Love her or hate her, Oprah provided a riveting hour of TV today when she interviewed Lisa Marie Presley. The daughter of Elvis and ex-wife of Michael Jackson was as open and honest as we've ever seen her. Haven’t had a chance to watch? Hope you’ve got a DVR, because she doesn’t stream online. But until it repeats, here are the salient points you missed:
- Lisa Marie was crying all day without knowing why on 6/25/09. Just as she was going to bed, her pal John Travolta texted her to say her ex-husband Michael Jackson was dead. (Question: Is it really polite to text such information? Wouldn’t you actually want to have a conversation?!)
- During their marriage, she didn’t think Michael had a drug problem. But looking back, a mysterious trip to the hospital in 1995, plus doctor visits that left him incoherent, seem to point to a problem she couldn’t face at the time.
- It was a real marriage. She felt like she took care of him, and when things went well, it was a high point of her life. He was dynamic and so intoxicating that he was “like a drug.”
- The marriage ended when, she says, Michael made a choice between her and sycophants (such as doctors willing to prescribe drugs) who convinced him to push her away.
- Parallels between Michael and her famous father Elvis Presley abound: They surrounded themselves with yes-men. They both struggled with addiction. They both died of overdoses of prescription drugs. The house where Michael died was across the street from a house where Lisa Marie stayed ... because it was Elvis’s home in California.
- Michael used to quiz Lisa Marie about how Elvis died, saying he felt like he’d end up the same way.
- That famous kiss at the 1994 MTV Movie Awards? She hated it. It looked uncomfortable because she was embarrassed to kiss in public -- not because there wasn’t chemistry between them, as people said at the time.
- Michael wanted Lisa Marie to have their child -- but she hesitated, not wanting to get into a custody battle if their marriage didn’t last. He’d threaten her with Debbie Rowe, the woman who eventually bore his kids, saying, “If you’re not going to do it, this person will.” He announced that Debbie was pregnant just two months after their divorce was final.
- Not that things were perfect. But now that Michael’s gone, she realizes he truly loved her and tried harder in their relationship than he had ever tried before.
- They still had an on-again, off-again thing for years after they were legally divorced.
- The last time they spoke was in 2005. She felt like he was checking to see if she’d get back together with him, but she wasn’t into it. And he told her she’d been right about the people around him who’d encouraged him to ditch her. When he asked if she still loved him, she said she was indifferent, and he cried. And he said he thought someone -- she won’t say who -- was trying to kill him, to get control of his musical catalog.
- She doesn’t recognize the Michael who was in the 2003 documentary Living With Michael Jackson. He seemed "high as a kite." She never saw anything during their marriage that made her think he could have molested children.
- Lisa Marie is now happily married and lives in London with her husband and their twin daughters.
Did you see the interview? What revelation affected you most?
Image via Oprah.com