Lisa Marie Presley sues ex-manager after Elvis cash falls to $14,000
Elvis’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, inherited his $100m (£71.5m) estate in 1993 at the age of 25. Another 25 years later, she says in a lawsuit obtained by US media that she is down to her last $14,000.
Presley blames her former manager Barry Siegel for her precarious finances, and filed a suit last week against him accusing him of “reckless and negligent mismanagement” of her inherited estate.
In the suit, first reported by the US website the Blast, she claims that her cash reserves were whittled down because of Siegel’s poor investment decisions. He has countered that Presley is to blame, alleging in a lawsuit of his own that she squandered much of her fortune. He is demanding $800,000 in damages for non-payment.
Elvis Presley’s fortune had dwindled to a few million dollars at the time of his death in 1977, but the power of the Presley brand – including the tourist attraction Graceland – meant that assets were built back up into the $100m trust that Lisa Marie inherited on her 25th birthday.
Siegel sold off 85% of her share in the Elvis Presley Enterprises company in 2005, a deal that he says “cleared up over $20m in debts Lisa had incurred and netted her over $40m cash and a multi-million dollar income stream”.
Presley says it lost her millions thanks to a subsequent investment in Core Entertainment, the company behind American Idol that went bankrupt in 2016.
According to reports in the US, tax filings show the family’s Presley Charitable Foundation has operated at an annual loss in every tax year since 2009, with reported annual revenue down to just $26 in one year. The foundation’s endowment, reported to be just north of $100,000, is in Siegel’s care. The foundation did not return the Guardian’s calls.
Presley, who has recorded three albums of her own, is already in a battle over assets in the wake of her divorce from Michael Lockwood, her fourth marriage after short-lived partnerships with Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage.
According to reports of her divorce proceedings last week, she claims she is $16m in debt. Lockwood disputes the figure, arguing “she has not disclosed her assets or their values”.
None of Presley’s representatives the Guardian contacted responded with comments. Leon Gladstone, a lawyer for Siegel, said his client had sued Presley first for non-payment. “It’s clear Lisa Marie is going through a difficult time in her life and looking to blame others instead of taking responsibility for her actions,” he said in a statement.