Riley Keough is staying strong amid the unimaginably difficult loss of her mother, Lisa Marie Presley, and the complications that have followed.
On Thursday, a source close to the Daisy Jones & The Six star opened up about how the 33-year-old is doing while she mourns her mother, who died suddenly on January 12 after suffering cardiac arrest. While she processes the devastating loss, the actress has also been pulled into a legal battle against her grandmother, Priscilla Presley, who is contesting her late daughter’s will. A 2016 amendment to Lisa Marie’s will swapped out the matriarch as a trustee for his kids moving forward, and Priscilla is fighting to make the changes invalid.
Interestingly, the insider seems confident Riley will come out on top, telling Us Weekly:
“Riley is taking charge and poised for a huge role in the whole family estate moving forward.”
The Zola lead has also been actively helping to make sure all the other family matters get handled in the meantime, the confidant continued:
“She’s been front and center helping with the funeral arrangements, sitting down with Lisa Marie’s people to handle her will, the custody situation involving [Michael Lockwood], plus taking care of the twins [Harper and Finley, 14] and comforting [grandmother] Priscilla and many others her mom left behind.”
Okay, a lot to unpack there!
First off, we’re surprised (but also relieved) to hear she’s been “comforting” her grandmother despite the latter’s decision to try and oust Riley from the trust! Love to hear she’s taking the higher road and trying to maintain an amicable relationship!
Then there’s the custody battle. As we’ve reported, at the time of the Lights Out singer’s death, she had 60 percent custody of the twins. Under California law, Michael would normally get full custody in a situation like this… unless a judge found him unfit to parent. Or another family member could try to fight for custody, complicating matters.
There have been rumors Lisa Marie’s first husband, Danny Keough (with whom she shared Riley and their late son Benjamin Keough) might try to request custody considering he lived with his ex-wife and the teenagers for a while. Per TMZ insiders, he even considered himself like a stepfather. Additionally, there’s been speculation Riley or Priscilla might try to gain custody, too. The latest TMZ sources believe there won’t be a messy battle since the twins have made it clear to everyone they want to live with their father full-time, and the Presley family reportedly supports the decision so long as they get to keep a relationship with the girls. So, hopefully, with Riley helping, things will be settled as easily as possible, but you just never know until the ink dries on decisions like this!
Meanwhile, Riley has her hands full in another way! She and her husband Ben Smith-Petersen secretly welcomed their first child in 2022, news they announced at Lisa Marie’s memorial late last month. Becoming a new mother at the same time as she’s grieving her own mom has got to be emotional!
Amid all these complex issues, Riley has shown her family just how reliable she can be during a crisis, the insider noted:
“Everyone’s in awe of the strength and courage Riley’s showing, but what’s also evident here is that she’s a born leader who’s balanced, levelheaded and someone the family can count on to make the right big-picture calls. Lisa Marie adored her. She was her rock for years before she died — now it’s even more obvious why, even if it is unbearably tragic.”
Sounds like this is why Lisa Marie wanted Riley in charge of her estate…
We’re so glad to hear Riley’s doing well amid this challenging time, we just hope she has a support system for herself, too. It sounds like she’s taking on a lot right now… Thoughts? Are you surprised she’s comforting Priscilla? Let us know (below)!