”

Their wedding in 1994 shocked the world but Lisa Marie insists that, at the start, it was genuine. “At the time, I thought, ‘This is it.’ I was vulnerable and got into his whole philanthropy thing. I thought I could help him save the world. In a way, I was hiding behind him – I didn’t have to deal with myself.”

It’s obvious when you talk to Lisa Marie – and it’s not an easy task, because she is both weary and wary, her black-shaded, heavy-lidded eyes evasive – that their marriage was a seismic event.

WHEN she filed for divorce the following year, she suffered a breakdown. “I was screwed up. It was two years of unwinding the web that was woven in my head.”

Lisa Marie won’t explain what she means but adds: “I’ve put that very concisely. Deliberately woven? I don’t know, you’d have to ask him.”

Then she chronicles the list of disasters that followed…

“It started emotionally and then it became physical. I was in a lot of trouble health-wise. Every week there was something wrong. It started with panic attacks, stomach problems. Then, one week hypoglycemia, next week asthma. I was in hospital twice. I lost my gall bladder.

“I worried constantly. My body seemed to be failing at every turn. It wasn’t a mental breakdown, it was physical. It was really amazing and it went on for about two years.”

When I ask her if she is surprised by what has happened to Michael in the intervening years – the money problems, the backlash following the baby-dangling incident, the Martin Bashir interview – Lisa Marie sighs.

“I will just say that at one point I did say: ‘This is like I’m on the Titanic and it’s sinking.’ And I wanted to help, because I could see certain things happening.

“But I said: ‘I’m either going to jump now, or I’m going to go down with you. So I’m going to get out.’ He said: ‘Am I sinking?’ I said: ‘Yeah.’ And then I walked. And he is sinking.

“I didn’t know how long it would take, I didn’t know when. I just knew there was going to be a karma situation. You can’t possibly conduct yourself a certain way and get away with it. I knew the karma police were coming. Do I feel guilt that I left him? On the contrary.” Her eyes flash and she shakes her head emphatically.

Lisa Marie is also determined that there will be no more actors in her life, although she is quick to point out that “this is not about Nicolas. But actors are out. They don’t know who the hell they are, what they’re doing. Drama – big, big, big! Everything’s so overblown.”

She goes on to confide: “Musicians have always been my weakness. My whole life – drummers, singers, guitarists. I’m always attracted to artists, to rebels, to bad boys. Troubled, usually!” She rolls her eyes and grins sheepishly.


Lisa Marie swears that not one song on her distinctive rock album – she has written all the lyrics – is about Michael: “They were all written about things that have happened in the past five years.”

In those inquiring-minds-would-like-to-know exposes, we learned, yes, she did have sexual relations with her second husband, Michael Jackson. And yes, he actually has a man’s voice when he’s not speaking in public.



Post: There is so much negative writ ten about your relationships. What are the good memories of your dad, of Michael Jackson, of Nic Cage?

Presley: I’m not interested in talking about those memories of (Elvis). I have many great memories of good times, but I’d prefer not to talk about them. I don’t like to capitalize on my dad’s memory. As for Nic and Michael, there were good times, but people are just interested in the bad stuff. It’s just sensationalism. With Michael, I learned a lot. Nothing was all that terrible. As far as Nic, he and I still talk.


Presley: I had to do this record for me. I don’t like attention on me, and that’s a problem, but if I get it, I’d rather have it because I made a record and not because of who I married or who my dad was.

Who expected Elvis’s little girl to grow up entirely sane? Certainly not Lisa Marie Presley, survivor of one gothic drug phase and three car crash marriages

A bright spring day in Knightsbridge, London. Lisa Marie Presley takes a seat on a chintzy hotel sofa and watches as the tape recorder in front of her is switched on. “Michael Jackson, Scientology, Nic Cage,”; she says without prompting. “What else?”

What else indeed? Given that Lisa Marie has been a tabloid fixture for most of her life, a celebrity sideshow occupying the space between Drew Barrymore and Elizabeth Taylor, variously infamous as Elvis’s daughter and the ex-wife of Michael Jackson and, more recently, Nicolas Cage, it’s not too surprising she’s a little cynical. Still she says it with a smile.


Her life is very different from that of her ex-husband, imprisoned behind the gates at Neverland. Lisa Marie often ventures out into the city to browse the fashion outlets on Melrose Avenue or meet friends for dinner. Since her album came out she gets recognized more but has yet to feel the need to go out wearing a mask. “I just go out looking like shit,” she says.


She’s also not doing the record to talk about Michael Jackson, but it’s another part of her past that continues to fascinate. The married in 1994 in a secret ceremony in the Dominican Republic and, despite the “shit storm” that followed, she insists now that she married with the best of intentions and that Jackson in private is very different from the falsetto man-boy who appears in public. Yet she also admits that her tie spent in Jackson’s world distorted her perceptions and twisted her emotions. The level of scrutiny he live under was too much, even for her.

“There’s good and bad to it. I felt I’d be more at ease with someone who was more famous than I was, that I could be second to, because I had no interest in having a record deal or anything like that,” she says. “There are drawbacks, because that person can build their own reality and everyone around them then goes into that reality and nothing’s real anymore. And I’ve been through all of that, I’ve seen all sides of it. Power or celebrity, you walk a really fine line. It’s a struggle to keep your sanity, to keep on a straight line.”

After splitting from Jackson in 1995, Lisa Marie Presley fell seriously ill, sparking rumours of suicide attempts and a nervous breakdown. In fact, she now believes, her health problems (which included everything from asthma to weird allergies) were related to stress and old mercury fillings. At the same time she was trying to get her emotions back to a stage approaching normality. In her case, this meant reaching a stage where she felt nothing towards Jackson at all.

As opposed to just hating his guts.

“The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference,” she says. “Someone kept telling me that and I was like, Bullshit!, because I could never get there. And then I finally didn’t care anymore. When you sit there full of venom and hatred for years, and you want so badly for the person to rot in hell, and I’m not saying this about Michael, but when you feel you’re caught up in something and theirs still enough emotion to even hate someone, it’s not ideal.”

But having “recovered” from her post-Jackson travails, Presley didn’t exactly play it safe.


So, is she learning to be “indifferent” to Nicolas Cage now, too?

“No, Nicholas and I are still in good condition. We’re good. That’s wasn’t as exciting or controversial as the other one [with Jackson]. There’s no big story behind it. ”

Ask if she was into Michael Jackson growing up and the irritation in her voice begins to rise. “Probably like anybody else. I wasn’t over the top, but I’m sure you would have found me dancing to some of his music in a club here and there. Way back when.”

As to what attracted her to Michael when they met, she moans, “You know, I’ve kind of gone into this so-o-o many times” before working her way around to a fairly fascinating revelation. She was attracted, she says, to the fact that he was “raised in a fishbowl.”


Why now? “Because it happened that way,” Presley says. “I don’t know. I’d gone through my second divorce and was sort of aimless at that point and someone basically said, ‘Why don’t you just do this now?’ And I thought I’ll use everything I feel to channel it into this record.”


It’s important, after all, for people to start seeing her for who she is outside the context of her famous dad and famous former husband.

“Very possibly I’ll never shake that,” she says of the public image she acquired when she hit the tabloids as the girl who married Wacko Jacko, “but I don’t care.”

Well, she cares a little.

“I don’t want them to perceive me wrongly,” she admits. “I mean, I’d rather them perceive me correctly and decide based on that what they think as opposed to some sensationalistic idea of me that I never had anything to do with. I can tell you my logic or my method behind my madness, and if you don’t like that I can understand, or I’ll respect that. But don’t judge me before you actually ask me a question and try to figure out where I’m coming from.”

And Presley is especially pleased that as she does more interviews there are less questions about former husband Michael Jackson and more questions about her music.

“That’s when I’m happiest,” she says, and it’s evident that Elvis’ only child is taking her first steps beyond the mythology of Graceland, and taking them in stride.

Tired of being defined by the men in her life — do we really have to tell you their names? — Lisa Marie Presley is putting herself out there, come what may.

Presley doesn’t need the money, thanks to her inheritance from her dad, Elvis (oops, that’s one). She doesn’t need the spotlight; her marriage to Michael Jackson (oops, that’s two) afforded her plenty of face time.


Q. I’m guessing you watched that British TV special on Michael Jackson. Did any of that ring true for you?

A. You know, I don’t wanna go there. I’ve already done the Michael Jackson thing.

“It never occurred to me before – I wasn’t interested in attracting more attention to myself,” says Presley of her musical debut. “I wrote cathartically forever. It kind of just happened. I had been through a lot in my life. My second divorce (to Jackson) happened. I was pretty aimless, trying to get it together. I thought it was the right time.


On the tracks “S.O.B,” “Better Beware,” and “Gone,” the three-times divorced Presley squarely takes aim at problematic relationships. During a recent phone interview, she is more circumspect about her tabloid-fodder personal life.

“I think (with) anyone if you put their relationships under a microscope, everyone’s going to be scandalous somewhere along the line,” she says. “It’s all out there – I screwed up. Mine’s a little more high profile. I’m in an unusual situation. Unusual things happened. I get attracted to unusual people, and that’s the way it’s going to bloody go.”

Now in the position of wanting to talk to the press about her music, Presley has decided it’s better to respond to coverage than to ignore it.

“I’ve realized that not saying anything isn’t any good,” she says. “Now that I’m out there, at least I have the opportunity (to respond). I can counteract them now, then it’s done. It’s unavoidable that people want to know that stuff. The (ABC) ‘PrimeTime’ interview and a few things I did … I tried to answer as much as I could without going too far.”

Q – When you were married to Michael Jackson, did you ever talk about music or try make music together?

A – Never. I wasn’t interested then at all.

You are getting a lot of stuff out of your system on this record. What would be the album’s most revealing song?

Excuse Me would be. [Sample lyric: "Did you know I broke up my family/And the guilt is never gone."]

They’re all revealing. My God, they’re pretty to the bone.


What lyric that you’ve written on the record best describes Lisa Marie Presley?

It’s in Better Beware, I have to say. “I’m no longer (laughs) your erection or your congregation, I’m your disease.” There you go. That’s probably my favorite line. It’s metaphorical and literal; so many different angles on that one suit me on every level.


What would be your favorite Michael Jackson song?

Uh, good God. I can’t even answer that question.

I’m nestled in a park-view suite at the Ritz-Carlton on Central Park and asking my bride-to-be, Lisa Marie Presley, the former Ms. Jackson (if you’re nasty), what color satin she wants to use for our top secret ribbon-binding wedding nuptials.

“Um, black. It seems appropriate right now,” she says.

Much like her hush-hush Dominican Republic marriage to Michael Jackson, there are no photographers here, and our only witness is her preppy bodyguard (though I had a minister waiting on call), who cased my room before the ceremony.


After I snap a few Polaroids of our hands for our wedding album, we sit down to our reception feast of American Spirits (hers) and Winston Lights (mine) and get to know each other better. First and foremost, I want to know what kind of guy (besides me) she goes for, since her taste seems pretty all over the map. “I get attracted to someting that’s different, that sticks out. It’s always an artist. One of my first boyfriends who I actually fell in love with just sold me out. He cheated and lied and was just the biggest player, drug addict, drug dealer, crazy-ass motherfucker. He was the only one that was really ever diabolical with me.”


Her next marriage, to Michael Jackson, produced a lot of speculation about their sex life. And not just because of that “You Are Not Alone” video in which they frolic nearly naked at a Roman bath. While she never actually moved into Neverland Ranch, she says they still did mundane married couple things, like watch TV together. “I remember Alanis [Morissette] broke like a bat out of hell back then. I pulled him into the room and said, ‘You gotta listen to this.’”

“Did he like her?” I ask.

“Yeah, and then when she took the Grammy, he goes, ‘Well, that’s your girl, you were on it.’”

Since Lisa has said that their 1994 MTV Video Music Awards kiss was a stunt dreamed up by Michael’s manager, I want to know how Lisa’s “people” got along with Michael’s “people,” and how much these “people” participate in the day-to-day dealings of a relationship. “It’s a strange thing, but the camps either work or they don’t. You have to deal with those people’s agendas, and if you’re a threat to them and what they are trying to do, those people will start to get in the other one’s ear and you have to be really hyper-perceptive to all of that.”

Interestingly, Michael owns the rights to some of her father’s songs. “I saw a Velveeta commercial, and it was playing, I think, ‘Burning Love.’ [Jackson] had approved it–that’s something we can’t control. He can do whatever he wants with the songs he owns to make money, and that got under my skin.”

“What about that Club Crackers commercial, where one of the Keebler elves dresses up like Elvis?”

“I just saw that too–I freaked out!” she says, her eyes widening in disbelief. “Thanks for reminding me. I’m going to kill whoever approved that one.” And she probably can, since she’s the owner and chairman of the board of Elvis Presley Enterprises, a worldwide licensing company worth an estimated $500 million.

When her marriage to MJ fell apart after 20 months, so did she. “I was insane, and nobody could tell me what was wrong. I was trying to pull myself out of somebody else’s world, somebody else’s way of thinking.” At that time, she went under the care of a doctor who sounds totally psycho.

“She was the most treacherous soul, she was like fucking Nurse Ratched. She gave me too many pills, which created a problem with my stomach, which led to my gall bladder failing. So, I get it taken out, and she came into the hospital and said [using a spooky voice], ‘It was the most beautiful gall bladder I’ve ever seen.’”


“So, for real,” I ask, “now that we’re divorced, where are you with you love life?”

“I’m nowhere,” she says, picking at her veggie-filled salad. “It hasn’t happened very often that I’ve actually given my heart. Sometimes I can be completely smitten, but I’ll still keep it back at arm’s length. Because if I do give it to someone and I get hurt, it’s tragic. It incapacitates me. I have to be really careful of that. But that’s not to say I would be opposed to falling in love with somebody.”

“I am not here to attack Michael. Until now, I have disclosed very few details of what has really happened in this marriage. I suffered. I was so mad at how they were treating me. When our marriage ended I wanted to call a press conference and tell everyone what had really happened. That my heart got broken. I was deeply disturbed and shattered because I truly was in love with Michael.”

“This relationship has poisoned me. I couldn’t lead a normal life for about a year after that. And I wasn’t allowed to say anything.”

Friend of Michael’s, Ahmad Elatab, New York Post, November 22, 2003

On the limo ride back, “I asked him about Madonna, seeing Lisa Marie Presley at the house one time, if he was gay, things like that,” the teenager said.

“He was so open, he doesn’t hide anything. He’s a different person when you know him. He said Madonna’s a bitch, and that he divorced Lisa Marie because she wouldn’t have his kids.”

Likewise, Lisa Marie Presley, who married Jackson in August 1994 in the midst of a criminal investigation of a previous pedophile allegation against him, had nothing to say publicly, her spokeswoman said.

EIN – I believe that you were the first person to introduce Lisa Marie to Michael Jackson! ]

MS – Yes, Jerry and I did that! She would have been 6 years old I think and she wanted to see The Jackson 5. So we took her to see the show and afterwards we went backstage to meet them. But she didn’t remember that! I saw her on my birthday recently and she asked me about it because Michael had remembered the meeting and reminded her of it. Apparently Michael had tried to get in touch with her long before she started seeing him but until Lisa was 18 years old her Mother had her kinda’ under her thumb.

EIN – Now was that was a weird relationship, wasn’t it?

MS – In my mind it was a strange one. Lisa didn’t talk to me for a couple of years because I told her that, “No way are you going to get together with Michael Jackson”! She defied me anyway. She knows her own mind and she’s going to try it whether it’s right or wrong. She’s definitely like her Dad in that respect.

OK. Michael Jackson: what was that all about?


Were you in love?

I was. See, you have a difficult situation with me because of the celebrity thing. If I’m with a guy, he might be a talented and beautiful person but he basically becomes Mr Fucking Presley. Their whole identity just gets pummelled. Which is very hard for a man and creates resentment. That’s what happened with my first marriage. Then I met Michael and I could tell he was interested in me – we had a connection at the time. I don’t know him any more and I don’t know what’s happened since then but at the time he was different to how he presents himself to people.

Did he understand you?

We probably connected because our lives were different to most other people.

Were you sexually attracted to him at first?

I didn’t think of him like that when I first met him. We had something though. We were sitting talking and after 20 minutes I’d forgotten who he was.

He must be a pretty charming man.

He is and what people always forget is that he didn’t get where he is without being shrewd and very, very, very intelligent. Also I was trying to find my way at the time: should I be with someone who is on the same level as me – celebrity-wise – or someone bigger?

Did you ever think, “I’ll go mid-table rather than top of the Premiership?”

I guess I was looking for someone to deflect attention from me. I was happy to support someone but I didn’t want the spotlight.

Then it turned out that he wanted you in the spotlight with him.

That was a whole twist I wasn’t particularly read for. Like going and doing public things with him.

You looked uncomfortable in that role.

That was because I hated it.

But didn’t you ever say, “No, I won’t kiss you, live on national TV, for a full minute”? [As happened at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards.]

That happened, like, literally 20 minutes before we went out there. So I didn’t have a whole lot of say so.

Did he tell you that he intended to linger on the lips for quite so long?

No and he wouldn’t tell me when he was going to do it. He told me what he was going to say, which I didn’t think made any sense, but I was going along with the machine, not knowing that I was part of the machine.

How about the video when you were blacker than him? ["You Are Not Alone"]

I know. I’d just come back from Hawaii. Again, last-minute call. And then suddenly, like, “Oh by the way, you’re going to be naked.”

It sounds as if he was pulling a fast one on you.

There was always an element of manipulation. It would be, “Come meet me here”. And I’d turn up and there’d be press everywhere. That happened a lot. To the point where I’d think it was going to be a charming dinner, just the 2 of us, then bam! Paparazzi all over us.

Looking back, do you see how much you were used?

I can see that the whole operation was in operation. There was a record coming out but I just shut that out at the time. It didn’t seem possible that a person would be so cynical.

Was any part of the marriage normal?

When he wasn’t working and we’d just hang out at the house it was fine. We’d go shopping and go to dinner, people would come over. Although that was only for the first six, seven months, then all that kind of dwindled away. It kind of went to hell in a handbasket.

Did you feel physically for him?

Of course, I wouldn’t have married him at the time if I hadn’t. It wasn’t instinctive to me right off the bat. He needed to make that overture because I wasn’t going to.

He’s a fairly unappealing guy physically.

He’s somewhat asexual but he can be whatever he wants to be when he wants to be.

In the Martin Bashir documentary on Jackson, did you recognise him as the man you’d been married to?

No, but I thought there was agenda there. You can edit eight months’ worth of footage to look any way you want it to look. But I never saw any behaviour like that when I was with him or if I did it was so brief. There were so many sides to him but they seemed to want one particular side in the documentary. The whole thing, to me, was like someone going into a hospital and badgering a patient. It was like he was antagonising him and it was cruel. Unnecessarily. And that’s screwed up.

What’s the closest you’ve come to completely losing it?

I guess after my divorce from Michael. My body just started falling apart: panic attacks for two years. Then I got every allergy and illness going. I was constantly sick with something or other. It turned out I was suffering from mercury poisoning. They found a really high level of mercury in my system, which came from nine fillings in my teeth. It was way beyond my tolerance level.

Presley said she fell “totally in love” with Jackson. Their 1994 marriage lasted 20 months.

Jackson, she said, had the power to intrigue, capture and engage.

Critics say Jackson married Presley to counter bad publicity. In 1994, he was charged with child sex offences.

But Presley said her motives for marrying Jackson were real.

“He is very smart and he knows what he is doing,” she said. “He didn’t get to where he is today by not being shrewd with people.

“At the time, I was quite young. So, I’m not going to disclaim the fact that it was a growing thing for me.

“I was naive. I’d never been subjected to anything like it, but I learned fast.”

Even today, Presley refuses to criticize Jackson directly.

“Honestly, it was such a long time ago,” she said. “It was a big learning process for me.”

Andrew Denton: Ha ha. You, you’ve said that your taste in men is psychotic, what do you mean by that?

Lisa Marie Presley: Has been. You know.

Andrew Denton: Has been.

Lisa Marie Presley: What I mean is if you lined everybody up that I was ever with in a row, that it would never make any sense. They’re all very different you know.

Andrew Denton: Yeah.

Lisa Marie Presley: There’s two that are when I was up but there’s also others that still would be, you know, there’s no pattern of sanity. And there’s no method behind the madness.

Andrew Denton: Are you attracted to people that are a bit like you, that like to be wild at heart?

Lisa Marie Presley: Yeah, but see those are the, that’s the not good match ups, cause you have to have somebody that sort of counteracts that. You know, you can’t have both people doing that.

Andrew Denton: Your producer Glen Ballard, when you went to do this album, he said to you, he said you asked him for advice. He said, “Write about your life”. So it’s interesting to look at the lyrics and and particularly SOB and it says, “I lost my trust in you, you were dangerous and scary and you poisoned me with sweets, everyone was intrigued by”. Why did you fall in love with Michael Jackson?

Lisa Marie Presley: Oh see, I knew this was a segue.

Andrew Denton: Yeah. Well look, it’s the word dangerous, it’s a giveaway.

Lisa Marie Presley: Right, right. Why did I?

Andrew Denton: Yeah.

Lisa Marie Presley: I have no idea, why does anyone fall in love with anyone. Um, it was 9 years ago, can’t really remember you know.

Andrew Denton: Really?

Lisa Marie Presley: Just, just hung out, we were friends. And um, he wasn’t anything like he is right now, I don’t know what’s happened, but I don’t know. Same reason anybody falls in love with anybody.

Andrew Denton: He was different to what you expected though wasn’t he?

Lisa Marie Presley: Yes.

Andrew Denton: In what way?

Lisa Marie Presley: Just more normal. Not the things that he sort of puts out about himself.

Andrew Denton: Cause you’ve said that he is the opposite of how he appears. The Michael Jackson we saw last year, you know dangling the baby over the balcony, putting veils over the kids faces, is that him?

Lisa Marie Presley: Okay. Um, no, I don’t know, I don’t know anymore.

Andrew Denton: You, when you talk.

Lisa Marie Presley: I never saw anything like that, is what my answer is.

Andrew Denton: When you talked about him, you described a man who was very smart.

Lisa Marie Presley: Yes.

Andrew Denton: Pretty ruthless, pretty manipulative. Now as a strong woman, you clearly are, was it difficult to be in a relationship where to some extent you felt powerless?

Lisa Marie Presley: Ah it was, that’s why I left. I mean only powerless in a lot of ways, in terms of, you know, realising that I was part of a machine, and seeing things going on that I couldn’t do anything about. You know and don’t ask me what sort of things, cause I’m not going to answer. But just stuff.

Andrew Denton: So what sort of things?

Lisa Marie Presley: You know what, I watched interviews of you, like two of them before and I saw where you were going to go in on me. Um, what were we saying?

Andrew Denton: I’ll just read back my question. Ah what sort of things?

Lisa Marie Presley: Of what? You mean that I noticed.

Andrew Denton: Okay I’ll…

Lisa Marie Presley: And that I had no control over?

Andrew Denton: Yeah, I got the sense that you ah, and believe you me I’m not going to spend the next half hour talking about Michael Jackson, we’ll move on.

Lisa Marie Presley: Thank you.

Andrew Denton: But, I got the sense, cause I know that this is a tender area, but I got the sense that you had become a part of Michael Jackson Incorporated. That you had an Access Most Areas ticket, but you didn’t have access to the board room necessarily. Would that be a fair way to describe the relationship?

Lisa Marie Presley: I didn’t want access, I mean I wasn’t in it for any other reason than I had fallen in love with someone, so it wasn’t like I was trying to find access to something. Like for some, ah I don’t quite understand the question maybe.

Andrew Denton: It must be very difficult to have a sense of being used in full public view.

Lisa Marie Presley: Right. I don’t think I was aware of that so much at the time.

Andrew Denton: And now?

Lisa Marie Presley: I have a different take now.

Andrew Denton: And what do you think?

Lisa Marie Presley: I look back at anything and look at my own responsibility in it and so I’m not going to sit here and tell you that it was all, I’m a victim, and there’s this whole bad stuff or whatever, but I will, I mean I, I look, when I look back now I look at what I was doing, where was I coming from, and what did I do to cause that on myself as well.

Andrew Denton: And when you look at that man now, and I’m not asking you to say what’s going on now because you can’t possibly know, but when you look at him, how do you feel about him? Do you feel sorry for him, do you feel for him still?

Lisa Marie Presley: I, I you know ta- I can’t, it’s really bizarre, I feel nothing. It’s just, I watch just like anyone else when anything’s going on and I have the same reaction and wow or you know holy shit or what ever, it’s whatever people are doing I’m doing the same thing. That’s, well with nothing attached any more, which is, it took a long time but that’s where it’s at now.

Andrew Denton: You’ve seen fame and you’ve experienced it in a way very few ever will. What does fame do to people?

Lisa Marie Presley: Um, it depends on the person. It kind of puts you in a position where you will immediately show you’re either expand it or you’ll become an arsehole and lose it. You know and there’s one, there’s not really in-betweens on that one I don’t think. You’ll either become a real jerk and abuse it and become obnoxious and unrealistic, and fall down the chute or you’ll learn how to deal with it.


Andrew Denton: Do you have a pretty good bullshit meter?

Lisa Marie Presley: Yes, you know but every once in a while I get a challenge and something happens that I wasn’t ready for and you know throws it off. It’s not perfected yet.

Andrew Denton: Ha, ha. For example?

Lisa Marie Presley: For example people that get close to me that are there for the wrong reasons and have a whole another thing going.

Andrew Denton: Which means what, people that are basically trying to get money or vicarious publicity out of you?

Lisa Marie Presley: Something yeah, or you know even closer, even deeper than that, not so much monetary things, just deeper, betrayal.

LOS ANGELES – Lisa Marie Presley clarified her remarks in an Australian TV interview, saying in a statement Wednesday that she never saw her ex-husband, Michael Jackson, engage in inappropriate behavior with kids.

Elvis Presley’s daughter, on a concert tour in Australia, said in an interview broadcast Monday that she saw things she “couldn’t do anything about” during her 1994-96 marriage to Jackson.

“I was in no way referring to seeing something inappropriate with children, as I have stated publicly before. I never have,” Presley said in a statement released by her Los Angeles publicist, Paul Bloch.

Without elaboration, Presley said during the talk show interview that she felt powerless during the marriage to Jackson, who is charged in Santa Barbara County with child molestation. The interview aired on Australian Broadcasting Corp.’s “Enough Rope.”

“Unfortunately, due to the recent media frenzy surrounding Michael Jackson, my comments during a recent TV interview in Australia regarding him were completely taken out of context and erroneously read into,” Presley said in the statement.

“In saying I saw things, I was specifically referring to things in that relationship with us that went on between us at the time as husband and wife,” she said.

Her interview comments led to widespread speculation about the 45-year-old pop star.

Presley said she felt “powerless in a lot of ways, in terms of … realizing that I was part of a machine, and seeing things going on that I couldn’t do anything about,” she said. “And don’t ask me what sort of things, because I’m not going to answer. But just stuff.”

MSNBC: I know that you don’t want to talk much about your brother and his current problems, but I must get your thoughts on a couple of things.

JACKSON: Go ahead. Just a couple of things.

MSNBC: During a recent interview with an Australian television reporter, Lisa Marie Presley, intimated that she knew things, which, of course, was easily interpreted as perhaps she saw inappropriate behavior between Michael and young children. Today, she released a statement that read, in part, “Unfortunately due to the recent media frenzy surrounding Michael Jackson, my comments on a recent Australian television interview regarding him were completely taken out of context and erroneously read into. In saying “I saw things” I was specifically referring to things in that relationship with us, that went on between us, at the time as husband and wife and that dynamic.” Jermaine, what do you make of her comments?

JACKSON: Why would she say any of that stuff in the first place? I don’t understand why would she do that. I think everybody wants attention and they are using my brother where they can to get the attention.

MSNBC: And Lisa Marie Presley’s comments come on the heels of former CBS Records president Walter Yetnikoff’s new book “Howling At The Moon,” where he calls Michael “weird” and says your brother “was a strange guy, a little baby.”

JACKSON: I don’t know why these types of books continue to get published. All this negativity. Why can’t they publish a book that’s positive? That’s what I’d like to do, a positive story. Yetnikoff is obviously just trying to sell his book with those comments. What is sad is that everybody is trying to kick Michael while he’s down. I will say that once this (molestation case) is over, he’s now got to know without a doubt who his real friends and enemies are.

“After the allegations he married Lisa Marie. In their first TV interview the two newlyweds were asked if they have sex. Can you imagine a reporter asking Paul McCartney the same question shortly after he married Linda? Would any reporter ever ask newlyweds if they have sex? Why else should two people marry – to not have sex? The question was an insult but Lisa the little jewel answered, ‘yes, yes, yes’ – I love her for that. And so does Michael.”

“Michael never had to be afraid of Lisa marrying because of money. She had enough herself. He knew that all she wanted was his love.”

“Lisa Marie was and still is Michael’s big love of his life. When I think about them I always have to smile to myself. Her love for him warmed my heart.”

“Contrary to all the rumors they are still near to each other. During the time Michael had two children with Debbie Rowe she was a good friend to him. But of course the media just reports the bad stuff and so nobody could read about Lisa Marie and Michael meeting in South Africa, or that they were going out very often. Debbie too, knew that Michael will always love Lisa Marie, and I see it the same way. We never met Debbie, but with Lisa the family stayed in contact even after the divorce. She has a special place in Michael’s heart.”

I know you’re wondering what had she had to say about former husband Michael Jackson, so I’ll tell you: Nothing.

“I’ve been away from him for almost 10 years. I’m not following the case at all,” she said.

O: When was the last time you spoke to him?
L: Coherently good conversation? Sometime in 2005. It was a very long conversation. I was so removed from him and he could feel it and he could hear it. And I think that’s one of the things that killed me in the end too was that I was very distanced and he was checking to get a read, he was trying to throw a line out to see if I would bite emotionally and I wouldn’t. I was pretty shut off at that point. I don’t even know how I managed to be like that but I was. He was asking me, he wanted to tell me that I was right about a lot of the people around him, that it had panned out to be exactly what he and I had talked about years ago. He asked if I still loved him and we went into a whole thing about that and I told him I was indifferent and he didn’t like that word and he cried. He was trying to find out where I was at and how I could become so detached. Then the final part of the conversation was him telling me that he felt that someone was going to try to kill him to get a hold of his catalogue and his estate.
O: So he actually gave you names?
L: He did. And I’d rather not say them. But he expressed to me that his concern over his life.
O: You know, I’ve asked you this and I have to ask it again, even though it’s an uncomfortable subject, but whether or not you had ever seen any inappropriate behavior between Michael and young children?
L: Are you asking me again?
O: I’m asking you again.
L: The answer is absolutely not, in any way. I did not see anything like that.
O: By 2005 was when he was on trial with the second charge. Your feelings at that time were what?
L: He was calling me about it and I said “Please keep your head together, please. If this goes to trial, please hold it together.” He said, “What are you talking about, what do you mean?” And he said, “You mean drugs?” And I said, “Yes.” Because all I saw was random things coming out, whether it was Martin Bashir and all these interviews, and in those interviews I saw him intoxicated. I didn’t see the Michael that I knew in that Martin Bashir interview. He was high as a kite, from what I saw and from what I knew.
O: Really?
L: He was either too speedy or he was sedated. It wasn’t the Michael that I knew.

No matter how much friends and advisors prepared her for the media curiosity she would encounter in the 2003 interviews,

Presley wasn’t prepared for the relentless questioning about her father and the short-lived marriages to Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage.

In “Now What,” she examines relationships and self-esteem in ways that are both personal and revealing. The moods range from the snarling “Idiot” (which she swears is not about Michael Jackson even though a reference to “fairytale lines” might suggest the king of Neverland) to the self-affirmation of “I’ll Figure It Out” and sweet optimism of “Thanx” and “Shine.”


Meanwhile, she’ll do a few interviews to promote the album, including a TV appearance with Oprah Winfrey on March 28, but she’s not going to repeat the marathon interview run of 2003. She’s also going to keep a tight lip when it comes to Jackson and Cage.

When Jackson’s name is raised, she winces. “I’m prepared not to talk about anything that has to do with Michael,” she says. “He’s too much of a hot stove, and there’s a trial going on now.” (She hasn’t been approached by either side to testify at Jackson’s child-molestation trial.)

OPRAH WINFREY: What do you say to yourself when you look at that period in your life [with Michael]?

LISA MARIE PRESLEY: Holy mother of God!


WINFREY: You said you loved him.


WINFREY: Do you think he loved you?

PRESLEY: Wow. God, it`s hard for me to answer that question. I don`t know the answer to that.

WINFREY: You obviously said, I`m out of here. So what was that? Was there a defining moment or a series of moments?

PRESLEY: Series. Just enough. You know, I just had enough. And none of that had anything to do with, you know, anything happening now. That`s a whole other — I don`t even know anything about that subject. I`m just saying between he and I, I was, like, you know, This is not — you know, I`m done.

WINFREY: You said you loved him.


WINFREY: Do you think he loved you?

PRESLEY: It’s hard for me to answer that question. I don’t know the answer to that, to be honest with you.

WINFREY: Do you think that he loved you as much as he could?

PRESLEY: Yes, as much as he was capable of loving somebody.

WINFREY: Do you think he used you?

PRESLEY: This seat is hot, let me tell you! Do I think he did? All signs point to yes on that. I can’t answer for him.

Ironically, she says she’s mainly asked about someone she claims to seldom think about — Michael Jackson, to whom she was married for 20 months in the mid-’90s. She’s owned up to feeling used in that marriage, and claims to know nothing about the behaviour that led to his molestation trial.

“It’s not so much the interviews, it’s the take on them after,” she say. “It’s running me into somebody else’s problems, you know what I mean? My ex-husband happens to be fouled up right now for whatever reason. I have nothing to do with that.

“It’s been 12 years and it seems to be that every time I put a record out I’m conglomerated into his thing and I can’t focus on what I’m doing.”

How does she avoid media coverage of the Jacko trial? “It’s really, really easy,” she says. “For one thing, I’m very busy. I’ve probably slept six hours in the last four days. If the radio’s on with it, I don’t listen. If it’s on TV, I don’t look. I’m so bored with it, I’m so done with it, I can’t even look — I’m not with him, nor have I been for a very long time.”

The two most important men in her life now are in her band — her bass player is her ex, Danny Keough (father of her kids Riley and Benjamin). Her new beau is guitarist Michael Lockhart — to whom she writes in her liner notes, ‘It took me 26 years to find you and DAMMIT if your (sic) not perfect in every way!’


There’s also a shout-out in the liner notes to her good friend, shock rocker Marilyn Manson. It occurs to me that Lisa Marie is attracted to people who tend to be misunderstood.

“With my history? Yeah!” she says. “I’m attracted to people who don’t go with the status quo, who don’t conform to mediocrity, who don’t conform to broad, widespread popular ideas. I’m attracted to artists who are artists.”

They also tend to share the morbid sense she displays in her lyrics. “Oh yeah,” she says, when I mention her dark muse. “Definitely, when I’ve gone through something, I’ve written songs that have got me through. I purge by writing; it’s a puke thing. I’m addressing things other than butterflies and dandelions.”

AP: When you first came out, you were very honest talking about your father, Nicolas Cage and Michael Jackson. Do you think that took attention from your music?

Presley: Well, that was a really hard fence to walk, and it was a fence, because I knew there was so much that I needed to explain to some people. I understood the human nature and needing to fill that gap of all the voids that had been happening or all these questions marks. But at the same time, when I did talk about them, that’s all that would be discussed in the interview, and that’s what would be blown up … you don’t know whether or not you should say something, but you understand you need to explain yourself a little bit, but you don’t want to then have the whole focus of the damn thing being on that — which it ends up being.

AP: It is difficult releasing this record now with Michael Jackson on trial?

Presley: To be honest, it makes it really easy for me to deal with, because I just say it’s too hot of a stove. Anything about that subject is going to be way blown up out of proportion, so I don’t even touch it.

And then there are songs like Turbulence and Idiot, in which she lets loose some intense anger against someone — but not ex-husbands Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage, if that’s what you were thinking.

“I can tell you right now that not one song on this record has anything to do with any high-profile husband I’ve had,” she said. “Those songs are about no one anyone knows about, and I’m going to keep it that way. I mean, why would I write about them? They’re not on my mind. It’s been years and everyone’s moved on, but people still want to associate me with them, which is hard.”

While the subject of Jackson – or any aspect of her personal life – was repeatedly forbidden by her publicist, Presley, who performs tonight at Jannus Landing, spoke candidly about her public image.

When your dad is the King and your mom stars in the Naked Gun movies, your life would seem to be pretty set. So set, that only a marriage to Michael Jackson could screw things up. Whoops.

A decade after her short-lived marriage to the King of Pop, Lisa Marie Presley is still faced with almost daily reminders of her mistake. Then again, if your ex-husband had a chimp named Bubbles, dangled his infant child over a second-story railing and came to his child molestation court case in pajamas, it’d be hard not to be.

Surprisingly, Presley seems to have turned out just fine.


OCB: How sick are you of questions about your dad and your marriages?

LMP: I don’t mind answering questions about my dad. I now refuse to answer any further questions on my personal marriage thing. It’s funny because I just went to Canada and did all this press and it was so refreshing, because I’d done so much here. They’re so actually into the music there. A couple times, but not much, they’d brush over something … but very briefly. And it was really refreshing to see they’re music lovers and they’re serious about music and they love the record over there. And I was like, “Wow, this is really refreshing.”

Presley’s bloodline, as well as her brief and well-publicized marriages to Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage, are the stuff of endless gossip, finger-wagging and rumor-mongering.

(She does not talk about her famous ex-husbands; any mention of Jackson, in particular, brings a quick change of subject.)

KING: What do you make of the coverage of your ex-husband?

PRESLEY: That I pretty much — it’s so delicate and it’s such a hot stove that, you know, it’s one of those things I’d love to chat with you about but anything you say at this point is going to add.

KING: Does it annoy you to see the focus on someone you cared about, probably still care about?

PRESLEY: To be honest with you I’m kind of — it’s kind of a blessing this is happening in that I don’t have to say anything right now, because there’s a trial going on. You know it’s…

KING: No, you don’t have to — I mean, emotionally though to see?

PRESLEY: Emotionally it’s never easy to watch anybody go through, no matter what, you know, something really difficult.

KING: Because you’ve been a staunch defender of him, right?

PRESLEY: Well, I’m not going to talk about it. KING: I’m mean as a person and a husband — we aren’t dealing with the charges or anything, you have been…

PRESLEY: I at one point was.

KING: A supporter? And now you’re neutral?

PRESLEY: I’m just benign really.


KING: You see any continuum in your own life, Lisa Marie, you’re the daughter of the most famous singer in the world, who then marries the most famous singer in the world.


KING: See a connection?


KING: And.

PRESLEY: You know, probably, you know, I’m not into psycho- analysis, you know, but there’s probably…

KING: Go ahead.

PRESLEY: There’s probably something in my, you know, looking — I had to experience that. And I think that there was some of that in the back myself mind probably.

KING: No regrets over it?


KING: No regrets?

PRESLEY: No, I don’t have any regrets.

KING: The decision you made — a couple other quick things on Michael. Do you feel sorry for him?

PRESLEY: I can’t answer. Larry, don’t do this to me.


PRESLEY: Please.

KING: You don’t want to talk about it.

PRESLEY: I don’t want — I just want to stay out of it.

KING: But you could be sorry.

PRESLEY: Well — like I said, I don’t like to — I don’t like to see anybody go through anything horrendous like that. I’m sure he’s not having a good time.

KING: People bug you about it a lot.


KING: I’m going to stop bugging but. I don’t want bug you.

PRESLEY: Every time. Usually it’s at last question but, yes.

KING: Because it’s an emotional thing and I would try to…

PRESLEY: I understand.

KING: We’d try to put ourselves in our place, how would I deal…


KING: … if an ex of mine who was famous was going through this.

PRESLEY: I totally understand what you’re doing, but at the same time, if I say anything, it’s going to be blown up and taken — you know, anything about him right now is such a hot — it’s a hot subject.

KING: So, no matter what you say it’s misconstrued.

PRESLEY: Good or bad, it will be taken out of context right because anything about him…

KING: One other thing, do you follow the story?


KING: You remove yourself?

PRESLEY: I’m completely removed from the whole thing.

KING: Lisa Marie Presley, good girl. “Now What” in stores as of April 5th. We’ll be right back.


KING: How did you handle when she got all of that attention being married to Michael Jackson? How did you as the mother handle that?

P. PRESLEY: Concern. Concern. I think any mother would be concerned, you know. Obviously, if my daughter’s happy, you know, then I don’t have any problem. But she’s very strong willed.

KING: Wonder where she got that from?

P. PRESLEY: I don’t know.

KING: Was she happy for a time?

P. PRESLEY: I think so. I think so.



KING: We’re back with Lisa Marie Presley. The newest CD is “Now What?” What’s your favorite song?

PRESLEY: I think there’s a song called “Idiot” that I like.

KING: Idiot?

PRESLEY: It’s not a nice song.

KING: Who were you — were you referring to anyone in writing it?

PRESLEY: I was but I don’t like to talk about who I was writing about.

KING: You mean, there is someone who will know who you’re writing about.

PRESLEY: I hope so.

KING: Is it a he? I will go no further than that question.

PRESLEY: Yes, it’s a he.

KING: And when he hears it, he’ll know.

PRESLEY: I hope so.

KING: Dedicated to him, the idiot.

PRESLEY: Everyone wants to know who that song is about, which is really funny. But it will ruin it for other people because it’s a good song.


KING: Wouldn’t you bet that your dad would have been rough on guys you dated?

PRESLEY: Whew, yes, yes.

If the daughter of Elvis Presley and former wife of Michael Jackson doesn’t know about gossip journalism, who does?

“It makes me ill,” Lisa Marie Presley says. “People are celebrities now for God-knows-what. It’s completely insane. It’s more out of control than it’s ever been. And I’m talking to you as one. It’s disgusting.”

Presley has lived her life not only under that considerable familial shadow, but also in the glaring spotlight shined on her marriages to Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage. Both marriages were brief (20 months and three months, respectively) and both are off-limits interview topics.

Presley spoke about the road, her recent Vanity Fair cover shoot and her diverse audience — but not about ex-hubby Michael Jackson — during a static-filled cell-phone call.


There was a time in 1996 when I was having chronic panic attacks. They were brought on by my divorce [from Michael Jackson]. And I probably begged somebody to make it stop, because it was pretty bad. It took a while, but ultimately they stopped.


God, where do I start? I’d have a twelve-pack and fuller lips – that model-fake kind of full. I’d never have surgery on my face, by the way. I’ve never seen that work out for anybody. You should leave your face alone.

KING: Let’s get into some things. First, the obvious, your reaction to the Jackson acquittal.

PRESLEY: Oh, you’re going to go there?

KING: No, I won’t press it. Your former son-in-law.

PRESLEY: You know, I don’t know, Larry. That’s was — that’s something that, you know, I wasn’t, obviously, in the courtroom. I really don’t have a whole lot to say about it, because there’s certainly a lot of rumors and certainly a lot of gossip. We all have our own thoughts and you know, he came out and obviously, I think the jury did a good job. You could see they truly wanted to do a good job. It was on this particular case and they stressed it that it was about one case.

KING: Were you rooting for him?

PRESLEY: Oh, gosh. I hate to see anybody suffering and it was hard to see him suffer. I know that I’m sure, you know, going through what he went through and sitting down, having to listen and face people who betrayed you is very, very difficult, if that’s the case.

You know, he’s very talented. There is no doubt.

KING: One other thing: Were you close to him, during your daughter’s marriage?

PRESLEY: I was not that close to him, you know. Michael was very private.

KING: Very.

PRESLEY: Very, very private and had people that he was comfortable with. He wasn’t around that much, really. Even around my daughter that much and he was off doing his things.

KING: Why does Elvis –

PRESLEY: Let me just point — he was off doing recording — just clarify that.

KING: Lest that be taken the wrong way and played on the comedy tonight.

PRESLEY: No. He was, you know, making records.

“Nowadays, a lot of celebrities want that whole, like, machine going on,” Presley said in a phone interview. “Or they both want it and don’t want it. That’s why I think they get a bit confused.

“They feel hounded by the press, but their publicists get antsy if they don’t make the cover of People magazine.

“I was never a part of that. It was just happening to me. I didn’t realize anyone even knew of me. So I had all that crap I had to combat. There was this whole persona prior to me coming out on my own.”


And matching the Elvis legacy – in terms of its impact and influence – is not something Presley aspires to.

In fact, it’s something she seems to want to avoid.

One of her greatest fears is overexposure, which is understandable, given her propensity over the years for generating sensational press.

“I admire careers that aren’t too out there,” she said. “Like Radiohead’s. It’s not overly done. They just do what they do. They’re not overhyped.”

There are many aspects of her past that Presley will not address. She won’t share memories of her father. She won’t discuss details of her high-profile and short-lived marriages to Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage.

But she will say what she learned from her earlier relationships.

“Mostly just keeping it out the public eye as much as possible,” she said. “I’ve been in the same relationship (with her music director Michael Lockwood) for several years now. I learned the hard way to keep it to myself. He’s not a high-profile person, thank god. It’s simple, quiet and happy. There’s nothing to report on.

“You get two high-profile people together and it’s a tornado.”

How do you feel when you see some of your dad’s songs commercialized — like the current ‘Viva Viagra’ commercial?

I find that revolting. Some songs we have no control over. I know we didn’t license that one.

Being that your ex-husband Michael Jackson owns the rights to a lot of the Elvis Presley catalog, do you ever have the inclination to call him up and ask him to stop the commercialization of these songs?

I don’t know if he owns that one [laughs]. But have I thought about it? Yeah. I get mad all the time. If I see something wacked out, I’ll definitely yell and say, ‘What the hell is that?’ or ‘Get rid of this!’

A tabloid princess since birth, Presley steadily fueled the “freak show factor” with some admittedly wild years, filled with a series of bizarre marriages and erratic behavior.

“Everybody does some stupid things in their life that they look back on with regret,” said Presley, referring to among other things, the infamous Michael Jackson kiss on MTV.

“I have done my share. We all have things we’d go back and change, but we can’t, so we just put it behind us and move on.”

Let’s start with what you probably don’t know about Lisa Marie Presley (and don’t worry, we’ll get to Michael Jackson, her dad, and some of that tabloid stuff soon enough):


Finally, she can quickly work herself into an profanity-laced lather when asked about her ex-husband Jackson, especially the notorious kiss on the Video Music Awards in 1994, but she doesn’t whine.

So get off her case.

“It’s one of those things like, I don’t like to say I have regrets but I definitely regret that time period,” she said in a telephone conference call with about a dozen journalists.

“And what are you going to (expletive) do, to be honest with you? You’re young, you’re stupid, and you’re blinded, and you do something really dumb, and you can’t ever live it down? How many people do that on their own and don’t necessarily get it advertised? I know that was kind of enormous, but I’m just saying it’s not something I’m proud of.”

Clearly exasperated, she wrapped up the answer with a question and a blunt demand.

“What am I supposed to say at this point? Get over it. It was a long time ago and I made a mistake.”

“You want to know the best thing and the worst thing about me?” she says later. “I see things as they really are. People really bullshit themselves. I don’t like any filter or rainbows or fluff. And sometimes it is a blessing. And sometimes it makes me the biggest fucking pain in the ass ever. Because people don’t want to see that.”


“We’re all going to screw up,” Presley says. “The important thing is, do you learn from it and not do it again? Can you make it better in the future? Can you change? Because, Lord knows, I’ve fucked up many, many times.”

What was the worst time?

“My biggest mistake? Let’s see,” she begins quietly. “How can I word this? Um. Well. Leaving my first marriage, for the person that I left it for — that was probably the biggest mistake of my life.”

She is referring, of course, to Michael Jackson, a man whose name she, consciously or not, avoids saying aloud. This is understandable. The lunacy of the 1994 pairing exploded the celebrity Richter scale. There was the strained Diane Sawyer interview, the rumor that Jackson was only in the relationship for her dad’s song catalog, the awkward “kiss” on the MTV Video Music Awards. Presley, poignantly, was not in on the joke.

“I was really naive at the time. I was in la-la land.” She grimaces slightly, pushes some fallen hair from her forehead, then lets it all go.

“I had been really sheltered. I got married the first time very, very young. And the marriage I was in, there was so much resentment about who I was, because I had more than he did, and it became a power struggle. It is hard for a man to be with a woman who is stronger, wealthier. So in my mind I’m thinking, I know, I’ll get with someone more compatible. I wasn’t thinking what everyone else was thinking, which was that I must have been out of my fucking mind.”

Was she?

She pauses, smiles.

“I was just in a bubble. And able to be snowed. I hadn’t been bitten by the snake of life yet. I grew up after that. I had to.”

But not completely. After Jackson, Presley married the quirky, moody actor Nic Cage. It was a fiery pairing along the lines of Burton and Taylor, complete with frequent fights and pricey jewelry hurled into the open sea.

“Marrying him was a wild flurry, a crazy idea and being young, and ‘Ahhhh!’” Presley says, chuckling, glancing at her brilliant metallic fingernails, searching for chips.

“I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I’ve chased all the crazies down,” she says with conviction. “I was ready to stop the madness. At this age, I really appreciate having [a husband who is] a best friend. But you know, the other guys were fun. For a while.”

Another relative adds: ‘Lisa Marie has always been tough. She used to scare poor Michael Jackson half to death when he was married to her [from 1994 to 1996] because she wouldn’t take any rubbish from him.

‘She would tell him to “grow up or get out”. He’d just burst into tears. Then she would call him “a big cry baby”. He was the one who ended that marriage, she didn’t – but she was about to. In fact, she was real ticked off that he got to court first.’

It’s interesting that in the past year Lisa Marie has been striving for closure in her past marriages. ‘I truly think that’s part of her mid-life crisis,’ her friend says. ‘She has been determined to tie up loose ends.’

Lisa Marie and Danny Keough, her first husband, are now best friends. He’s the father of her two children. Their close relationship is something her current husband Michael didn’t understand when he married her.

‘Why is he always hanging around?’ Michael would ask. Lisa Marie’s answer? ‘Because he’s been around longer than you.’

‘She and Nicolas Cage, to whom she was only married a couple months, have also buried the hatchet,’ her friend says.

‘The missing link is Michael Jackson. She’d really like to have some closure with him, ask him some questions, find out what that marriage was all about in his head. Was he just using her for publicity? She really wants to know, even all these years later.’

Surprisingly enough, about a month ago Lisa Marie decided to track the fallen singing superstar down. She called him in Las Vegas, out of the blue. He was so surprised to hear from her, he couldn’t even speak. She did all the talking and got no answers – and no closure, either.

When she hung up, she said: ‘Well, he hasn’t changed much, that’s for sure. I guess that’s it for him until the next telephone call in 10 more years, if then.’

He Knew.

Years ago Michael and I were having a deep conversation about life in general.

I can’t recall the exact subject matter but he may have been questioning me about the circumstances of my Fathers Death.

At some point he paused, he stared at me very intensely and he stated with an almost calm certainty, “I am afraid that I am going to end up like him, the way he did.”

I promptly tried to deter him from the idea, at which point he just shrugged his shoulders and nodded almost matter of fact as if to let me know, he knew what he knew and that was kind of that.

14 years later I am sitting here watching on the news an ambulance leaves the driveway of his home, the big gates, the crowds outside the gates, the coverage, the crowds outside the hospital, the Cause of death and what may have led up to it and the memory of this conversation hit me, as did the unstoppable tears.

A predicted ending by him, by loved ones and by me, but what I didn’t predict was how much it was going to hurt when it finally happened.

The person I failed to help is being transferred right now to the LA County Coroners office for his Autopsy.

All of 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.

I am going to say now what I have never said before because I want the truth out there for once.

Our relationship was not “a sham” as is being reported in the press. It was an unusual relationship yes, where two unusual people who did not live or know a “Normal life” found a connection, perhaps with some suspect timing on his part. Nonetheless, I do believe he loved me as much as he could love anyone and I loved him very much.

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.

He was an incredibly dynamic force and power that was not to be underestimated.

When he used it for something good, It was the best and when he used it for something bad, It was really, REALLY bad.

Mediocrity was not a concept that would even for a second enter Michael Jackson’s being or actions.

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.

After the Divorce, I spent a few years obsessing about him and what I could have done different, in regret.

Then I spent some angry years at the whole situation.

At some point, I truly became Indifferent, until now.

As I sit here overwhelmed with sadness, reflection and confusion at what was my biggest failure to date, watching on the news almost play by play The exact Scenario I saw happen on August 16th, 1977 happening again right now with Michael (A sight I never wanted to see again) just as he predicted, I am truly, truly gutted.

Any ill experience or words I have felt towards him in the past has just died inside of me along with him.

He was an amazing person and I am lucky to have gotten as close to him as I did and to have had the many experiences and years that we had together.

I desperately hope that he can be relieved from his pain, pressure and turmoil now.

He deserves to be free from all of that and I hope he is in a better place or will be.

I also hope that anyone else who feels they have failed to help him can be set free because he hopefully finally is.

The World is in shock but somehow he knew exactly how his fate would be played out some day more than anyone else knew, and he was right.

I really needed to say this right now, thanks for listening.


But this past year has brought sorrow, too. Lisa Marie’s second marriage, to superstar Michael Jackson in 1994, may have been brief, but there was no doubting the depth of feeling they had for each other and she was devastated by his sudden death earlier this year.

Here, in a candid interview, the musician, who is currently working on a new album – her first in five years – talks about the tremendous support she had from her husband during that distressing time, how becoming a mum again has enriched her life and why she and her family would like to make the UK their permanent home…


You were in Europe when your former husband Michael Jackson died. How did it affect you?

There have been so many layers of grief in Michael’s death, so many different aspects and angles that have at times overwhelmed me, which I am still dealing with, to be honest.

I am incredibly fortunate that I have an amazing husband who has been unbelievably understanding and supportive throughout this process. He has cried with me, he has left me alone to cry if that’s what I needed. He has let me talk his ears off, he has listened while I talk others’ ears off, without annoyance or complaints. I have never met a more selfless and supportive person. That, along with the fact that I have been writing [songs] a lot and throughout, has helped.