Riley Keough has opened up about the drama surrounding Elvis’ legacy, revealing that although she briefly clashed with her grandmother, Priscilla Presley, there is now “clarity” in the family.
The conflict arose after the sudden death of Lisa Marie Presley – Elvis and Priscilla’s daughter, and Keough’s mother – earlier this year, when the inheritance of Elvis Presley’s assets was called into question.
Lisa Marie was the sole heir to Elvis’ estate after her father’s death. The venue was also run by Priscilla, who was married to the ‘Suspicious Minds’ singer from 1967 to 1973.
When the trust was dissolved in 1993, on Lisa Marie’s 25th birthday, she created a new trust, which also supported her mother as estate manager and co-trustee. However, earlier this year, Priscilla Presley filed a legal challenge challenging the validity of her daughter Lisa Marie’s will, after it was amended in 2016 to remove Priscilla and Barry Siegel, a former business manager, as trustees.
The “purported” amendment named Lisa Marie’s sons, Riley Keough and Benjamin Keough, as “co-successor trustees of the trust” upon her death. Benjamin died in 2020, aged 27.
However, Priscilla’s lawyers argued that there were “many questions regarding the authenticity and validity” of the amendment, including the misspelling of Priscilla’s name and failure to notify her of the change. This meant that when Lisa Marie died unexpectedly in January, there was some conflict as to whether Priscilla or Keough was entitled to the inheritance.
In May, Keough and Priscilla revealed that they had reached an agreement, and the following month they shared the terms of the agreement. The agreement reached stated that Keough would be the sole trustee of Lisa Marie’s estate and that he would pay Priscilla an undisclosed amount to reduce any legal action against the will.
Now, Keough – who also stars in the Amazon Prime mini-series Daisy Jones & The Six – has opened up about the ordeal in an interview with Vanity Fair and recalled the “chaos” that followed his mother’s death.
“When my mother died, there was a lot of chaos in all aspects of our lives. Everything seemed as if the carpet had been pulled out and the ground had melted under our feet,” he explains. “Everyone was in a bit of a panic about how to proceed, and it took us a moment to understand the details of the situation, because it is complicated. We are a family, but we also have a big business side. I thought you had to have things clear.”
She also insisted that, despite the initial drama between her and her grandmother, “there was clarity” since they reached an agreement and, going forward, “things with the grandmother will be happy.”
“They never stopped being happy,” he said. “There was a bit of a disturbance, but now everything will go back to the way it was before.”
Elsewhere in the conversation, Keough also confirmed that much of the tension stemmed from Priscilla’s determination to keep Elvis’ legacy alive and turn Graceland into a museum, as well as his desire to be buried there.
“It’s very important to her… He was the love of her life. Anything in the press that suggests otherwise makes me sad because, at the end of the day, she just wants to love Graceland and the family Presley and protecting them. And the legacy. That’s his whole life,” he explained.
“I don’t know why they wouldn’t be buried at Graceland,” Keough said. “I don’t understand what all the drama is about on the news. Yes, if she wants to, sure. It was her idea to share Graceland with the world from the beginning.”
After the death of Lisa Marie, a public funeral was held on January 22 where Alanis Morissette, Billy Corgan and Axl Rose, among others, paid tribute to the singer. The funeral was held on the front lawn of the Presley family’s Graceland Home and Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.
At the ceremony, Priscilla Presley and Riley Keough revealed that Lisa Marie had just become a grandmother during an emotional tribute.
Last month, Riley Keough paid tribute to her late mother and brother Benjamin on the anniversary of their deaths and the day of her first Emmy nomination.