Riley Keough Recalls Her Last Dinner With Lisa Marie Presley, Shares How She Wants Her Mom to be Remembered

The 'Daisy Jones & the Six' actress opens up about her family tragedies in a new interview with 'Vanity Fair.'

Riley Keough is speaking out on the loss of her mother, Lisa Marie Presley, and remembering their final moments together. 

Gracing the cover of Vanity Fair's latest issue, Riley reveals in a new interview that the last time she saw her mom was during a post-Golden Globes party in January that was celebrating Baz Luhrmann's Elvis film. Lisa Marie died on Jan. 12, 2023, just days after the Golden Globes. She was 54.

"We had dinner," Riley recalls of their final meeting. "That was the last time I saw her. I remember thinking about how beautiful she looked, and that was my strongest memory of the dinner."

The 34-year-old Daisy Jones & The Six star calls her mother "one of a kind" while musing on how she hopes Lisa Marie will be remembered. 

"She was just so unapologetically herself in every circumstance, and so strong," she shares. "The life she had was not easy, and the treachery she endured and the lack of real love and real friends.… She definitely had some great friends and relationships in her life, but I don’t think she really ever had.… People were just coming for her since she was born—wanting something from her and not being totally authentic. She had to develop very thick skin. She was a very powerful presence and extremely loving and extremely loyal and sort of a lioness -- a fierce woman, and a really wonderful mother. I think that would be my summary because I’m her daughter. She was the best mom."

Riley also reflects on her own experiences as a new mother herself, revealing her daughter's name -- Tupelo Storm Smith-Petersen -- and that she welcomed the child via surrogate in August 2022. 

"This is the thing in my life so far that I have really wanted to, quote-unquote, get right," the star says of motherhood. "I don’t think you ever can be a perfect parent, but I would like to be the best mom for her that I can be."

Tupelo's middle name, Storm, is a tribute to Riley's late younger brother, Benjamin Keough, who died by suicide in 2020. Benjamin's middle name was also Storm. 

"When I lost my brother, there was no road map whatsoever, and it was a lot of big emotions that I didn’t know what to do with," she says. "When I lost my mom, I was familiar with the process a little bit more, and I found working to be really helpful. I find it triggering when people say happiness is a choice, but in that moment, I did feel like there was a choice in front of me to give up and let this event take me out or have the courage to work through it. I started trying to move through it and not let it take me out."

Addressing the devastating losses in her family, Riley speaks frankly. 

"I have been through a great deal of pain and I’ve had my.… Parts of me have died and I’ve felt like my heart has exploded, but I also feel.… I’m trying to think of how to phrase this.… I have strengthened the qualities that have come about through adversity," she says. 

Mario Sorrenti/Vanity Fair

Elsewhere in the interview, Riley offers an update on the state of her relationship with grandmother Priscilla Presley following their legal drama involving Lisa Marie's estate. She clarifies that Priscilla can "of course" be buried at Graceland -- the home of Elvis Presley -- following reports of contention over the matriarch's future gravesite.

"When my mom passed, there was a lot of chaos in every aspect of our lives. Everything felt like the carpet had been ripped out and the floor had melted from under us," Keough says. "Everyone was in a bit of a panic to understand how we move forward, and it just took a minute to understand the details of the situation, because it’s complicated. We are a family, but there’s also a huge business side of our family. So I think that there was clarity that needed to be had."

Priscilla previously decided to contest "the authenticity and validity" of Riley's appointment as sole trustee of Lisa Marie's estate following the death of her brother, claiming that "there are many issues surrounding" it. Riley went on to win a bittersweet legal victory just last week, when she was officially named as the sole trustee of the estate of her late mother. 

"Clarity has been had," Riley tells Vanity Fair.

"Things with Grandma will be happy," she adds. "They’ve never not been happy."

Riley continues, "There was a bit of upheaval, but now everything’s going to be how it was. She’s a beautiful woman, and she was a huge part of creating my grandfather’s legacy and Graceland. It’s very important to her. He was the love of her life. Anything that would suggest otherwise in the press makes me sad because, at the end of the day, all she wants is to love and protect Graceland and the Presley family and the legacy. That’s her whole life. So it’s a big responsibility she has tried to take on. None of that stuff has really ever been a part of our relationship prior. She’s just been my grandma."