Lisa Marie Presley Lost All Of Elvis’s Millions Before She Died

Lisa Marie Presley spent all of Elvis's fortune, and millions more, before her recent passing.

By Mark McKee | Published

Just like Queen and Freddie Mercury got a newfound interest in them and their music following Bohemian Rhapsody, the King of Rock and Roll and his family got the same treatment with the release of the biopic Elvis. The famous family got even more renewed interest when Elvis Presley’s only daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, tragically died of an apparent cardiac arrest on January 12. In that interest, the question of the estate has come up, only to reveal (via Style) that, prior to her death, the daughter of the music legend was deeply in debt, to the tune of $16 million. 

The tale of Lisa Marie Presley’s fortune going from black to red is one that mirrors her father’s journey, as chronicled by Austin Butler and Tom Hanks’ performances in the biopic. She was 9 when her father died and left his estate cash poor, but her mother revamped the mansion and turned it into a tourist attraction, growing the fortune before her daughter took ownership via her father’s will when she turned 25. And while the estate is believed to have been worth a cool $100 million by that point in 1993, it didn’t take long for that to change. 

Two years into her tenure on the estate, Lisa Marie Presley appointed Barry Siegel to run the business, and he almost immediately sold 85% of the trust’s interest in the company set up by her mother, including her rights to her father’s name and likeness. While Presley claims that these were selfish pursuits by Siegel, the manager said that the action was to help pay off debts owed against the estate to the tune of $25 million. The deal was supposed to bring in $100 million and $25 million in stock interest for the company American Idol, which went bankrupt. 

After taxes, Lisa Marie Presley’s cut was only $40 million, and by 2015 the total of what was left was only $14,000. While Presley pointed to reckless and selfish investments by Siegel, the manager pointed back at the King of Rock and Roll‘s daughter by saying her uncontrolled spending was to blame. 

The two continued to spar over the mishandled funds of the estate, with Presley claiming that Siegel hid the actual condition of her finances from her while he said she refused to face the realities or live within reasonable means. During the artist’s divorce from Michael Lockwood a few years ago, documents showed that Lisa Marie Presley was $16 million in debt thanks to unpaid taxes, defaulted mortgages, and a mountain of credit card debt. 

While these documents seem to support Barry Siegel’s claims that the artist had a spending problem and couldn’t live within her means, lousy management and mishandling of finances run in the family. There was a similar story with her father’s relationship with Colonel Tom Parker that he pushed Elvis to keep performing in order to pay off his own debts, unbeknownst to the artist. Either way, Lisa Marie Presley is survived by three of her four children, her daughters remaining in charge of the estate, while she has been buried next to her son, who died in 2020.