Lisa Marie Presley Dead at 54: Inside the Rock Royalty's High-Profile Marriages
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Lisa Marie Presley's four marriages were headline-making, to say the least. The only child of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie died on Jan. 12 after suffering full cardiac arrest earlier that day. She was 54.
In the wake of her death, ET is taking a look back at her high-profile marriages to Danny Keough, Michael Jackson, Nicolas Cage and Michael Lockwood. None of the relationships worked out in the long run, something that Lisa Marie had a theory about.
"That's the problem with my love life. I'm looking for someone similar to him, and nobody could ever compare," she told Daily Mail in 2003 of her dad, who died in 1997. "He was so extraordinary a presence -- not even as an entertainer, just as a person. Yes, he sang well, and, yes, the songs were great, but that was him coming through the music. He was bigger than life -- and he still is."
Keep reading for a full breakdown of Lisa Marie's romantic history.
After meeting in the mid-'80s, Lisa Marie and Danny tied the knot in 1988. They welcomed their daughter, Riley, the next year, followed by their son, Benjamin in 1992. Benjamin later died by suicide at age 27.
Two years after Benjamin's arrival, the couple called it quits, though they remained on good terms up until her death.
"He's my absolute best friend in the world," Lisa Marie told Rolling Stone in 2003 of Danny. "The smartest thing I've ever done is have children with this man, because I knew this is the one man I could be connected to for the rest of my life."
As for what went wrong in the relationship, she told Daily Mail, "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."
Lisa Marie told Marie Claire in 2007 what ultimately led to her and Danny's romantic downfall.
"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," she explained. "It is hard for a man to be with a woman who is stronger, wealthier."
In the same interview, Lisa Marie revealed that she considers her biggest mistake to be "leaving my first marriage, for the person that I left it for."
The person Lisa Marie left her marriage for was Michael Jackson, marrying the pop star 20 days after her and Danny's divorce.
"In my mind, I'm thinking, 'I know, I'll get with someone more compatible,'" she told Marie Claire of moving on to Michael. "I wasn't thinking what everyone else was thinking, which was that I must have been out of my f**king mind... 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."
According to Rolling Stone, Michael first got in touch with Lisa Marie when she was a teenager.
"I was completely in love with Danny, and I thought he was weird, and I had no interest in meeting him," she told the outlet.
Years later, Michael reached out again, this time to ask to listen to her demo. Lisa Marie agreed and was surprised by the person she ended up meeting.
"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. You get sucked into the 'You poor, misunderstood person, you'. I'm a sucker for that," she said. "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,'" Lisa Marie continued. "... 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 f**king 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."
A friendship developed from there and then child abuse accusations surfaced against Michael. At the time, Lisa Marie was still married to Danny, but that didn't continue for long.
"I hung out with him more, and I made the mistake of saying I was not happy in my marriage, and the courting started," she said. "And I left [my marriage] probably quicker than I would have, and that was probably one of the bigger mistakes of my whole life."
Then came the couple's marriage, which was quite a surprise to the public.
"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," she said. "... I got into this whole 'I'm going to save you' thing. 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... I was delusionary. I got some romantic idea in my head that I could save him and we could save the world."
Things, though, "got really ugly," according to Lisa Marie, who told Rolling Stone that she was "naive as all hell" at the time. From there, Michael started to "just disappear" and, eventually, Lisa Marie "had enough" and told him she wanted a divorce. They separated in 1995 and finalized their divorce the next year.
While Lisa Marie and Michael's intentions for marrying each other have long been questioned, she told the outlet, "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."
As for if he loved her back, Lisa Marie said, "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."
Amid her split, Lisa Marie said her "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 f**king stopped working, and I had to get it taken out," she recalled. "I wound up in the hospital. I had everything happening; my body completely fell apart."
"Nobody knew what the hell was wrong with me," Lisa Marie added. "I had to eat chicken and broccoli for a year. I was absolutely falling apart, physically and emotionally, for a two-year period. It was the constant physical breakdowns that were going on that I didn't understand."
Lisa Marie eventually came to believe that her health issues were caused by a mixture of mercury fillings and extreme stress. The time period, Lisa Marie said, was "probably the worst, most stressful time in my f**king life."
In 2001, Lisa Marie began dating Nicolas Cage.
"I walk into a party not knowing who I'm going to meet and there's this beautiful girl standing in the middle of the living room wearing this short leather skirt and this fluffy jacket, and she looks up at me with these big, beautiful, soulful eyes, eyes that look like they have a sad story to tell, and I just went 'Oh,'" Nicolas told Barbara Walters in 2003 of meeting Lisa Marie. "I was thunderstruck."
The pair initially broke up in January 2002, but reconciled and tied the knot by August of that year. "Marrying him was a wild flurry, a crazy idea and being young, and 'Ahhhh!'" Lisa Marie told Marie Claire.
The relationship fizzled, though, with Nicolas filing for divorce in November 2002, just days after he and Lisa Marie stepped out for a public appearance.
"[He had a] temper tantrum," Lisa Marie told Rolling Stone. "... [He's a] hothead."
Immediately after his divorce filing, the outlet reports that Nicolas said in a statement, "I did not talk about the marriage and I am not going to talk about the divorce. But I loved her."
Lisa Marie responded with a statement of her own. "I'm sad about this, but we shouldn't have been married in the first place. It was a big mistake," she said.
When she sat down with Rolling Stone in 2003, Lisa Marie declined to talk about her split in detail. "It's still hanging on a thread, and I'm not sure what's going on, and I'd rather not talk about it just because of that," she said, before offering a bit of insight into their tumultuous marriage.
"We're both so dramatic and dynamic that when it was good it was unbelievably good, and when it was bad it was just a f**king bloody nightmare for everybody," she said.
They ended up finalizing their divorce in 2004.
Lisa Marie tied the knot for the final time in 2006 when she married Michael Lockwood. The next year, Lisa Marie was pregnant with twins.
"I am in awe of her," Michael told Marie Claire at the time. "Being pregnant is a lot of work."
"I'm a lot of work," Lisa Marie responded. "I think it's probably hard to be married to me, because s**t happens to me that doesn't happen to your average girl. You have to keep your eyes open."
At that point, Michael was doing just that, and Lisa Marie was grateful.
"I've gotten to the point in my life where I've chased all the crazies down," she told the outlet. "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."
They welcomed twin daughters, Finley and Harper, in 2008. The relationship didn't stand the test of time, though. Lisa Marie filed for divorce in 2016 and a years-long custody battle over their daughters ensued. Their divorce was finalized in May 2021.
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