5 Things to Watch in Lisa Marie Presley's Family Dispute
The legal battles have already started.
Within days of Lisa Marie Presley's unexpected death on Jan. 12, multiple family dramas erupted among the immediate survivors of Elvis's only child. Financial and custody battles took shape almost immediately, and protracted court cases seem inevitable. The key players involved: Lisa Marie's mother Priscilla Presley, 77; Lisa Marie's daughters, actress Riley Keough, 33, and 14-year-old twins Finley and Harper Lockwood; and two of Lisa Marie's ex-husbands, Danny Keough and Michael Lockwood. Read on to find out about the legal battles that are brewing, and the five elements to watch for.
Is The Trust Legit?
In 2016, Lisa Marie had named her children—daughter Riley and son Benjamin (who died in 2020)—as the sole people in charge of her financial trust, removing mother Priscilla as a trustee. Four days after Lisa Marie's memorial service, Priscilla filed suit in Los Angeles court, disputing the "authenticity and validity" of her granddaughter's appointment.
Priscilla claims Lisa Marie's 2010 revocable living trust names her as a trustee and should be honored. Priscilla also says she was never notified about the 2016 amendment removing her as trustee when Lisa Marie was alive, as is required by law; that her name was misspelled in the document, which was never notarized or witnessed; and that Lisa Marie's signature appears to be fraudulent.
Is It "A Money Grab"?
Quoting two people close to the family, CNN reported that one friend alleges Priscilla Presley's petition is a "money grab." Priscilla and Elvis Presley divorced in 1973. When Elvis died in 1977, Lisa Marie was named the sole inheritor of Graceland and Elvis's estate.
"This is about Graceland and the memorabilia that Elvis left to Lisa Marie," the source said. "Lisa was the sole heir to his estate. She and her mother were estranged for the last several years. Lisa did not want her mother overseeing the estate. I believe Priscilla is after money and what's inside Graceland."
Will They Work It Out?
On Friday, after the CNN story was published, Priscilla Presley responded to the "money grab" accusations in a statement to the news outlet. "I loved Elvis very much as he loved me. Lisa is a result of our love. For anyone to think anything differently would be a travesty of the family legacy and would be disrespectful of what Elvis left behind in his life," she said.
"Please allow us the time we need to work together and sort this out. Please ignore 'the noise.' As I have always been there for Elvis' legacy, our family and the fans, I will continue to forge a pathway forward with respect, honesty, dignity, integrity, and love." That day, ET reported that a source close to Riley Keough said she was "disappointed" that her grandmother was challenging Lisa Marie's trust.
Will Riley Keough Step Up?
CNN reported that a trust including the Graceland property and its contents will pass on to Riley Keough, an accomplished actress and model, along with her twin 14-year-old sisters Riley and Harper. Keough has made several films and starred in the Starz anthology series The Girlfriend Experience" "Riley is a sophisticated, 33-year-old woman who is more than capable of running the estate smoothly," the second close friend of Lisa Marie Presley told CNN.
A Custody Battle May Be Brewing
Lisa Marie leaves behind 14-year-old twins Finley and Harper, whose father is her fourth husband, Michael Lockwood. But in the weeks before her death, Lisa Marie and the children were living with her third husband, Riley's father Danny Keough, TMZ reported. The news outlet says a custody battle is "brewing" between Danny Keough and Michael Lockwood. The twins' biological father is likely to be awarded custody. But Riley's desire to maintain a relationship with her younger siblings is said to be complicating matters.