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quarta-feira, 14 de janeiro de 2015

Transcript - Lisa Marie on Oprah Winfrey, 21st October 2010


OPRAH: Can you be as famous as your father was famous, as famous as your former husband Michael Jackson was famous as famous as you’ve grown up to be and be normal?

LISA: No. (laughs) I can only answer for myself. To tell you that I’m not normal. But um…

O: But you’ve managed to be relatively very private and that’s why I’m thrilled that you’re talking to me today. You’ve made a conscience decision to talk now. Why?

L: Everytime I’ve ever had an interview in the past I tend to get very defensive because I was usually promoting something and it would cross into my personal life and I tend to never want to discuss the two. I never want them to cross. I know that it’s hard to have them not but I wanted to sit and really have a conversation about things that are you know, more in a personal level now, out of the way, before I do have an album coming out. Which I will sometime next year because…

O: I get that. I get that because you didn’t want to be in the position of promoting an album and having people ask you about Michael Jackson.

L: Exactly.


(the star crossed love affair between Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson started in 1993. What began as friendship bloomed very quickly into something more and in 1994 Lisa Marie shocked the world when she married Michael Jackson. And just a year and a half later their marriage was over. They had not spoken for nearly a decade when Michael was found dead on June 25th 2009 at a rented home in Los Angeles)

O: You’ve not spoken about Michael Jackson since his death other than the blog you did.

L: Right and I really didn’t speak well, when I see previous interviews, I’m barky and I tend to want to skirt out of it and I would find quick little exits defensively out of it

O: It’s interesting because the very first interview we did together, when I asked you if it was a real relationship you became very barky and defensive because…

L: Because I didn’t understand my relationship with him.

O: Well, having gotten to know you since then, I understand your defensiveness coming from your point of view. But coming from my point of view, the viewers point of view, the world, didn’t know what to make of that.

L: Right.

O: And really still doesn’t know what to make of that and therefore your blog after his death where you said “I want to set the record straight, this relationship was not a sham, this was a real marriage.”

L: Mhhmmm.

O: I think really struck a lot of people. And even when you said on my show, yes, this was a real marriage, there was a sexual relationship, and all of that, but the rest of the world I think thought it was a big staged publicity something, I don’t know. Do you understand that now?

L: Right. I completely understand, I do. I understand that because to some degree he was a master at manipulating a little bit with the media. So I understand that there was no one who really knew who I was so they just assumed I was going along with something that he would be doing 
(Oprah: Absolutely)
...and a lot of that is what I wanted to clear up in an interview, in this interview was to explain… he was brought up that way. You know, before even answering questions about him or talking about him, it would need to be understood fully his life, which is completely different than anyone else’s life that ever was except for you know, my father. He was conditioned to sort of get himself where he needed to go for his career and with his talent. He became very good at making and creating and -

O: Manipulating.

L: Puppeteering – manipulating to some degree. It’s true but, see and I always confused that manipulation, thinking that that manipulation meant he didn’t love me. But I understand it better now. The manipulation was because it was a survival tactic for him.

O: So was it after his death that you have gained such clarity about the relationship?

L: Yes. And I don’t know why. I really don’t understand that. But yes, this whole last year and a half has been spent trying to gain the clarity because at some point I pushed it away and I just had to move on with my life and then that happened and it was like a tidal wave brought it all back.

O: Where were you when you first heard, where were you?

L: I was in England and I don’t know why but it was the strangest day of my life. I was crying all day.

O: For what reason?

L: I don’t know and I don’t normally do that. I was trying to work and I came home and I was literally cutting my food eating my dinner crying and I wanted to go upstairs and go upstairs and watch something mindless on TV and stop crying. I looked at my husband and said “I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I just can’t stop” and then an hour later the call came and I heard.

O: You heard, who told you?

L: It was a friend of mine who just… Actually, I got streaming texts, “Are you okay? Are you okay? What’s happening” Actually John Travolta was one of the first texts I got, “Are you alright?” And I said, “What’s happening? Is this actually happening?” It was still unclear, you know.

O: And your reaction, your first reaction?

L: Real honest to goodness shock. Not even tears, just floored, I was honestly floored.

June 25th 2009: News reporter: Apparently Michael Jackson has suffered cardiac arrest this afternoon. He was rushed to UCLA medical centre” People around the world were glued to their televisions as events unfolded in Los Angeles, by late afternoon it was clear. News reporter: “Michael Jackson, the legendary pop star, known by millions of fans around the world has died.” 

Oprah: A little over one year later I have come to England to Lisa Marie Presley about their relationship and his death. )

O: The next day after Michael’s death you posted very emotional thoughts on your blog. What made you do that?

L: I think I was just rocking a baby to sleep and I was just in floods of tears. I thought, I don’t know, I had a moment of clarity and I realized that all this bitterness I thought I had and you know, indifference, it was no longer. It all just came… I don’t even, it’s been so crazy. I don’t even know how to explain how all of it happened which is why I waited over a year to talk about it. Because there were so many phases of this

-O: Let me help you through that here, let me read an excerpt of what you wrote the day after he Michael died. You said, “The person I failed to help is being transferred to the LA County Coroner’s Office for his autopsy. All 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.” Gutted. I thought that was an interesting choice of words, that means, gutted, empty, dug out,

L: Mhhm.

O: Did you feel that you had failed to help him?

L: Yes.

O: Okay, so in May of 1994 when you were married to him or during the time that you were married to him, did you suspect a drug problem?

L: Honestly, I didn’t really suspect and catch on until just before I filed for divorce. There was just an occasion, an incident, where he had collapsed and he was in the hospital.

O: This was for HBO?

L: Yeah, there was an appearance he was supposed to make.

(In December 1995 Michael Jackson collapsed onstage while rehearsing for an HBO concert special in New York. His doctors said Michael was suffering from a viral infection. Lisa Marie flew to his side in the hospital where he stayed for six days.)

L: Everybody flew to the hospital. And, um, it was very confusing what was wrong, because every day there was a different report. I couldn’t tell what was happening. Dehydration, low blood pressure, exhaustion, a virus, so I couldn’t really get a straight answer as to what was happening with him. I think we were all a little bit in the dark. At that point I think I really got from various indications I believed that was going on then.

O: You thought there was some drug use?

L: Yeah, yeah. There were times when I would pick him up from a certain doctor’s office and he would not be coherent. There was some behaviour now looking back at it. I knew that that was, because of injections because they were painful and he would need certain things because he needed to…

O: He would need things for what?

L: Injections or whatever various dermatological…

O: Was this for his skin disease?

L: Skin, various things he needed.

O: Was it the kind of marriage where a lot of things went unsaid or unspoken or did you feel a sense of intimacy and connection, that you could ask him anything?

L: I honestly can tell you that it was in every sense a normal marriage and everything was spoken. In the middle of the night, if he needed to wake up and tell me, bounce something off me, and wake me up and wanna talk… if there was trouble…Was he having trouble sleeping then? He was like a little gnome. I used to tell him he was a gnome running around the room because it was hard for him to sleep. A lot of times I couldn’t sleep either if he wasn’t sleeping. I’d just hear him piddling. It was a bit endearing but then I didn’t mind it. But he did have a hard time sleeping, yes.

O: Did you feel like you were in many ways a nurturer or caretaker for him?

L: Very much. And I really loved that role and I loved taking care of him. It was the highest point of my life, one of the very highest points of my life. When things were going really well and he and I were united together and he and I had an understanding about some of the people and the things that could go around him and he was with me on those things and we were a unit and I could take care of him. Inspite of what people speculated while I was with him that I wanted a career or was trying to do something, it was absolute BS. I’ve never been comfortable being front and centre, honestly don’t like being front and centre. Loved being next to him, taking care of him. I was on such a high from doing that. It was a very profound time of my life. So it wasn’t anything – it was real, as far as that goes.

O: I heard you say to the producers that being with him was some of the highest highs for you, as you’ve just described, and also some of the lowest lows.

L: Yes.

O: What was the lowest low?

L: The lowest was… you know, again, when I talk about him I now in retrospect want to make very clear that I understand him now more than I ever did. So when I speak about him I can speak about him with understanding and it’s all good now. For some reason, I don’t know what happens when someone passes away and this is what’s come of it, but I’ve come to have all this love again and understanding for him. I don’t know why it had to take all that to have this happen. That upsets me a bit. But the lowest low…

O: ‘Cause were you angry with him before? Were you angry with him when you left the marriage?

L: I was angry, I was very angry. I was so angry, because I felt that we had such… we were so united. Then at some point he pushed me out.

O: L Why did the marriage end?

L: There was a very profound point in the marriage when he had to make a decision, was it the drugs and the sort of vampires or me? And he pushed me away.

O: Vampires?

L: Meaning, people that are sort of spiders, vampires…

O: Sycophants?

L: Sycophants, yeah.

O: So you saw that all around him?

L: Oh God, yes. And it was…

O: Many people talk about that and there are stories written about him. He seemed to be drawn to people who would take advantage of him. What was that?

L: The one thing that correlates with Michael and with my father on this subject is that they had the luxury of creating whatever reality around them they wanted to create. They could have the kinds of people who were gonna go with their program or not go with their program and if they weren’t then they could be disposed of.

O: It’s the reality of being a God in your own world.

L: Right. And this is something that I’ve experienced – that I’ve had way too much experience with. With both sides, where I’ve seen what can go on and that is um…

O: My way or the highway.

L: Right! Michael wasn’t a bad person because that’s how he functioned – he didn’t know any better. It wasn’t that – I took it very personally though. I felt like I was disposable. It was the same with my father, sometimes I sit and I think, there were times when I was angry at the people around him, why didn’t you stop him, why didn’t you say something? Well, because if you did you were out. It’s very simple.

O: So-

L: And he didn’t mean anything either.

O: So he wasn’t the kind of person, nor your father was, who wanted people around him who telling them the truth, he wanted to be told what they wanted to hear.When it’s this unusual reality in an ivory tour and this God like life, mixed with an addiction, that’s when you get into trouble. A lot of trouble.

(August 16th 1977, nine year old Lisa Marie was home at Graceland when her father Elvis collapsed in his bathroom and died. There was a lethal mix of fourteen drugs in his system.)

O: Are you struck between the parallel from your father’s life and Michael Jackson’s life? Your father and your former husband?

L: Yes. It really blows me away to be honest with you. I still try to figure out why, what is it that I had to go through twice? Where these two incredible people and I speak with the utmost respect and love for both.

O: Your father and Michael.

L: Yes, who had the same fate. What is it about me? I went through it once and that was painful and I went through it again. I don’t quite understand it, y’know.

 When we were hiking this summer, Lisa shared something with me that you all would find interesting.

(Shot of his LA home: This is the home in Los Angeles where Michael Jackson died. Across the street, just a stone throw away was Elvis Presley’s California home, where Lisa Marie spent a lot of time growing up.)

O: What about the irony of that? Just across the street!

L: It’s… my mother, when I came home after being in England for so long, I wanted to drive by and see where it was and I lived there up until after he died, she sold it. So I had several birthday’s there. I said, she said, “It’s right across the street” and I said, “Oh please, it’s not right across the street. You’re being… whatever” shooed her off. And I drove and I really was completely… I don’t even know how to describe that. How that felt because… I don’t even think he knew, I think that was another thing where these things keep happening and the universe… and I’m like, what is it that I’m trying to learn here? What is it that I need to know?

O: I thought it was interesting when you wrote the blog the day after Michael Jackson’s death that you titled the blog, “He knew.” What did he know?

L: When I was watching the footage of the ambulance backing out of his driveway, I went back to this conversation I had with him at Neverland in the library. We were sitting by the fire and he was telling me that he was afraid that he was going to end up like my father. He was always asking me about when he died and how it happened and where…

O: Michael was always asking you about your father?

L: Yes. And he said, I feel like I’m going to end up the same way.

O: Did you say why?

L: Yeah. I was like, “What are you talking about? I don’t understand” and down to the play by play by play incident, it was identical.

O: First of all, you were much younger then. But as you look back at your marriage to him and who you were in that marriage, do you think there was a big part of you that wanted to see the truth?

L: The truth in what way?

O: The truth about the drugs.

L: I was so naive then, I know that isn’t easy to believe now.

O: It isn’t easy to believe but we can all understand the state of mind you were in. So first of all, you growing up as Elvis Presley’s daughter and being in your own right who you are, you wouldn’t be excited about being married to Michael Jackson. It’s not like some fan married to Michael Jackson, because you were used to the fame life. So you fell in love with him because of…?

L: For him. Because he was an incredible, an incredibly dynamic person. If you were in his vicinity and he wanted to give – and he showed you who he was, and he was willing to do that in any way, meant that… I have never felt so high in my life. I have never felt so high in my life as that. I am not lying when I say that. He had something so intoxicating about him and when he was on, when he was ready to share with you or give it to you, and be himself and allow you to come in. I don’t know if I’ve ever been that intoxicated by anything.

O: I can hear what you’re saying, because when I first interviewed him – first met him before the interview in 1992 (1993), it’s like he shines his light upon you. When he opens himself up and lets that light through you just want to be in that.

L: Yes!

O: You just want to be in that, you want to be around that and you know, we were all in Neverland eating the candy and having a great time and I left thinking, “Gosh, I wish I could be his friend.”

L: Yeah. It was like a drug. He was like a drug for me. I felt like I just always wanted to be around him, always wanted to be part of – I felt so high. I’ve never felt like that around another human being, except for one, which was my father.

O: So interesting because you just said you were nine years old when your father died, never felt that feeling before, so in many ways being with Michael brought back that feeling of that light falling on you

L: Yes

O: All of that energy coming your way.

L: Yes!

O: Did you feel loved by Michael in the beginning?

L: Very much so. I don’t think I realized it at the time, how much – what that meant because I know that was very unusual for him. I know he’d had a few dates in his life but there was nothing profound for him in that area. He fell in love with me and I fell in love with him. It was very real.

O: How did he ask you to marry him?

L: We were in the library in front of the fire and he pulled this giant 10 carat diamond out of his pocket and put it on my finger. I think he got on his knees too and proposed.

O: And at the time he proposed did you think that would be forever?

L: I did. I don’t know, I did. And when I was younger I can honestly say that you can think like that and believe that.

O: You know from the outside it just seemed so, too extraordinarily famous people together, everywhere you went it seemed like a circus.

L: It’s true. But it didn’t happen that often. We were together a lot and there was no cameras. I think a lot of that was because the promo for HIStory was coming so we had to go there and do this, all very manipulated, which I understand comes across as very manipulated period.

O: Did you ever feel manipulated in the relationship?

L: Sometimes. But he knew that I didn’t love that and he was okay. He got it. He needed to do his thing, I would be there uncomfortably, like the MTV thing, his hand was blue afterwards after we got off that stage. He showed me and it was completely blue, I had squeezed it so hard! (laughs) I did not want to do that. It’s not in my nature to do that sort of thing. But I understood it as his way of, he needed to do things like that.

(Lisa Marie and Michael Jackson had been married for a year when he released the intimate music video for You Are Not Alone)

O: So was there a lot of pressure for you to have a baby?

L: Yes, there was quite a bit. I mean he was…

O: From the time you got married?

L: Yes, there was. And I did want to. I just kept, I wanted to make sure, I was looking into the future and I was thinking I don’t ever want to get ionto a custody battle with him, I don’t want to go head to head with him. So I need to make sure that everything around is good. I know, I’ve had children, I knew that bringing children into certain circumstances you have to make sure that everything is safe and secured and okay and I wanted to make sure that he and I were really really united because we were gonna be up against so much.

O: I can’t remember the exact month you divorced, but you divorced and several months later, I know by October, it was announced that Debbie Rowe was pregnant. How did you feel about that?

L: Well, I knew it was a bit of a retalitory act on his part. Because I didn’t have a baby and I know that she was there the whole time telling him she would do it.

O: You knew that?

L: He would come tell me, he would come tell me. “If you’re not gonna do it, Debbie said she’ll do it.” And I was like, “What is that? Hi. Uh… not gonna entice me.” So we would get into it, you know, arguments because that really wasn’t how to handle it. But that was how he knew how to handle it, I don’t wanna say – he’d be like, “Well if you’re not going to, this person will. Are you gonna do it or not?”

O: That’s what you mean by disposable.

L: Yes! That’s exactly what I mean.

O: Oh, I get it. Well, there’s not many men who will say, you either have a baby for me or I got somebody standing in the wings who will.

L: Right and it sounds… hindsight twenty twenty and I understand him so well now. But at that time I didn’t.

O: Hurt?

L: Hurt. Hurt, I was hurt. And I did things that hurt him. I did stupid things too.

O: Like what?

L: Like, I was very torn because I broke up my family. I left my husband for Michael. I was having
a hard time trying to process that.

(Lisa Marie was twenty years old when she married her first husband musician Danny Keough. Together they had two children, Riley and Ben. After more than five years together Lisa Marie divorced Danny. Twenty days later she was married again to Michael Jackson.)

L: While I was with Michael I was still trying to process what I had done. I never could feel good about it. I felt like, how could I have done that to somebody and I have these two little ones. Danny was still very much part of my life. Michael didn’t quite know what to do with that sometimes. That made him uncomfortable and I understood that. Michael would wonder, “Why are you in Hawaii with Danny?” I’d take a vacation and Danny would go. Michael would get upset and “Where are you?” and he would disappear for a couple of weeks and I couldn’t find him. Things would make him uncomfortable and when I would do things that would make Michael uncomfortable, if he got uncomfortable or felt vulnerable, he would ice you out as a mechanism. He would push you away and ice you. It was like a shark sometimes in that way, he could just like that, if you’d done him wrong or whatever, you were out. We had some moments like that. But I have to say in retrospect. that he honestly tried so hard and went through so much with me, and I know now when I look back at it, he’s never done that with any other female or anyone as much as we went through. We hit rough waters, we would fight, we would argue, three day arguments sometimes, taking a break to eat and sleep. I have to say that I really admire that he really gave it a good shot, you know, I didn’t appreicate it then and I wish I did.

O: Did he have to die for you to recognize that he loved you?

L: I think so, sadly.

O: Is that the first time that you recognized or believed that he truly loved you, after he died?

L: I think, yes. Sweeping answer would be yes. When we were together we were really in love and then we had the rough patches and then I had to make the decision to walk when I saw the drugs and the doctors walk in and they scared me and put me right back to what I went through with my father. Then that ended. We again, were going to get back together, we spent four more years after we’d divorced getting back together and breaking up and talking about getting back together and breaking up. At some point, I had to push it away because it was not, I wasn’t moving forward with myself.

O: So you still loved him even when you left him?

L: Very much. I left him to sort of stomp my foot in the ground and go… I was trying to take a stand and say, come with me, don’t do this. That was a stupid move, because he didn’t. And he’s you know, he’s a stubborn… I’m stubborn, he’s stubborn. The two of us it was like you know…

O: Don’t make a dare you’re not willing to follow through on.

L: And actually afterwards, he and I were still… I was still flying all over the world still with him to follow.

O: When was the last time you spoke to him?

L: Coherently good conversation? Sometime in 2005. It was a very long conversation. I was so removed from him and he could feel it and he could hear it. And I think that’s one of the things that killed me in the end too was that I was very distanced and he was checking to get a read, he was trying to throw a line out to see if I would bite emotionally and I wouldn’t. I was pretty shut off at that point. I don’t even know how I managed to be like that but I was. He was asking me, 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.

O: So he actually gave you names?

L: He did. And I’d rather not say them. But he expressed to me that his concern over his life.

O: You know, I’ve asked you this and I have to ask it again, even though it’s an uncomfortable subject, but whether or not you had ever seen any inapropriate behaviour between Michael and young children?

L: Are you asking me again?

O: I’m asking you again.

L: The answer is absolutely not, in any way. I did not see anything like that.

O: By 2005 was when he was on trial with the second charge. Your feelings at that time were what?

L: He was calling me about it and I said “Please keep your head together, please. If this goes to trial, please hold it together.” He said, “What are you talking about, what do you mean?” And he said, “You mean drugs?” And I said, “Yes.” Because all I saw was random things coming out, whether it was Martin Bashir and all these interviews, and in those interviews I saw him intoxicated. I didn’t see the Michael that I knew in that Martin Bashir interview. He was high as a kite, from what I saw and from what I knew.

O: Really?

L: He was either too speedy or he was sedated. It wasn’t the Michael that I knew.

O: The shocking things, he said some pretty shocking things in that Martin Bashir interview, particularly about how he felt about how it was okay to sleep with young children.

L: I think he said that stuff sometimes to be defiant, because he got so angry at having been accused. He was such a stubborn little rebel at times and he was like a child and he would just say what he felt everyone didn’t want him to say. I don’t feel like he had a straight head during those things and I think that they were edited in a very very manipulative nasty way.

O: So you never saw anything and to this day you don’t believe any of those charges were true?

L: No. I honestly cannot say, the only people who are going to be able to say the truth are him and whoever was in that room at the time it allegedly took place. I was never in the room, it wouldn’t be fair for me to… I can tell you I never saw anything like that.

O: Have you now made peace with his death? I know that you watched the funeral that we all saw on television and you went to a private ceremony, what was that like standing in the room with his casket?

L: That was really, another six months of whatever I recovered from I think. I think I was the last one standing with him. That was…

O: What do you mean the last one standing with him?

L: Well, most people had left and I was the last one standing over him. I didn’t want to leave him.

O: As you stood over his casket I know that there’s probably nothing more personal or private than those moments when you stood over that casket, were you able to make peace?

L: No. I wasn’t able to make peace then. I more wanted to apologize. I felt like I wanted to apologize.

O: For?

L: Not being around.

O: Do you think you could have saved him?

L: God, that’s such a hard question. Naively I want to say… I know that it’s naive to think that I could have. But I wanted to. Could I have? Had I made a call, had I stopped being so shut off from him, had I said, “How are you?” Had I tried to make a phonecall, you know, I really regret that I didn’t.

O: Do you think family and friends let him down? Do you think that someone could have done something?

L: I think that they tried. Sadly, like I said, if he didn’t want you around, if you were going to make him confront something he didn’t want to confront he could make you go away, including his own family. They got in the opposite side of that. I think that was a train heading into a certain direction that nobody could stop. I think I’ve really had to get my head around that in order to stop the pain.

O: For yourself?

L: Mhhm.

O: And how is this for your current husband who seem like a really loving generous supportive man? How is it for him with all this Michael stuff coming up?

L: He is so happy I’ll be done with this interview, he’s like “I just want you to excorcize this and get it out,” because I’ve been… he’s had to hear it for so long.

O: Never good for the current husband to have to hear about the ex husband a lot.

L: No, it’s not. It’s not, no. And I understand that. But he also understands that, he’s the most understanding person I’ve ever met in my life. I’ve never… thank God because he’s really allowed me to go through whatever it is I needed to go through with this. But I know it’s highly highly unusual and I know it’s a lot to ask for of him. I don’t feel good about it but it’s something that came down on me that I’ve had to deal with and I’ve had to…

O: Because all these Michael feelings were repressed and buried when you started dating Michael Lockwood

L: Exactly.

O: You’ve said earlier that the universe, God, you don’t understand is trying to teach you something obviously because of the parallels between your father Elvis Presley’s life and Michael Jackson’s life, now with over a year after Michael’s death and thirty three years since your father’s passed, what do you think the lesson is?

L: I feel really alone in that I’ve gone through this with these incredible like this. I feel really honoured at the same time.

O: With Michael’s death, for you is it like a lot of people still, his birthday, the anniversary of his death, are those stil hard days?

L: They are but it’s been happening all my life. August 16th I’ve dreaded my whole life which is you know…

O: The death of your father.

L: Yes and now it’s June 25th.

O: We said, you said when we talked about this interview you said you were going to do it one time, so this is it you’re not going to talk about it anymore?

L: No, I’m not, I’m not going to talk about it. If anyone wants to know about it in the future, they can refer to the Oprah winfrey show.

O: Thank you. Thank you for letting us have the time and for openning up about it.
Not an easy thing to do.

L: Thanks.



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