Riley Keough talks Priscilla Presley relationship after will battle

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By Dan Sears

A little less conversation?

Riley Keough admitted that her and grandmother Priscilla Presley’s relationship experienced “a bit of upheaval” while battling over Lisa Marie Presley’s will.

When asked in her Aug. 15 Vanity Fair cover story, published Tuesday, whether their dynamic is a “happy” one now that she has been named the sole trustee of her late mother’s estate and the owner of Graceland, the actress hesitated.

“I’m trying to think of a way to answer it that’s not a 20-minute conversation,” the “Daisy Jones and the Six” alum, 34, explained.

“There was a bit of upheaval, but now everything’s going to be how it was,” the Golden Globe nominee claimed. “Anything that would suggest otherwise in the press makes me sad because, at the end of the day, all [Priscilla] wants is to love and protect Graceland and the Presley family and the legacy.”

Riley Keough, Lisa Marie Presley and Priscilla Presley
The duo experienced a “bit of upheaval” after Lisa Marie Presley died in January.
Eric Charbonneau/Shutterstock

Keough clarified that “things with Grandma will be happy” now that “clarity has been had,” noting that she and the 78-year-old had “never not been happy.”

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She explained that Lisa Marie’s January death led to “a lot of chaos” in the family.

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“Everything felt like the carpet had been ripped out and the floor had melted from under us,” the Emmy nominee recalled. “Everyone was in a bit of a panic to understand how we move forward, and it just took a minute to understand the details of the situation, because it’s complicated.”

Riley Keough for Vanity Fair
Keough spoke of their will battle and ensuing trust settlement in her Vanity Fair cover story.
Mario Sorrenti/Vanity Fair

Riley Keough for Vanity Fair
After “a lot of chaos,” she and Priscilla have found “clarity.”
Mario Sorrenti/Vanity Fair

She continued, “We are a family, but there’s also a huge business side of our family.”

The wide-ranging interview, which also covered Keough’s daughter Tulepo’s secret arrival via surrogate and her marriage to Ben Smith-Petersen, marked the first time she has spoken about the legal battle since a Los Angeles Superior Court judge approved a settlement naming her sole heir.

The drama began shortly after Lisa Marie’s passing when Priscilla contested her daughter’s will. She disputed a 2016 amendment removing her as co-trustee and naming Keough and her brother Benjamin, who has since died, instead.

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Riley Keough and Lisa Marie Presley
Lisa Marie died of a bowel obstruction at the beginning of this year.

After a months-long dispute, Keough agreed to give her grandma $1 million to become the sole trustee, as well as $400,000 to cover legal fees.

Priscilla gushed that “Elvis [Presley] would be proud” of the June settlement in a statement.

“Lisa’s wishes are what are most important to all of us,” the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s widow wrote at the time. “My granddaughter, through her counsel, along with my team worked diligently and tirelessly to resolve all misunderstandings as a family.”

Lisa Marie Presley and Riley Keough
The “Daisy Jones and the Six” alum did not let the loss “take [her] out.”

Before their agreement, she and Keough put on a united front at Lisa Marie’s memorial at Graceland in January.

While the 54-year-old’s cause of death was not known at the time, it has since been revealed that she died of a bowel obstruction.

“I did feel like there was a choice in front of me to give up and let this event take me out or have the courage to work through it,” Keough told the magazine on Tuesday of losing Lisa Marie. “I started trying to move through it and not let it take me out.”

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