Feature

Presley’s spoiled youth

Because Elvis spoiled his only child, her mother felt obligated to act as disciplinarian.

Lisa Marie Presley always was a daddy’s girl, said Danny Scott in The Sunday Times (U.K.). When she visited Graceland, Elvis lavished attention on his only child. “There was no schedule with my father,” says Lisa Marie, 44. “No rules. I loved it! Anything I wanted, I just had to ask.” Because Elvis spoiled his daughter, her mother, Priscilla, felt obligated to act as disciplinarian. “She was strict and regimented, and I hated it. She made me go to school, do my homework. And the more she clamped down, the worse I got.” Lisa Marie ramped up her rebellion after Elvis died, in 1977, and spent her teenage years taking drugs and running wild, much to her mother’s distress. “We were like oil and water. As far as I was concerned, she was a stop sign and it was my job to run her over.” This fractious relationship continued until Lisa Marie was well into her 30s. “It was only then that I [realized] how much she’d cared for me,” she says. “Dad was always my friend, and I wanted Mom to be my friend too, but she was being my mother. Now I realize I needed someone to say, ‘No!’ Looking back, it was Mom who kept me grounded, it was Mom who really kept me sane.”

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