Lisa Marie Presley's $65,000 Engagement Ring from Nicolas Cage Was Thrown Into the Ocean
Who: Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage, 57, and singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Presley, 52.
As Cage later described in an interview with Barbara Walters, he met Presley (unexpectedly, despite rumors that he was an Elvis-obsessive) at a party.
"I walk into a party not knowing who I'm going to meet, and there's this beautiful girl standing in the middle of the living room wearing this short leather skirt and this fluffy jacket, and she looks up at me with these big, beautiful, soulful eyes that look like they have a sad story to tell, and I just went 'Oh.' I was thunderstruck," he explained.
"We got to talking, we got to know each other, and she's hilarious and she's a real firecracker and she tells it like it is," Cage went on, emphasizing that he "saw Lisa" and not Elvis's daughter.
Debunking rumors to the contrary, Cage clarified, "There's no answering machine with my voice on it as Elvis. We weren't going to buy Graceland. We were never going to live in Graceland. I wasn't going to build Graceland for her on top of a ranch somewhere." Glad that's settled.
The couple "got into this unfortunate pattern of breaking up, getting back together again" before ultimately tying the knot in Hawaii in August 2002, on the 25th anniversary of Presley's father's death.
Why We Loved Them: Like many a celebrity couple, on paper Nic Cage and Lisa Marie were the perfect match. As Cage himself noted in his Barbara Walters interview, they were both from "artistic" families — she the only child of one of the most famous performers in history, he the nephew of celebrated auteur Francis Ford Coppola.
"She was born with the pressure of an extremely famous name from day one; I was a young actor in Hollywood with the name Coppola trying to make it with those pressures. There was a logic to it, there was a sense to it."
Plus, we have no choice but to love and respect a couple with the confidence to explore this color story:
When They Peaked: There were no wallflowers in this relationship. Cage and Presley did things big, from their splashy commemorative destination wedding to their equally ostentatious divorce 107 days later.
But even before the pair made things official, they were generating head-scratching Mad Libs-style headlines on the reg. At one point in their engagement, whilst enjoying a boat ride, Presley's $65,000 six-carat yellow diamond engagement ring was mysteriously thrown into the ocean during a fight. Divers were hired to recover the gem, but it was never found. Cage reportedly then bought Presley an upgraded 10-carat version.
The Breakup: After less than four months of marriage, Cage filed for divorce.
"I'm sad about this, but we shouldn't have been married in the first place. It was a big mistake," Presley said in a statement after the news was made public.
Though at the time Cage refused to comment on the predicament, he later told Walters, "Oftentimes when you have two people who are very strong and their own personalities and rather intense, sometimes you can have a hard time meshing."
That said, he had some regrets about the dissolution of their union.
"It's sad and I miss her every day," he said, "and sometimes I wish we couldn't have rushed the marriage and sometimes I regret rushing the divorce, but it just seemed like it wasn't going to change."
Presley has been a tad more straightforward when discussing the split.
"The most upsetting thing was when he called to say he was sorry, wish he hadn't done it, things like that," Presley said about Cage's decision to file for divorce.
"You can't have a temper tantrum and then call me four days later and expect, you know, everything to be fine again … so, it was like that … We were both like two 12-year-olds in a sandbox, basically."
"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 fucking bloody nightmare for everybody," she told Rolling Stone in 2003. It was just Mr. Toad's Wild Ride."
Still, the kindred spirits remained friends following their breakup.
"I adore Nic," Presley told Larry King the year following the one-two-punch of their whirlwind marriage and subsequent divorce.
"We had a connection," she continued. "We're sort of these gypsy spirited, you know, tyrannical pirates. And one pirate marries another they will sink the ship basically is what it comes down to." Right, yes, that's pirate law.
"That was not a fun time for either of us," Presley later told Oprah Winfrey of her and Cage's divorce. "He did redeem himself in the end and we did become very good friends after that. We're better like that."
Years later, Presley described the relationship in visceral terms, telling Marie Claire, "Marrying him was a wild flurry, a crazy idea and being young, and 'Ahhhh!'"
More than a decade following their split, Cage looked back on their time together fondly. "That particular relationship was really based on humour," he told The Guardian. "We had a lot of laughs together. So that's what that was. Much was made about it because of her father and whatnot, but we had a simple relationship in my opinion."
Where They Are Now:
Cage went on to marry Alice Kim, with whom he welcomed son Kal-El, 15. After 12 years together, Cage and Kim split in 2016. In 2019, the actor wed Erika Koike, but Cage filed for annulment after just 4 days. He was last romantically linked to Riko Shibata.
The National Treasure star's most recent gig is hosting Netflix docuseries The History of Swear Words.
Presley married again, too, tying the knot with guitarist Micahel Lockwood in 2006. They share twin daughters, 12-year-old Finley and Harper. Lockwood and Presley split after a decade of marriage.
#TBT: Check in every Thursday as we throw it back to some of our favorite celebrity couples of all time.