Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley: A Timeline of Their Brief Marriage

January 1996 Divorce Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley A Timeline of Their Brief Marriage

When Neverland and Graceland collide! Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley shocked the world with the news of their brief romance in the mid-1990s.

The King of Pop and the daughter of Elvis Presley briefly met in the 1970s at a concert in Las Vegas but did not get to know each other until nearly two decades later, when they had dinner with a mutual friend in Los Angeles. At the time of their reunion, she was married to Danny Keough, with whom she shares two children: Riley and Benjamin.

Jackson and Lisa Marie quickly became friends and often talked on the phone, but their relationship did not progress beyond that right away. Then, in the summer of 1993, the “Thriller” singer was accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy named Jordan Chandler, which he vehemently denied. He turned to Lisa Marie for support amid the investigation and proposed to her over the phone later that year.

After reaching a $23 million settlement with Chandler’s family in January 1994, Jackson fast-tracked his romance with the Memphis, Tennessee, native, who officially separated from Keough that May. The new couple took trips to Vegas and Florida before jetting off to the Dominican Republic, where they married in an off-the-cuff ceremony — just 20 days after she finalized her divorce.

“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,” the bride later announced in a statement to the media. “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.”

From there, the newlyweds flaunted their union all over town, most famously kissing on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards in September 1994. Behind closed doors, however, they were struggling, in part due to the “Billie Jean” crooner’s addiction to the painkillers he had been prescribed a decade prior for the second-degree burns he suffered in a fire on the set of a Pepsi commercial.

By December 1995, Jackson and Lisa Marie were done. She filed divorce papers and announced their separation the following month. They finalized the case in August 1996.

“They lasted longer than I thought they would,” Judge Hugo Francisco Alvarez Perez, who officiated the stars’ wedding, later told Entertainment Weekly. “I gave them a year. They lasted a year and a half.”

Scroll down for a timeline of Jackson and Lisa Marie’s brief marriage.

Late 1993 Engaged Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley A Timeline of Their Brief Marriage

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Late 1993

Though Lisa Marie was still married at the time, Jackson asked her to be his wife on a whim one night in late 1993. “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,” biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli wrote in his book, Michael Jackson: The Magic, The Madness, The Whole Story. “‘If I asked you to marry me, would you do it?’ … Without missing a beat, she replied, ‘I would do it.’”

May 1994 Wedding Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley A Timeline of Their Brief Marriage

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May 1994

The couple eloped in a 15-minute ceremony in La Vega in the Dominican Republic on May 26, 1994. They both wore all-black, and the groom accessorized with a bolero jacket, a cowboy belt and a flamenco hat. Jackson said the wedding “felt empty,” according to Taraborrelli, because his mother, Katherine Jackson, was not there, but he knew that it had to be low-key otherwise “the press would have made it a fiasco.”

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August 1994

The newlyweds took a trip to Budapest, where they visited a children’s hospital on August 6, 1994. During their time in the Hungarian capital, Michael also worked on videos for his HIStory album.

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September 1994

Michael and Lisa Marie waved to photographers on September 5, 1994, while visiting the Palace of Versailles in France.

September 1994 MTV Kiss Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley A Timeline of Their Brief Marriage

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September 1994

The Gary, Indiana, native gave his new wife a big kiss on the lips on stage at the VMAs on September 9, 1994, after telling the audience that “nobody thought this would last.” Lisa Marie was reportedly embarrassed by the stunt.

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April 1995

The pair welcomed a group of children and their parents to Michael’s famed Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, California, on April 18, 1995.

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley- A Timeline of Their Brief Marriage - 077 Michael Jackson Pop Star/singer Michael Jackson And Lisa Marie Presley. It Was Enough To Send A Bride Rushing Home To Mother For As Honeymoons Go It Ranks Among The Strangest Of All Time. The Groom Brough Along 47 Friends A Male Dance Troupe Five Bod

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June 1995

Amid ongoing rumors that the couple was not sexually active, Jackson and Presley enthusiastically proclaimed that they were indeed doing the deed in a sit-down interview with Diane Sawyer. “Do we have sex?” the actress said during an interview at the time. “Yes! Yes! Yes!” the pair exclaimed. The twosome also revealed they hoped to have children someday.

December 1995 Split Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley A Timeline of Their Brief Marriage

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December 1995

After months of rumors, the duo went their separate ways on December 10, 1995.

January 1996 Divorce Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley A Timeline of Their Brief Marriage

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January 1996

Lisa Marie filed for divorce from Michael on January 18, 1996, citing “irreconcilable differences” as the reason. “Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley have mutually agreed to go their separate ways. However, they remain good friends,” her publicist told the press the next day. The pair finalized their divorce on August 20, 1996.

Michael went on to marry nurse Debbie Rowe on November 14, 1996, and they had three children together: Prince, Paris and Blanket. He and Rowe divorced on October 8, 1999. Michael died at the age of 50 on June 25, 2009, from cardiac arrest induced by an overdose of propofol administered by his personal physician, Conrad Murray.

Lisa Marie, for her part, wed Nicolas Cage on August 10, 2002. The actor infamously filed for divorce 107 days later, but they did not finalize the case until May 24, 2004. Lisa Marie later married her guitarist Michael Lockwood on January 22, 2006, and they welcomed twins Harper and Finley two years later. She filed for divorce from Lockwood on June 13, 2016. Her and Keough’s son, Benjamin, died by suicide at age 27 on July 12, 2020.

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Late ’90s

Despite their split, Presley was spotted traveling with her ex-husband on tour.

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2003

In a candid interview with Rolling Stone, Presley revealed what drew her to Jackson. “You get sucked into the, ‘You poor, misunderstood person, you…’ I’m a sucker for that,” she explained. When the “Thriller” artist was accused of child abuse for the first time in 1993 — he later settled the case — she stuck by his side. “I got into this whole, ‘I’m going to save you’ thing,” she admitted.

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June 2009

After Jackson’s death — the “You Are Not Alone” artist died of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication — Presley reacted to her late husband’s passing in a lengthy statement on her website.

“The person I failed to help is being transferred right now to the L.A. 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,” she wrote before once again denying rumors that their marriage was a “sham.”

“After the divorce, I spent a few years obsessing about him and what I could have done different, in regret,” she added. “Then I spent some angry years at the whole situation. At some point, I truly became Indifferent, until now.”

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2010

In a 2010 interview Presley got candid about her romance with the pop icon, claiming that Jackson manipulated the media — and her.

“I always confused that manipulation thinking that it meant he didn’t love me,” she revealed. “But I understand it better now. The manipulation was a survival tactic for him.”

Presley also revealed her final conversation with the “Will You Be There” singer before his death.

“He asked if I still loved him and I told him I was indifferent. And he didn’t like that word and he cried.”

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley: A Timeline of Their Brief Marriage 1994

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January 2023

Presley died on January 12 after going into cardiac arrest. She was 54.

“We are saddened by the sudden tragic loss of Michael’s former wife, Lisa Marie Presley,” Jackson’s estate said in a statement at the time. “Michael cherished the special bond they enjoyed and was comforted by Lisa Marie’s generous love, concern and care during their times together. Our hearts are with Lisa Marie’s children, Riley, Harper and Finley, and her mother, Priscilla, in this difficult time.”

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