From Elvis to Lisa Marie Presley: A Shocking Pileup of Family Tragedy

It wasn’t the cheating that ultimately put the stake in the marriage, though. Priscilla was mainly tired of having an absentee husband, and Elvis’ volatility when they were together—exacerbated by prescription drug abuse, and all the enablers who ostensibly worked for him but whose main job was to cater to his whims—didn’t help matters.

“If he saw somebody he didn’t like on the TV, he’d get his gun out and blow it up,” Priscilla recalled on Good Morning America last year. “Then he would tell his daddy to go get another TV.”

And eventually Elvis suggested to her that she come to Vegas less often.

Their divorce was finalized Oct. 9, 1973. Though Priscilla recalled a few months of bitter proceedings, they agreed amicably to shared custody of Lisa Marie, and so the child started splitting her time between Graceland and her mom’s home in Los Angeles. Elvis christened his private plane the “Lisa Marie.”

Talking to Yahoo Music in 2013, Lisa Marie recalled being bitten by the performance bug early, her dad watching her sing her heart out, using his hairbrush as a microphone, in his massive walk-in closet at Graceland. 

Priscilla told People in 1978 that she continued to go to Graceland with Lisa Marie “like we were never divorced. Elvis and I still hugged each other, still had love. We would say ‘Mommy said this’ and ‘Daddy said that.’ That helped Lisa to feel stable. There was never any arguing or bitterness.”