Riley Keough will never forget how lovely her mother, Lisa Marie Presley, looked on their final evening together. “We had dinner,” the Daisy Jones & the Six actress told Vanity Fair last year. “That was the last time I saw her. I remember thinking about how beautiful she looked, and that was my strongest memory of the dinner.”

Now, more than a year after Lisa Marie’s death from a bowel obstruction, Riley is helping to share her story. The 35-year-old worked to complete a memoir, out this fall, that publisher Random House calls “raw, riveting, one-of-a-kind,” and for which the music scion had recorded “countless hours of breathtakingly vulnerable tape.” In Touch has seen an unpublished manuscript that lays bare the secrets most thought Elvis Presley’s only daughter had taken to the grave. “Few people had the opportunity to know who my mom really was, other than being Elvis’ daughter,” Riley has said. “I was lucky to have had that opportunity and working on preparing her autobiography for publication has been a privilege, albeit a bittersweet one.” She added, “I’m so excited to share my mom now, at her most vulnerable and most honest. In doing so, I do hope that readers come to love my mom as much as I did.”

Hurt and Heartache

Lisa Marie was haunted for decades by her birthright, four failed marriages and the demons of childhood trauma, addiction and loss. After the tragic suicide of her only son, Benjamin Keough, at 27 in 2020, she became a virtual recluse — until she was asked to help promote the 2022 film Elvis starring Austin Butler, 32. In her last days, Lisa Marie, who called Ben’s death her “worst nightmare” and confessed “nothing” could take away her pain, “was still deeply mourning her son, who reminded her so much of her dad,” an insider exclusively tells In Touch.

But there were happy times too, adds the source, adds the source, noting how Lisa Marie was thrilled to attend the Golden Globe Awards with mom Priscilla Presley, 79, just 36 hours before suffering a fatal cardiac arrest amid intense abdominal pain. Austin won a best actor trophy that night and thanked an emotional Lisa Marie. “She was hoping to see him win an Oscar,” says the source.

“[Austin had] channeled and embodied my father’s heart and soul beautifully,” she’d said, and the film brought back fond memories of her life with The King, who split from Priscilla when Lisa Marie was 4. Among them, Elvis waking her up in the middle of the night, to “get on the table and sing,” as she once recalled, calling him “a very exciting dad.” Or riding through their Memphis neighborhood alongside him on his golf cart. “You’d never see him in his pajamas coming down the steps, ever,” she said of the famously flashy dresser.

His death when she was just 9 was a defining moment in her life. She revealed she felt unsettled after kissing him goodnight. Hours later, she found his lifeless body on his bathroom floor. “I just had a feeling,” Lisa Marie said of his death at 42 after years of drug abuse. “He wasn’t doing well.”

She adored him and even followed in his musical footsteps, releasing three albums between 2003 and 2012. Two made it into the Top 10 of the Billboard 200, but she never had a No. 1 hit. “She had a nice voice but there were always comparisons to Elvis, and she wasn’t motivated enough to keep at it,” explains the source. “In the end, she knew she’d never be as talented or successful as he was. How could she be?”

Lisa Marie Presley: Secrets and Scandals From Her Upcoming Bombshell Memoir
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Icelandic Glacial

Tragic Destiny

Her struggle with drugs was worse than anyone knew. In the wake of losing her father, Lisa Marie rebelled and abused substances from 13 to 17. “I did everything but mushrooms and heroin or crack: Cocaine, sedatives, pot and drinking — all at the same time,” Lisa Marie admitted, adding, “I don’t know how I lived through it.” She got clean after Priscilla sent her to a Scientology rehab program, then at 20 married musician Danny Keough, now 59. After two kids and six years of marriage, they split. Just weeks later, she made headlines when she wed old friend Michael Jackson — a drug addict like her father.

She admitted she had a savior complex when it came to the King of Pop. But according to the unpublished manuscript, seen by In Touch, the suicidal singer never meant to propose to Lisa Marie. He’d mistaken her for his close friend — and drug connection — Debbie Rowe, now 65, a nurse working at his dermatologist’s office with whom he later had two of his three children. “When Michael asked Lisa to marry him, she was touched,” an insider previously told In Touch, adding that she was bewildered when “he called her Debbie” but still said yes. “She wanted to save him from himself.”

The marriage ended less than two years later after Lisa Marie issued an ultimatum — her or the drugs — “and he pushed me away,” she said in 2003, the year after her three month-long third marriage to Oscar winner Nicolas Cage, 60, ended. (“We shouldn’t have been married in the first place,” Lisa Marie said.) Michael died of propofol intoxication at 50 in 2009.

The “Thriller” singer’s passing came a year after Lisa Marie got hooked on drugs again — this time opioids prescribed during her recovery from the difficult birth of twins Harper and Finley, 15, with fourth husband Michael Lockwood, 63. The pills had led to a cocaine addiction by 2013, a reported five stints in rehab and the temporary loss of custody of the twins amid her divorce from husband No. 4. “I was a mess. I couldn’t stop,” Lisa Marie confessed in a 2017 deposition. (Though she got clean, her autopsy revealed oxycodone in her system — she’d been prescribed the painkiller after a recent cosmetic surgery — as well as an antidepressant and drugs used to treat opioid addiction.

Although Lisa Marie’s life was not easy, Riley’s said she prefers to remember her mother’s strength and beauty. “She was a very powerful presence and extremely loving and extremely loyal and sort of a lioness — a fierce woman,” the actress recalled in 2023. “And a really wonderful mother.

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