Lisa Marie Presley’s friends are certain that she would be “pissed” by her mother’s attempts to take charge of her estate.
It has been just over two weeks since Lisa Marie, the only daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, died at age 54 on January 12 after suffering a suspected cardiac arrest at her Calabasas, California home.
With her body barely laid to rest next to her beloved son, Benjamin, and her father at the family estate, Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee, her mother has launched a legal challenge against the estate.
Sources told The Post that Lisa Marie and her mother were basically estranged for close to eight years before her passing.
One friend revealed that Priscilla, who had been a longtime trustee of the Elvis estate, making $900,000-a-year, failed to have her contract renewed by Elvis Presley Enterprises in 2020.
The friend added that mother and daughter did not even want to sit close to each other at the Golden Globes last month to celebrate the nominated movie “Elvis,” saying: “Lisa didn’t want to have anything to do with her mom. She was basically estranged from Priscilla for the last seven to eight years. They only talked when there was no option.
“At the Golden Globes, they were made to sit together by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association … Lisa didn’t even go with Priscilla, Jerry Schilling [a longtime Elvis friend] was her chaperone. The HFP pushed [mother and daughter] together.”
The HFP declined to comment, as did a rep for the Elvis estate.
According to Priscilla’s petition, seen by The Post, Lisa Marie wrote a living will in 1993 and amended it in 2010, making Priscilla, 77, a co-trustee alongside her former business manager Barry Siegel, whom she later sued for mismanagement.
After Lisa Marie’s death, Priscilla discovered an amendment that had been added in 2016, axing both Priscilla and Siegel as co-trustees and replacing them with Lisa Marie’s daughter Riley Keough; son Benjamin Keough, who died by suicide in 2020; and her twin girls, Finley and Harper Lockwood, now 14.
Priscilla is now contesting the will’s validity.
“Lisa would be pissed!” said one longtime friend of Lisa Marie, who was close to her for more than 12 years. “She would be so upset that Priscilla is doing this. Riley is an amazing trustee … and Lisa’s youngest daughters are in the best of hands with her.”
The friend laid bare the difficult relationship between Lisa Marie and her mother, adding: “I know with Lisa and Priscilla that they always had a strange relationship. They were often estranged.
“It was quite often Priscilla, Lisa Marie’s half-brother, Navarone, and her ex-husband Michael Lockwood together in one corner … It was always a bone of contention for Lisa.
“But I was shocked to see a filing for the trust from the Priscilla side.”
Indeed, Lockwood, with whom Lisa Marie had been embroiled in a lengthy divorce and custody battle which only ended in October, was invited to her funeral at the behest of Priscilla, according to the friend. “Neither Navarone nor Michael were on the guest list. Michael said he had to chaperone the twins, [but] he didn’t even have a seat, and Priscilla sorted it out.”
Priscilla, Lockwood, and Garibaldi also share the same publicist, who declined to comment.
This week, Joel Weinshanker, a managing partner at Elvis Presley Enterprises, told SiriusXM’s Elvis Radio that Lisa Marie was “very very certain” that her estate should be left to her children, revealing: said: ‘[It] was always Riley and Ben.
“There was never a question in her mind that they would be the stewards, that they would look at it exactly the way she did. Obviously, when Ben passed, it really sat with Riley.
“Although Riley is a movie star [and] an award-winning director, she had always had an interest and had always known that one day, she would be in charge of [things].”
To this, Priscilla spoke out Friday in a comment to The Post: “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. There is an individual that bought their way into the family enterprise that is trying to speak on behalf of our family. This person is not a representative of Elvis or our family.
“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.”
Reps for Riley were unavailable for comment.
As The Post previously reported, Priscilla and Lisa Marie had a difficult relationship for many years. Former Scientologist Karen de la Carrierre claimed that Priscila would drop off Lisa Marie with her for “auditing” or counseling, when the girl was just 9 or 10, with the directive “Handle her.”
The friend said that Lisa Marie had also had a “falling out” with her brother Navarone, whose father was Priscilla’s ex boyfriend Marco Garibaldi, a couple of years ago. whose father was Priscilla’s ex boyfriend Marco Garibaldi, a couple of years ago, claiming: “He wrote some vile social media post on her, which he later deleted.”
Garibaldi, 35, even managed to spill the beans on his niece Riley’s newborn baby daughter’s name, Tupelo – after Elvis’ hometown in Mississippi – in an Instagram Live session, as spotted by eagle-eyed fans online.
Riley only broke the news of her daughter’s birth at her mother’s funeral when she wrote in a speech, read by her husband Ben Smith-Petersen Smith as she was too grief-stricken to speak, “I hope I can love my daughter the way you loved me.”
Garibaldi admitted after his sister’s passing in an Instagram post: “I wish things had been different between us. Regardless, you are my sister and I’m sending love and prayers for your journey home.”
This week, he spoke to People magazine, talking about his drug addiction and saying of his sister’s death, “It’s still surreal.
“However, Riley has been so good with the twins,” he added. Garibaldi was unavailable for comment.
According to the court filing, Priscilla has appointed Brigitte Kruse, a memorabilia auctioneer, as attorney-in-fact for her on the will petition.
David A. Esquibias, an LA-based probate attorney, told The Post this means Kruse has been given power of attorney.
Kruse and her husband started Kruse GWS Auctions Inc. in 2009, according to the company’s website. They have collaborated with Priscilla on Elvis memorabilia auctions in the past, though it’s unclear what the terms of their financial partnership may be. Photos of Priscilla and Kruse last August show them preparing to sell jewelry that once belonged to Elvis and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
The pal said: “I don’t know what Kruse’s reasons are, but I think this all boils down to Graceland. It’s all a bid for control.”
Lisa Marie owned Graceland, which will now go to her children.
Esquibias added that he thinks that Priscilla has a good chance of winning her legal challenge — particularly because she did not receive notice of the amendment while her daughter was alive, as was required.
The petition also notes that Priscilla’s name is misspelled in the document, alleges the amendment was not witnessed or notarized, and questions the authenticity of Lisa Marie’s signature.
However, another high-profile probate lawyer in LA, who declined to be named, disagreed, telling The Post: “Priscila will have to show that Lisa Marie didn’t have the capacity, or it was not her signature or she was pressured to amend the agreement. This will be very hard for her to prove. It’s certainly not uncommon not to give notice of an amendment of a Trust.
“The probate court will look at what is fair and what Lisa Marie wanted. It’s clear what she wanted.”
Attorneys for Riley have yet to respond in the case.
“It’s so sad and upsetting,” said the friend. “They should be a family together united and bonding and healing.”