Lisa Marie Presley: The Cursed Heiress

“I’m so proud and I know my dad would have been proud,” says Lisa Marie after discovering Austin Butler’s breathtaking performance in the film Elvis. Since filming, the singer’s daughter and the now devastated actor had become close.

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“MThank you for opening your hearts, your memories and your home to me. Lisa Marie, Priscilla, I love you forever.” This Tuesday, January 10, it is a very moved Austin Butler who pays tribute to Lisa Marie and Priscilla Presley on the stage of the Golden Globes. Side by side in the room, the King’s daughter and his widow are on the verge of tears, touched by the lovely words of the one they dubbed to play Elvis in the biopic directed by Baz Luhrmann.

Nobody knows yet that this will be the very last public appearance of Lisa Marie. The next day, Elvis’ daughter was rushed to hospital after being discovered unconscious by her governess at her home in Calabasas. She died on the 12th, victim of a cardiac arrest at the age of 54. In her statement announcing the sad news, her mother describes her as “the most passionate, strong and loving woman” that she had known. Passionate, the singer’s daughter was, certainly. Loving too. Too much perhaps, to the point of breaking his bruised heart? “I have dealt with death, grief and loss since I was 9 years old. I have experienced this more than anyone”, she wrote in a text published by the magazine People.

Throughout her life, the sole heiress of Elvis Presley had to mourn those she loved, starting with her legendary father. On August 16, 1977, the King was found dead in the bathroom of his Graceland estate. Forty-five years before his daughter, his body damaged by his multiple addictions succumbed to a heart attack. Lisa Marie is not 10 years old and her already fragile world is collapsing. The girl was born on February 1, 1968, nine months to the day after her parents married. When Elvis met Priscilla Ann Wagner’s gaze during his military service in Germany in 1959, he immediately fell in love with her. She was 14, he was 25.

Their love story will cause a scandal, but whatever, the lovebirds will hold on and marry eight years after their meeting. Lisa Marie is therefore a child of love… at first. Because, very quickly, her mother no longer supports the multiple addictions and deceptions of her famous husband. The little girl was 5 years old when her parents divorced. She then finds herself torn between two worlds. There is the structured one of his mother in Los Angeles, in which you have to respect discipline and get ahead of his homework for school, and that of his father, in Graceland, a rock version of Disneyland where each of her wishes is granted as soon as she makes them. Did you say schizophrenic?

Lost, the pretty blonde doll who posed all smiles on dad’s lap, turns into a rebellious pre-teen, then an uncontrollable teenager.

My father, this hero

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Only daughter of the King, nothing is too good for her, thought her famous dad. She wants to see the snow? Elvis charters a jet within the hour to take him to the peaks of Idaho. He covers her with diamonds and his desires are orders. The father hen even baptizes his plane with his first name. Disappeared too soon, this father figure will always be a model, but also a burden for Lisa Marie, who will admit that she is probably looking for him a little in all the men who will share her life.

A tumultuous love life

Danny Keough

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michael jackson

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Nicholas Cage

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Michael Lockwood

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“If you uploaded the men I’ve been with, you’d say I’m a psychopath,” having fun Lisa Marie in Release, in 2003. She was only 17 when she fell in love with actor and musician Danny Keough… in rehab. They will have two children, Riley and Benjamin. A few days after their divorce, in May 1994, she married Michael Jackson. The story fizzles out. She then became engaged to musician John Oszajca, whom she left for Nicolas Cage. They married on August 10, 2002 and separated three months later. January 22, 2006 was Lisa Marie’s fourth marriage, this time to Michael Lockwood, her music producer. The union lasts ten years. The separation of the parents of Finley and Harper, in 2016, is thunderous since Lisa Marie accuses her ex of possession of child pornography images. He will never be condemned.

Too bad loves

She tries drugs. Anything goes: cannabis, cocaine, alcohol, sedatives. Lisa Marie gets kicked out of all the posh boarding schools before exhausting her mother in turn, who kicks her out. She was 18 when she joined Scientology and quit illicit substances. This is only the beginning of the constant back and forth between sobriety and relapses. Lisa Marie is looking for herself, on all levels. Her first marriage to musician Danny Keough only lasted five years.

To everyone’s surprise, she then became infatuated with Michael Jackson. Their improbable union will persist for twenty-one months and will cause tons of ink to flow around the world. Together, they form the richest and most powerful couple in the music business. She owns the rights to her father’s music, and Michael has those of his hits, and he bought the Beatles’ musical catalog in 1985. But neither money nor power will be enough to make these two flayed people happy. lively. Even today, no one really knows what was the part of show and the part of sincere love in their relationship. Lisa Marie will define her herself as “toxic”, while explaining that the King of Pop loved her “as much as it was possible for him to love someone”. One thing is certain: they will remain linked for years and Lisa Marie will be a real support for Michael in the face of the accusations of pedophilia of which he is the subject. She also pushes him to go to drug treatment. Wasted effort…

On the professional side, Lisa Marie is looking for herself. What could the heiress and ex-wife of the two greatest music stars of all time be up to? Sing, of course! You still have to have the means to compare with your father and your ex… “I don’t think I realized the mountain that was going to have to be climbed before I did it,” she confided to the English press in 2007 after the flop of her first two albums, To Whom It May Concern, released in 2003, and Now What, in 2005. The same year, she attempted a duet beyond the grave with her late father. It will be a failure, again, just like his third album, Storm & Grace, released in 2012.

Lisa Marie will never really recover. She drops the case and, in private, her marriages fail and she manages her inheritance more and more badly. Her beloved children are her only lifeline. “I smother them with love and I’m also terribly protective. They are my priority. […] I keep them close to me and make sure they are happy and healthy,” confides in 2004 the mother of Riley and Benjamin, who will give birth to the twins Vivienne and Finley four years later. On July 12, 2020, her world collapses when she discovers the lifeless body of her son Benjamin in the bathroom of their Calabasas home. He shot himself in the head. You never get over the death of a child. Two and a half years to the day after the tragedy, Lisa Marie left in turn. From now on, the King’s daughter can rest, finally in peace, with the two men in her life, Benjamin and Elvis, at Graceland.

Marked by abuse and surgery

2001

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2019

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Long the spitting image of her father, she also inherited from her mother, Priscilla, her love of the scalpel. By 2019, she had abused her body so badly from excessive drinking and drugs that she was unrecognizable and had to go over the pool table several times to find the line.

She had lost almost all of her inheritance!

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When Elvis died, his ex-wife Priscilla took over the reins of the business until her daughter was 25. She turns it into a cash machine, in particular by transforming Graceland into a museum. Even today, it is the second most visited monument in the United States after the White House. The management of Lisa Marie will be much more risky than that of her mother. In 2018, when she had already sold 85% of her father’s catalog, she declared herself in personal bankruptcy. He only has 13,000 euros left in his account and 15 million euros in debt. She is suing her wealth manager Barry Siegel, who allegedly ruined her. The latter accuses him of having squandered “two times” her father’s fortune since she inherited his estate in 1993!

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Mom inconsolable since the suicide of her son

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“Nothing, absolutely NOTHING takes away the pain. Grieving does not stop or go away, a year or years after the loss. You will have to wear it for the rest of your life. […] You don’t overcome, you don’t move on, period.”

On the occasion of the national day of grief awareness, Lisa Marie published these words referring to the loss of her son Benjamin, who had committed suicide two years earlier, at the age of 27. She fought like a lioness to stay the course, to save her 14-year-old twins, Harper and Finley, and their 33-year-old eldest, actress and model Riley Keough, but she could never overcome her sorrow and regaining the will to live.

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Louise Monteil

Lisa Marie Presley: The Cursed Heiress