How Lisa Marie Presley's Famous VMAs Kiss With Michael Jackson Really Made Her Feel

The late Lisa Marie Presley –  the only child of Elvis Presley — faced severe scrutiny after her short-lived marriage to Michael Jackson. Once the most famous musician on the planet, Jackson's legacy had been tarnished by accusations of child abuse, his rumored obsession with plastic surgery (per The Sydney Morning Herald), skin bleaching, and an intense focus on his rumored eccentricities. So, from the moment Presley announced their marriage in a public statement (per People), the public and media viewed their relationship through a cynical lens. 

According to Us Weekly, Presley's divorce from her first husband, Danny Keough, had been finalized less than one month before Presley married Jackson. Jackson was also fresh off of his first round of abuse allegations. Simply put, many believed that their Hollywood relationship was fake and that it was possibly an attempt to pump Jackson's life with some positive press. In any case, Presley and Jackson proudly flaunted their relationship over the next year. For instance, Jackson featured Presley in his video for "You Are Not Alone." They also participated in a highly-publicized joint interview sharing details about their relationship. 

However, their most famous interaction — a kiss at the VMAs — was one that Presley would never forget. 

Lisa Marie Presley didn't want to kiss at the VMAs

The 1994 MTV Video Music Awards will likely go down in history as one of the most memorable shows, and it's all because of Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley. The brand new couple, who had only recently married at the time, debuted their relationship by walking on stage hand in hand. After Jackson greeted the audience, who were already on their feet, he incited thunderous applause by turning to Presley and initiating a passionate kiss (per MTV). Even though it's been nearly three decades since then, the moment has been seared into the public's collective memory. 

While both parties have always maintained that their relationship was genuine, it turns out that Presley wasn't exactly a fan of their uber-public display of affection that night. While speaking to Oprah Winfrey in 2010, Presley shared her candid thoughts about the infamous kiss. "He knew I didn't love that," Presley said (via "His hand was blue after we got off that stage ... I had squeezed it so hard. But as his wife, I needed to do some things like that."

Lisa Marie Presley says she and Michael Jackson divorced because of drugs

Despite the theatrics, Lisa Marie Presley's marriage to Michael Jackson was over by 1996. And while there have been many theories as to what actually torpedoed their relationship, the real reason Jackson and Presley divorced — at least according to Presley — was a culmination of multiple stressors. According to the Los Angeles Times, Presley filed for divorce one year and eight months after their wedding day, officially citing "irreconcilable differences."

As revealed in her sit-down with Oprah Winfrey, Presley was unhappy in the marriage due to Jackson pressuring her to have a baby. However, Jackson's alleged reliance on drugs ultimately did them in. "He had to make a decision," revealed Presley (per "Was it the drugs and the vampires [rumored sycophants sucking his blood] or me? And he pushed me away." 

Despite their bitter end, Presley revealed that they stayed in contact for several years after their marriage ended. The singer/songwriter always maintained the authenticity of her relationship with the late pop star. However, in 2003, Presley spoke with Rolling Stone and insinuated that Jackson's motives may not have been as pure as hers. "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," she said (via CNN).

Lisa Marie and Michael talked about his death

Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson may not have had the easiest or longest relationship in the world, but it was special in its own way. Though their marriage didn't work out, they meant enough to each other that Jackson allegedly went out of his way to talk to Presley about his fears surrounding his death. During her 2010 Oprah Winfrey interview, Presley shared the dark details of the last conversation she had with Jackson.

The last conversation Presley remembered having with the "Thriller" singer was in 2005 — four years before his death. She recalled the pop star being nervous about impending doom and worrying that someone in his entourage had plans to harm him. "I was so removed from him and he could feel it and hear it. I was very distant," she told Winfrey of their final conversation, per Express. "He wanted to tell me that I was right about a lot of people around him." According to Presley, Jackson opened up to her about his fears surrounding his legacy. The last thing he reportedly told her was that "someone was going to try and kill him". He supposedly assumed he was a target because of the financial value of his estate and catalog.

"I really didn't know what to do with that," Presley said. While they hadn't talked in four years, the 54-year-old was still one of a select group of people who attended a private service for her late ex-husband, per the New York Times.