For months, the actress Riley Keough has remained silent about the legal dispute brewing between her and her grandmother, Priscilla Presley, over control of the Presley family trust. Even as reports of family tension have surfaced, which Ms. Presley has tried to tamp down, Ms. Keough had not publicly weighed in.
That silence largely continued on Tuesday as lawyers for Ms. Keough and Ms. Presley announced at a hearing in Los Angeles that the parties had reached a settlement in the matter, but that the details would remain confidential.
The judge, Lynn Scaduto, set a June 12 deadline for the lawyers to file additional petitions, including a motion to have the settlement agreement filed under seal, and set an Aug. 4 hearing date at which to formally approve the deal.
“The family is happy, unified, together, and is excited for the future,” Ronson J. Shamoun, a lawyer for Ms. Presley said after the hearing.
Justin B. Gold, one of Ms. Keough’s lawyers, said only that “Riley is content” with the outcome.
The agreement discussed in court on Tuesday amounts to Ms. Keough’s first formal response in the fight over the family’s remaining share of Elvis’s legacy.
Two weeks after Lisa Marie Presley died suddenly in January at the age of 54, Priscilla Presley filed court papers challenging a 2016 amendment to the trust. That amendment, purportedly authorized by Lisa Marie, had removed Priscilla and the family’s former business manager, Barry Siegel, as trustees. It had also designated Ms. Keough and Benjamin Keough, her brother, as co-trustees in the event of Lisa Marie’s death. (Mr. Keough died in 2020 at age 27.)
In her petition, Priscilla’s lawyers argued that the amendment was invalid, saying that it had never been delivered to her during Lisa Marie’s lifetime as required under the language of the trust. The court papers also claimed that the amendment was potentially fraudulent, asserting that Lisa Marie’s signature was “inconsistent” with her usual penmanship. Priscilla asked the court to recognize her as a trustee.
In a statement released in February, as focus on the family dispute built, Priscilla asked the public to “allow us the time we need to work together and sort this out.”
Ms. Keough’s lawyers never filed publicly available court papers outlining their response to Priscilla’s petition. On Tuesday, Mr. Gold did not address the petitioner’s legal arguments.
The parties have agreed that Michael Lockwood, Lisa Marie’s fourth husband from whom she for years sought a messy divorce (it was finalized in 2021), will serve as the guardian in charge of dealing with the legal affairs of the pair’s minor children, Finley and Harper Lockwood, who are each beneficiaries of the trust along with Ms. Keough.
Presley family fights are nothing new to Elvis’s fans, who are well familiar with his history of divorce, profligate spending and legal entanglements. But for all the messiness put on display over the years, the Elvis brand today continues to be a moneymaker, taking in more than $100 million a year.
The Presley family share of those earnings is funneled to the family trust, known as the Promenade Trust. It retains 15 percent of Elvis Presley Enterprises and the main Graceland house in Memphis, making it worth tens of millions of dollars. As The New York Times reported, Lisa Marie, before her death, drew an income last year of $1.25 million from the trust.