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Riley Keough insisted there is both clarity and happiness within the Presley family after the sudden death of her mother, Lisa Marie Presley, briefly pitted Keough against her grandmother, Priscilla Presley, over control of the Elvis estate.

In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Keough diplomatically summed up the conflict that emerged after Lisa Marie’s death. “When my mom passed, there was a lot of chaos in every aspect of our lives,” she said. “Everything felt like the carpet had been ripped out, and the floor had melted from under us. Everyone was in a bit of a panic to understand how we move forward, and it just took a minute to understand the details of the situation, because it’s complicated. We are a family, but there’s also a huge business side of our family. So I think that there was clarity that needed to be had.”

The business is, of course, the extremely lucrative one of the Elvis Presley estate and Graceland. And the dispute — which emerged just a few weeks after Lisa Marie’s death in January — centered around who would control the chunk of it still left in a trust belonging to Lisa Marie. (As Rolling Stone previously reported, Lisa Marie sold 85 percent of the trust controlling Elvis Presley Enterprises in 2005 but retained 15 percent as well as ownership of Graceland and Elvis’ possessions.) The issue boiled down to a 2016 amendment to the trust, which sought to remove Priscilla and former business manager Barry Siegel as co-trustees and replace them with Keough and her now-deceased brother, Benjamin.

Priscilla argued the document was “invalid” and that it was “never delivered” to her during Lisa Marie’s lifetime, as required by the terms of the trust agreement. She also called the validity of the amendment into question because Priscilla’s name was misspelled, it was neither witnessed nor notarized, and “Lisa Marie’s signature appears inconsistent with her usual customary signature.” 

In May, Keough and Priscilla announced that they had settled the matter, and the terms of the agreement were revealed a month later. Keough is set to become the sole trustee of Lisa Marie’s estate, and will reportedly pay Priscilla $1 million, along with $400,000 in legal fees. 

In the new interview, Keough acknowledged that she is happy with the agreement and said, “Clarity has been had.” She added: “Things with Grandma will be happy. They’ve never not been happy…. There was a bit of upheaval, but now everything’s going to be how it was.”


Keough went on to discuss a major component of the tension, which is just how deeply Priscilla was involved in shaping Elvis’ legacy and turning Graceland into a museum. “It’s very important to her,” Keough said. “He was the love of her life. Anything that would suggest otherwise in the press makes me sad because, at the end of the day, all she wants is to love and protect Graceland and the Presley family and the legacy. That’s her whole life. So it’s a big responsibility she has tried to take on. None of that stuff has really ever been a part of our relationship prior. She’s just been my grandma.”

Keough said she still expects Priscilla to be buried at Graceland, despite some scattered rumors and reports suggesting otherwise. “I don’t know why she wouldn’t be buried at Graceland,” Keough said. “I don’t understand what the drama in the news was about. Yeah. If she wants to be, of course. Sharing Graceland with the world was her idea from the start.”



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