The world was shaken by the news when it was confirmed that on January 20, 2023, the only child of singer and actor Elvis Presley and actress Priscilla Presley had died that day at the age of 54, a month short of her 55th birthday. According to her autopsy report, Presley died of “small bowel obstruction” caused by a bariatric surgery she had undergone. She was admitted to the hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest at her home in Calabasas, California.
Since her untimely demise, the Presley family has remained private about their loss as they grieved in solitude away from all the media attention.
But recently, months after her passing, Priscilla Presley, 78, has come forward to speak about her daughter’s death in a new interview with journalist Piers Morgan for the British news show TalkTV. The grieving mother has opened up her heart to talk about her “unbearable” loss. “It’s like a large part of your life is taken away,” said Priscilla, who was seen covering her face with her hand as she wept, according to The Sun.
In the conversation, Priscilla stated how Lisa Marie showed signs of not being well during the night of the 80th Golden Globe Awards, “She didn’t look well that night, and I was concerned,” she recalled of their outing to the awards ceremony. “She asked Jerry Schilling, one of my best friends, if he could hold her. Her heels were high, but she had worn them before, and I thought, ‘Is she OK?’ She didn’t really look that OK, she looked very frail.”
She continued, “Then we watched the show, and we had a few laughs, and we were all excited about Austin Butler and [director] Baz [Luhrmann], and the movie went so well, we were proud of them, then we started to go, and she said, ‘Mom, do you want to go to Chateau Marmont and have a drink?'” After actor Austin Butler won a Best Actor award for his portrayal of her late ex-husband Elvis Presley in the biopic Elvis. They ended their night by having a brief moment together in the hotel.
“We both had our high heels on and both of us tripped on the staircase, and we started laughing and giggling,” Priscilla said.
She recalled that Lisa Marie soon began having severe abdominal pain and asked to leave. “We went and sat down, and she said, ‘Mom, I have to go, my stomach really hurts.’ I go, ‘Of course, are you OK?’ She goes, ‘Yes, yes, I just really have to go’. And I go, ‘OK, we will get the cars now,’ ” she recounted. “Then I hugged her, and she went her way, and I went mine, and that hug was the last hug I gave her,” she added.
In addition to this, during her TalkTV interview, Presley told Piers Morgan: “You know, I lost my mother, I lost my grandson, and I lost my daughter. It’s still shocking that we don’t have her, And losing Ben, was the hardest thing for her… he took his own life and he was… the love of her life, that child, she adored him, she would do anything for him, anything.”
“We were in Memphis… and she said, ‘Mom… I don’t know if I [want to] be here’ and I go, ‘What are you talking about?’ [And she said:] ‘You know, my Ben,’ and she would go on about Ben and how she is still grieving, and this was a couple of months before.”
Lisa Marie’s public memorial service was held at Graceland on January 22, and more than 1.5 million people watched the service via live stream.
Presley was interred in the Graceland Meditation Garden, next to her son, Benjamin, and adjacent to her father, Elvis. Among those in attendance included her mother, family, and friend Jerry Schilling, former Memphis mayor A. C. Wharton, Guns N’ Roses lead singer Axl Rose, The Smashing Pumpkins lead singer Billy Corgan, Sarah, Duchess of York, gospel quartet The Blackwood Brothers, singer Alanis Morissette, and both the director and star of Elvis, Baz Luhrmann, and Austin Butler.
Following her death, Priscilla challenged a 2016 amendment that Presley had made to her estate, removing Priscilla as trustee and naming her two oldest children. One of these two, Presley’s son Benjamin, died by suicide in 2020, leaving Riley Keough as sole trustee. She is to inherit her mother’s estate, which includes Graceland. Priscilla said, “I love her. We have always gotten along. It was a little bit of trying to figure out the will, like you normally do, but Riley and I have always been close.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, for immediate help, or text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741, or go to 988lifeline.org.