Elvis Presley's daughter can proceed with a lawsuit against her former business manager, whom she claims lost her father's $100 million fortune through poor investment decisions, a California Superior Court judge ruled this week.
During the hearing, the judge denied the motion of manager Barry Siegel to stop Lisa Marie Presley's lawsuit from moving forward, but gave him the opportunity raise the issue again in the future if deemed appropriate, City News Service reported.
Leon Gladstone, Siegel’s attorney, said they “expected that the case would remain in Probate Court” and “will be filing a response to the lawsuit by the deadline the court has set, July 31, 2018.” Probate court handles the assets and debts from a person who has died.
“As we have said in the past, for over 30 years, Barry Siegel and his business management firm have stood by Lisa Marie Presley's interests, and those of her family,” Gladstone told Fox News.
Amjad Mahmood Khan, an attorney for Presley, said they were "pleased" with the court's decision.
"We now look forward to conducting a complete factual investigation that will reveal the full extent of Mr. Siegel's gross mismanagement of Ms. Presley's finances and breaches of his obligations as trustee to safeguard the Presley estate," Khan said.
Lisa Marie Presley is the sole heir to the estate of her father, who died at age 42 in 1977. She alleges that Siegel and his company, Provident Financial Management, “enriched himself with exorbitant fees” while dwindling down the fortune to less than $15,000 via "reckless and negligent" business decisions, the Daily Mail reported.
Siegel has countersued for $800,000, alleging Lisa Marie Presley was responsible for the financial problems due to “uncontrollable spending habits,” according to the Daily Mail.
Presley claims her former manager gave himself an annual salary of $701,000 to manage the trust, while deceiving her of the true condition of her finances, the news outlet reported, citing court documents.
Attorneys for the singer and songwriter also included email correspondence between Presley and Siegel, in which he allegedly assured Elvis’s daughter that she was in “good shape” financially.
Gladstone said Presley ignored repeated advice from Siegel on how to “better manage her finances,” and instead “continued to spend excessively over the next ten years, which has now depleted her second fortune.”
“Unfortunately, these financial and personal misfortunes are a direct result of Lisa Marie’s refusal to listen to her family, friends and trusted advisers,” Gladstone said. “It comes as no surprise that a person in her position would try to blame others rather than take responsibility for her own actions.”
The biggest blunder Presley cites stems from Siegel’s decision to sell the majority of her trust's stock in Elvis Presley Enterprises in 2005. In return, Presley received cash and stock in "American Idol's” future holding company, the Daily Mail reported.
But the investment in "American Idol" ultimately went bankrupt, losing “$24.5 million of the $25 million in stock that was received in the sale of EPE” in just one week, according to the paper, citing court documents.
Presley’s next court appearance is scheduled for July 30, according to City News Service.