Skip to content

Priscilla Presley Reveals Troubling Warning Signs Before Lisa Marie's Death

Elvis' only child died of a complication from a weight-loss surgery early this year.

In January of this year, Lisa Marie Presley died at the age of 54. At the time, it was reported that she had been hospitalized for possible cardiac arrest, but in July, an autopsy determined that she had died due to small bowel obstruction, which was related to a weight-loss surgery she had undergone years prior. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Lisa Marie's mother, Priscilla Presley, opened up about her daughter's shocking death and the warning sign she noticed just days before the singer-songwriter and Elvis Presley's only child passed away.

Read on to see what Priscilla shared about one of her final memories with Lisa Marie and to learn more about the complication that led to her death.

RELATED: See Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash's Only Child All Grown Up.

Priscilla knew something was wrong.

Lisa Marie Presley at the 2023 Golden Globe Awards
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Icelandic Glacial

On Aug. 23, The Hollywood Reporter published an interview with Sofia Coppola and Presley focused on the filmmaker's upcoming biopic, Priscilla. Priscilla revealed that she had concerns about her daughter two days before she passed.

"I did know there was something not right," she said of the days leading up to Lisa Marie's passing.

Priscilla explained that after attending the Golden Globes together in support of last year's Elvis, she and Lisa Marie went to the Chateau Marmont to celebrate the fact that Austin Butler had won the award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for the film.

"We had just gotten there, you go down all these stairs," Priscilla recalled. "I tripped a little bit because I had these high heels on, and she started laughing so hard. I started laughing. We hadn't even had a drink yet. She goes, 'Oh my God, Mom, you can't even have a drink.' … It was fun, a fun memory."

But then, Lisa Marie complained of stomach pain. "Then we sat down and ordered drinks, and she says, 'Mom, my stomach hurts really bad.' We immediately got up and left," the 78-year-old said.

She described the moment she heard Lisa Marie had been taken to the hospital.

Priscilla Presley at the public memorial for Lisa Marie Presley at Graceland in January 2023
Jason Kempin/Getty Images for ABA

Priscilla went on to explain that two days after the Golden Globes, she received a call from Lisa Marie's ex-husband, Danny Keough, who told her that Lisa Marie was in the hospital. Priscilla rushed over to see her, but her daughter died before she arrived.

"I got right in the car, but she was already gone," Priscilla told THR. "I still can't believe it. I don't wish this on any mother."

For more celebrity news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Priscilla announced Lisa Marie's death.

Finley Lockwood, Lisa Marie Presley, Priscilla Presley, Riley Keough, and Harper Lockwood at the TCL Chinese Theatre in 2022
Joe Seer / Shutterstock

After Lisa Marie died on Jan. 12, it was Priscilla who shared a statement with the press.

"It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us," she told People. "She was the most passionate strong and loving woman I have ever known. We ask for privacy as we try to deal with this profound loss. Thank you for the love and prayers. At this time there will be no further comment."

A couple of weeks later, Priscilla spoke out again when she thanked fans for their support. "I'm truly overwhelmed with your words, your prayers, your love and your support," she tweeted. "Thank you from the bottom of my heart in trying to help me get through this loss. Every parent who has lost a daughter or son knows what a dark painstaking journey it is."

Lisa Marie's official cause of death was confirmed in July.

Lisa Marie Presley at the premiere of "Mad Max: Fury Road" in 2015
Tinseltown / Shutterstock

Six months later, Lisa Marie's cause of death was confirmed in an autopsy report from the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner. As reported by CNN, the autopsy stated that she had died from small bowel obstruction, which was caused by "adhesions (or, scar tissue) that developed after bariatric surgery years ago. This is a known long-term complication of this type of surgery."

As noted in the report, a long-term risk of bariatric surgery is bowel obstruction, according to Mayo Clincic.

After the autopsy report came out, Page Six reported that sources said Lisa Marie had complained of abdominal pain in the days prior to her death, which lines up with what Priscilla shared with THR. The outlet also reported that her prior stomach pain was noted in the autopsy.

RELATED: Elvis Reportedly "Flew Into a Rage" Any Time This Star Was Mentioned.

Priscilla also cleared up a rumor.

Priscilla Presley and Riley Keough at the Humane Society of the United States LA Gala in 2016
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

Priscilla also spoke to THR about news stories claiming that she and Lisa Marie's daughter, actor Riley Keough, have a strained relationship following Lisa Marie's death. It was reported that Priscilla and Riley were at odds as they sorted out Lisa Marie's will—specifically an amendment that was added in 2016 that removed Priscilla and a former business manager as trustees and replaced them with Lisa Marie's children, Riley and Benjamin Keough. (Benjamin died in 2020 at 27.) People reported in May that both sides had reached a settlement and their lawyers both said that Priscilla and Riley were "happy" with the outcome.

Now, Priscilla has explained that she and Riley are doing just fine.

"Riley is now the executor, which should be right, obviously, being her daughter," the 78-year-old said. "Riley and I are on good terms. We were never not on good terms. That was all publicity. This is private and this is not something to fool around with and say that we're not agreeing. In fact, I'm having dinner with [Riley] tonight. We understand what needs to be done. I'm there for her. She knows that. She wants me there for her to help her."

Riley also addressed the gossip.

Riley Keough at the Premiere of "Daisy Jones and The Six" in 2023
Joe Seer / Shutterstock

Riley spoke out about the legal drama herself in an interview published earlier this month. She told Vanity Fair that "there was a lot of chaos" after her mom died and that "there was clarity that needed to be had" with the "business side of [the] family."

She added, "Things with Grandma will be happy. They've never not been happy. There was a bit of upheaval, but now everything's going to be how it was."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
Filed Under