Lisa Marie Presley’s estranged husband is about to be told whether he’s entitled to $263,000 a year in spousal support as their bitter divorce battle goes to trial on Monday.
A Los Angeles jury will mull over the key question: Did Michael Lockwood marry Elvis’ fabulously wealthy daughter for love… or for her money?
Before she married him, Presley, 50, told broke musician Lockwood that she ‘would not marry someone who would come after her for her money,’ she claimed in legal documents.
And Lockwood ‘assured her that he was not that guy.’
Lisa Marie Presley, 50, filed for divorce from Lockwood in June 2016 after 10 years of marriage
’So much for assurances,’ scoffed Presley’s attorney in legal papers filed before the trial – expected to last four days.
Ironically, a post-nuptial agreement they both signed says that neither would pursue the other for support ‘at any time, regardless of the circumstances.’
At the trial – where Presley is expected to testify – Lockwood is contesting that the post-nup is void.
Both Presley, and Lockwood, 57 signed the post-nup a year after their January 2006 wedding when Presley was worth almost $63 million and Lockwood’s net worth was zero.
Lockwood, wants the document torn up, calling it invalid because, he claims, he was coerced into signing it, he didn’t read it properly, his lawyer at the time – who has since died – didn’t explain the agreement to him, and he doesn’t remember the period when the post-nup was negotiated and signed.
But Presley’s attorney, Gary Fishbein, has fought back in court papers filed at LA Superior Court, accusing Lockwood of ‘feigning amnesia or ignorance’ and saying he ‘had the full and complete opportunity to negotiate the terms of the agreement, was competently represented by counsel ….and entered into the agreement freely and voluntarily, without duress or coercion.
‘Lockwood cannot now complain that he’s sorry he entered the agreement because he doesn’t like the terms. He knew what he was signing, was represented and cannot invalidate the agreement because he has a case of sour grapes…
‘His current position of, “Gee, I didn’t know what I was signing,” or his contradictory stories about when he had a lawyer, if he had a lawyer etc. are not grounds for invalidating the agreement.
‘Does this court believe the word of Lockwood, who clearly has much to gain economically by feigning amnesia or ignorance, or does this court follow the language executed by an attorney who had been practicing family law since 1956?’
Presley – who earlier this month persuaded a judge to seal from public view any documents about custody of the couple’s nine-year-old twin daughters, Finley and Harper – filed for divorce from Lockwood in June 2016 after 10 years of marriage.
At one point, Presley claimed hundreds of disturbing images and videos of their children were found on Lockwood’s computer, a claim he vigorously denied.
She has since confessed that she had a serious drug problem – and had to go into rehab several times – during the last three years of her marriage.
Last February, Presley was ordered by Judge Patrick Cathcart to pay Lockwood $100,000 in legal fees – though that was less than a quarter of what he was asking for.
Lisa Marie with daughters Riley Keough and her nine-year-old twin daughters, Finley and Harper – she had with Lockwood
Michael Lockwood out with their twin daughters to visit flea market. At one point in their divorce Lisa Marie claimed hundreds of disturbing images and videos of the children were found on his computer, a claim he vigorously denied
Lockwood has accused Presley of withholding information about the post-nup and his lawyer, Jeff Sturman, has charged that Elvis’ daughter deliberately hid her wealth from her estranged husband who has claimed in court papers that she makes around $4.2 million a year, or $350,000 a month, mostly from the trust her father set up for her.
But Presley has said in court documents that she’s some $16 million in debt, ten million of which is owed in back taxes.
And in February she filed a separate lawsuit in LA against her former business manager, Barry J. Siegel, accusing him of frittering away her one-time $100 million trust fund and charging her $700,000 a month wile he was losing her fortune.
Siegel has countersued, demanding $800,000 in fees he claims he’s still owed and insisting that Presley ’squandered’ away her fortune because of her ‘uncontrollable spending habits.’
Meanwhile, Lockwood has said in court documents that he’s been reduced from living in luxury with Presley – including lavish entertaining, expensive vacations and flying on private jets – to having just $435 in his bank account and earning only $20-$25 an hour as a part-time guitar technician and musician.
He has also claimed to have around $50,000 of credit card debt and legal debts of almost $300,000.
He wants Presley to pay him $263,000 a year so that he can ‘enjoy a lifestyle that is closer to my marital status of living….and it will be substantially above the subsistence standard of living at which I am currently living.’
That amount – which is $21,925 a month – is what he estimated he needs to pay expenses including $10,000 a month for renting a three-bedroom house close to his daughters, $2,425 a month for entertaining and vacations, plus $5,000 year for birthday and Christmas gifts for the twin girls,