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Riley Keough comments on ‘complicated’ family situation after reaching settlement with Priscilla Presley


By Lisa Respers France, CNN

(CNN) — Riley Keough has opened up about some of the most private aspects of her life.

In a new cover story for Vanity Fair published on Tuesday, the “Daisy Jones and the Six” actress remembered the last time she saw her mother Lisa Marie Presley before the latter’s death, and the ensuing tension she experienced with her grandmother, Priscilla Presley.

Keough said she last saw her mother at a party for the film “Elvis” a day after the Golden Globes in January, which took place days before her mother’s death.

“We had dinner,” she said. “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.”

Keough reached a settlement agreement in May with her grandmother Priscilla Presley, who was the only wife of Elvis Presley and Lisa Marie’s mother, over Priscilla’s petition questioning the validity of her late daughter’s will.

“When my mom passed, there was a lot of chaos in every aspect of our lives,” Keough told Vanity Fair. “Everything felt like the carpet had been ripped out and the floor had melted from under us. Everyone was in a bit of a panic to understand how we move forward, and it just took a minute to understand the details of the situation, because it’s complicated. We are a family, but there’s also a huge business side of our family. So I think that there was clarity that needed to be had.”

As to whether her grandmother is now happy, Keough said, “Things with Grandma will be happy. They’ve never not been happy.” She added, “I’m trying to think of a way to answer it that’s not a 20-minute conversation.”

“There was a bit of upheaval, but now everything’s going to be how it was. She’s a beautiful woman, and she was a huge part of creating my grandfather’s legacy and Graceland. It’s very important to her. He was the love of her life,” Keough continued. “Anything that would suggest otherwise in the press makes me sad because, at the end of the day, all she wants is to love and protect Graceland and the Presley family and the legacy. That’s her whole life.”

“So it’s a big responsibility she has tried to take on. None of that stuff has really ever been a part of our relationship prior. She’s just been my grandma,” she added.

In the Vanity Fair piece, Keough also revealed more information about the daughter many people discovered she had only after she mentioned her in a letter she wrote which her husband, Ben Smith-Petersen, read during her mother Lisa Marie Presley’s memorial service in January.

Keough revealed that their daughter, Tupelo Storm Smith-Petersen, was born via surrogate in August 2022.

“I can carry children, but it felt like the best choice for what I had going on physically with the autoimmune stuff,” Keough said, seemingly referencing her Lyme disease diagnosis.

In regards to her baby’s first name – which refers to the birthplace of her world famous grandfather Elvis, born in Tupelo, MS in 1935 – the actress said, “It’s funny because we picked her name before the Elvis movie.”

“I was like, ‘This is great because it’s not really a well-known word or name in relation to my family—it’s not like Memphis or something,” Keough said. “Then when the Elvis movie came out, it was like, ‘Tupelo this and Tupelo that.’ I was like, ‘Oh, no.’ But it’s fine.”

She said her daughter’s middle name is a tribute to her late brother, Benjamin Storm Keough, who died in 2020 at the age of 27.

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