Riley Keough to Pay Priscilla Presley to End Elvis Family Trust Dispute

The actress Riley Keough has agreed to provide Priscilla Presley, her grandmother and the former wife of Elvis Presley, with a lump-sum payment as part of a settlement that will resolve a dispute over control of the family trust, according to court documents made public on Tuesday.

Lawyers for the parties had sought to keep details of their agreement confidential, but the papers list what appears to be a payment of $1 million.

In the 95-page filing, Ms. Keough also agreed to pay as much as $400,000 to cover Ms. Presley’s legal fees related to the petition Ms. Presley filed earlier this year, challenging the validity of a 2016 document that removed her as an official of the entity known as the Promenade Trust. With the settlement, Ms. Keough will become the sole trustee of that financial instrument established by her mother, Lisa Marie, who died in January.

Ms. Keough also agreed to retain Ms. Presley as a “special adviser” to the trust, for which she would be paid an undisclosed annual amount for 10 years, or until her death, whichever came first.

The terms of the agreement still need to be approved by a judge in Los Angeles Superior Court, where they were filed. The documents say that in exchange for Ms. Presley’s resignation from the trust, Ms. Keough would issue the payment after receiving the proceeds of her mother’s life-insurance policy.

“In settling the claims pending in Priscilla’s petition, the parties are saving significant legal fees by avoiding litigation, and they are likewise avoiding the spectacle of intra-family litigation that would have been inimical to Lisa’s wishes and not in the best interests of the family,” the filing said.

The settlement, if approved, would end months of legal jousting between Ms. Keough and Ms. Presley.

Lisa Marie Presley died suddenly at the age of 54 and was subsequently buried at Graceland with Elvis. Priscilla Presley quickly filed court papers challenging a 2016 amendment to the trust, purportedly authorized by Lisa Marie, which had removed Priscilla and the family’s former business manager, Barry Siegel, as trustees. It had also designated Ms. Keough and Benjamin Keough, her brother, as co-trustees in the event of Lisa Marie’s death. (Mr. Keough died in 2020 at age 27.)

Priscilla Presley’s lawyers argued that the amendment was invalid, saying that it had never been delivered to Ms. Presley during Lisa Marie’s lifetime, as required under the language of the trust. The court papers also claimed that the amendment was potentially fraudulent, asserting that Lisa Marie’s signature was “inconsistent” with her usual penmanship. In the current fight, Priscilla was asking the court to recognize her as a trustee.

At a hearing last month, lawyers for Ms. Keough and Ms. Presley announced that the parties had reached a settlement but did not describe it publicly.

Monday was the deadline the judge, Lynn Scaduto, had set for the lawyers to file additional petitions; she set an Aug. 4 hearing date to formally consider the settlement for approval.

The Elvis brand today continues to be a moneymaker, taking in more than $100 million a year. The Presley family share of those earnings is funneled to Promenade Trust. It retains 15 percent of Elvis Presley Enterprises and the main Graceland house in Memphis, making it worth tens of millions of dollars. As The New York Times reported, Lisa Marie, before her death, drew an income last year of $1.25 million from the trust.

The exact amount of the lump-sum payment Ms. Presley is to receive was redacted in two instances from the court documents made public on Tuesday. But a paragraph that discussed Ms. Keough’s role in picking up legal fees associated with the dispute said that they would be paid at the same time as a “one million dollar payment” referred to earlier in a paragraph that discussed a lump sum.

The agreement also gives Ms. Presley the right to be buried at Graceland, near her former husband.

Sheelagh McNeill contributed research.

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