Lisa Johansen, 43, claims she was the true daughter of the “King of Rock and Roll” and was forcibly exiled to Sweden after her father’s 1977 death out of fears she would be kidnapped. She also says she was replaced by “imposter” Lisa Marie Presley and that the singer’s wife Priscilla Presley was her mother.
Johansen ostensibly chronicled her journey in an autobiography, “I, Lisa Marie,” but the book’s publishers sued her in 2000 for refusing to take an agreed-upon DNA test.
For the past decade, Johansen has kept a low profile but a series of recent conflicts with the Presley family has brought renewed attention to her claims.
She filed a lawsuit in US District Court in Memphis, Tennessee on November 21. The suit stems from a visit Johansen made to Graceland in August with her husband and four children to commemorate the anniversary of Presley’s death.
Within days of the family’s visit, Presley attorney Martin Singer sent a letter to Johansen’s legal representative, stating that she had engaged in “outlandish, bizarre and fraudulent conduct,” by boasting to Graceland staff about her close relationship with Presley family.
Singer dismissed her claims, saying “Lisa Johansen’s strange obsession with my client’s family and her outlandish claims to be the ‘real’ Lisa Marie Presley completely eviscerate Lisa Johansen’s credibility.”
During a 1992 visit to Graceland, Johansen impersonated Lisa Marie Presley, entered a private room and removed items from the property, fleeing when a security alarm went off, Singer said.
Neither Singer nor a representative of Presley’s Graceland estate responded to requests for comment.
Maria Skelly, a spokeswoman for Johansen in Washington, said the Presley family has been “provocative and hostile,” and engaged in an effort to “intimidate (Johansen) in order to try to make her leave and not dare come back with any kind of claims.”
“She has had hopes to solve the entire situation privately within the family,” Skelly said. No court date has been set.