The cause of death for Lisa Marie Presley has been disclosed. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner has determined that the 54-year-old star passed away due to complications resulting from a small bowel obstruction. The medical examiner’s report, obtained by PEOPLE, reveals that the obstruction was a strangulated small bowel caused by adhesions that developed after bariatric surgery several years ago. Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Juan Carrillo notes that this type of obstruction is a known long-term complication of the surgery.
The news was initially reported by TMZ. Lisa Marie, who was a singer-songwriter and the sole daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, passed away on January 12 after being rushed to the hospital following a possible cardiac arrest.
According to a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, paramedics responded to a residence in Calabasas, California, on the 5900 block of Normandy Drive, where they treated a woman in her 50s who was not breathing. Paramedics performed CPR and, upon observing signs of life, transported her to a local hospital, where she eventually succumbed.
In the months following Lisa Marie’s death, tensions arose within her immediate family as her mother, Priscilla Presley, 78, sought control of the late star’s trust. Priscilla aimed to have their daughter Riley Keough manage the trust, as stated by friends. Attorneys representing Priscilla filed a petition in Los Angeles in January, questioning the authenticity and validity of a 2016 amendment to Lisa Marie’s trust that removed Priscilla as a co-trustee and appointed Keough.
The petition argued that various factors, including a misspelled name and Lisa Marie’s failure to deliver the changes to Priscilla as required by the trust’s terms, rendered the amendment void. Shortly after filing the petition, Priscilla shared a statement on what would have been Lisa Marie’s birthday, alluding to the situation. She expressed her wish to protect her three grandchildren and maintain family unity, stating that her heart was broken and she had to learn to live without her only daughter.
Meanwhile, those close to Lisa Marie have consistently maintained that she intended for her legacy to be entrusted to her children. Joel Weinshaker, managing partner at Elvis Presley Enterprises and a friend of the late star, affirmed her unwavering certainty and directness on this matter. Weinshaker shared that they had discussed it extensively before her passing, and it was always clear to Lisa Marie that Riley and Ben, her children with ex-husband Danny Keough, would be the stewards of her legacy. With Ben’s passing, this responsibility weighed heavily on Riley.
In June, a settlement was reached, designating Keough as the sole trustee of Lisa Marie’s estate. As part of the settlement, the actress also paid Priscilla $1 million and covered $400,000 in legal fees to resolve the family trust lawsuit.
Lisa Marie’s death occurred just two days after her attendance at the 2023 Golden Globes alongside her mother and Austin Butler, the star of the Elvis biopic, who won Best Actor in a Drama Motion Picture. A memorial honoring Lisa Marie was held at Graceland on January 22, featuring tributes from Priscilla, a reading by Riley’s husband, and performances by Axl Rose, Alanis Morissette, and Billy Corgan.