A judge has approved the settlement agreement between Priscilla Presley and her granddaughter, actress Riley Keough, regarding the estate of Lisa Marie Presley and, by extension, the estate of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley.
The order, signed Monday by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lynn H. Scaduto and filed Wednesday, formally named Keough, Elvis’ granddaughter and “Daisy Jones & the Six” star, as the sole administrator of her mother’s irrevocable trust. As part of the May settlement agreement, Priscilla stepped down as a co-trustee in exchange for other benefits disclosed in a recent court filing.
As proposed in June, when Priscilla dies, she will be buried in the Meditation Garden at Graceland in an available grave closest to her ex-husband, Elvis, to whom she was married from 1967 to 1973. She will also receive a memorial service at the iconic Memphis, Tenn., property now owned by Keough.
In addition, the 78-year-old matriarch will receive a $1 million lump sum that will be funded by her daughter’s $25 million life insurance policy, according to a subsequent filing to approve the settlement reviewed by The Times.
The family reached the settlement agreement in May, and while more details became available in June, the specifics of Priscilla’s payment were made public only last week when Keough’s attorney filed a lengthy, unredacted copy of the agreement in LA Superior Court.
The document also said Priscilla would be paid $100,000 a year for her role as special non-confidential adviser to a trust related to Elvis Presley Enterprises. Monthly payments are guaranteed for 10 years or until Priscilla’s death, regardless of whether Keough ever ends her grandmother’s role as special adviser.
Under the agreement, Priscilla’s son Navarone Garibaldi has been named among the beneficiaries of his half-sister’s trust, along with Keough and Lisa Marie’s infant twins, Harper and Finley Lockwood. Attorney Martin Singer was named trustee of the subtrust for Garibaldi’s benefit, the documents state, and Lisa Marie’s ex-husband Michael Lockwood will serve as guardian. to suit for the former couple’s twin daughters. (Keough is responsible for the 15-year-old sub-trusts.)
And, to avoid any future third-party issues, the court upheld a June motion that Keough be the sole trustee of Lisa Marie’s trust — a request made because of the trust’s complicated history, which included multiple partners and resignations over the years.
“In summary, Riley simply wants to have a court order that she can hand over to a third party, such as the life insurance company, as the case may be, to clarify that she is the sole trustee and to avoid unnecessary delays associated with third parties who they must determine who the administrator is,” the agreement said.
The tense legal battle over Lisa Marie’s estate and Elvis’ legacy erupted after her death in January aged 54. Priscilla contested her daughter’s will weeks later, questioning “the authenticity and validity” of Lisa Marie’s 2016 appointment of Keough and her deceased brother, Benjamin Keough, as co-trustees. The trust includes Elvis’ iconic Graceland property in Memphis and the remaining 15% of Lisa Marie’s ownership of his estate.
Lisa Marie Presley was in the news again earlier this week for a thesis allegedly directed at “Priscilla” director Sofia Coppola. Variety said the singer rejected the director’s take on her parents’ courtship and relationship, which began in 1959 when Priscilla was 14 and Elvis was 24. (The film, which is rated as one of Coppola’s best here and years, based on Priscilla’s 1985 memoir, “Elvis and Me.”)
In the letters, which Lisa Marie wrote about four months before her death, she told the director of “Virgin Suicides” that the script in the film was “shockingly vindictive and contemptuous”. She also claimed she feared the film would bring unwanted attention to Elvis and Priscilla’s grandchildren, who were already grieving the loss of Lisa Marie’s son Benjamin.
“I worry that my mother doesn’t see the nuance here or realize how Elvis will be perceived when this movie comes out,” wrote Lisa Marie, per Variety. “I feel protective of my mother who spent her whole life upholding my father’s legacy. I worry that he doesn’t understand the intentions behind this film or the effect it will have.”
In July, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s autopsy report found that Lisa Marie Presley died of complications from a small bowel obstruction linked to previous bariatric surgery.