Lisa Marie

“My dad”

Woman’s Day (Australia) - - Contents -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.