Lisa Marie Presley won a round in court when a family law judge ruled, over the objection of her estranged husband, that all documents related to the legal and physical custody of their 9-year-old twin daughters be filed under seal for now pending a full hearing in October.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joseph Lipner issued his ruling Friday after Presley’s lawyer, Gary Fishbein, filed court papers requesting the order. The documents included a sworn declaration from the late Elvis Presley’s 50-year-old daughter, who said she expects issues raised in separate dependency court proceedings regarding the twins to be raised when custody hearings start in family law court.
The dependency court sessions centered around allegations by Presley that she found disturbing photos and videos of other children on estranged husband Michael Lockwood’s computer.
“I have no doubt that the allegations that are going to be made on both sides during what will likely be contested custody proceedings are going to be salacious and prurient,” Presley says.
Presley further says that the media will want to publish all they can from documents filed with the court and that the children could suffer “irreparable damage” through the loss of their privacy rights.
“No matter what I may try to do to prevent our children from reviewing those articles, I cannot do that forever and… once on the internet, those articles do not every disappear,” Presley’s declaration says.
Lockwood’s attorney, Jeff Sturman, stated in his papers opposing the sealing motion that there was no “immediate harm” justifying the application and that litigants are not entitled to sealing orders “merely because they are rich or famous.”
Sturman further says in his court papers that he offered to give Presley advance notice of any child custody documents he files in family law court if she also agrees to give his client the same courtesy. Presley rejected the offer, according to Sturman’s court papers.
The full hearing on the sealing order is scheduled for Oct. 10. The judge’s order asks both sides to “cooperate with one another to keep the children’s privacy interests intact.”
Presley and Lockwood met in 2003 when she hired him as musical director for her band and for her first record. Presley filed for divorce in June 2016.