Who Were Lisa Marie Presley's 4 Ex-Husbands?

To say that Lisa Marie Presley had an easy existence would be an untruth. Her status as the only daughter of one of the most colossal figures in music history did not shield her from a succession of troubles that lined her path — from confronting the death of a parent when she was only nine to striving through drug, legal, and monetary distress in her adult years. In what became an inseparable part of her legacy, Presley's romantic adventures constituted the largest share of tabloid coverage on her. 

Throughout her lifetime, she married four times, finding love with A-listers or musical artists like herself. "I'm looking for someone similar to him, and nobody could ever compare," she once told The New York Times. The closest she came to marrying someone of stature similar to her father's was Michael Jackson, a thunderous match that sent the media into a frenzy and remains one of the most talked-about celebrity unions to date. 

"Some were marriages of whim — I was wild, they were wild, and we did wild things, but I don't regret them," she expressed (via The Sydney Morning Herald). Though marriage after the marriage ended in divorce for her, Presley never stopped giving love a whirl. Presley's tragic death on January 12, 2023, following a cardiac arrest, elicited emotional responses from her surviving ex-husbands, among other notables from showbiz. Take a look at Lisa Marie Presley's four husbands and the buzz that surrounded her marriages. 

She had two children with first husband Danny Keough

Lisa Marie Presley couldn't help falling in love at a young age! The singer and daughter of music icon Elvis Presley was freshly adult during the 1980s when she crossed paths with the man who would be her first husband. Lisa's teen years involved a period of rebellion and substance dependence, which prompted her mother, Priscilla Presley, to seek recourse for her in Scientology, per Daily Mail. Danny Keough, who was also struggling with drugs, had reportedly turned to the church's rehabilitation program, too. At only 19, Lisa knew that Keough was destined to play a special role in her life: "I've never had that same instinct with a man, you know, knowing that it would be all good, safe," she recalled in an Oprah interview

A brief courtship gave way to marriage in 1988. Lisa was 20 at the time. The couple welcomed two children together — a daughter named Riley and a son, Benjamin. Lisa professed a close connection to children and, in later years, described her children as being the greatest love of her life (via The Guardian). As for her bond with Keough, it remained robust even after their divorce in 1994, which ended their marriage of six years. The ex-pair remained in touch till the end through highs and lows — from Keough serving as best man on one of Lisa's future weddings to weathering the tragedy of their son's suicide together. 

She said Danny Keough and her shared a brother-sister love

Lisa Marie Presley's relationship with first husband, Danny Keough, was more than romantic. Sharing eight years and two children had molded their connection into a close friendship. Their love, she said, wasn't actually too different from that which siblings share even. "We are like best friends; brother and sister," she said in a 2005 Oprah interview, years after her divorce from Keough. The split didn't deter the couple from co-parenting their two children — Riley and Benjamin — with Presley saying that the family spent time over the holidays. Reiterating the bit about their brother-sister affections, she told People, "Ultimately this is a good message to send out to people: You don't have to put your crap on your kids even if you are not together."

In future years, Presley reflected on her marriages, saying she didn't see them as failures but as incredible experiences (via The Sydney Morning Herald). Losing their son to suicide in 2020 brought Presley and Keough closer. She implied in a personal essay that friends and family were reluctant to partake in her grief, and she cherished the few that had stayed back. "It's a real choice to keep going," she wrote. Ex-husband Keough was unrelenting in his support, with a source saying: "It's been an extraordinarily difficult time and he's been a rock for Lisa" (via The Sun). The former spouses had moved into a house in Calabasas together but apparently weren't romantically engaged. 

Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson's wedding came as a surprise

Lisa Marie Presley wed Michael Jackson in 1994. Eyes naturally popped; a union between the King of Pop and the daughter of the King of Rock and Roll was a momentously unprecedented event. "I am very much in love with Michael, I dedicate my life to being his wife," a committed Presley stated then (via Entertainment Weekly). The two reportedly said their wedding vows in a secret whirlwind ceremony in the Dominican Republic just days after Presley's divorce from her first husband, per the New York Post. From sharing that awkward kiss at the 1994 Video Music Awards to co-starring in the music video of Jackson's "You Are Not Alone," the couple's appearances together remained a consistent subject of interest. 

The timing and nature of their marriage, however, raised endless questions that were tabloid fuel — perhaps a sign of the alliance being doomed from the start. Priscilla Presley had reservations about her daughter's marriage to a man whose status mirrored that of her legendary, troubled husband's, but her daughter, ever the rebel, stubbornly stood her ground. "Oh, you don't like him? Good. He's going to be my husband," she proclaimed (via ABC News). If you're wondering whether Elvis Presley, who died in 1977 and the younger Jackson ever bumped into each other ... they did in the 1970s at a concert in Vegas (per The Wrap).

She said Michael Jackson was a master manipulator

For all the unshakeable love she admitted for Michael Jackson, Lisa Marie Presley didn't evade confrontation with some hard truths about the 13-time Grammy-winning legend. After the end of their high-profile marriage in 1996, Presley laid bare details about his complex personality. "The manipulation was a survival tactic for him," she revealed, reflecting that he got behind what he wanted and that his manipulative means made her question his love for him (via Oprah.com). He was also wary about her friendship with her first husband, Danny Keough, who often accompanied the family on vacations and remained a lifelong confidant. Jackson, "when he wants to intrigue you or capture you," could, and apparently strung Presley into this myth of being a savior, she said (via ABC News). 

Being a part of Jackson's world wasn't easy for her. "It's quite a web. It took me years to get out of it," she said (via The Guardian). She apparently wasn't clued into his alleged drug habits, and Jackson ultimately pushed her away. In the years following their divorce, Presley expressed reluctance to believe that Jackson had actually loved her, even though she truly had. While the King of Pop isn't around to clear the air on that, journalist-biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli claims to have an answer (per The Economic Times). His biography on the cultural icon mentions that Jackson, who married twice and dated many, believed Presley to be the true love of his life.

There were questions if her marriage to Michael Jackson was real

Months prior to his wedding to Lisa Marie Presley, Michael Jackson found himself in the thick of allegations surrounding the sexual abuse of a teen boy. The first of many similar cases to come to light (per Vanity Fair), the 1993 scandal dented the "Thriller" hitmaker's public image in no small way. It was soon proposed at the time that his marriage to Presley was nothing but an attempt to salvage his status. Presley shielded her then-husband from the allegations unconditionally, even after their sour divorce in 1996, saying that Jackson's connection to children was "not a bad, perverted, weird thing" and that she had felt safe having her children around him, per ABC News. Jackson's abuse case was settled out of court to the tune of millions. 

Though their relationship didn't exactly end on amicable terms — "It got pretty ugly at the end," she said — and Presley didn't budge from her initial claims of having married Jackson for love. However, she eventually revealed skepticism about Jackson's intentions. "All signs point to yes on that," she told Oprah Winfrey, who enquired if Jackson had used her. Despite there being whispers that Presley herself had taken Jackson's hand to elevate her music career, she continued defending the validity of her brief 20-month marriage, saying it was all real (via The New York Times): "How can you fake this 24 hours a day, sleeping with somebody, waking with somebody?"

She married Nicolas Cage in 2002

Two marriages ending in divorce did not dampen Lisa Marie Presley's spirit to seek love. After a brief interlude as an unmarried woman — during which she was engaged to singer John Oszajca (via the BBC) — Presley found a partner worth hitching in Nicolas Cage. The year was 2000, and Presley was at musician Johnny Ramone's party when she locked eyes with Cage. "I was thunderstruck," the Hollywood star, who had by then clinched an Oscar for "Leaving Las Vegas," recalled about meeting Presley for the first time (via Access). He gushed about her "soulful eyes that look like they have a sad story to tell," and soon enough, tabloids were screaming headlines about the couple tying the knot in a hush-hush ceremony in Hawaii in 2002. 

The marriage was the bride's third and the groom's second. The pair said their vows before a close-knit audience of friends and family, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. Despite their tumultuous courtship period (we'll get to that in just a bit), Cage and Presley's dreamy destination wedding seemed like a hopeful setup for wedded bliss. The familial fame they respectively inherited was a converging point. That Cage was notably an Elvis Presley fanboy stuck out, too — though he categorically rubbished rumors suggesting that was the reason for his marriage to the King's daughter. Instead, "That particular relationship was really based on humour. We had a lot of laughs together," he said (via The Guardian). 

She said her marriage to Nicolas Cage was a mistake

It ended before it even properly started. In November of 2002, merely four months after they tied the knot, Lisa Marie Presley and Nicolas Cage called it quits — although that wouldn't have been a first for their relationship. Presley and Cage began dating in 2000 and initially shone out as a power couple (or rather superpower couple, given their distinguished pedigrees). But soon, tabloids found fodder in juicy, gossip-worthy antics protruding in their on-again, off-again pairing. One event, in particular, made a splash — literally — with the engagement ring Cage gave Presley being thrown into the ocean (via ABC News). Neither party owned up to doing the $65,000 ornament injustice. "We were both like two 12-year-olds in a sandbox, basically," Presley ruminated. 

Per the New York Post, there was also some heat from Presley about Cage's supposed flirtatious distractions at the time. When news suddenly broke that Cage filed for separation, a statement from Presley reportedly expressed that they "shouldn't have been married in the first place. It was a big mistake" (per Today). According to Presley, the final split was preceded by a fight and followed by regret on Cage's part. Though Cage publicly admitted sadness over the end of their relationship, he recognized it as a result of both being "two people who are very strong and their own personalities, and rather intense" (via People). Their divorce was finalized two years later, in 2004. 

She welcomed twins with husband Michael Lockwood

Fourth time's a charm? In what would end up being her longest marriage, Lisa Marie Presley tied the knot with Michael Lockwood in 2006. It was the fourth wedding for Elvis Presley's daughter, who dated the musician-producer for a while before they said their vows. The pair had collaborated work-wise, with Lockwood being the music producer for Presley's band, and a workplace romance blossomed. "Like the soul mate thing, the best friends, the whole — we do everything together," she told Oprah Winfrey in 2005, stating that Lockwood was the perfect man for her. Lockwood didn't initially share that sentiment. "When I met her, I told her I didn't believe in love," he said (via Marie Claire). Presley, his pillar of faith, turned his hesitation on its head. 

The pair flew off to Japan to solemnize their union in a traditional ceremony, where Presley's first husband and longtime friend Danny Keough reportedly served as best man (via Rolling Stone). More than just life partners, Lockwood and Presley brought the best of their musical leanings to the latter's 2006 album "Now What." Although, those weren't the only skills Presley had the opportunity to mine during her marriage to Lockwood! Sussex Live reported that when the couple was living in England in 2010, Presley tried her hand at catering by helping out at a local fish and chip van, having befriended locals in the neighborhood — her possible shot at a normal life. 

Money issues plagued her relationship with Michael Lockwood

Before her marriage to Michael Lockwood, Lisa Marie Presley made it clear that she would consider putting a ring on her finger if she had a man with whom she'd like to have children. In 2008, the musical couple welcomed twin baby girls, Harper and Finley. For Presley, who had two children from her first marriage, her new family came as a "good light in the tunnel" at a time when people were abandoning her (per E! News). Four marriages later, she claimed to have found her best friend. "I'm in a happy place now," she told Marie Claire. Unfortunately, that paradise wasn't built to last. Come 2016, news broke that Presley had filed for divorce from Lockwood, citing irreconcilable differences.

TMZ reported that while she wasn't seeking financial compensation (including child support) from Lockwood, she pursued full custody of their twin girls. Owing to alleged mismanagement and poor dealings, Presley was knee-deep in debt; $16 million was the amount she reportedly stated during her divorce proceedings. Lockwood, however, expressed mistrust over Presley's claim about her finances, which he said were "misleading and inaccurate" (via The Wrap). In 2018, a California court ordered Presley to pay $100,000 toward Lockwood's legal fees. Things became messier when it was revealed that Presley battled drug addiction during her fourth marriage and had been in and out of rehab multiple times: "It was bad, yeah," she said at the time, per Radar Online.

How Lisa Marie Presley's husbands reacted to her death

It was the end of an era on January 12, 2023, when Lisa Marie Presley — the only child of rock and roll legend Elvis Presley — died following a cardiac arrest. She was 54. Lisa was found unresponsive at her Calabasas home on the morning of January 12, having suffered a cardiac arrest, TMZ reported. Danny Keough, her first husband who she had been living in recent years, reportedly performed CPR until emergency services reached the property. She was pronounced dead after a second heart attack in the hospital.

Tributes for the late singer poured in from all quarters of the film and music industry. "Lisa had the greatest laugh of anyone I ever met," Nicolas Cage said, reacting to the devastating news, which left him heartbroken (via The Hollywood Reporter). Besides other heavy-hitters like John Travolta, Mia Farrow, and Donatella Versace, who all mourned for the late star, her fourth and last husband, Michael Lockwood, said he was focusing his attention on the twin daughters they shared amid his ex-wife's death (per ET Online). A statement from the estate of Lisa's second husband, Michael Jackson, meanwhile, commemorated "the special bond they enjoyed" (via Instagram).

Her mother, Priscilla Presley, confirmed the death of "the most passionate, strong and loving woman" she knew in a statement, only hours after an Instagram post revealing that Lisa had been rushed to hospital. The late star is survived by three children.