Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Elvis Presley, spent her final days alive on a trying trek between Los Angeles and Graceland that some family members fear may have pushed the 54-year-old to the brink.
Deborah Presley Brando, a half sister to Presley, told Extra that she’d been worried about her sibling’s recent health, fearing her star-studded week, which included a speech and an appearance at the Golden Globes, may have been too much on her.
“She’s been pushed a lot the past five days, and there are schedules and commitments that don’t have anything to do with the reality of family,” she said outside a Los Angeles hospital, Extra reported. “This is a living example.”
Brando also noticed her sister was unsteady as she walked the red carpet and talked to reporters at the Golden Globes on Tuesday night, two days before she died from sudden cardiac arrest.
“I saw people propping her up,” Brando said. “I saw people holding her…I wish she had not have committed to anything she didn’t want to do.”
In an interview with Extra on the red carpet, Presley was seen struggling to stand upright on her own, grasping onto Elvis’ longtime manager Jerry Schilling, 80, for support. Her eyes appeared heavy and she seemed to slur the occasional word. Another clip posted to TikTok showed her being helped down a few stairs.
That interview—in which she praised Austin Butler for his role as her dad in the biopic Elvis—would be Presley’s last public comments. A speech on Sunday at Graceland, however, provided a more telling picture into Presley’s recent health.
Speaking on what would’ve been her dad’s 88th birthday, Presley told a crowd of fans that she hardly leaves home anymore, and they were “the only people who can bring me out the house.”
A source close to the family echoed that to the U.S. Sun, saying Presley, who lived most of her life in the limelight, had been living a “reclusive life” and had especially struggled since her 27-year-old son, Benjamin Keough, died by suicide in 2020.
“In her final years, she was racked with grief over Ben, he was her baby, and he relied on her heavily,” the source said, per the Sun. “Her world completely fell apart when he died…She found it so difficult to cope and barely left the house.”
“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.”
Despite her personal struggles, it appeared Presley tried to keep in good spirits, at least publicly, and her final speech at Graceland prompted fans to erupt in applause.
“I love you back and that’s why I’m here,” she exclaimed on Sunday. “Today, he would have been 88 years old, it’s hard to believe. I think that he would have been proud, I think this year’s been an incredible year. I think the movie was incredible and I’m very proud of it, I hope you guys are too.”
Presley would’ve had to fly back to California—where she lived in Calabasas—fairly quickly to attend Tuesday’s award show in Los Angeles. There, she was captured on camera crying as Butler gave a speech just after winning “Best Actor” for his portrayal of Elvis.
Presley took in the moment seated next to her 77-year-old mother, Priscilla, who also appeared to wipe away tears.
“The Presley family, thank you guys—thank you for opening your hearts, your memories, your home to me,” Butler said. “Lisa Marie, Priscilla, I love you forever.”