Yesterday on Oprah, Lisa Marie Presley sat down for a compelling exclusive interview during which she spent the entire hour discussing her relationship with and death of Michael Jackson. She says she became aware of his drug addiction in 1995.
Opening up for the first—and, according to her, the last—time about Michael Jackson, Lisa Marie admitted that she first began to suspect an addiction problem shortly before their divorce in 1995, after he collapsed on stage while rehearsing for an HBO concert special, and her suspicions seemed confirmed after she would pick him up from his dermatologist's office to find him completely out of it.
The reason, she says, her marriage to the pop star failed was due to his drug addiction, saying that before filing for divorce, she gave him an ultimatum: "The drugs or me." He chose drugs. She added, "If you were going to make him confront something he didn't want to confront, he could make you go away, including his own family. And they got on the opposite side of that."
While he had been suspected of being a child molester, the mainstream public never really suspected that his bizarre behavior was attributed to drug use. So their relationship, which seemed so odd to the outside world (partly due to the eccentric persona Michael had created), it was perhaps much more of a cliché than that. In a way, Lisa Marie had married her unfinished business—her father. She wanted to fix in Michael what she couldn't with Elvis.
Despite speculation, Lisa Marie maintains that her marriage to Michael Jackson was indeed real and not a publicity stunt. "I can honestly tell you that it was in every sense a normal marriage." But was it? She had left her husband Danny Keough for Michael, whom she married just 20 days after her divorced was finalized. But during her 18-month marriage to Michael, she still spent time with Danny, and even vacationed with him in Hawaii. As Judge Judyisms go, "If it doesn't make sense, it's not true." Would someone who had been left by his wife for another man have such a close, congenial relationship with her so quickly after a betrayal like that? Additionally, Lisa Marie said that she was heavily pressured by Michael to have his child, and he would threaten her that if she wouldn't do it, then Debbie Rowe (an employee at the dermatologist's office where he would allegedly get drugged-up) would. Does that seem like a conversation between lovestruck newlyweds?
But whether or not Lisa Marie and Michael Jackson's marriage was "real," it was clearly based on emotions that were. She told Oprah about how hurt she felt at the end of their marriage and how the two maintained a close relationship for years to follow, in which she "flew all over the world" to meet up with him. But the last time they spoke was in 2005, just before he went to trial for another molestation allegation. Lisa Marie reiterated that she never saw any inappropriate behavior between Michael and children, and gave her take on his controversial interview with Martin Bashir, saying Michael was "high as a kite."