Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, has been
famous since the day she was born. Lisa Marie was the apple of her
father's eye. He showered his young daughter with elaborate gifts. Elvis
even named his jet after her. When Lisa Marie was just 4 years old, her
parents went their separate ways. The divorce left Lisa Marie splitting
her time with Elvis in
August 16, 1977
, the world heard the
heartbreaking news: Elvis Presley was dead. At 9 years old, Lisa Marie's
life was changed forever.
She struggled through her teens and admits experimenting with drugs.
However, she eventually turned her life around, found love and married
musician Danny Keough. They had two children, daughter, Riley, and son,
Benjamin. Lisa Marie and Danny later divorced. For the most part, Lisa
Marie was able to avoid the headlines until her high profile and
short-lived marriages to Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage.
Now she's taking an opportunity to step into the spotlight, to define
herself and her style, with a new CD titled Now
Lisa Marie has tried to maintain a relatively low profile and says that
her reputation for being tough is not entirely warranted. "You have
to sort of get a protective skin outside, even if it's not real,"
she says. "I think that was a survival mechanism [for me]."
Lisa Marie says that she is conflicted about having grown up in the
public eye. "I'm not someone who desires or wants attention,"
she says. "I've never been one of those people that run around, you
know, walking every red carpet and going to every opening of every
envelope, doing Presley perfumes and singing Elvis cover songs. I'm just
innately not the type of person that wants attention on me. This has
been my biggest battle, and it's why it took me so long to do a record.
I had to really find how to be okay with all of that before doing
She says this CD provides a chance to define herself to the world.
"When I put the record out I realized how much was there prior to
me introducing myself and coming out in public and talking. I was like,
'You have no idea who I am.' I'm introducing myself to you for the first
time and you have all of these pre-conceived [ideas] of me."
Marie was married to Michael Jackson for nearly two years, between 1994
and 1996. Some have openly questioned the nature of their relationship.
Oprah: You said
you loved him.
Lisa Marie Presley:
Oprah: Do you
think he loved you?
Lisa Marie Presley:
It's hard for me to answer that question. I don't know the answer to
that, to be honest with you.
Do you think that he loved you as much as he could?
Marie Presley: Yes, as much as he was capable of loving
Do you think he used you?
Marie: This seat is hot, let me tell you! Do I think
he did? All signs point to yes on that. I can't answer for him.
Lisa Marie married for the third time in 2002.
Their volatile relationship ended quickly, with Nicolas Cage filing for
divorce after just 108 days.
Lisa Marie says although she was upset by the break-up, things are
better between them now. "I have to give him credit, you know. That
was not a fun time for either of us. He did redeem himself in the end
and we did become very good friends after that. We're better like that.
And he's happily married and has a baby coming now, which is
Marie says that having children with her first husband, Danny Keough,
was one of the best things she has ever done. Lisa Marie and Danny were
together for about eight years, and Lisa Marie says she knew at age 19
that Danny was the person she wanted to have children with. I've never
had that same instinct with a man, you know, knowing that it would be
all good, safe," she says. "I knew that no matter what
happened we would always be connected, and I don't know how I knew that
at such a young age but I instinctively knew that and had those children
with him and we are like best friends; brother and sister."
Marie Presley says she and Danny raise their two children
together, and that he even lives on her property. "We have like a compound so he has his house and we spend holidays
together," she says. "It's hard to have that kind of
relationship with your ex…but I think it's very important if you have
children with somebody to keep your responsibility. You don't need to
put what you guys went through or what you had with each other on the
When you look at yourself as a
mother, where would you rate yourself? Scale 1 to 10.
Marie: An 8.
I think 8 is about as good as you can do! What do you think you're best
at as a mother?
Marie: Just overwhelming them with affection and love. They
need to push me off of them constantly…I'm crazy about them and they
know it. And then having that, versus being their friend—trying really
hard to be their friend as well as be a mother. That's the fence you
walk, which is important because you can't go too much on one side or
How do you tell them what's important? As a
citizen of the world, your community, when you've got everything?
Marie: You have to be an example. I'm not somebody who sits
around. I'm not happy unless I'm helping other people. And they watch me
and they see that. You have to just be a good example.
Do you always feel like you're being compared to your father or have you
reached a place where you're comfortable; you can embrace it; you can
use it to infuse your own life and not reject it, or not feel like,
"Oh, people are always thinking about him when they're thinking
Marie: I think that that was a huge mountain to climb and
ultimately, you know, there is going be some of that there, and I do
embrace it. I understand that part of it.
Are you still trying to say, "No, I have my own life. I have my own
Marie: No, I'm trying to find a good balance between the two.
It's not that I want to push that away. You can't do that.
That is very smart on your part. First of all, you look like
him! And that's a good thing. And that is a part of who you are
Presley is here for her first TV interview with her daughter! How
did Lisa Marie's mother become the First Lady of Rock 'n' Roll?
Priscilla Beaulieu was just 14 when she met 25-year-old Army private
Elvis Presley in
Despite their age difference, the two had an instant connection. After
completing his tour of duty, Elvis returned to
. Two years
later, he asked Priscilla's father if she could move to
. It nearly
tore the family apart, but in the end her father agreed and Priscilla
attended her senior year of high school in
. It was a life
unlike any other American teenager—by day, she was a high school
student; at night, she was Elvis's girlfriend. In 1967, Elvis and
Priscilla were married in
Since her days with Elvis, Priscilla went on to become her own woman, of
course. She's an actress, an author, a producer and mother to Lisa Marie
and a son, Navarone, who's 18.
Priscilla says the Elvis she knew—and the life they led together—was
very different from the one the public knew.
"I met a very vulnerable Elvis," she says of her first meeting
with "the King." "I didn't really see him as a movie
star. I got to see a side of Elvis that very few people got to see. He
had just lost his mother a year before that and he was in the Army in
, a very
foreign place to him. And he was just like a little boy, really…So I
was someone that he really confided in and talked to at the time."
Priscilla says their world was like a bubble. "We had our own
friends. We travelled with them constantly. We ate with them. We worked
with them. We [took] trips and bus trips and planes and vacations, and
it wasn't a real life. It was really our own world entirely with the
same people. Elvis very rarely associated with anyone in
, believe it or
not. He was a
, boy and he
would go back to
and that was
his refuge. That was where he, you know, thrived."
says she tried very hard to raise a daughter who was grounded. But Elvis
often would spoil Lisa Marie with lavish gifts. Priscilla says she would
take the gifts—including a diamond ring he gave Lisa Marie when she
was 6 years old—and put them away in a closet.
"He gave her a fur coat—a mink coat," Priscilla recalls.
"I think he gave it to her for her birthday and I said, 'You're not
wearing this. This is not for you. You're 5 years old. You're not
wearing a mink coat. I'm sorry. Excuse me.' So I called him up and I
said, 'What are you doing?' So it was just too much."
Priscilla says Elvis, who grew up very poor, just wanted to give his
daughter things he didn't have.
"And even though a child doesn't put a lot on it, others put a lot
on it," Priscilla says. "The comments from other people…that
really bothered me because I didn't want her to grow up as we know many
privileged children are. Excess is really horrible. If you're not ready
for it, it really does disturb your judgment."
Elvis's death, Lisa Marie moved to live full time with Priscilla in
says she was worried about the effect of that city on Lisa Marie. "
is not really a
place to raise children," Priscilla says. "There's too much
excess there. There's too much of everything there. And my battle was
trying to keep her away from all of that, and that's why I sent her to a
school about two hours away, thinking that would be a way of keeping her
out of the scene."
There was even a time in which Priscilla tried to instil some
sophistication in Lisa Marie. "I wanted you to go to school in
Priscilla says. "Study French. Be a model for the French, you
How did Lisa Marie like her introduction to continental culture?
"She sent me to
says. "Oh God, what a nightmare."
beloved home. Since his death, it has become the No. 1 tourist
second-most-visited home in the
the White House.
However, the Presleys initially resisted opening
to the public.
"It took a long time to decide after he passed away,"
Priscilla says. "But there weren't really enough finances there to
keep it going. We had a staff that was with us for years and years and
years, and we had to let everyone go. It was a shock. We had estate
taxes coming in, we had government taxes. … Again, it wasn't an
However, rumors have spread that the Presley family sold
dismissed them simply, saying, "No, it is not sold."
The confusion, she says, stems from a recent licensing deal. "We
were looking for years for a strategic partner to help us grow,"
Priscilla explains. "We've been open for 25 years now. We're a
private company, and we thought, 'Gosh, we'd like to be able to reach
those people who can't afford to come to
. We have fans
all over the world.' So we found this particular partner who was on the
same page as we were and basically took the licensing, and that is
really what was taken."
"See, they're two different things," Lisa Marie explains.
"There's the Elvis Presley Estate, which [are] the things in the
house and all of his stuff, which will never be touched. [We sold] 85
percent of the licensing and marketing—we still own 15 percent. But
] is still
ours. It will never be touched. A lot of that money went back into the
forming of a bigger company, which is going to expand it and make it
even bigger and make it go places it hasn't been able to go."
they are close now, Priscilla and Lisa Marie say it's only been in the
last year that they have been really able to bond.
Lisa Marie Presley: I
think it was just—we're so the opposite of each other, if you haven't
noticed already. My demeanor immediately went into [that of] a 15 year
old when she walked out here! I think it was just that she's got a china
shop and I'm the bull that comes in. I mean, I'm more abrasive. She's
very poised, which is great. And I'm the way I am. And I think that that
just couldn't find a way to blend.
Oprah: How do you
explain it, Priscilla?
probably been the force in her life that put discipline on her, which
she needs, excuse me. And I think that's a good thing. I hope that it's
a good thing! You know, I'm honest with her. In this business you find
very few people who are honest; who will tell you the truth. And I think
I'm that sounding board for her even though she does her own thing and
always has done her own thing. So I'm the one person that has really
been the one with the discipline and she probably [resented that.]
says that she found out about Lisa Marie's first marriage, to musician
Danny Keough, only on the day of their wedding by phone. But even that
was better, she says, than how she found out about Lisa Marie's marriage
to Michael Jackson. "There were helicopters over my home to see if
she was coming over, see what I would do," Priscilla says of the
press anticipating her reaction to the marriage. "Drown myself in
the pool? I don't know," she adds jokingly. Finishing the story, Lisa Marie explains how she told Priscilla.
"You called me and said, 'Oh God, there's helicopters above the
house,'" Lisa Marie says. "'They're saying you married Michael
Jackson.' And then I was silent."
Priscilla holds out hope to this day that Michael Jackson actually
loved Lisa Marie, and that their marriage involved legitimate reasoning
on his part. "I want to believe he [loved her]," she says.
"I would hate to believe that it was only for one thing, whether it
be to maintain his popularity or to be associated somehow to her and her
father. I really don't want to go there with that. It's just hard for me
to believe that people do that. I mean, and she's really lovable."
Despite trying to shield her from a music career and the
"big shoes" she'd have to fill, Priscilla is supportive of
Lisa Marie's singing. And what would Elvis think about Lisa Marie's new career? "I think
he'd be so proud," Priscilla says. "I think he'd probably be
giving her all kinds of advice. I think he'd also be there, trying to
tell her what songs to sing and what not to sing and how to sing it. He
had to have his hand in a lot of areas like that. I think he'd be really
the notes for her CD, Now What,
Lisa Marie wrote a special message to her parents, thanking them and
calling the three of them an "eternal unit, never broken."