Lisa Marie Presley’s divorce and custody trial is set to end Friday – three months after it began and four years after she split with her fourth husband, musician Michael Lockwood.
Elvis’ only child, now 52, showed up at a court in downtown Los Angeles wearing a cream pantsuit, cream silk blouse, beige high heels and a black mask.
With her was a tall, shaven-headed bodyguard and her lawyer Gary Fishbein.
Friday’s hearing was delayed from Monday because Presley had an unspecified ‘medical emergency’ and as she was ushered into the courtroom, a Sheriff’s deputy asked her: ‘Are you feeling better today?’
Lisa Marie answered: ‘Much better, thank you.’
Lisa Marie Presley’s divorce and custody trial is set to end Friday – three months after it began and four years after she split with her fourth husband, musician Michael Lockwood
Elvis’ only child is in a divorce and custody battle with her musician ex Lockwood, 59, over their twins Finley and Harper, 11
Lockwood – in a light gray, three-piece suit, purple shirt, flowered tie and also wearing a mask – arrived 10 minutes late for the trial conclusion which will finally bring an end to the couple’s 10-year marriage, plus a judge’s decision as to who gets custody of their twin 11 year-old daughters, Harper and Finlay.
LA Superior Court Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman barred the press and public from the hearing and a sign reading, ‘Closed proceedings – do not enter,’ was posted on the courtroom door. Cases involving child custody are often sealed from public view.
In court documents, Lockwood, 59, has accused Presley – who was raised as a Scientologist – of using a Church of Scientology tactic called ‘Fair Gaming’ to drive a wedge between him and his daughters.
And he also attacked Lisa Marie’s lawyers for ‘hyper-aggressive litigation’ in the divorce and custody case, with ‘hearings spurred by baseless salacious allegations’.
After Presley’s 27-year-old son Benjamin Keough committed suicide in July, Lockwood claimed in legal documents that Lisa Marie’s heartbreak over the tragedy could send her back to the drugs and alcohol she claims she’s been free of for three years.
‘Lisa Marie Presley’s son shot and killed himself in her home (Although she was not there at the time),’ he said. ‘With all due sympathy and respect, this creates a new and unaddressed twofold problem: the safety of the children and the greater likelihood of [Presley] to relapse into drug and alcohol dependency,
‘The children told (him) that (LMP) walked around the house with a gun in her hand in 2017. There was at least one gun on the premises of her home at the time of her son’s suicide and it is unclear where the gun was kept or whether Finley and/or Harper might have access to this gun or others.
‘Thus, there is a significantly higher risk to the safety of the children which would ordinarily justify 100% physical custody to (me) at this time in such circumstances.’
Lisa was seen with her daughters Riley Keough, 31, and twins Finley and Harper, 11, in LA in 2017
In court documents, Lockwood (pictured with his daughters) has accused Presley – who was raised as a Scientologist – of using a Church of Scientology tactic called ‘Fair Gaming’ to drive a wedge between him and his daughters.
LMP’s soon-to-be ex claimed in legal documents that he is so broke – he makes only $1,000 a month and has ‘minus $371’ in his bank account – he cannot afford to pay a lawyer and that Presley should pay for an attorney for him, under Californian ‘parity’ rules that say divorcing couples should have access to similar legal resources to ensure a fair contest.
‘Upon information and belief, Presley has an annual income well over one million dollars, while I currently have virtually no income whatsoever (I have some meager royalty payments that come in from time to time, but they do not total even one tenth or one twentieth of Petitioner’s income),’ he said.
Lockwood maintained in court filings that he owes more than $700,000 in legal fees that he chalked up in 2018 when he hired attorneys to fight a court battle with Presley in which he tried to persuade a judge to tear up a post-nuptial agreement – where he and LMP both signed away their rights to each other’s property and spousal support if they divorced.
At that time he asked the court to order LMP to pay him $263,000 a year in spousal support so that he could ‘enjoy a lifestyle closer to my marital status of living’ – which included lavish entertaining, expensive vacations and flying on private jets.
But Lockwood ended up losing the case and not getting a penny after Judge Gould-Saltman found that Lockwood’s argument – he said he hadn’t read the post-nup and his attorney at the time failed to explain it to him – didn’t wash.
The judge upheld the post-nup and threw out Lockwood’s case, telling the court: ‘If Lockwood elected not to read the post-nup and accept the consequences that it would be upheld, that is his choice.’
After Presley’s 27-year-old son Benjamin Keough committed suicide in July, Lockwood claimed in legal documents that Lisa Marie’s heartbreak over the tragedy could send her back to the drugs and alcohol she claims she’s been free of for three years (pictured in 2012)
Lisa Marie herself has also been pleading poverty, once claiming in court documents that she was as much as $16 million in debt.
Two years ago, she filed a separate lawsuit in LA against her former business manager, Barry J. Siegel, accusing him of frittering away her one-time $100 million trust fund from Elvis and charging her $700,000 a month while he was losing her fortune.
Siegel countersued, demanding $800,000 in fees he claimed he’s owed and insisting that Presley ‘squandered’ away her fortune because of her ‘uncontrollable spending habits.’
That case is ongoing.
Presley has been married four times and had four children. She married singer Danny Keough in 1988 and they shared Danielle Riley Keough – movie star Riley Keough – and Benjamin. They divorced in 1994.
That same year, she married Michael Jackson but they divorced two years later. Her third marriage, in 2002 to actor Nicolas Cage, also barely lasted two years. She wed Lockwood in 2006 and they separated, and filed for divorce, in 2016.