NEW YORK – Lisa Marie Presley really loved Michael Jackson -- but now wonders whether he married her just to improve his public image.
Usually tight-lipped about her love life, Elvis Presley's only child has finally found a reason to talk.
Her recording debut, To Whom It May Concern, will be out April 8, and the mysterious Presley is coming out, too, in the new Rolling Stone, on newsstands Friday.
"I did fall in love with him," she told writer Chris Heath. "I can't tell you what his intentions were, but I can tell you I absolutely fell in love with him and fell into this whole thing which I'm not proud of now."
During their two-year marriage, Presley, 35, says they had sex, "for a while."
"And then it became 'Def Con 2,'" she said. "It just got really ugly at the end."
Jackson, 44, first tried to get in touch with her when she was a teen, but she "thought he was weird," she said.
Fast forward a few years: Jackson sent word through a friend he wanted Presley to hear a demo record he made.
"He was very real with me off the bat," she said. "He immediately went into this whole explanation of what he knew people thought of him and what the truth was....He was very real -- he was cursing, he was funny. . ."
Presley continued, "I was always saying, 'People wouldn't think I was so crazy [for marrying Jackson] if they saw who the hell you really are; that you sit around and you drink and you curse and you're [expletive] funny, and you have a bad mouth and you don't have that high voice all the time . . ."
They became friends; she was still married to her first husband, rocker Danny Keough (with whom she has two children, Danielle, 13, and Ben, 10). Jackson confided in her during a costly lawsuit and a police investigation of claims he sexually molested a 13-year-old boy.
"I got into this whole, 'I'm going to save you' thing. I thought all that stuff he was doing -- philanthropy and the children thing and all this stuff -- was awesome . . . OK. Hello. I was delusionary. I got some romantic idea in my head I could save him and we could save the world."
Jackson began courting her with candy and flowers, and she left her marriage to Keough "probably quicker than I would have, and that was probably one of the bigger mistakes of my whole life," she said.
Remember that famous Jacko-Lisa lip-lock at the MTV Music Awards?
"It was his manager's idea," she said. "I thought it was stupid. All of a sudden, I became part of a PR machine."
Still, she went on TV to defend him to Diane Sawyer.
"I was really in this lioness thing with him. I wanted to protect him. Naive as hell. I never thought for a moment someone like him could actually use me."
His mind, she said, was "constantly at work, calculating, manipulating. And he scared me like that."
Toward the end of their marriage, he would disappear for weeks at a time, she said.
The last straw came when he dissed Elvis in a TV Guide story. "He was quoting me:" 'Presley told me Elvis had a nose job,' which is absolute [expletive]. I read that and I threw it across the kitchen. 'I told you what?'"
She demanded a divorce and plunged into depression. "My body started to deteriorate. I started to have panic attacks."
Finally, a homeopathic doctor told her to get her fillings removed, which cured her. "Mercury [in the fillings] can make you go [expletive] crazy" she said.
She blames their volatile personalities on her short-lived marriage to Nicolas Cage.
Labeling him a "hothead," Presley said "We're both so dramatic and dynamic that when it was good, it was unbelievably good, and when it was bad, it was just a [expletive] bloody nightmare for everybody. It was just Mr. Toad's Wild Ride."
Even Presley shakes her head at her troubles with men.
"If you lined up all the men I've been with in a row, you'd think that I was completely psychotic," she said.
Presley still visits Graceland, parts of which, she said, haven't changed at all. "Upstairs, which has never been open to the public, is my room and his [Elvis'] room, next to each other, and an attic. It's pretty creepy. It's a shrine."
As for her own new record, Presley at first said, "I don't give a crap about hits," then backtracks, saying, "I mean, I do, of course. But as long as people know it's for real, it's not BS, it's me, my spirit, my heart, my head. You bare your ass for everybody and go, 'What do you think?' It's scary, but it's me."