Michael Jackson was married twice in his life; once to Lisa Marie Presley and once to Debbie Rowe.
Jackson was the father of three children, Prince Jackson, Paris Jackson, and Blanket Jackson. Prince and Paris were born to Jackson’s second wife, Debbie Rowe. Jackson hired a surrogate to carry his third child after he and Rowe split.
Here’s what you need to know:
He Married Lisa Marie Presley in a Private Ceremony in 1994
Jackson first met Lisa Marie Presley in 1974. It was Presley’s father, Elvis, that introduced them. It wasn’t until the 90s, however, that the two started dating.
Fairly early on in their relationship, Jackson was hit with the first of several sexual abuse accusations. While this definitely made the former couple’s relationship challenging, Lisa Marie stood by Jackson and supported him. It was Lisa Marie who was credited with convincing Jackson to get help for an addiction to painkillers following the accusations.
While Jackson was seeking help at a London drug clinic, he phoned his girlfriend and proposed marriage. Joyfully, she accepted, and the two got married on May 26, 1994. The wedding ceremony was very hush-hush, held in the Dominican Republic. Lisa Marie later told Oprah Winfrey that Jackson proposed to her again in a more traditional fashion, presenting her with a 10-carat diamond ring.
Jackson and Presley told very few people about their wedding — not even their family members knew. As a media frenzy ensued, Lisa Marie issued the following statement.
“My married name is Mrs. Lisa Marie Presley-Jackson. My marriage to Michael Jackson took place in a private ceremony outside the United States (11) weeks ago. It was not formally announced until now for several reasons; foremost being that we are both very private people living in the glare of the public media. We both wanted a private marriage ceremony without the distraction of a media circus. I am very much in love with Michael, I dedicate my life to being his wife. I understand and support him. We both look forward to raising a family and living happy, healthy lives together. We hope friends and fans will understand and respect our privacy,” the statement read.
Months of fighting lead to Lisa Marie’s divorce filing. She cited the ever-popular “irreconcilable differences” as the cause for divorce. The two continued to see each other after their marital split and dated on and off until they finally went their separate ways.
Presley went on to marry twice more; once to Nicholas Cage and then to guitarist Michael Lockwood. She is not currently married.
He & Debbie Rowe Were Married From 1996-1999
There was another woman in Jackson’s life who ended up becoming his second wife — and the mother of two of his children. Jackson was close to Debbie Rowe, who worked for his dermatologist.
Jackson and Rowe began having intimate relations and Rowe ended up getting pregnant. He married her in Australia on November 13, 1996, shortly after she found out that she was with child.
The couple’s son, Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr., known as “Prince,” was born on February 13, 1997. Their daughter Paris Michael Katherine Jackson was born the following year on April 3.
As the Los Angeles Times reported, Jackson and Rowe divorced in 1999. Rowe gave Jackson full custody rights of Prince and Paris. Jackson had hired a private judge to handle the proceedings.
“Rowe received an $8-million settlement, along with a house in Beverly Hills. At first, she also had the right to visit the children every 45 days, but in 2001, she went back to court and asked the private judge, Stephen Lachs, to terminate her parental rights,” the L.A. Times report reads.
According to the BBC, Rowe sought to have the custody decision reversed in 2004, and later sued Jackson, claiming he didn’t honor his financial obligation in the divorce proceedings and also seeking and additional $50,000 in living expenses so that she could pursue a custody case against him.
These days, Rowe is engaged to Marc Schaffel. E! confirmed the news back in 2014.