On August 4, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge authorized a settlement deal between Priscilla Presley and her granddaughter Riley Keough over Lisa Marie Presley’s estate. Priscilla now works as a special adviser to the trust, which Keough oversees, and will be buried at the family’s iconic Graceland estate in Memphis, Tennessee. Presley also obtained a $1 million settlement plus additional funds for legal bills.
Who Is Priscilla Presley?
Priscilla Presley, an actress and entrepreneur, is Elvis Presley’s ex-wife and the mother of late singer-songwriter Lisa Marie Presley. Presley, who was married to Elvis for six years, subsequently oversaw Elvis Presley Enterprises and assisted in the transformation of Graceland into a multimillion-dollar tourist attraction.
She co-starred in three Naked Gun films with Leslie Nielsen and portrayed Jenna Wade on the 1980s television series Dallas. Director Sofia Coppola turned Elvis Presley’s best-selling biography, Elvis and Me, into Priscilla, a new film that will premiere at the Venice and New York film festivals in 2023.
On May 24, 1945, in Brooklyn, New York, Priscilla Ann Wagner was born. Priscilla’s father, James Wagner, was a US Navy pilot who died in a plane crash when she was only a few months old. In 1948, Ann remarried Paul Beaulieu, an Air Force officer.
Her family relocated several times during her upbringing, and she was stationed in Germany as a youngster. In 1959, when she was 14, she met Elvis Presley there. Elvis, at 24, was a member of the United States Armed Forces. They started dating, and Priscilla eventually followed Elvis to America.
Marriage to Elvis Presley
Priscilla and Elvis married in Las Vegas eight years after they met. Lisa Marie, their daughter, was born the following year, in 1968. Their marriage did not last, and they divorced in 1973. Elvis and Priscilla remained friends, raising Lisa Marie together until Elvis died in 1977.
Priscilla became the executor of Elvis’ estate, including Graceland, two years later, and established herself as a successful entrepreneur, turning Elvis Presley Enterprises into a thriving venture. Graceland debuted to the public in 1982, and by the late 1980s, the corporation had grown into shopping malls and the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum.
Elvis and Me, Presley’s memoir, was published in 1985, and it described her love and marriage to Elvis.
Son and Grandchildren
Presley began living with her partner, Italian screenwriter Marco Garibaldi, in 1984, despite the fact that she never remarried. In 1987, the couple gave birth to a son, Navaronne Garibaldi Garcia. The marriage did not last, and Presley and Garibaldi divorced in 2006.
Presley has three live grandchildren, all of whom are the result of her daughter’s pregnancy. Riley Keough was born in 1989 to Lisa Marie and her first husband, Danny Keough. Lisa Marie then welcomed twin twins, Harper and Finley Lockwood, with her fourth husband, Michael Lockwood, in 2008. Riley has since established a successful acting career, earning a 2023 Emmy nomination for her main part in the Amazon Prime series Daisy Jones & the Six.
Benjamin Keough, Presley’s grandchild, was born in 1992 to Lisa Marie and Danny. Tragically, he committed suicide in July 2020, at the age of 27. “These are some of the darkest days of my family’s life,” Presley posted on social media shortly after his death. “The shock of losing Ben has been devastating. Trying to put all the pieces together of all the possible whys has penetrated my soul. Each day I wake up I pray it will get better.”
While Elvis was still alive, Presley began studying acting, and after a few TV appearances, she joined the cast of the highly successful nighttime serial series Dallas in 1983. The following year, she won a Soap Opera Digest Award for her portrayal of Jenna Wade Krebbs. After five seasons, Presley left the show.
Between 1988 and 1994, Presley co-starred in three Naked Gun films with Leslie Nielsen. In 1988, she also developed a television film based on her best-selling biography Elvis and Me.
In the late 1990s, Presley launched a fragrance brand as well as clothes and healthcare products. In 2002, she revealed her intention to co-produce Elvis and Priscilla, a musical theater play based on her romance with the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.”
When she appeared as a participant on season 6 of the hit show Dancing with the Stars in 2008, Presley gained new celebrity, this time for her dancing abilities.
Estate Dispute with Riley Keough
In January 2023, Presley suffered the loss of her daughter. Lisa Marie died suddenly from a small bowel obstruction shortly before her 55th birthday. “Our hearts are broken, and I am having to learn to live without my only daughter,” Presley shared.
Following Lisa Marie’s death, Presley filed a lawsuit against a 2016 change to her daughter’s will. Lisa Marie replaced Priscilla and her former business manager, Barry Siegel, as co-trustees of her estate, along with her children, Riley and Benjamin Keough, in the modification. Benjamin passed away in 2020.
Presley filed a petition challenging the will’s legitimacy, claiming that the alteration was never witnessed or notarized and that she was never properly notified. Control of the iconic Graceland estate, as well as a 15% interest in Elvis Presley Enterprises, were at stake.
The ensuing legal struggle allegedly caused a schism in the family: Keough was claimed to be “deeply upset,” and the two were not speaking. However, the two parties reached an agreement in May 2023, and Keough filed an official petition in court the following month. In August, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge authorized the agreement.
According to the terms of the deal, Keough became the sole trustee in charge of Graceland, with Presley getting a $1 million payout and a monthly stipend for his services as a special consultant to the trust. In addition, Presley will be buried on the land near her ex-husband and daughter in Memphis, Tennessee.
According to early rumors, her son Navarone would receive one-ninth of the trust, with Presley acting as trustee.
‘Elvis’ and ‘Priscilla’ Movies
Olivia DeJonge played Priscilla in the 2022 biopic Elvis, which starred Austin Butler as her ex-husband and depicted his career and relationship in a stylised manner.
A new film based on Priscilla’s 1985 memoir, simply titled Priscilla, will premiere in August and October 2023 at the Venice and New York film festivals, respectively. Sofia Coppola wrote and directed the film, which stars Cailee Spaeny as Priscilla and Jacob Elordi as Elvis. “I am excited about the interpretation of my book by the masterful Sofia Coppola,” Presley shared on Instagram. “She has such an extraordinary perspective and I have always been such an admirer of her work. I’m certain this movie will take everyone on an emotional journey.” The film, which studio A24 describes as a “ravishingly detailed portrait of love, fantasy, and fame,” doesn’t have a theatrical release date yet.
Presley’s net worth is projected to be over $50 million as of May 2023.