LOS ANGELES, Jan. 18 -- Lisa Marie Presley Jackson filed for divorce Thursday from so-called King of Pop Michael Jackson, marking the end of what has been widely seen as one of entertainment's most bizarre marriages. The split -- no surprise to cynics who predicted the union wouldn't last -- comes 20 months after their surprise wedding in the Dominican Republic. The three-page document, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, says Jackson, 37, and Presley, 27, have been separated since Dec. 10, four days after his widely publicized collapse on aNew York stage while rehearsing for an HBO concert special. Days after the separation date and his release from a New York hospital, Jackson departed without his wife for France to tour Euro Disney with a group of young boys. Jackson's spokesman, Lee Solters, was unaware of the divorce petition until reporters began calling about it, and had no comment to offer from the singer. The petition is a standard three-page form filed by attorneys John Coale of Washington, D.C., and Douglas Bagby of Beverly Hills, Calif. It does not detail the nature of the couple's problems and reserves the property settlement matter for the future. The property settlement might be likened to dissolution of a large privately held company. Jackson, one of the world's most famous and controversial entertainers, and Presley, only child of late singer Elvis Presley and heir to his massive fortune, together have assets in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Word of the May 26, 1994, wedding was so unbelievable that when it cropped up in tabloids, Jackson and Presley publicists denied it and many in the mainstream media wrote it off as a flaky rumor that belonged with UFO sightings and bizarre human interest stories.
As impulsive as the wedding appeared to be, it is very likely they had a prenuptial agreement. Presley has two children from her failed marriage to musician Danny Keough who would be entitled to the Presley fortune, and Jackson went into the marriage with wealth estimated as high as $200 million. Jackson, the eccentric Peter Pan of the music business who lives a rather reclusive life on his Neverland Ranch in California, was investigated in 1993 for allegedly molesting a teenage boy he had befriended and hosted at his home and on trips. The boy's family also filed a lawsuit against Jackson, which he later settled for an undiclosed sum rumored to be at least $10 million. Prosecutors later declined to charge Jackson, saying his accuser refused to testify against him. The controversy hobbled Jackson's world concert tour, and he canceled several remaining dates in it in November 1993, saying he needed treatment for addiction to painkillers. For years there has been speculation that Jackson is homosexual, bisexual or possibly asexual, talk that persisted after the wedding and a passionate kiss he gave Lisa Marie at a televised 1994 awards show. In a joint interview last June for 'Primetime Live,' they assured viewers they did have sex and live together. Presley and Jackson both grew up in the limelight, Presley as the daughter of the King of Rock 'n' Roll and Jackson as nimble-jointed lead singer of the Jackson 5. They met as youngsters in Las Vegas when the Jackson group and Presley both were headlining there.