Performer-extraordinaire Michael Jackson with my two kids Ivanka and Eric in the Great Hall
The stay of Michael Jackson and Lisa-Marie Presley at Trump Towers at Mar-a-Lago according to Donald Trump's book, "Trump: The Art Of The Come Back", published 1997
One of my most interesting Mar-a-Lago experiences involved the turmoil over Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley. Michael was a friend of mine and a very good guy – but very different. It began in New York, when I got a call from him one day, saying he would be coming to the city and would like to get together. He often called to say hello when he came to New York. This time I invited him out to [page missing]
… military outfit with a large black hat and picked up the menu. It was as if he had never seen a menu before, and we carefully went over each item. But what was most amazing were the looks on the distinguished faces in the room as they came over to our table practically begging for an autograph. These are people who had probably never asked for anyone’s autograph before, and I can guarantee you, it was not easy for them to do. They would always start by saying, I have a son who is a big fan of yours, Mr Jackson. Could you give him an autograph? But I believe it was for them, not their sons. One woman, one of the most socially prominent in New York, known for her attitude approached our table trying to look cool, then slightly tripped. She grabbed the table for support and asked in the same breath, “Mr Jackson, can I have your autograph?” It was amazing to see this woman, whom I have known for years, so flustered and nervous.
Somehow, Michael feels comfortable with me. I asked him how he was doing, and we started talking about his life, including his sex life. I was somewhat surprised when Michael told me he had a new girlfriend. I congratulated him and asked, Who is it? He was very shy and looked down into his napkin, then put the napkin over his face and said, “Trump, Trump, I don’t want to talk about it, I’m so embarrassed.”
I chided him. “Come on, Michael,” I said, “tell me who your new girlfriend is.” When he finally looked up, he said that it was a girl named Lisa Marie. That was the one of the conversation, and we went on to another topic.
A couple of weeks later, I got a call from Michael asking if he could go down to Mar-a-Lago with me. I said absolutely, and we flew down in my plane together. Michael had a small group of people with him. We did a lot of talking. On the flight down, he asked if it would be possible for his girlfriend to come over and say hello and even stay at Mar-a-Lago with him. I said absolutely, I looked forward to meeting her. I asked if it was the same girl, Lisa Marie. He said, yes, it was and she would be arriving sometime around eight o’clock, about an hour after we got to the house.
When the doorbell rang, the butler answered, and a beautiful girl walked through the door. I don’t believe people realize how pretty Lisa Marie Presley’s face really is. She’s got the best of Elvis and Priscilla and I don’t think she has ever been recognized for her incredible glow. In any event, Michael came running down to the living room, greeted her with a hug, and then took her off to look at the ocean. When they came back, holding hands and hugging, they seemed very much in love. I’m not saying that I was surprised at this, but there was never a doubt in my mind that they definitely had something going.
During the weekend we saw very little of Michael and Lisa Marie, since they stayed up in the tower. Then they made the mistake, on Saturday afternoon, of trying to sneak out to sneak out of Mar-a-Lago and go shopping, in disguise, on Worth Avenue. Well, the paparazzi broke out, and all hell broke loose. They were driven in a limousine back to Mar-a-Lago with the paparazzi in pursuit. The rest of the weekend was absolutely wild. Hundreds of cameras surrounded Mar-a-Lago and Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie were stationed in their love nest tower rising high above the house. The press didn’t bother them or me either, but it was quite a frenzy.
I had other guests at Mar-a-Lago, one of them the brilliant New Jersey businessman Arthur Goldberg. He took a company named Bally, which was in tremendous trouble – by any other account should have been bankrupt and defunct – and through sheer talent, energy and force built it into a great company in a short time, and sold it to Hilton Hotels for $3 billion. Arthur made over $100 million on the transactions, and I often cite him as one of the few examples I have seen of a top executive truly deserving of what he gets. He did an incredible job. He is now the president of Hilton’s gaming division and is working closely with Barron Hilton and Steve Bollenbach.
In any event, Arthur and I were having a meeting in one of the rooms at Mar-a-Lago when there was a knock on the door. Arthur didn’t know Michael Jackson was staying at the house, but he was aware that there was a great commotion and he was curious as to why there were so many people outside taking pictures. Arthur got up to answer the door. This particular room at Mar-a-Lago, the Dutch Room, is done in very dark woods and is lit very dimly, in keeping with the look. Arthur swung open the door, and there was Michael Jackson. “Look, look, it’s Michael Jackson,” he said to me. Michael, on the other hand, saw somebody he wasn’t familiar with, put his hand over his face, and ran down the hallway. That was the last we saw of Michael that weekend. He went back to the tower to be with Lisa Marie.
People often ask me whether or not the relationship was a sham and I give them an emphatic no. I was there, and the magic of Mar-a-Lago brought it out, because after they left, it didn’t work so well. I can tell you, for at least a period of time, these two folks were really getting it on.
Mar-a-Lago Estate, Palm Beach, Florida, USA
sometime in the 1990s
http://rhythmofthetide.com/tag/lisa-marie-presley/ - Trump: The Art Of The Come Back (1997)
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