Riley Keough’s Husband Reveals Lisa Marie Presley Was A Grandmother Before Her Passing
Jan 23, 2023 by apost team
Trigger Warning: This article contains mentions of suicide that may be troubling for some readers.
It was a sad day for the Presley family and fans of the “King of Rock and Roll,” Elvis Presley, when his only daughter, whom he had with his wife Priscilla Presley, was laid to rest on Jan. 22, 2023, in Graceland. Lisa Marie Presley’s nearest and dearest were present to bid their final farewell, recalling memories and paying tribute to her life. Among them were her daughter, Riley Keough, and her husband, Ben Smith-Petersen, who delivered his wife's eulogy in her stead. Through his voice as an extension of Riley's pain, Smith-Peterson was able to embody the depth of feeling in the words written by his wife.
Riley was born to Lisa Marie Presley, the only daughter of rock and roll megastar Elvis and his wife, Priscilla Presley. Riley’s father is Danny Keough, a musician Lisa Marie married in 1988 at the age of 21. The pair had two children – Riley, born in 1989, and her brother Benjamin, born in 1992.
However, Lisa Marie divorced Danny in 1994 and, 20 days later, married pop star Michael Jackson. Two years later, Lisa Marie filed for divorce from Jackson. In 2002, Lisa Marie wed actor Nicolas Cage and the couple stayed married for just three months before they, too, split. In January 2006, Lisa Marie married guitarist and producer Michael Lockwood. Her first husband, Danny, whom Lisa Marie had remained close to even after their breakup, served as the best man at her fourth wedding. Lisa Marie had two children with Lockwood, giving Riley two half-siblings in the form of fraternal twins, Harper and Finley.
However, tragedy struck on Jan. 12, 2023, when Lisa Marie was rushed to the emergency room after being found unresponsive in her California home. She was 54 years old.
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Born on May 29, 1989, in Santa Monica, California, Riley’s life took a tumultuous turn at the age of 6, when her parents divorced. Riley’s childhood was filled with frequent changes, excitement and a measure of instability as her mother, Lisa Marie, lived a vivacious and thrilling life. Riley went on to become an actress, starring in films such as “Magic Mike,” “Logan Lucky” and “Zola.” However, it was during filming for “Mad Max: Fury Road” in 2012 that the course of her life would change forever.
On the set, Riley met Australian stuntman Ben Smith-Petersen, and by 2015, the pair were married in Napa Valley, California. Only weeks earlier, they'd also had a wedding ceremony in Nepal. "It was so beautiful and, in some ways, that wedding was a little more intimate and really special. That wedding, I cried. At my bigger wedding I was a little nervous, I wasn't as present. But it was still equally as amazing,” Riley told Vogue Australia.
However, tragedy would hit on July 14, 2020, when it was reported Riley's brother, Benjamin, had passed away at the age of 27 after being found with a gunshot wound in his upper torso, believed to be self-inflicted. Three years later, Riley would suffer another blow with the passing of their mother.
On Jan. 22, 2023, a memorial service was held at Graceland, where Lisa Marie was laid to rest beside her son, Benjamin. Graceland’s Meditation Garden is also the final resting place of Elvis, his parents Vernon and Gladys, and his grandmother Minnie Mae, who was interred there after her passing in 1980.
At the memorial service, Smith-Petersen delivered Riley's eulogy and, in the process, revealed to the world that they were parents to a newborn daughter.
An emotional Smith-Peterson read out the words Riley had written in tribute to the love and generosity Lisa Marie had bestowed upon her family and her loved ones.
“I hope I can love my daughter the way you loved me, the way you loved my brother and my sisters. Thank you for giving me strength, my heart, my empathy, my courage, my sense of humor, my manners, my temper, my wildness, my tenacity. I'm a product of your heart, my sisters are a product of your heart, my brother is a product of your heart,” he read.
He continued: “I remember you singing to me and my brother lullabies at night, and how you’d lay with us until we fell asleep. I remember how it felt to be loved by the most loving mother I’ve ever known. How safe it felt to be in your arms. I remember that feeling as a child and I remember it two weeks ago on your couch.”
Prior to the service, it was not known that the couple had welcomed a child. However, People received confirmation the pair had become proud parents of a daughter in 2022 but did not elaborate on her name or date of birth.
With his voice cracking, Smith-Petersen delivered the final words written by Riley to her mother at the service:
“We are you, you are us, my eternal love. I hope you finally know how loved you were here. Thank you for trying so hard for us. If I didn’t tell you every day, thank you.”
How touching were Riley Keough’s words for her late mother? Does it inspire you to hold those you love in your life closer? Let us know and pass this on to them and others you cherish as well.
If you or anybody you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, please visit Find A Helpline | Free emotional support in 130+ countries to find your local suicide prevention hotline. The hotline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.