Oprah's interview with Lisa Marie (Presley) Lockwood, October 21, 2010
I've just finished seeing LMP's interview with Oprah, reading various posts and various comments about the interview. All of which I empathize with although don't always agree with. (I couldn't see it during the week due to other obligations.) This was an interview I ended up having mixed feelings about and at times even letting out a big "UGH!," and "NO Lisa! Please don't say that!" At other times I was moved to tears when she said something touching and endearing about Michael.
Something that I can be faulted for is wanting very much to believe the best in people. (This is an area I very much feel I have a common connection with Michael.) This is true with my attitude toward LMP. I believe that she has matured and does have a better understanding of her own feelings and actions regarding Michael, and may even understand him better as she says. As truthbtold2all said, "I'm just not convinced that she's a bad person with an agenda," and that "I do not feel or see much negative coming from her in this interview. I see a lot of love for Michael. I like her, appreciate her perspective." I very much agree with this assessment.
As I watched her interview, with the large vase of sunflowers just behind and between she and O, I felt that I was watching a personal, one-on-one therapy session, minus the tears and tissues. IMO, she is clearly still trying to process her feelings and was relying on Oprah to help her to do that. Hence the leading questions. The thing that I've noticed (we've all noticed) about LMP over the years is that she is very good at using certain tools or masks to protect herself emotionally. Aloofness, "attitude," coolness, distance, indifference, etc. We all have defense mechanisms so this is not meant as a criticism. In past interviews, that aloofness and coolness were on full display especially when she was being asked dumb questions. (Diane Sawyer and Oprah were some of the worst!!) Those masks, if you will, were set aside to some degree for this interview. MABELA,5050 had commented that the indifference seems to still be there. Perhaps. However, I saw nervousness along with a conscious effort to be relaxed, which ended up looking un-relaxed with her fidgeting. I do the same thing during job interviews!! Yikes!! She's never been comfortable in this setting and I feel the apparent "indifference" on her part had more to do with interview anxiety. At the end she states that this is the only interview she will do regarding Michael and it seemed like this was something that she felt she had to get out of the way in order to move on. Very understandable.
Oprah has obviously gone to great lengths to build a relationship with LMP with activities, such as a hiking trip, to at least appear to be a safe and trustworthy person for her to talk too. (I'm seeing Oprah as more of a wolf in sheep’s clothing who lulled LMP into a false sense of security!) For the most part I was alright with the interview until the topic of the child abuse allegations and alleged drug use came up. At that point I was VERY uncomfortable and perhaps became too focused on those issues. (I've had to view the interview again so I can focus on the other things Lisa talked about.) I can't get over this obsession Oprah has with those 2 issues regarding Michael, especially the first issue. I'm still convinced it has to do with deep seated resentments that she harbors due to unpleasant things that happened in her childhood (I have compassion for her regarding this) that of course had nothing to do with Michael Jackson but everything to do with her view of him (I have no compassion for her regarding this). She lasers right into those subjects like a hawk perusing its prey. She just won't let go! Oprah, let it go!! Accept the fact that this man is innocent of what you so want him to be guilty of. Again, this is my personal perception of her attitude toward Michael.
Back to LMP, there were several moments in the interview that made me cringe. (That made all of us cringe I'm sure.) The worst was the "I wasn't in the room" comment which made me almost fall out of my chair. I felt that she was telling me that despite saying she didn't see any wrong behavior, she was also telling me, in the same breath, that she doubted her ex-husband's innocence. UGH!!! I'm sure that wasn't what she meant but I wanted to reach into my laptop and say, "Lisa, please, please, please don't say that...you're feeding the piranha with their favorite food, innuendo and doubt!" For certain individuals, that's the only part of the interview they will pay attention to. They will harp on it endlessly. I felt it was a serious mistake for her to comment on the Gavin issue at all without even a breath taken to acknowledge Michael's acquittal on all counts during his 2005 trial. Although, I have to remind myself that we don't know what was left on the "cutting room floor," so to speak. She may very well have said this in an outtake.
The second biggest cringe moment for me was her certainty when she said she thought Michael was "as high as a kite" in the Bashir trash-u-mentary. I have to remind myself that this is her opinion only, not a statement of fact regarding Michael. The one thing I was glad that she did was say how "nasty" the editing was for that slanderous piece of garbage. I wanted her to trash it even more!
Which brings me to what I wanted to see more from her in the interview that I felt was lacking. Before I do that, I need to add this disclaimer and that is to recognize fully that she is recounting her story and she needs to tell it her way. I do respect that and I mean no disrespect to Lisa. At the end of the day, it's not my place, nor anyone else's, to tell her how to tell her story. My insertion here is just me thinking out loud as you will be able to tell since I use the word "I" lot in the coming paragraphs. Be patient with me!!! Here goes...
I wanted so much for her to defend him more and talk more about his humanitarianism. She saw his concern for others in her marriage as they visited sick children in hospitals together. I've read other interviews with her where she said that she very much enjoyed this. I wanted to hear her share this again. She speaks of how "intoxicating" he was for her "like a drug" and how much she loved simply standing beside him and "taking care of him." (Holy Mother of Jesus, I would have been the same way!!!) Also, this idea that she understands him more now and, although it comes across as very dramatic, realizes now that he DID love her and in fact it DID take his death for that realization to take hold. UGH! As hard as that is to take, I believe her. For me, talking about that realization in a public way, like she was, would have brought tears to my eyes. But then again, she's already done a lot of crying in the past year+. Along with the tears I'm sure there has been a great deal of emotional processing and re-evaluation. I took note of her comment on how patient her current husband has been regarding this issue. I applaud him although I'm sure he is anxious to see this phase in her life pass.
Although she did acknowledge this issue, I wanted to hear her comment more on her own naiveté in regard to trying to "save him" from the issues she saw at the time. I empathized with her concerning her own sense of not having done enough in even just little things like calling Michael up and saying "how are you?" (Preferably without it degrading into an argument which didn't seem to be possible for a long time.) When you're "in the moment," things aren't clear. She was very caught up in her own emotions, and as she said, she was "scattered" in her attention. Although in this regard she was primarily referring to her lack of attentiveness emotionally with her two eldest children, she was clearly that way with Michael too. I respected her for her honesty in acknowledging this.
Concerning other issues that came up; the proposal, the 4 year post-divorce relationship, the infamous public "kiss," the "retaliatory" Debbie Rowe pregnancy, the first husband inexplicably being on vacation with she and Michael(?!?), not knowing what to do with issues Michael expressed concerning his catalog and estate, the casket issue, her new found understanding of Michael. I won't comment on all of these since I'm taking up allot of space already. Forgive me for that!
I had concerns with what Josie had accurately noted and that was why LMP's story changed concerning the "kiss" issue. As has been noted, in the past she was reported to have said she didn't know the "kiss" was going to happen. In the 2010 version of events, she did know. My amateur analysis tells me that her story back then was a way to hurt and isolate Michael due to her own hurt feelings. A childish thing to do if, and only if, my assessment is correct. She should be far enough removed from those feelings so I feel her story now is the most accurate one.
As for the "retaliatory" Debbie Rowe pregnancy, I'm considering two elements to this. First, Michael was genuinely upset that Lisa was dragging her feet on this issue and then being defiant about it especially when there didn't appear to be an issue to begin with. I can't blame him for being upset. Second, Michael is in his mid to late 30's at this point so it is understandable that he would want to start his own family right away. I think it's clear he didn't want to be starting a family in his 40's or later although certainly he wasn't opposed to increasing the size of his family later on. Hence the "if you won't, she will" comment regarding Debbie Rowe. This is such a difficult issue to comment on so I won't go any further with it. The one thing I will say is that despite the complicated beginings, Michael has 3 beautiful and bright children to carry on his legacy.
On another issue, the idea that her ex-husband, Danny Keough, was on vacation with them at any time left me speechless. I'm not understanding that one at all. The only way I can put my head around that is due to the children she and Danny had together. If she felt Michael was so "intoxicating," why continue to associate with her ex other than for the children. But for him to go on vacation with them? Huh?
To expand on this further, as I mentioned, this is a concept that is beyond my comprehension. Michael would have every right to be upset, no, down right livid is more like it! In the recent Oprah interview, Lisa said that Michael disappeared for a couple of weeks in light of this and she "couldn't find him." The conclusion I drew from this intrusion was the ex's possible distrust of Michael around his two young children. The '93 allegations were still fresh in everyone's memory and I would imagine that no matter what Lisa said to the contrary, this guy may have bought into the lies, and not trusted Michael. I wonder if their were any direct conflicts between Michael and the ex during this time? How did Lisa feel about Michael being around her children? In interviews that I've read/listened to with Lisa in the past, she said that Michael doted on her children and that she was totally at ease with them being around Michael.
As for O's question concerning LMP standing by Michael's casket I have to go back to truthbtold2all's comment when she said, "I was glad she skirted Oprah's question about standing next to Michael's casket. That's how I see her answer - she avoided, didn't want to tell the world. A wise and very personal choice in my opinion." That's my opinion too. Although instead of the long awkward pause, I wish she had just stated how personal that moment was and express her desire to keep it to herself. Again, I recognize I am being an armchair-quarterback here and I can't know what she is feeling. What she did say about this issue that stood out for me is that she was the last one standing by his casket and that she didn't want to leave him. I felt that and it brought tears to my eyes.
At the end of the interview, part of me wanted to distance myself from her again but not entirely, especially since her blog post from last year drew me in. I still find that post incredibly moving and it changed the way I viewed Lisa Marie. I do feel that she cares for Michael and that long supressed feelings have been brought to the surface as a result of his death. I believe this has been a difficult year for her. I think that she is still on a journey of re-evaluating her relationship with him and how her own actions affected him, not just the other way around. I do feel that she said perhaps too much on certain very controversial issues. I wish I could ask her about that and if she feels her comments might hurt Michael in Murray's trial and any other trial that emerges. In the end, although I was left speechless with certain parts of the interview, there were other parts that did move me greatly. Some in other places have commented on being suspicious of Lisa during this interview, my final take is that my suspicions still lie primarily with Oprah and NOT Lisa.
Lisa has matured. She is in a different place in her life and is able to reflect on her past relationship in a way that she couldn't before.
Thank you Lisa, for your honesty and insight. Thank you for letting us get to know and perhaps understand Michael, the human being, a little better.
Thank you for your patients with me and my long comment as I am still processing this interview.
Peace and love to all.
Lisa Marie as a very small child. Awwwwwww!!
In a moment of reflection.
Very sweet!!!!! Michael Jackson as a baby.
The Dangerous tour (June 27, 1992, to November 11, 1993)