Was Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley’s marriage real? 19 years after Elvis’ only daughter saw The Jackson 5 perform, the pair eloped – but what did Donald Trump have to do with their romance?

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley’s marriage was certainly a moment to remember in pop culture history. Photo: AP
Right now, we just can’t get enough of all things Elvis. In the slipstream of Baz Luhrmann’s big-budget biopic, there’s been a surge of global interest not just in the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, but all things related to the Presley clan.

While the film depicts Elvis’s life and music, some of the public’s biggest fascinations with the Jailhouse Rock singer are the individuals in his life who were closest to him. Of Elvis’ kin, there is arguably no one more fascinating than Lisa Marie Presley, his only child.

Was Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson’s marriage even real? Some were sceptical at the time. Photo: @lischael/Instagram
Born to Elvis and Priscilla Presley in 1968, the sole heir to the Elvis estate has certainly led an interesting life. Known as a singer, songwriter, philanthropist and mother, Lisa Marie is also widely remembered as the former wife of Michael Jackson. Though their marriage was short-lived, the union of the King of Pop and the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s only offspring was an iconic moment in pop culture.

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So, what is known about this legendary coupling? We take a closer look.

How and when they met

Michael Jackson (far left) alongside his brothers as The Jackson 5. Lisa Marie Presley saw the group performing as a child and was instantly impressed. Photo: Central Press Photo

According to, Lisa Marie was seven years old when, in 1975, she first encountered Michael Jackson who was performing as part of The Jackson 5 in Las Vegas. A decade older than Lisa Marie, Michael made a significant impression on her.

Though it’s been reported that the young Presley was fascinated with Jackson, the pair only reconnected years later in 1992. Michael Jackson biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli chronicled in his book Michael Jackson: The Magic, The Madness, The Whole Story how Jackson asked Presley, who was then still married to her first husband Danny Keough, if she’d marry him: “If I asked you to marry me, would you do it?” he reportedly said.

Without missing a beat, she replied, “I would do it.”

Their secret Caribbean ceremony

“I loved taking care of him. It was the highest point in my life,” Lisa Marie Presley told Oprah of her relationship with Michael Jackson. Photo: AP Photo/ABC

Presley got divorced from musician Danny Keough in 1994. Less than a month later, she and Jackson married in a secret ceremony in the Dominican Republic.

As per People, a Dominican judge confirmed the wedding date as May 26. Though the couple made no initial wedding announcements, on August 1st Presley released a statement confirming the marriage: “My married name is Mrs Lisa Marie Presley-Jackson … My marriage to Michael Jackson took place in a private ceremony outside the United States weeks ago … 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.”

Michael Jackson reportedly wore a characteristically offbeat outfit to wed Lisa Marie Presley in the Dominican Republic. Photo: @lischael/Instagram

The wedding couple reportedly both wore black, with Jackson donning in a bolero jacket, cowboy belt and flamenco hat.

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The connection they shared

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley pose with her children by former husband Danny Keough – Riley and Benjamin Keough. Photo: @lisaemichael/Instagram
When Jackson and Presley wed, the King of Pop was entangled in damning accusations of child molestation and mired in lawsuits. As a result, critics perceived the marriage as a ploy to distract from the drama. However Presley publicly declared that the marriage was real and that the connection they shared was genuine.
Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley would hold hands and talk “into the wee hours” according to Donald Trump. Photo: @lischael/Instagram

In a now famous 2010 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Presley said, “I loved taking care of him … It was the highest point in my life, when things were going really well, and he and I were united … It was a very profound time of my life.”

Furthermore, in an interview with Donald Trump, People reported that the couple had vacationed at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property in Florida prior to them marrying – a stay that may have helped them realise the depth of their feelings for each other, given how soon after they wed. Here, according to the Trump, the couple spent their evenings “holding hands and talking until the wee hours”.

The break-up and substance abuse issues

Despite the affection between them, the marriage lasted less than two years, and by January 1996, Presley had filed for divorce. In the Oprah interview, Presley shared intimate details from her time with the late singer, recounting why their marriage collapsed.

Lisa Marie Presley gave an interview to Oprah Winfrey in 2010 that cleared up a lot of questions people had about her marriage to Michael Jackson. Photo: Oprah Winfrey/Facebook
Ultimately Elvis’s daughter came to realise drug abuse issues were plaguing Jackson. She recognised similar patterns with her husband as with her late father, particularly with the drug use and his being surrounded by enablers, or as she referred to them in the interview, “vampires”.

Presley stated, “I had to make the decision to walk because I saw the drugs and doctors were coming in and they scared me and that put me back into what I went through with my father and that ended it.”

“He had to make a decision,” she continued – “was it the drugs and the vampires or me? And he pushed me away.”

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They remained close even years after divorcing

Lisa Marie Presley told Oprah Winfrey that she and Michael Jackson got together and broke up multiple times. Photo: @lischael/Instagram
Though they had split, the famous pair maintained a close relationship for years after their divorce. Presley confirmed this in the same interview.

“We were going to get back together,” she explained to Oprah, “We spent four more years after we divorced, getting back together and breaking up, talking about getting back together and breaking up … He and I were still … I was flying all over the world still with him for years to follow.”

Despite Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley divorcing in 1996, the pair remained close – this is them together in 1998. Photo: Michael Jackson 2000 Lyrics/Facebook

Still, by 2001, Presley and Jackson were estranged. Then in 2005, in an unexpected emotional call for help, Jackson contacted Presley.

Describing the call to Oprah, Presley noted: “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.”

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  • Presley was just 7 when she first saw Michael Jackson on stage; 19 years later the pair spent time at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, and not long after, they married in secret
  • Many were sceptical of the union’s timing and authenticity given the lawsuits against Jackson at the time, but Presley later professed to Oprah Winfrey their love was real