It has been 41 years since Elvis Presley’s death. Now, his daughter Lisa Marie is opening up for the first time about the heartbreaking morning she discovered the King of Rock’n’roll’s body at his Graceland home.
“It was 4am. I was supposed to be asleep, actually. He found me,” the 50-year-old explains in an interview published by Globe magazine.
After a long struggle with drugs and obesity, Elvis wasn’t looking like his normal self. But he still kissed his only child goodnight. “That was the last time I saw him alive,” she reveals.
Later that day, on August 16, 1977, Lisa Marie walked in to find her father face-down on the bathroom floor with girlfriend G Ginger Alden frantically trying to help him.
Elvis’ former girlfriend Linda Th Thompson revealed the niney year-old called her to tell her t the terrible news.
“My daddy’s dead!” she s screamed down the phone. ““He’s smothered in the carpet!”
FINDING F COMFORT
E Elvis was supposed to be flying o out of Memphis that evening to k kick-off a new leg of his tour. In Instead, he was taken to Baptist M Memorial Hospital where he w was pronounced dead aged 42 a at 3.30pm.
Just days later, nearly 80,000 fans arrived to witness the King’s funeral. And Lisa Marie, whose own twin daughters Harper and Finley are now the same age as their mother was when she lost her dad, got to be close to her father’s corpse before he was laid to rest.
“His body was in the house for three days and there was something very oddly comforting about that, which made it not necessarily real for me,” she says.
Elvis’ death was ruled as a heart attack, and there were signs that he was in bad health long before he passed away.
The singer’s weight skyrocketed to 159kg before his death, and he was said to be consuming between 10,000 and 12,000 calories a day.
Elvis loved fried food, peanut butter and meat, and it’s thought his addiction to prescription pills could have contributed to his bloated appearance.
“I remember first seeing his stomach and worried to death over that,” Lisa Marie recalls.
But she was too young to fully realise how bad things were.
“I didn’t know then what was going on. I wish I had. I didn’t have any clue of what was really happening.”
And as a young girl, it was difficult for Lisa Marie to try to care for her father as his health grew worse.
“I’d find him in these bad states. Out of nowhere, he would just start falling, and I’d have to go run around and catch him,” she says. “He was about six-foottwo [188cm] and quite heavy, and I’m holding him up. It was just starting to become all too common.”
STILL IN PAIN
Lisa Marie is now suing her former business manager Barry Siegel, claiming that she has just $19,000 of her $135 million inheritance left – and blaming him for frittering it all away.
Last year, she honoured her father with a candlelight vigil at Graceland to mark the 40th anniversary of his death. Lisa Marie admits the pain of losing him will always stay with her.
“I think it gets locked in forever and nothing can change it,” she told Variety.
“And then, on the other side, I’m going through what I’ve dealt with, and I know what he’s gone through, and the older I get, the more I can relate to the obstacles that he had and the trepidations that he had.”
‘My daddy’s dead! He’s smothered in the carpet’
Elvis and Priscilla at home with their daughter. The proud parents prepare to leave hospital with Lisa Marie in February 1968. “He’d always wake me up to sing in the middle of the night,” she says about her doting dad.