Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Elvis and Priscilla Presley who died on Thursday at age 54, leaves behind a rock-and-roll legacy — including a rocky financial path filled with losses and lawsuits over money. 

Presley, 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. 

A detailed glimpse of her financial situation emerged in 2018 when she sued her former manager, Barry 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 Presley had racked up $500,000 in credit card debt, according to Reuters.

Starting in 2005, Presley 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 2021 divorce from musician Michael Lockwood. During the divorce proceedings, Presley claimed she was $16 million in debt, with most of that stemming from unpaid taxes, according to TMZ.

Presley blamed the root cause of her financial woes on a 2005 deal to sell an 85% stake in the Elvis Presley Estate (EPE) to CKX, an entertainment company that also owned the “American Idol” television show.

Singer and actress Lisa Marie Presley arrives for the premiere of “Mad Max: Fury Road” at the Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California, on May 7, 2015.CHRIS DELMAS/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

To be sure, Presley didn’t come away empty handed from the deal: She received $50 million plus stock in CKX, along with keeping a 15% interest in EPE, as well as the title to Graceland, Elvis Presley’s estate that is now a tourist attraction, the Associated Press reported at the time. CKX was later sold to Apollo Global Management for $509 million.

Featured image by: Alexander Grey

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