Lisa Marie Presley’s cause of death was the result of a surgery that she had undergone years before, an autopsy report confirmed. The only child of Elvis Presley, she experienced what’s known as a small bowel obstruction, which sometimes occurs in people who’ve had bariatric surgery.
Bariatric surgery is a type of weight loss surgery, usually reserved for people who are unable to lose weight by making changes to their diet and exercise routine.
The autopsy report was made public six months after Lisa Marie Presley died at the age of 54 on Jan. 12, 2023. At the time, authorities confirmed she suffered cardiac arrest before her sudden death. She was found not breathing in her home in Calabasas, California, and was taken to the hospital, where she was later declared dead.
Lisa Marie Presley Cause of Death
What did Lisa Marie Presley die from? Lisa Marie Presley died from the after-effects, or “sequelae,” of a small bowel obstruction, when part of the small intestine is blocked, according to a July 13 autopsy report by the Los Angeles Medical Examiner reviewed by TODAY.com.
The report stated her obstruction was “caused by adhesions (bands of scar tissue) that developed after bariatric surgery years ago.” It went on to note that “the issue is a known long-term complication of” bariatric surgery.
Common complications that result from untreated small bowel obstruction include dead tissue — because the blockage can cut off blood flow to part of the intestine, which can result in a tear or an infection — or an infection in the abdominal cavity called peritonitis, according to the Mayo Clinic
Presley had oxycodone and other medications in her blood, but these were only at “therapeutic” levels, meaning she wasn’t taking enough of these drugs for them to have contributed to her death, the report stated.
The coroner wrote in the report that, the morning of the day that Presley died, she had been experiencing pain in her abdomen. She’d complained of this symptom for months prior to her death, the coroner noted, along with feeling feverish, nausea and vomiting.
The autopsy report also revealed that while she was in the hospital, Presley’s care team noticed her abdomen was extremely distended, or swollen outward, according to the Cleveland Clinic. She was also diagnosed with severe metabolic acidosis, a condition when too many acids build up in your bodily fluids, per Cleveland Clinic. This usually happens because your body is producing too much acid or the kidneys aren’t removing enough acid from your blood.
Lisa Marie Presley Spouse
Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s only child, died on Jan. 12 at the age of 54 due to a medical emergency.
“It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us,” the singer-songwriter’s mother, Priscilla Presley, said in a statement.
Lisa Marie Presley and Danny Keough
Presley and Keough, a musician and actor known for his roles in “The Lodge” and “Cabin by the Lake”, wed in 1988 and had two children together: daughter Riley, born in 1989, and son Benjamin, born in 1992.
They split in 1994, but reportedly maintained a friendly relationship as they co-parented their son and daughter.
“We are like brother and sister, so it is not weird at all,” Presley told People in 2005. “Ultimately this is a good message to send out to people: You don’t have to put your crap on your kids even if you are not together. You can still be civilized. I knew at the age that I had the kids with him that Danny was someone I could be connected with for the rest of my life. I knew he would be a good father.”
Keough and Presley collaborated musically after their split, with Keough credited on two tracks from her 2003 debut studio album, “To Whom It May Concern.”
In 2020, their son Benjamin died at 27 from an apparent suicide.
Presley opened up about losing her son in an essay about grief for People in August 2022.
“Grief does not stop or go away in any sense, a year, or years after the loss,” she wrote. “Grief is something you will have to carry with you for the rest of your life, in spite of what certain people or our culture wants us to believe. You do not ‘get over it,’ you do not ‘move on,’ period.”
Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson
Presley tied the knot with Michael Jackson in May 1994, just a few weeks after her divorce from Keough.
“My married name is Mrs. Lisa Marie Presley-Jackson,” Presley wrote in a press release issued months after the Dominican Republic ceremony, per People. “I am very much in love with Michael, I dedicate my life to being his wife. I understand and support him. We both look forward to raising a family.”
Danny Keough’s younger brother, Thomas Keough, was a witness at Presley’s wedding to Jackson, according to the Washington Post.
Their union would be short-lived, with the couple divorcing in 1996.
“He was an incredible, dynamic person,” Presley said of the late pop icon in a 2010 interview with Oprah Winfrey. “He had something so intoxicating about him, and when he was ready to share with you and be himself — I don’t know if I’ve ever been that intoxicated by anything. He was like a drug for me.”
Presley starred in the music video for Jackson’s 1995 single, “You Are Not Alone.”
The pair also made headlines for their on-stage kiss at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards, a moment that Presley later revealed she found uncomfortable.
“He knew I didn’t love that,” she told Winfrey. “I would be there, uncomfortably. And his hand was blue after we got off that stage … I had squeezed it so hard … But as his wife, I needed to do some things like that.”
Presley also opened up to Winfrey about the turbulent years she shared with Jackson, who struggled with addiction and had faced allegations of child molestation in 1993 and after. Jackson denied the allegations at the time, and the Jackson estate continues to deny allegations.
“I believed he didn’t do anything wrong, and that he was wrongly accused and, yes, I started falling for him,” Presley said in a 2003 book about Jackson, “The Magic And The Madness,” as quoted by Cosmopolitan. “I wanted to save him. I felt that I could do it.”
Speaking to Winfrey, Presley got candid about the complex dynamics of her relationship with Jackson, sharing that the late pop star sometimes felt threatened by her bond with her previous husband.
“We’d take a vacation and Danny (Keough) would go, and Michael would get upset,” she said. “And then he’d disappear for a couple of weeks, and I couldn’t find him.”
She also opened up about why she ultimately ended their marriage, saying that Jackson’s addiction issues reminded her of her late father’s substance abuse struggles.
“When we were together, we were really in love, and then we had the rough patches. And I had to make a decision to walk because I saw the drugs and the doctors coming in, and they scared me. They put me right back into what I went through with my father. That ended it,” she told Winfrey.
In the years after their divorce, however, they remained in each other’s lives and went through periods of “getting back together and breaking up,” Presley said.
Presley attended Jackson’s funeral in 2009, telling Winfrey that she was the last person to remain standing before his casket.
“I don’t think I could make peace then,” she said. “It was more like I wanted to apologize for not being around.”
Lisa Marie Presley and Nicolas Cage
Cage and Presley tied the knot in 2002, starting what would prove to be a short-lived union.
Cage, 59, said he was captivated by Presley when he first saw her.
“I walk into a party not knowing who I’m going to meet, and there’s this beautiful girl standing in the middle of the living room wearing this short leather skirt and this fluffy jacket, and she looks up at me with these big, beautiful, soulful eyes that look like they have a sad story to tell,” the actor once said in an interview with Barbara Walters. “And I just went ‘Oh.’ And I was thunderstruck.”
“We got to talking, we got to know each other, and she’s hilarious. She’s a real firecracker and she tells it like it is,” he added.
They married in Hawaii with their children at their sides in August 2002, according to Entertainment Weekly’s reporting at the time, and separated just a few months later, in November 2002.
“I’m sad about this, but we shouldn’t have been married in the first place. It was a big mistake,” Presley said in a statement at the time.
Cage expressed his sorrow over Presley’s death in a statement provided to NBC News on Jan. 13:
“This is devastating news. Lisa had the greatest laugh of anyone I ever met. She lit up every room, and I am heartbroken,” Cage said. “I find some solace believing she is reunited with her son Benjamin.”
Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Lockwood
Presley and Lockwood, 61, a guitarist and music producer, married in 2006 and split in 2016, and finalized their divorce five years later.
Lockwood, who has worked with artists including Fiona Apple, Carly Simon and Aimee Mann, played guitar on “Turbulence,” a track from Presley’s 2006 album, “Now What.”
They welcomed twin daughters, Harper and Finley, in 2008. Speaking to Winfrey while they were married, Presley called Lockwood “the most understanding person (she’s) ever met.”
In the wake of the death of Presley’s son, Benjamin, in 2020, Presley said that her twins helped her carry on.
“I keep going for my girls,” she wrote in her 2022 essay about grief for People. “I keep going because my son made it very clear in his final moments that taking care of his little sisters and looking out for them were on the forefront of his concerns and his mind. He absolutely adored them and they him.”
Lisa Marie Presley Net Worth
Lisa Marie Presley’s net worth was unknown. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Lisa Marie Presley’s net worth was negative $10 million at the time of her death. According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Lisa Marie sued her former manager, Barry Siegel, in 2018 for alleged “reckless and negligent mismanagement” of her estate, which left her with only $14,000. Siegel responded to the suit, claiming that the low amount was due to Lisa Marie’s excessive spending. He also demanded $800,000 in damages from Lisa Marie for failure to pay.