Priscilla Presley and her granddaughter Riley Keough are embroiled in a nasty legal dispute over the late Lisa Marie Presley’s $35 million will, with Elvis’ ex-wife calling the ‘authenticity and validity’ of a 2016 modification into question.
Priscilla Presley is embroiled in a nasty legal dispute with her granddaughter Riley Keough, and a typographical error may decide the struggle over Graceland.
Following Lisa Marie Presley’s sad death in January, her mother and daughter have clashed over Elvis Presley’s only child and her $1 billion empire.
Lisa Marie’s living trust comprises the Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, and a 15% share in Elvis Presley Enterprises, reportedly bringing in £93 million last year.
The King of Rock & Roll home attracts visitors from all over the world, with his daughter becoming the sole owner of the property after the trust that held her inheritance dissolved on her 25th birthday in 1993.
“Graceland was entrusted to me and will always be mine,” Lisa Marie stated in 2013. Afterward, it was handed down to my children. It will never be for sale.”
The family gathered together in January to lay Lisa Marie to rest at a public funeral service, but they are now more divided than ever.
Priscilla, 77, filed a petition in court four days after the memorial, questioning the “authenticity” of a shocking modification to a document.
The change to Lisa Marie Presley’s living trust, which can function as a will after death, appears to have removed Priscilla from any claim to Elvis’ estate.
Barry Siegel, Priscilla, and Lisa Marie’s former business manager, was removed as trust manager, and power was passed to her eldest children, Riley and Benjamin Keough.
Unfortunately, Benjamin died by suicide at 27 in 2020, while sources claim that Riley, 33, and gran Priscilla “do not see eye to eye”.
Priscilla claims the 2016 modification was never provided to her while Lisa Marie was alive, as required by the original trust.
In challenging the document’s legality, she pointed out that her name was misspelled.
Priscilla says that Lisa Marie’s signature ‘appears discordant with her daughter’s usual and customary signature’ and was not witnessed or notarized.
A legal expert expects the court to support Priscilla’s petition, making her a co-trustee alongside Riley if the amendment is overturned.
“They’re quite good reasons,” Cynthia Brittain, a lawyer at Karlin & Peebles, told The Mirror. If everything goes as planned, the case law is fairly unambiguous.”
Riley will be left in sole command if the courts rule that the amendment is lawful.
According to a source, Riley wanted to settle the situation privately, but both parties are now “gearing up” to have their say in court.
“Riley has been grieving her mother’s death and is heartbroken to have to deal with a trust dispute with a family member,” a source told Entertainment Tonight.
“Priscilla is adamant that she has a valid case and will win in court.”
“Riley and Priscilla aren’t talking right now, but they’ve been speaking through lawyers.”
However, a close friend of Lisa Marie criticized Priscilla for disputing the will, saying it was “strictly a money grab”.
“She had no relationship with Priscilla, [her ex-husband] Michael Lockwood, or her half-brother [Navarone Garibaldi,” a friend of Lisa Marie told People.
“Lisa lived her life honestly… She would not remain silent while she was being exploited.”
“At the end of the day, these were her wishes, and there was no doubt about her wishes.”
Another source of tension has been Priscilla’s alleged commitment to Michael Lockwood, Lisa Marie’s ex and the father of their 14-year-old twins, Finley and Harper.
According to a Mirror insider, Priscilla’s connection with her daughter has been strained since Lisa Marie divorced Michael in 2016.
“I can promise you that in the last seven years of Lisa’s life, she never discussed any business with Priscilla,” her buddy revealed. “She desired that her four children receive 5% of the estate.
“Priscilla doesn’t want Riley fully in charge because she has no voice. It’s a terrible situation.”
A violent custody dispute for the twins after Lisa Marie and Michael divorced lasted until last year.
Associates say Lisa Marie was irritated that Priscilla frequently appeared to side with Michael, and the tension filtered down to her eldest daughter.
“When it came to Michael, Riley was always on her mother’s side,” the person stated.
Priscilla was allegedly ‘shut out’ of Graceland by Riley, who reportedly ‘changed the locks on the upstairs doors and archives.’
The Memphis mansion is open to the public. However, the second floor is restricted to Presley family members exclusively.
“No locks at Graceland have been changed since Lisa Marie’s passing,” a source informed Entertainment Tonight.
Graceland representatives have subsequently disputed the rumors, saying, “These reports are completely false.”
Lisa Marie died on January 12th, at 54, from a heart attack.
After regaining a pulse, paramedics went to her Calabasas home and brought her to the hospital, but she died while receiving care.
“It is with a heavy heart that I must deliver the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us,” her mother, Priscilla, stated.
“She was the most passionate, strong, and loving woman I’d ever met. We want privacy as we attempt to cope with this tragic loss. Thank you for your support and prayers. There will be no additional remark at this time.”
Her final burial place was at Graceland, alongside her late father, Elvis, grandparents Vernon and Gladys Presley, and great-grandmother Minnie Mae Hood Presley.
Lisa Marie’s burial was located adjacent to that of her adored son, Benjamin Keough, who committed suicide in July 2020 at the age of 27.
They are all buried around a beautiful fountain in Graceland’s Meditation Garden, and a public tribute will be held in January of this year.