ICYMI: Riley Keough battles alleged fraud in fight to protect Elvis Presley's Graceland

Something odd has been happening in Graceland. Here's some information on the unexpected legal battle involving Elvis Presley's famous home.
75th Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals
75th Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals / Frazer Harrison/GettyImages

ICYMI: Actor Riley Keough, the granddaughter of Elvis Presley and an heir to his estate, has lodged a legal complaint against a private investment firm, accusing it of attempting an unlawful sale of Presley's Graceland home. Lisa Marie Presley, Keough's mother, passed away in January 2023 at the age of 54. At the solemn tribute a year later, Priscilla Presley said of Lisa Marie: "You are in the arms of your beloved father now..."

In addition to such touching tributes, there has been a lawsuit or two (as so often happens in a family when there's money involved). However, this story is a bit unique: In September 2023, Naussany Investments & Private Lending filed a lawsuit against Lisa Marie's estate, claiming she owed $3.8 million to the firm and had used Graceland as collateral for the loan. On May 15, Keough filed a complaint in a Tennessee court, labeling Naussany's claims as "fraudulent."

On the subject, Nicole Forbes Stowell, a business law professor at the University of South Florida, said in an AP article: "I have never heard of a fraud targeting such a well-known institution. So it’s a bit surprising on that end..."

Keough asserted that "Lisa Marie Presley never borrowed money from Naussany Investments and never gave a deed of trust to Naussany Investments." The complaint further alleges that, in September 2023, Naussany Investments "presented documents purporting to show that Lisa Marie Presley had borrowed $3.8 million from Naussany Investments and gave a deed of trust encumbering Graceland as security." Keough maintains that the documents are "forgeries."

More on the Riley Keough and the alleged fraudulent documents

Keough's complaint names Kurt Naussany as a defendant, alleging that "he has sent counsel for Keough numerous emails seeking to collect the purported $3.8 million debt and threatening to conduct a non-judicial sale of Graceland." In response, Naussany told NBC News that he left the firm in 2015 and should not be included in the lawsuit. On May 19, a public notice appeared in local news outlets announcing that Graceland would be auctioned at the Shelby County Courthouse in Memphis on May 23.

However, on May 20, a judge issued a temporary restraining order, as stated by Keough's lawyer, with a hearing scheduled for the day before the proposed sale. Shelby County Chancellor JoeDae Jenkins stated: "The court will enjoin the sale as requested because, one, the real estate is considered unique under Tennessee law. And in being unique, the loss of the real estate would be considered irreparable harm..." (The words "enjoin the sale" mean "prohibit someone from doing something by issuing an injunction".)

More about Elvis's Graceland and Riley Keough

Graceland, located on 14 acres of land, was purchased by Elvis Presley in 1957 and remained his residence until his death in 1977. The lavish home has become an iconic part of the Presley legacy, now functioning as a museum that draws approximately 600,000 visitors annually. In addition to managing the Promenade Trust, which oversees the Graceland estate wrangling with the alleged non-judicial sale, Riley Keough has made a name for herself as a successful actor.

She received Golden Globe and Emmy nominations in 2023 for her lead role in Daisy Jones & The Six. Her film credits include Mad Max: Fury Road, American Honey, Under the Silver Lake, and Zola.

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