• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest
NOV
29
3 YEARS

Elvis Presley Estate Sued For $130 Million By King's 'Real Daughter'

Lisa Johansen is the author of 1998 memoir, "I, Lisa Marie: The True Story of Elvis Presley's Real Daughter."

Elvis Presley
Everett Collection

A Swedish woman who for more than two decades has been trying to convince everyone that she's Elvis Presley's real daughter and that Lisa Marie Presley has stolen her identity, has filed a lawsuit against the Presley family claiming more than $130 million in damages for defamation and infliction of emotional distress.

Lisa Johansen gained some notoriety after publishing in 1998 a memoir entitled, I, Lisa Marie: The True Story of Elvis Presley's Real Daughter.

PHOTOS: 20 Best and Worst Music to Movie Crossovers

In the book, she told the story of how after Elvis died in 1977, Priscilla Presley left America while fearing for her daughter's safety. Forced to assume a new identity for her own protection, Johansen says she struggled to reclaim her name and heritage. To show she's the rightful heir of the huge Presley estate, Johansen also reportedly pointed to some evidence, such as a skull and face analysis of Lisa Marie Presley.

At the time of the book's publishing, the odd story gained some press attention, but it quickly lost its luster after Johansen reportedly refused to take a DNA test. In 2000, the Texas-based publisher of I, Lisa Marie, which had given her a $200,000 advance to write the book, sued her for $50 million for damaging sales of the book.

Johansen became mostly forgotten, subject to occasional Internet rumors, but she hasn't backed off of her claims. Recently, she's pressed authorities in the UK to investigate possible identity theft, and a few months ago, on the anniversary of Elvis' death, she showed up at Graceland and had conversations with some of the staff.

This led the Presley family to reach out to Marty Singer, the pitbull Hollywood attorney, who in August fired off a warning letter to Johansen's representatives. In the letter, Singer advised that the "malicious false claims and offensive wrongful conduct" of Johansen would no longer be tolerated and that it would lead to action if the woman didn't restrain herself.

So Johansen reacted by filing her own lawsuit a week ago in Tennessee federal court against the Presley estate. The woman says that the family has been attempting to intimidate her and has been spreading lies about her. She says that she went to Graceland by invitation and that the defendants are attempting to harass her away from her claims.

Meanwhile, the whole bizarre mystery might be put to rest soon enough. According to one of documents she submitted in this case, Johansen consented to a DNA test from London authorities in 2010.

E-mail: eriqgardner@yahoo.com

Twitter: @eriqgardner