“They don’t see eye to eye”

Introducing Lisa Marie Presley

Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley and Riley Keough; Lisa Marie and her children

Moments before Lisa Marie Presley’s memorial service began Jan. 22 in Memphis, her family — mother Priscilla, half-brother Navarone Garibaldi Garcia, daughters Riley Keough and twins Finley and Harper Lockwood, along with the twins’ father, Michael Lockwood — appeared united as they walked out from Graceland and took their seats on the front lawn.

As thousands of fans watched, Lisa Marie’s loved ones paid moving tributes. But drama was brewing behind the scenes.

“Michael wasn’t invited,” a close friend of Lisa Marie claims in this week’s PEOPLE cover story, in newspapers Friday. “He came to Memphis under the pretense of escorting the twins – and made his way inside with Priscilla’s help. The last thing Lisa Marie would have wanted was for Michael to be there.”

In the weeks leading up to her death on January 12 at the age of 54, Lisa Marie and Priscilla, 77, appeared close at various events as they celebrated Baz Luhrmann’s Oscar nomination Elvis biographical film. But multiple sources say the pair have barely spoken and their relationship has been on the rocks since Lisa Marie split from Michael, 61, in 2016.

RELATED: Lisa Marie Presley’s Favorites — Priscilla, The Daughters, Austin Butler and More — Attend Memorial

Introducing Lisa Marie Presley

Introducing Lisa Marie Presley

Steve Kohn/Shutterstock Riley Keough, Harper Lockwood, Lisa Marie Presley, Finley Lockwood, Priscilla Presley

After the split, the exes were embroiled in a nasty custody battle over the twins that lasted until October of last year. Friends say Lisa Marie resented that Priscilla had sided with Michael, and the tension spilled over to Riley, 33. (Her father is Lisa Marie’s first husband, singer Danny Keough, 58.)

“Riley has always been on her mother’s side when it comes to Michael,” says a Riley source. “She was worried that her grandmother and Michael flew in together for the funeral.”

Simmering tensions erupted four days after the memorial when Priscilla’s lawyers filed a petition in Los Angeles questioning the “authenticity and validity” of a 2016 amendment to Lisa Marie’s living trust. The change removed Priscilla and Lisa Marie’s former business manager Barry Siegel as co-trustees and gave control of the trust — the Graceland estate and a 15 percent stake in Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE), which together brought in a reported $110 million in 2022 — to the son of Riley and Lisa Marie Benjamin Keough, who committed suicide at age 27 in 2020.

Priscilla, who claims she was unaware of the 2016 amendment until Lisa Marie’s death, claims it should be voided due to several factors, including Lisa Marie’s failure to inform her of the changes as required by the terms of the the trust. But Lisa’s friend Marie claims there is “no doubt” what her wishes were: “Lisa wanted Riley and Ben to be trustees” — and all her children to be beneficiaries.

Now that they are grieving, Riley and Priscilla are barely on speaking terms, according to multiple sources. A Presley family insider says: “They don’t see eye to eye.”

(Representatives for Priscilla, Riley, Lockwood and Siegel did not comment for this story.)

RELATED VIDEO: Priscilla Presley eulogizes daughter Lisa Marie Presley at memorial service: ‘We are heartbroken’

The roots of the dynasty were laid in 1959, when Elvis – already a rock ‘n’ roll superstar – first met 14-year-old army girl Priscilla while stationed with the US Army in Germany.

In 1963, 17-year-old Priscilla moved to Memphis; she married Elvis in 1967 and gave birth to Lisa Marie exactly nine months later. After her parents’ divorce in 1973, Lisa Marie moved with her mother to LA, but visited her father regularly.

“She was running Graceland at 6, 7 years old,” recalled talent manager Jerry Schilling, a member of Elvis’ “Memphis Mafia.” “Elvis spoiled her. He would say, ‘Look, I don’t want to accumulate this money.’ He was known for giving a lot of gifts and he didn’t think about longevity or old age.”

When Elvis died of cardiac arrest in 1977 at age 42, he left behind an estate worth about $5 million. His will named his father, Vernon, executor, and Lisa Marie, then 9, as his heirs. Vernon died in 1979, and his will named Priscilla, his and Elvis’ longtime accountant, and the Memphis National Bank of Commerce as co-executors of Elvis’ estate until Lisa Marie turned 25.

Introducing Lisa Marie Presley

Introducing Lisa Marie Presley

PEOPLE The Fight Over Graceland cover

With mounting bills (Graceland costs $480,000 a year to maintain) and no incoming royalties (Elvis and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, had sold the rights to most of his early hits to RCA Records), Graceland faced an uncertain financial future.

“The question I asked myself over and over was, ‘What are we ever going to do?'” Priscilla recalls Los Angeles Times in 1989

When the IRS levied a $10 million inheritance tax in 1981 after revaluing it at $22.5 million, Priscilla used the last $500,000 of the estate’s liquid assets to turn Graceland into a tourist attraction in 1982.

“The word on the street in Memphis was, ‘This is not going to last six months,'” says Schilling.

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But Graceland recouped the investment in 38 days and now attracts more than 500,000 visitors a year. “It’s the epitome of Elvis and the American dream,” says author Martin Torgoff, an Elvis expert.

When Lisa Marie turned 25 in 1993, the estate was worth over $100 million. (Beginning in 1983, EPE was able to make additional revenue from memorabilia and licensing fees; EPE also signed a deal with RCA in the 1990s, giving the estate the right to receive royalties from packaged anthologies of Elvis’ music.)

She formed the Promenade Trust to manage the estate, with Priscilla and the National Bank of Commerce as co-trustees.

“Everything remains the same, except now I’m on the management team,” Lisa Marie told PEOPLE in 1993, noting that Priscilla had done an “amazing job” of managing her finances.

RELATED VIDEO: Lisa Marie Presley Dies at 54

When Lisa Marie launched her music career in 2003, she recruited her business manager Barry Siegel as Priscilla’s assistant. Less than two years into the role, Siegel sold the trust’s 85 percent stake in EPE, which was still worth about $100 million.

By 2015, the trust was left with just $14,000 in cash and mountains of debt, leading to Lisa Marie’s 2018 lawsuit against Siegel for mismanagement of her trust. She claims Siegel gave Priscilla an annual salary of $900,000 even though she had no ownership or official position in EPE. (She and Siegel settled for an undisclosed amount out of court.)

As Lisa Marie’s finances and her marriage to Lockwood fell apart (she was previously married to Keough, Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage), so did her relationship with Priscilla.

“I can assure you that in the last seven years of Lisa’s life, she never discussed any business with Priscilla,” her friend maintains, adding that before Benjamin’s death, Lisa Marie “asked herself repeatedly what will be necessary’ to buy back more than a stake in EPE.

“She wanted each of her four children to have 5 percent of the estate,” says the friend.

Introducing Lisa Marie Presley

Introducing Lisa Marie Presley

Lisa Marie Presley Instagram Finley Lockwood, Lisa Marie Presley, Riley Keough, Benjamin Keough and Harper Lockwood

If the 2016 amendment is struck down in court, Priscilla and Riley will be co-trustees.

“Priscilla doesn’t want Riley to be in sole control because then she has no say,” says a family insider. “Meanwhile, Riley doesn’t want Priscilla to interfere.”

Adds Riley’s source: “It’s a very sad situation. Riley is shocked that Priscilla is contesting the amendment.”

Introducing Lisa Marie Presley

Introducing Lisa Marie Presley

Michael Kovacs/Getty Priscilla Presley and Riley Keough

In a Feb. 3 statement, Priscilla said she acted with “integrity and love,” and a Lockwood source said the matriarch is staying close to Michael to “be a part of her grandchildren’s lives.”

With the court hearing set for April 13, sources say Reilly has been focusing on her acting career – she stars in the new limited series on Amazon Prime Video Daisy Jones and the Six — and Elvis’ first great-grandchild. At her mother’s memorial, Riley’s stuntman husband, Ben Smith-Peterson, revealed they were expecting their first child in 2022.

“Lisa Marie’s death was very painful for Riley, but welcoming her baby girl was blissful,” says Riley’s source. “[Her] her daughter brings joy. She loves being a mother.”

Priscilla, meanwhile, is a Netflix creator Agent Elvisanimated series that debuts on March 17, and she is the subject of an upcoming biopic directed by Sofia Coppola.

Introducing Lisa Marie Presley

Introducing Lisa Marie Presley

Eric Charbonneau/Invision/AP/Shutterstock Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley and Riley Keough

As Priscilla and Riley battle for control of Elvis’ financial legacy, Schilling hopes to see one part of the mythology remain intact.

“I would like Graceland itself to remain as it has been for the last 45 years, as a piece of history captured in time,” he says. “I’d like to see it the way Elvis left it, the way he decorated it, for generations of Presley kids.” This is the White House of rock and roll.”

—Reporting by Lanae Brody, Pernilla Cedenheim, Marissa Charles, Melody Chiu, Rachel DeSantis and Liz McNeil.

For all the details on the battle for Graceland, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.

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