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Will Michael and Lisa Marie Check Into Heartbreak Hotel?

December 2, 1994

NEW YORK (AP) _ Forget those reports of woes in the Neverland-Graceland merger. Lisa Marie Presley-Jackson says her six-month marriage to Michael is still going strong.

The King’s daughter (and the King of Pop’s wife) issued a statement Thursday proclaiming all is well with the tabloids’ favorite lovebirds.

″Once again, the media is being very irresponsible and spreading false rumors,″ said Mrs. Presley-Jackson. ″Michael and I are very happily married, and very much in love.

″I can safely say that each week, according to them, we will be divorcing, under duress, pregnant, etc. These rumors, in spite of their wishful and destructive thinking, are totally unfounded and false.″

Those rumors had it that the whole thing might have been - gasp 3/8 - a corporate merger. Or a publicity stunt. Or just another tale of boy meets girl, boy gets weird, girl gets out.

The separation speculation, coming just after the couple’s six-month anniversary, started with published reports in New York and London that the marriage was sinking. Jackson biographer Christopher Andersen said he first heard rumors of a split on Tuesday.

″I had heard their lawyers were actually talking annulment,″ said the author of ″Michael Jackson Unauthorized.″ ″Are Michael and Lisa Marie friends? Sure - they’ve been friends for a long time. But that’s not a marriage.″

For those in need of a recap:

April - Lisa Marie announces her divorce from musician Danny Keough.

May - Lisa Marie and Michael are married in a secret ceremony in the Dominican Republic.

June - Everybody lies about the marriage.

July - Everybody lies about the marriage.

August - The marriage is confirmed. The kids honeymoon in Hungary. A Time- CNN poll shows 41 percent of Americans think the union will last less than a year.

September - Lisa Marie is visibly uncomfortable when Michael plants a lengthy kiss on her to open the MTV Music Awards. Authorities suspend investigation into child molestation allegations against Michael.

October - A Memphis homecoming for an Elvis Tribute Concert. Elvis seen mumbling about the wedding in a Commerce, Okla., Burger King.

November - Marital problems. Or not.

What’s behind this alleged sudden change of heart?

Andersen says the marriage was ″a scam″ from day one, and now Lisa Marie wants out. Gossip columnist Liz Smith intimates that Michael viewed the nuptials as a ″public relations coup,″ but Lisa Marie fell in love and now Michael wants out.

Whatever the reason, it seems only a few people expect the Jacksons to be exchanging silverware on their 25th anniversary. Or, for that matter, paper on anniversary No. 1.

″I did say the marriage would be over by the end of the year,″ said Andersen. ″Not that I want to say I told you so.″

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