Lisa Marie Presley knew exactly who she wanted to pass down her estate to before her death — despite her mother Priscilla Presley‘s legal battle!
On Wednesday, what would’ve been the late star’s 55th birthday, Joel Weinshanker, the managing partner at Elvis Presley Enterprises, spoke out in favor of the 2016 amendment the 77-year-old is currently contesting, which passed Lisa Marie’s trust to her children instead of her mother and former business manager, Barry Siegel, who were previously co-trustees.
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While making an appearance on SiriusXM‘s Elvis Radio, Joel set the record straight, insisting:
“Everyone knew that when Elvis passed away, he left everything to his little girl. He did so knowing that she would be the one to keep his legacy going.”
Things got shady as he seemingly slammed the Jailhouse Rock artist’s ex-wife, adding:
“We got along so well because we were both trying to do what was best for Elvis, regardless of what somebody else was trying to do, regardless of what a family member would do. Lisa couldn’t be bought, she couldn’t be pushed. If she felt that something wasn’t in Elvis’ best interest, it was never about money. And she really is the only Presley that you could say that about.”
That’s a major dig at Priscilla — and it’s also not the first time someone has suggested she’s only contesting the will as a “money grab.” Yeesh.
Speaking on Lisa Marie’s will, Joel declared she was “quite certain” and “very direct” about who she wanted to carry on her and her father’s legacy, he recalled:
“We discussed this many many times [before] she passed, and that was always Riley and Ben [Keough]. There was never a question in her mind that they would be the stewards, that they would look at it the exact same way that she did. And obviously when Ben passed, it really sat with Riley.”
This wasn’t a surprise to the Daisy Jones & The Six star, either. Joel said with her career in acting and directing, Riley “always had an interest” and “knew that one day she would be in charge.” It must be hard to have it all up in the air now — and all thanks to her grandmother! Oof!
In honor of Lisa Marie’s birthday, the businessman urged fans to celebrate her by honoring “her words.” He also expressed hope for the future, despite the tragedy of the musician’s death, saying “the best years of Graceland are ahead of us.”
As we’ve been reporting, last week Priscilla filed a petition in Los Angeles questioning the “authenticity and validity” of her late daughter’s will. The will states her trust — which includes Elvis’ Graceland property and 15 percent ownership of Elvis’ estate — would be left to her daughters, including 14-year-old twins Harper and Finley Lockwood, according to docs obtained by People. Lisa Marie also left behind $35 million in life insurance policies. Once her $4 million in debt is deducted, the rest will go into her trust, where it is supposed to be equally split between her daughters.
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The living trust was originally created in 1993 with a 2010 amendment adding the Christmas at Graceland star and the 54-year-old’s former business manager as co-trustees. In 2016, however, the Dirty Laundry songstress made changes supposedly without informing Priscilla, which was a requirement of the trust. The actress also claims there are other inconsistencies with the document, such as the spelling of Lisa Marie’s name and her signature. She’s asking it to be thrown out, meaning the songwriter’s desire to pass the trust onto her kids would be axed.
In a statement mourning the Lights Out vocalist on her birthday, Priscilla insisted she is trying to keep her family “together” amid the legal trouble, saying:
“Today would have been Lisa’s 55th birthday. My wish is to protect my three grandchildren and keep our family together.”
“From the first moment I held Lisa in my arms, I’ve protected, loved and guided her, as I have my son. Our hearts are broken, and I am having to learn to live without my only daughter.”
There’s been no decision by the court yet, so this remains a messy situation. At this time, Riley hasn’t addressed the filing, either, but we’d have to imagine there’s lots of conversations going on behind the scenes. There’s a lot at stake! Thoughts, Perezcious readers?
[Image via Adriana M. Barraza/WENN/Nicky Nelson & Elvis Presley/YouTube]
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