Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, whoat age 54, he leaves behind a rock and roll legacy — including a rocky financial path marked by losses and lawsuits over money.
A singer-songwriter like her father, Presley was not wealthy 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 the time of her death.
But Presley still owned Graceland, Elvis Presley’s estate that is now a tourist attraction, through a trust that will now be inherited by her children, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing a Graceland spokesman.
A close look at her financial situation emerged in 2018 when she sued her former manager Barry Siegel, alleging that he mismanaged her finances, which led to her $100 million trust shrinking to $14,000 by 2016 dollars in cash. The lawsuit also claimed that Presley collected $500,000. in credit card debt, Reuters reports.
Beginning in 2005, Presley suffered “an 11-year odyssey to financial ruin,” the suit claimed. “Lisa was damaged in an amount that has not yet been fully determined, but is believed to be in excess of $100 million.”
The suit followed her 2021 divorce from musician Michael Lockwood. During the divorce proceedings, Presley claimed she was $16 million in debt, with most of it stemming from unpaid taxes, according to TMZ.
Presley blamed the main cause of her financial troubles on a 2005 deal to sell an 85% stake in the Elvis Presley Estate (EPE) to CKX, the entertainment company that also owned the television show “American Idol.”
It’s certain that Presley didn’t walk away from the deal empty-handed: She received $50 million plus stock in CKX, along with retaining a 15% stake in EPE as well as the Graceland title, the Associated Press reported at the time. . CKX was later sold to Apollo Global Management for $509 million.
However, Presley’s lawsuit alleged that Siegel put his own financial interests ahead of his own, claiming that he used the trust’s money to buy a $9 million English home but put that stake at risk when he was unable to pay a $6.7 million balloon payment . The Memphis Commercial Appeal reported.
Meanwhile, Siegel countered in his own lawsuit that Presley’s financial problems were caused by her own missteps. The lawsuit claimed she “twice squandered” her inheritance and blamed it on “spending,” Reuters reported.
But Presley, who was nine when her father died, remained the sole owner of Graceland, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported. And her 15% stake in EPE will likely continue to generate steady income, given that Elvis Presley is ranked as the 4th highest-earning dead celebrity in 2022 by Forbes.
Last year, Presley said she earned nearly $104,000 a month from “Elvis Enterprises,” according to Yahoo, citing legal documents uncovered by The Blast.
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