Inside the Presley Family's Biggest Ups and Downs
From Elvis Presley to his daughter Lisa Marie, the famous family have experienced some extreme highs and lows
The Presley family has had their share of ups and downs over the past 85 years.
The famous family’s latest drama came earlier this week, after it was reported that Lisa Marie Presley’s young children were reportedly barred from traveling to Memphis, Tennessee, to celebrate their grandfather Elvis Presley’s 85th birthday celebration.
According to The Blast, the 51-year-old musician’s estranged husband, Michael Lockwood, is not allowing their 11-year-old twin daughters, Harper and Finley, to travel for the celebration. Under their current custody agreement, the kids cannot travel outside of California without the consent of both of their parents or approval from the court.
In an effort to overrule Lockwood’s decision, Lisa Marie’s legal team from appeared in court on Tuesday, the day before the festivities were scheduled to start, to file emergency documents asking a judge to allow the children to travel.
The Blast reported that the judge ultimately denied her ex-parte request in the case, saying that the situation did not rise to the level of an “emergency.”
Here’s a look back on some of the biggest moments that rocked the famous family over the years.
Deaths in the Family
Elvis’ first experience with death came when the future King of Rock and Roll was born in January 1935.
Just over 30 minutes before his own birth in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis’ twin brother, Jesse Garon, was stillborn. Jesse was buried the following day in an unmarked grave at a nearby cemetery.
Several years after the singer first made a name for himself, another tragedy struck the Presley family.
In 1958, five months after Elvis, then 23, was drafted into the U.S. army, his mother, Gladys Presley, fell ill. On August 14, two days after the singer was granted a 7-day emergency leave to be with her, Gladys died at the age of 46 following a heart attack.
“It broke my heart. She was always my best girl,” Presley was quoted as saying at the time, according to a story by the Associated Press.
Elvis’ Rocky Relationship with Wife Priscilla
Elvis met his first and only wife Priscilla shortly after his mother’s death, while he was stationed in Germany and she lived on a military base with her father, a captain in the Air Force. At the time, Priscilla was 14, while Elvis was 24.
“It was a very innocent time,” she later said during a Good Morning America interview. “We still had morals, very high standards.”
The two began seeing each other, and after over 7 years of dating, Presley proposed with a three carat diamond in December 1966.
At that time, the 32-year-old King – still several years away from a rhinestone jumpsuit – was the world’s top-earning entertainer, starring in up to three movies a year and singing his way through their soundtracks.
The former couple married on May 1, 1967, when Elvis, then 32, still several years away from a rhinestone jumpsuit, was the world’s top-earning entertainer, starring in up to three movies a year and singing his way through their soundtracks. Priscilla was 21.
Less than a year later, the pair welcomed their only child, daughter Lisa Marie, on Feb. 1, 1968.
However, life between the married pair wasn’t always easy.
“I just kind of followed what he did. You lived his life,” Priscilla said during a 2016 appearance on U.K. talk show Loose Women, according to HuffPost. “You saw the movies he wanted to see, you listened to the music he listened to, you’d go to places he would go. So you really kind of lost yourself.”
“He didn’t really go out, he didn’t like eating in restaurants because people would take pictures of him and he didn’t want to be shot eating with a fork in his mouth,” she added.
The couple went on to divorce in Aug. 1972.
“I did not divorce him because I didn’t love him ― he was the love of my life, truly,” Priscilla explained during the 2016 interview. “If anything, I left because I needed to find out what the world was like.”
The Death of The King
Although Presley’s health had been declining in the final years of his life, his death on Aug. 16, 1977 stunned the world.
He was just 42 years old when Ginger Alden walked into the bathroom adjoining the palatial master bedroom of Graceland and discovered the star’s body. Although his cause of death was ruled as a heart attack by coroners, there have long been theories that drugs played a role in his passing.
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Four Marriages — and Four Splits
Lisa Marie first walked down the aisle in 1988, when she wed musician Danny Keough, with whom she had two children, son Ben and daughter Riley Keough, now a successful actress.
Less than a month after the pair divorced in 1994, Lisa Marie, then 26, married singer Michael Jackson on May 26. “My marriage to Michael Jackson took place in a private ceremony outside the United States weeks ago,” read a statement from Lisa Marie at the time. “I am very much in love with Michael, I dedicate my life to being his wife. I understand and support him. We both look forward to raising a family.”
That September, they shared a kiss at the MTV Video Music Awards, with Jackson proclaiming, “Just think, nobody thought this would last.”
The pair first met at one of her late father’s Las Vegas concerts when Lisa Marie was 7 and the King of Pop was still a member of the Jackson Five, before reconnecting years after as adults.
Two years later, Lisa Marie and Jackson ended their relationship.
“The one thing that correlates with Michael and with my father on this subject is that they had the luxury of creating whatever reality around them they wanted to create,” Presley told Oprah Winfrey during a 2016 interview, according to HuffPost. “They could have the kinds of people who were going to go with their program or not go with their program. If they weren’t, then they could be disposed of.”
RELATED: Lisa Marie on Michael: It Was Love
Lisa Marie got married for a third time to actor Nicolas Cage.
The pair met at a birthday party for Johnny Ramone in 2000, when he was estranged from Patricia Arquette and she was engaged to Hawaiian-born musician John Oszajca. They went on to wed in August 2002 during a secret ceremony in Hawaii on the 25th anniversary of Elvis’ death.
However, less than four months after their wedding, the pair announced they were splitting.
“I’m sad about this, but we shouldn’t have been married in the first place,” Lisa Marie said in a statement issued by her publicist, Paul Bloch.
In his own statement, Cage said, “I did not comment on the marriage, I am not going to comment on the divorce.”
Her fourth married came in 2006 to Michael Lockwood, with Lisa Marie filing for divorce in June 2016. Ever since their separation, the two have been embroiled in an ongoing custody battle over 11-year-old twin daughters, Harper and Finley.
They are set to go to trial over custody, visitation rights and child support amounts on July 20, 2020.