Lisa Marie: Jacko Never Acted Improperly
"I was in no way referring to seeing something inappropriate with children, as I have stated publicly before. I never have," Presley said in a statement released by her Los Angeles publicist, Paul Bloch.
"Unfortunately, due to the recent media frenzy surrounding Michael Jackson, my comments during a recent TV interview in Australia regarding him were completely taken out of context and erroneously read into," Presley said in the statement.
"In saying I saw things, I was specifically referring to things in that relationship with us that went on between us at the time as husband and wife," she said.
Because of her comments, Presley, 36, reportedly was to be summoned to speak before a grand jury investigating child molestation charges against Jackson. Under oath, said legal experts, she would not be shielded behind the reputed confidentiality agreement she signed when she divorced Jackson.
In that rare TV appearance on the Australian Broadcasting Corp.'s "Enough Rope" talk show that aired Monday night, during which she spoke publicly for the first time about their marriage, Presley said Jackson made her feel manipulated during their union. She also refused to elaborate upon what she claimed to have witnessed and was powerless to stop.
On the program, Presley often dodged questions about the singer, saying of their marriage, "It was nine years ago ... I really don't remember."
What she did say was that she felt "powerless in a lot of ways, in terms of ... realizing that I was part of a machine, and seeing things going on that I couldn't do anything about."
Presley continued: "And don't ask me what sort of things, because I'm not going to answer. But just stuff." She also said that it was Jackson's public-relations people who insisted on the big onscreen kiss Jackson gave her during the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards.
Elvis Presley's only child, who was Down Under promoting her singing career, was also asked how she now felt about Jackson. She replied, "It's really bizarre, I feel nothing." She added that when she watches news reports about her ex, he comes across as "a mystery."
Jackson, 45, has pleaded not guilty in Santa Barbara County, Calif., to seven counts of performing lewd or lascivious acts on a child under 14 and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent, reportedly wine. He remains free on $3 million bail pending trial.