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Lisa Marie Presley was desperately trying to lose weight for the Elvis awards season and was even taking opioids, family sources have claimed. The star underwent plastic surgery two months before the Golden Globes and lost up to 50 pounds as part of a strict regimen, insiders told TMZ.
At the awards show just days before her sudden death from cardiac arrest at her Calabasas, California, home, the 54-year-old was seen slurring her words and appeared unsteady on her feet on the red carpet. In the clip, she turned to her friend Jerry Schilling (pictured left), 80, and said ‘I’m gonna grab your arm’ as she was asked questions ahead of the event by Extra host Billy Bush (pictured right).
She appeared to talk slowly and slurred her words while talking about the film’s star Austin Butler and the storms and flooding in Southern California. Lisa Marie had previously struggled with an addiction to opioids after she was given a short-term prescription during her recovery from the birth of her twin daughters, Harper Vivienne and Finley in 2008. By 2013, she was heavily abusing cocaine, and checked into rehab at least five times. She was believed to have been sober in recent years, but following her son’s death, her ex-husband Michael Lockwood said he feared she could relapse.
As a teenager, she rebelled with drugs from the age of 13 to 17, but her mother put her into The Castle, a Scientology center in Hollywood, to get her off drugs. ‘I did everything but mushrooms and heroin or crack,’ she said. ‘Cocaine, sedatives, pot, and drinking — all at the same time… I don’t know how I lived through it. I woke up one day with a bunch of people on the floor. I drove myself to the Church of Scientology and said: “Somebody… help me right now.”‘ For a time it worked, and Lisa Marie said she was drug-free from the age of 17. At the age of 27, she married Michael Jackson — her second marriage, after a six-year union with actor Danny Keough, father of Benjamin and his actress sister Riley, now 33.
By the time of their 1994 wedding, Michael had been addicted to opioids for over a decade, following an 1984 accident on the set of a Pepsi commercial which left him with severe burns. In the foreword to a 2015 book by Harry Nelson, The United States of Opioids: A Prescription for Liberating a Nation in Pain, Lisa Marie revealed for the first time the extent of her own addictions. ‘You may read this and wonder how, after losing people close to me, I also fell prey to opioids,’ she wrote. She then explained: ‘I was recovering after the  birth of my daughters, [Harper] Vivienne and Finley, when a doctor prescribed me opioids for pain. It only took a short-term prescription of opioids in the hospital for me to feel the need to keep taking them.’
Lisa Marie added: ‘I had never openly spoken in public about my own addiction to opioids and painkillers. I wasn’t sure that I was ready to share on such a personal topic.’ She said in the 2015 book that she faced a ‘difficult path’ with her recovery. Presley added: ‘It is time for us to say goodbye to shame about addiction. Across America and the world, people are dying in mind-boggling numbers because of opioid and other drug overdoses. Many more people are suffering silently, addicted to opioids and other substances. I am writing this in the hope that I can play a small part in focusing attention on this terrible crisis.’ She mentioned her children — her twins with Lockwood, plus Riley and Benjamin Keough.
‘As I write this, I think of my four children, who gave me the purpose to heal,’ she wrote, which made her think of ‘the countless parents who have lost children to opioids and other drugs.’ She ended by saying that she is ‘grateful to be alive today’ and especially appreciative ‘to have four beautiful children who have given me a sense of purpose that has carried me through dark times.’ The scale of her problem was laid bare amid her bruising 2016 divorce from Lockwood (pictured left), after a decade of marriage. In a 2017 deposition, which was obtained by the Radar Online, she admitted to abusing cocaine, opioids, painkillers and alcohol. ‘The last three years I … had to go to rehab several times,’ she said, later putting the exact number at somewhere between three and five stints in a Mexican treatment facility. ‘I was a mess. I couldn’t stop.’ Lisa Marie said that her addiction peaked as their marriage ended in 2016.
‘The last year of our marriage, I was abusing cocaine terribly,’ she said, according to the court documents. Asked if her drug use was heavy, she said: ‘It was bad, yeah.’ She added: ‘I didn’t mix the pills and alcohol until, like, the last two years.’ Meanwhile, damning court documents have pit Priscilla Presley against her granddaughter Riley Keough claiming she was pushed out as a trustee and an ‘inconsistent signature’ from her daughter Lisa Marie was used. Priscilla filed legal documents to set aside an amendment to Lisa Marie’s 2010 trust which eliminates her and her daughter’s former business manager Barry Siegel as trustees and replaced them with her grandchildren Riley and the late Ben Keough.
Ben Keough (pictured right) died in 2020 which would leave Riley as the sole trustee for Lisa Marie’s estate, but Priscilla hopes to make this amendment invalid. Priscilla has questioned the validity and authenticity of the amendment, claiming it was never delivered to her, the date on the document is suspicious, the document misspells Priscilla’s name, and Lisa Marie’s signature ‘appears inconsistent with her usual and customary signature.’ On January 29, 1993, Lisa Marie executed a revocable living trust, which she amended and completely restated on January 27, 2010. ‘Lisa Marie Presley appointed her mother, Petitioner, and her former business manager, Barry Siegel, as co-Trustees effective as of the date of the 2010 restatement,’ the court filing states. ‘The 2010 restatement further provides that Petitioner and Barry Siegel shall continue to serve as co-Trustees upon Lisa Marie Presley’s subsequent incapacity and/or death.’
In 2018, Siegel (pictured) and Lisa Marie became entangled in a hefty court battle with the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s daughter claiming that Siegel had put his own financial interests ahead of her own. She then cut ties with him. Priscilla’s fresh filings state that after Lisa Marie’s death, she discovered that a document existed with an amendment made on March 11, 2016. ‘The Purported 2016 Amendment removed and replaced Petitioner [Priscilla] and Barry as both current and successor Trustees of the Trust with Lisa Marie Presley as the current Trustee and naming Lisa Marie Presley’s daughter, Riley Keough (‘Riley’), and son, Benjamin Keough (‘Benjamin’), as successor co-Trustees of the Trust upon Lisa Marie Presley’s incapacity and/or 10 death,’ the court documents stated.
‘There are many issues surrounding the authenticity and validity of the Purported 2016 Amendment.’ The court filing goes on to add: The Purported 2016 Amendment was never delivered to Petitioner during Lisa Marie Presley’s lifetime as required by the express terms of the Trust. The amendment was neither witnessed nor notarized. Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Elvis and Priscilla Presley who died on January 12 at age 54, and left behind a rock-and-roll legacy — including a rocky financial path marked with losses and lawsuits over money.
Lisa Marie, a singer-songwriter like her father, wasn’t rich enough to make the Forbes list of highest-paid entertainers, while some celebrity websites even estimated that she may have had a negative net worth at her death. Lisa Marie still owned Graceland, Elvis Presley’s estate that is now a tourist attraction, through a trust, which will now be inherited by her children, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing a Graceland spokesperson. A detailed glimpse of her financial situation emerged in 2018 when she sued Siegel claiming he had mismanaged her finances, resulting in her $100 million trust dwindling to $14,000 in cash by 2016.
The lawsuit also claimed Lisa Marie had racked up $500,000 in credit card debt, according to Reuters. Starting in 2005, Lisa Marie suffered an ’11-year odyssey to financial ruin,’ the lawsuit claimed. ‘Lisa has been damaged in an amount that has not yet been fully ascertained, but is believed to be in excess of $100 million.’ The suit followed her divorce from musician Michael Lockwood being finalized in 2021. During the divorce proceedings, Lisa Marie claimed she was $16 million in debt, with most of that stemming from unpaid taxes, according to TMZ. Priscilla blamed the root cause of her financial woes on a 2005 deal to sell an 85 percent stake in the Elvis Presley Estate (EPE) to CKX, an entertainment company that also owned the ‘American Idol’ television show.
She received $50 million plus stock in CKX, along with keeping a 15 percent interest in EPE, as well as the title to Graceland, the Associated Press reported at the time. CKX was later sold to Apollo Global Management for $509 million. Lisa Marie’s suit claimed that Siegel put his own financial interests ahead of her own, alleging he bought a $9 million English home using the trust’s money. Meanwhile, Siegel countered in his own lawsuit that Lisa Marie’s financial problems were due to her own missteps. The litigation claimed she had ‘twice squandered’ her inheritance and blamed her ‘spendthrift ways,’ Reuters said. But Lisa Marie, who was nine when her father died, remained the sole owner of Graceland and her 15 percent stake in EPE likely continues to generate a steady income.
Elvis’ late daughter last year said she earned nearly $104,000 a month from ‘Elvis Enterprises.’ The case against Siegel rumbled on for years. In 2019 she won a small victory when she was granted a motion by a judge to shut down subpoenas of her bank records, and asked to only turn over her bank records before 2016. The case was still pending as of 2021. Lockwood, meanwhile, who was asking her in 2016, when the pair first split, to pay him $263,000 a year so that he can ‘enjoy a lifestyle that is closer to my marital status of living.’ He also sought $40,000 a month in child support. The pair had a pre-nuptial agreement, but he claimed that he was badly advised by his lawyers.
The case was settled in 2018 in her favor, but in 2021 Lockwood went back to court demanding child support. She had avoided paying him support for years, saying she did not have the means to do so. However, he demanded she finally pay up — claiming she was flush with cash from her $1 million book deal and the Elvis biopic. The case was still unsettled at the time of her death. Last week, the custody battle over Lockwood and Lisa Marie’s twins, Finley and Harper Vivienne, 14, appeared to settle — the 61-year-old guitarist reportedly to get full custody, according to TMZ . Sources told the outlet that the teenagers have been living with Lockwood since Lisa Marie’s death, after the musician already shared joint custody with her.
The publication claimed that there was discussion that Lisa Marie’s ex Danny Keough might attempt to get custody after moving back into her home to support her full-time. However, under California law, Lockwood would only have been denied full custody if there were findings of unfitness of his part as he already shared custody, it was reported.
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