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As Elvis Presley’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley grew up surrounded by wealth and opulence. After her parents divorced, Lisa Marie split her time between their households. While Priscilla Presley wanted to give her daughter a normal life, Elvis pushed back against this. He encouraged his young daughter to lean into his style of life.

Priscilla Presley felt that Elvis spoiled Lisa Marie

After realizing that Lisa Marie spent more time with her nurse than her parents, Priscilla dedicated herself to doing activities with her young daughter. She wanted Lisa Marie to be happy and comfortable.

“I began taking Lisa to parks, afternoon parties, and daily swimming lessons at the YWCA, and I convinced myself that I’d no longer have to fake it with toys and lollipops and ice cream cones to get her to smile at me,” Priscilla wrote in her book Elvis and Me.

Priscilla Presley holds a young Lisa Marie Presley while Elvis points a finger towards her.
Lisa Marie Presley, Priscilla Presley, and Elvis Presley | Magma Agency/WireImage

Priscilla wanted Lisa to have a normal childhood, which wasn’t easy since her father was Elvis Presley. It became even more difficult when Elvis and Priscilla divorced. Priscilla had taken the lead on raising Lisa Marie while they were together. After they separated, she learned that Elvis had an entirely different approach to parenting. 

He encouraged her to stay up late into the night with him and gave her everything she could want. He also did not like to discipline his daughter, so she was able to get away with anything.

“Her daddy handed everything over to her on the proverbial silver platter, which created conflict when she’d come home and have to deal with reality,” Priscilla wrote. “We had a running debate on how she was to be raised. ‘To hell with values,’ Elvis would say, joking. I knew that it was essential that Lisa gain some perspective, but try to explain that to Elvis Presley.”

Lisa Marie Presley got what she wanted by invoking Elvis’ name

Lisa Marie picked up on Elvis’ behavior and tried to mimic it. She realized at a very early age that he held a great deal of power, and she used that to get what she wanted.

“By the time Lisa was four, she realized she could manipulate the help,” Priscilla wrote. “Whenever one of them refused to do something for her, she’d threaten, ‘I’m gonna tell my daddy and you’re going to get fired.'”

According to Priscilla, everyone let her get away with this behavior, which made it difficult for Lisa Marie to understand what was right and wrong. Priscilla constantly scolded her about it, but it took a while for her message to sink in.

“Used to seeing people jump at her father’s command, Lisa took years to overcome this habit,” Priscilla wrote. “At family gatherings today, Jerry Schilling, Joe Esposito, and Dee Presley’s sons Ricky and David, we still joke about Lisa’s imperious past.”

She admitted that she was a ‘terror’

When looking back on her childhood, Lisa Marie admitted that she wreaked havoc at Graceland.

Lisa Marie Presley wears a black dress and red lipstick.
Lisa Marie Presley | Steve Granitz/WireImage

“I don’t think anyone really had any control over me,” she said in Elvis by the Presleys. “They all tried but no one succeeded … I was a holy terror.”

It likely relieved her mother that she gained this perspective as she matured.