The late daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley would've turned 55 on Wednesday.
Lisa Marie Presley always wanted Graceland to go to Riley Keough. On Wednesday, what would've been Lisa Marie's 55th birthday, Joel Weinshanker, a Managing Partner at Elvis Presley Enterprises, spoke about the late singer's wishes during an appearance on SiriusXM's Elvis Radio.
Following Lisa Marie's death on Jan. 12, her rep confirmed to ET that Graceland, the former home of her father, Elvis Presley, would go to her three daughters: 33-year-old Riley, and 14-year-old twins Harper and Finley.
It later came to light that Riley and her late brother, Benjamin, were named co-trustees of Lisa Marie's trust in 2016. However, Lisa's mother, Priscilla Presley, is contesting "the authenticity and validity" of Riley's appointment, claiming that "there are many issues surrounding" it. Joel weighed in on all the family drama during his radio appearance.
"When Elvis passed away, he left everything to his little girl. He did so knowing that she would be the one to keep his legacy going," Joel said. "I can tell you that she has, without falter, no matter what else was happening in her life, in her career, always been the one to look at what was best for Elvis... regardless of what somebody else was trying to do, regardless of what another family member [was trying to] do."
"Lisa couldn't be bought. She couldn't be pushed," he continued. "If she thought something wasn't in Elvis' best interest, it was never about money. She really is the only Presley that you can ever say that about."
Joel additionally stated that Lisa Marie was "very, very quite certain and quite direct about who she wanted to have the legacy [left] to," something he said she discussed with him "many, many times."
"That was always Riley and Ben. There was never a question in her mind that they would be the stewards, that they would look at it exactly the way she did. Obviously, when Ben passed, it really sat with Riley," he said. "Although Riley is a movie star, she's an award-winning director, she had always had an interest and had always known that, one day, she would be in charge of [things]."
"Obviously, it's much, much sooner than we would ever hope for. But on Lisa's birthday, we just want to think about what Lisa would've wanted and that's what's best for Elvis. She never had a doubt in her mind that that's Riley," Joel added. "There's no question on anyone's mind [because] Lisa had spoken [about] it, there's numerous amounts of written information, she had talked to so many of her friends about it. There was never a question, and anybody who's speaking differently isn't looking out for Elvis, isn't looking out for Lisa, certainly isn't looking out for Riley."
Joel continued by revealing that his decision to speak out came when he realized that "sometimes you just gotta take a stand."
"It's Riley. It's what Lisa would've wanted. It's what makes sense. It always comes back to what's best for Elvis and that's what that is," he said. "... I think what we need to do on her birthday is honor her words. Those were her words, not mine, and it's something that we all want to think about going forward... What we need to do is we need to honor the ones that honor Elvis, and that was always, always his daughter, Lisa."
Joel isn't the first person to speak out in support of Riley taking ownership of Graceland. After Priscilla contested her daughter's will in court, a friend of Lisa Marie spoke out against Elvis' ex-wife in a statement to People.
"Lisa's intent was very clear. Lisa really didn't feel that Priscilla was doing anything in her best interest," the unnamed friend told the outlet. "Lisa lived her life authentically… She wouldn't remain quiet when she was being taken advantage of. At the end of the day, these are her wishes, and there's no question as to what her wishes were. No one's going to be able to reinvent the last seven or eight years and say no, no, no."