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Riley Keough Is Officially the New Owner of Graceland

Rosemary Giles
Photo Credit: Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic
Photo Credit: Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic

On January 12, 2023, Lisa Marie Presley died at the age of 54. Like her father Elvis Presley, she left the world much too early. She left behind numerous assets, made up of earnings from her own career as well as those of her father, who left her to manage his estate. However, trouble began brewing behind the scenes between her mother Priscilla Presley and her daughter Riley Keough, who disagreed on who should enact Lisa Marie’s wishes.

Fortunately, Lisa Marie Presley’s loved ones reached a settlement, and Priscilla says the family is now “stronger than ever.”

Amending her wishes

Contrary to how it might have looked at the premiere of the biopic Elvis and other red-carpet events, Lisa Marie and her mother Priscilla hadn’t been on good terms for many years. It all began in 2016 when Lisa Marie split from her husband, Michael. Rather than taking her daughter’s side in the ensuing custody battle for their twins, Priscilla decided to back Michael. They clearly remained close as they flew to Lisa Marie’s funeral together, despite Michael not being invited.

Lisa Marie Presley in a black dress and black hat smirking at a camera.

Lisa Marie Presley poses at the Wonderwall portrait studio during the 2013 CMT Music Awards, June 5, 2013. (Photo Credit: Christopher Polk/ Getty Images for Wonderwall)

Lisa Marie clearly hadn’t forgiven her mother for taking someone else’s side when it came to the twins, as she removed her and former business manager Barry Siegel as trustees of her estate in 2016. Instead, she put Riley and Benjamin Keough in control of the trust. Her son died in 2020, leaving Riley as the sole person responsible. It was this amendment that started the conflict between Priscilla and her granddaughter.

Family feud

It appeared that Priscilla wasn’t made aware of the change in trust management until after Lisa Marie’s death, as she didn’t take legal action against it until four days after the funeral. Once she was aware, she moved quickly, filing a petition to question the “authenticity and validity” of the amendment. She argued that the entire decision should be thrown out, leaving her as the manager of the trust. This was based on the fact that Lisa Marie never told her of the change – supposedly, a legal requirement according to the terms of the trust.

She also raised questions about the validity of the signatures on the document.

Priscilla Presley and Lisa Marie Presley pose for a photo on the red carpet.

Priscilla Presley and Lisa Marie Presley attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony during the grand opening of Graceland Presents ELVIS: The Exhibition – The Show – The Experience in Las Vegas, April 23, 2015. (Photo Credit: Bryan Steffy/ WireImage/ Getty Images)

While Priscilla tried to fight the change, friends of Lisa Marie commented on the situation. According to one, Lisa Marie was extremely clear that she wanted Riley and Ben to be the new trustees: “there’s zero question.” Apparently, she “wanted each of her four children to have 5 percent of the estate.”

They didn’t see ‘eye to eye’

While the family waited to see whether the amendment to the trust would be overturned, many people close to them said that grandmother and granddaughter were hardly speaking to each other as they didn’t “see eye to eye” on the matter. They apparently only communicated through their lawyers. While Riley was completely taken aback by the fact that Priscilla contested the change, Priscilla maintained that it came from a place of love and said that she hoped they could still have a relationship.

Riley Keough and Lisa Marie Presley pose together on the red carpet.

Riley Keough and Lisa Marie Presley attend ELLE’s 24th Annual Women in Hollywood Celebration presented by L’Oreal Paris, at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles, October 16, 2017. (Photo Credit: Neilson Barnard/ Getty Images for ELLE)

An individual who is close with Priscilla commented on her decision to take legal actions, saying she did what felt “is right in her heart.” They elaborated that she was adamant that the documents were forged, and weren’t really her daughter’s wishes.

Was Priscilla locked out of Graceland?

Graceland exterior

Graceland exterior, circa 2016. (Photo Credit: Raymond Boyd/ Getty Images)

The tense situation between Priscilla and her granddaughter came to a head in mid-March 2023, when rumors began circulating that Riley Keough had locked her grandmother out of Graceland over Lisa Marie’s contested will.

Sources told The Daily Mail that Keough allegedly “changed the locks on the upstairs doors and archives’ on a trip to Memphis” to prevent Priscilla from accessing the mansion. A source claimed that Priscilla and Lisa Marie had the only keys to Graceland.

The rumors were denied

Priscilla Presley speaks at Lisa Marie's memorial

Priscilla Presley speaks at the public memorial for Lisa Marie Presley at Graceland on January 22, 2023. (Photo Credit: Jason Kempin/ Getty Images)

Official Graceland reps spoke out, denying any validity to the rumors. The official statement read, “These reports are entirely untrue. No locks at Graceland have been changed since Lisa Marie’s passing.”

They reached a resolution

Priscilla Presley being interviewed for the Hallmark Channel

Priscilla Presley during a visit to Hallmark Channel’s ‘Home & Family’ at Universal Studios Hollywood on February 18, 2020. (Photo Credit: Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)

A resolution was reached on May 16, 2023, and was confirmed by legal representatives for Priscilla Presley and Riley Keough. Priscilla issued a statement to PEOPLE regarding the matter. “Although some media identified such a plea as a lawsuit, I want to make clear that there was never any lawsuit filed against my beloved granddaughter.”

The statement continued: “As a family, we are pleased that we resolved this together. My family and I hope that everyone will grant us the privacy we have needed to properly grieve Lisa Marie and spend personal time together. We love and appreciate all of you and the Presley family is stronger than ever.”

No burial next to Elvis for Priscilla Presley?

 Elvis Presley sits cheek to cheek wit his bride, the former Priscilla Ann Beaulieu, following their wedding

Elvis Presley sits cheek to cheek with his bride, the former Priscilla Ann Beaulieu, following their wedding May 1, 1967. (Photo Credit: Bettmann / Contributor / Getty Images)

Although she reached a settlement with her granddaughter Riley Keough on some key estate issues, Priscilla Presley was denied one key request. She had asked to be buried next to her late ex-husband Elvis Presley and their daughter Lisa Marie Presley when the time eventually comes. In a statement shared with PEOPLE, Presley said, “Although I don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon, it is my family’s and my wish for me to be laid to rest with my daughter and the love of my life when that time comes.”

Despite their separation in 1972 and Priscilla Presley’s subsequent marriage and divorce from Marco Garibaldi, she has consistently referred to Elvis as the love of her life.

Following Elvis’s passing in 1977, he was laid to rest at his cherished Graceland estate, where his grave is located beside his parents, Gladys and Vernon. Lisa Marie Presley is also buried at Graceland alongside her son Benjamin Keough.

As Elvis rests directly between his mother and father, this meant someone would have to be moved in order for Priscilla to get her wish. According to TMZ, sources indicate she backed down from the request without a fight.

However, it was later learned that Riley, as the owner of Graceland, will “to the extent of her authority,” allow Priscilla to be buried in the Meditation Garden with her burial site “at the location closest to Elvis Presley without moving any existing gravesite.”

Riley paid $1 million to Priscilla

Priscilla Presley and Riley Keough show their stained fingers at a Handprint Ceremony in 2022

Priscilla Presley and Riley Keough attend the Handprint Ceremony honoring Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley and Riley Keough at TCL Chinese Theatre on June 21, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo Credit: Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images)

Riley Keough paid Priscilla Presley a lump-sum payment of $1 million as part of the settlement they reached. Riley has become the sole trustee of Lisa Marie Presley’s estate.

The details of the May agreement are confidential, but one line in the filing revealed the payment amount. According to the New York Times, Riley was obligated to provide Priscilla with a $400,000 payment for legal fees and costs, which will be given “at the same time as a ‘one million dollar payment’ referred to earlier in a paragraph that discussed a lump sum.”

As part of the agreement, Riley Keough also agreed to appoint her grandmother as a “special adviser” to the trust. The court documents do not disclose the specific annual compensation amount, but it is stated that Priscilla will receive this payment for a duration of 10 years or until her death, whichever occurs earlier.

Lisa Marie’s cause of death revealed

On July 13, 2023, authorities announced that Lisa Marie Presley died as a result of complications from bariatric surgery she underwent several years ago. The cause of death was determined to be natural, and resulted from a small bowel obstruction.

the Graceland grave of Lisa Marie Presley

A view of the grave of Lisa Marie Presley during her memorial on January 22, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office released an autopsy report that revealed further information about Presley’s death. The report states that the complication she experienced is a common occurrence following bariatric surgery, a procedure performed for weight loss purposes. Bariatric surgery is usually considered when other weight loss methods have proven ineffective or when an individual has a significant medical condition, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The autopsy report also mentioned that Presley was having stomach pains earlier in the day before she died.

Keough officially owns Graceland

Riley Keough, 34, is the new owner of Graceland.

Riley Keogh wearing a white blouse at a 2019 event

Riley Keough attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo Credit: Theo Wargo/WireImage)

More from us: Priscilla Presley Says Bam Margera ‘Betrayed’ Her, Denies Giving Him Elvis Items

On August 4, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lynn Healey Scaduto ended the months-long legal battle over Lisa Marie Presley’s trust when she approved a settlement petition that makes Keough the sole trustee of her mother’s estate and the owner of Graceland.

Rosemary Giles

Rosemary Giles is a history content writer with Hive Media. She received both her bachelor of arts degree in history, and her master of arts degree in history from Western University. Her research focused on military, environmental, and Canadian history with a specific focus on the Second World War. As a student, she worked in a variety of research positions, including as an archivist. She also worked as a teaching assistant in the History Department.

Since completing her degrees, she has decided to take a step back from academia to focus her career on writing and sharing history in a more accessible way. With a passion for historical learning and historical education, her writing interests include social history, and war history, especially researching obscure facts about the Second World War. In her spare time, Rosemary enjoys spending time with her partner, her cats, and her horse, or sitting down to read a good book.