Photo Credit: Kevin Mazur/Wireimage
In a new interview with Oprah Winfrey, Lisa Marie Presley is opening up about her short-lived marriage to pop icon Michael Jackson. It's been over a year since Jackson passed away at the age of 50, but Presley is just now finding the strength to talk about her complicated union with the King of Pop.
"I didn't understand my relationship with him," Presley, 42, told the talk show host on Thursday.
Married for 18 months before divorcing in 1996, Presley and Jackson constantly battled rumors that their marriage was simply a sham, a notion Presley vehemently denies. But it's not to say that she doesn't understand why the public thought that.
"To some degree, he was a master at manipulating the media," she said. "I understand that nobody really knew who I was. They just assumed I was going along with something he would be doing....I understand it better now. The manipulation was a survival tactic for him."
Presley admits that she was extremely hurt when she and Jackson ended their marriage. "I was very angry. I was so angry," she revealed. "I felt that we were so united, and then at some point he pushed me out."
She adds that Jackson's increased drug greatly contributed to the downfall of the couple's relationship, even though her husband tried to keep his habits a secret from her.
"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," she recalled.
Though doctors blamed it on a viral infection, Presley said that "every day there was a different report. And I couldn't tell what was happening. I couldn't really get a straight answer about what was happening with him, and I think we were all a little bit in the dark."
Presley admits that she wishes she would have reached out to Jackson over the years after they split, and even thinks at times that she could have saved his life.
"I know it's naive to think that I could have, but I wanted to," she admitted. "Had I made a call, had I stopped being so shut off from him, had I just said 'How are you?' I really regret that I didn't."
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