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Jackson and Presley confirm marriage

By TERRI VERMEULEN

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 1 -- Elvis Presley's daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, confirmed Monday that she married pop superstar Michael Jackson in a private ceremony outside the United States 11 weeks ago. The statement, issued through Jackson's Los Angeles production company, said the couple kept their marriage secret to try to ensure their privacy. '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,' Lisa Marie Presley-Jackson said. We both wanted a private marriage ceremony without the distraction of a media circus.' Presley-Jackson said she is 'very much in love with Michael.' 'I dedicate my life to being his wife. I understand and support him, ' she said. 'We both look forward to raising a family and living a happy, healthy life together.' It is the first marriage for Jackson, 35, and the second for Lisa Marie, 26. She announced her separation from her husband, Danny Keough, about three months ago, and there was speculation -- but no official word -- that the couple were divorced in the Dominican Republic where quickie divorces are prevalent. The couple had two children, Danielle, 5, and Benjamin, 21 months. Representatives for Jackson had no immediate comment other than to refer reporters to the statement released by his MJJ Production Co. They had earlier vehemently denied a claim by a Dominican judge, Hugo Francisco Alvarez Perez, who said he married the couple in a 15-minute ceremony in a small Dominican town on May 26.

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Jackson is still under the specter of a criminal investigation on child molestation allegations. The Los Angeles County grand jury disbanded last month without indicting the pop legend. In January, Jackson paid a settlement estimated at anywhere between $5 million to just under $100 million to a 14-year-old boy who filed a civil lawsuit accusing the singer of sexually molesting him.

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