"King of Pop weds Princess of Rock." It was a marriage made in tabloid heaven.
Today's headline? "Lisa to Michael: Beat It."
Sad but true. Yesterday, Lisa Marie Presley-Jackson, the only daughter of Elvis, filed for divorce from Michael Jackson, citing "irreconcilable differences," according to her publicist, Paul Bloch. The breakup came as a surprise to no one -- a fact that even Jackson foreshadowed just three months after their 1994 wedding. "Just think, nobody thought this would last," he joked on the MTV awards show.
Bloch said the filing was made in Los Angeles. Jackson's publicist, Lee Solters, offered no details, either: "Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley have mutually agreed to go their separate ways. However, they remain good friends."
Her attorney, John P. Coale, wouldn't say yesterday whether they had a prenuptial agreement, but as sole heir to Elvis's estate, she's not short of dough.
"There are no disputes as to property or anything else," Coale told the Associated Press by phone from his office here. "It's going to be a very simple and clean divorce, and they're going to remain friends."
The petition said their community property has yet to be determined, the AP reported. It also asks that Jackson pay legal fees and that her name be restored to Lisa Marie Presley.
In the three-page filing, Presley-Jackson listed their date of separation as Dec. 10, 1995 -- four days after Jackson's onstage collapse during rehearsals for a television special in New York. Divorce, as we all know, is a painful, private affair -- unless one of the parties decides to air his or her dirty laundry in public, which hundreds of producers and editors are desperately praying for right this very minute.
Why, Lisa Marie? Enquiring minds want to know.
Mostly they want to know the intimate details of the 1 1/2-year union, such as if the marriage was ever consummated. The blushing bride, responding to the question in a joint interview with Diane Sawyer last summer, said, "Do we have sex? Yes! Yes! Yes!"
But the divorce will undoubtedly raise as many questions as the wedding.
Jackson, 37, and Presley, 27, were married in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on May 26, 1994. Word that the two friends had wed in a secret ceremony was first greeted with scoffs and disbelief.
Presley had been married once before, to musician Danny Keough, with whom she has two children. But Jackson, although single, had never been seriously linked romantically with anyone.
But the rumor was, in fact, true. The bride wore black; the groom chewed gum. The marriage brought together two music legends and two vast fortunes -- his $150 million, her $100 million. Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie's mother, was said to be appalled.
Speculation immediately began that the union was a publicity stunt designed to save the damaged image of Jackson, who was facing allegations of child molestation. The singer, who spent much of his free time in the company of children, had become the focus of an investigation in 1993 because of accusations from a 13-year-old boy. No charges were filed, but an out-of-court settlement with the boy, reported to be in the millions, was reached.
Another hot theory floating around Hollywood was that Presley and her ex-husband, both Scientologists, had engineered the marriage to recruit Jackson into the church.
In the ABC interview with Sawyer, the couple denied all the allegations and said the only reason they were together was . . . you guessed it: love.
The newlyweds reportedly lived apart in their respective mansions, but they appeared together -- nude, but tastefully draped -- in Jackson's "You Are Not Alone" video. In August, they denied a report from London that they were splitting up. Last month, when Jackson collapsed, Presley-Jackson rushed to his bedside, although the singer was reportedly cheered up more by the posters of Shirley Temple, Walt Disney and Topo Gigio he requested for his room.
But now? Looks like the marriage is "HIStory."
Was there a prenuptial agreement? Who gets Neverland Ranch? Is Danny back in the picture? Who gets the Disneyland season passes?
Coming your way soon: Details, details and more details. CAPTION: A study in pop psychology: Newlyweds Lisa Marie and Michael in 1994. (Photo ran in an earlier edition) CAPTION: A study in pop psychology: Lisa Marie and Michael strike a pose in 1995.