Judge Blocks Attempt to Sell Graceland, at Least for Now

Graceland will not be sold at auction, at least for now.

On Wednesday, a Tennessee judge deferred ruling on an apparent attempt to sell Graceland, Elvis Presley’s former home in Memphis, but kept a temporary injunction in place that would prevent the property from going to auction imminently.

The bizarre case came into wide public view this week when a lawsuit surfaced that had been filed by Mr. Presley’s granddaughter, the actress Riley Keough. In it, Ms. Keough sued to prevent what her lawyers described as a fraudulent effort to auction the home by a company claiming that Lisa Marie Presley — Ms. Keough’s mother and Mr. Presley’s daughter — had borrowed $3.8 million and put Graceland up as collateral before she died in 2023.

At Wednesday’s hearing at Chancery Court in Shelby County, Tenn., the judge, Chancellor JoeDae L. Jenkins, said he needed to continue the case, in part because no one showed up in person to represent the company seeking to sell Graceland and in part because he said lawyers for Ms. Keough needed to present additional evidence.

“Graceland is a part of this community, well loved by this community and indeed around the world,” Chancellor Jenkins said during the hearing, which lasted roughly 10 minutes. Delaying the trial, he reasoned, would allow for “adequate discovery” to take place.

The defendants included a company, Naussany Investments & Private Lending LLC, which had scheduled a sale of Graceland for Thursday, according to court papers. The court said it had received a filing on Wednesday morning from a man named Gregory Naussany who had asked the court to continue the case.

It was not clear when the next hearing would take place.

Lawyers for Ms. Keough had argued that the company appeared to be a “false entity.” They also claimed that the company had presented fake documents purporting to show that Ms. Presley had borrowed the money and put Graceland up as collateral.

Several attempts to reach Naussany Investments through the email addresses and phone numbers listed for the company in the court documents have not been successful.

After the hearing, Jeff Germany, a lawyer for Ms. Keough, said he had not had “any direct contact” with the defendants in the case. He declined to comment on whether lawyers for the estate had asked law enforcement to investigate potential fraud.

Graceland, a popular tourist attraction, is a major source of income for Elvis Presley Enterprises and the family trust, which Ms. Keough controls.

In 2005, facing mounting debt, Ms. Presley sold 85 percent of Elvis Presley Enterprises, which conducts business and manages and operates assets like Graceland. The family, through its trust, retains 15 percent of Elvis Presley Enterprises and owns the main Graceland house, appraised at $5.6 million in 2021.

In a statement issued on Wednesday after the court proceedings, Graceland reiterated that there was “no validity to the claims” made by Naussany Investments and that “there will be no foreclosure.”

“Graceland will continue to operate as it has for the past 42 years,” the statement said, “ensuring that Elvis fans from around the world can continue to have a best-in-class experience when visiting his iconic home.”

Laura Kebede-Twumasi is a reporter at the Institute for Public Service Reporting at the University of Memphis.

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