Lisa Marie Presley took the witness stand in her divorce trial Monday and accused her estranged husband, Michael Lockwood, of secretly running up 'possibly millions' on her credit card.
'I uncovered that he had been in control of finances for the 10 years before,' she told Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman at Los Angeles Superior on the first day of the expected four-day trial.
'He had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, possibly millions on my credit card.’
When Presley angrily confronted musician Lockwood in March 2016, three months before she filed for divorce, he didn’t deny running up the credit card bills, she said.
And she insisted that he sign an agreement consenting to sell all his guitars, recording equipment, computers and other musical equipment to help make up for some of the credit card losses.
'It allowed me to pay off some of the Tennessee state taxes I owed,' she added.
Presley hired Lockwood for $3,500 a week as her musical director for her upcoming concert tour, in 2014 and married him two years later.
In court Monday, she had trouble recalling the time of that marriage, her fourth.
When Lockwood’s attorney, Jeff Sturman asked her the date she got married she replied, 'I don’t recall the date.'
And when Sturman asked her, 'Do you remember what year?' she answered, 'I believe it was 2007.'
In fact she married Lockwood in Japan in January 2006.
Presley told the court that before they married, she and Lockwood discussed having a pre-nup agreement but none was ever signed.
Then, the year after they married, she asked him to sign a post-nup agreement 'to protect her assets and her inheritance.'
To support his argument that Lockwood voluntarily agreed to sign the post-nup twice - in July and November 2007 - Presley’s lawyer Gary Fishbein asked her: 'Did he (Lockwood) express any objections to signing the pre-nuptial agreement? Did you hold a gun to his head? Did you threaten to leave him if he didn’t sign?'
Presley answered 'No' to all three questions.
And when Fishbein asked her, 'Did he tell you that he never wanted anything from you,' she answered, 'Yes he did.'
When Fishbein asked her if the spousal support clause of the pre-nup - in which both she and Lockwood agreed not to seek spousal support from the other if they divorced - was important to her, Presley said, 'Very.'
Presley admitted that she did pay spousal support to her first husband, Danny Keough, when they divorced but she added, with a chuckle, that she didn’t have to pay support to husband number 2, Michael Jackson, or husband number 3, actor Nicholas Cage.
Earlier in the day, giving his version of the couple’s fight over the credit card in March 2016, Lockwood told the court that Presley 'was extremely upset. We were having an argument about a credit card.'
He added that he agreed to sell all his musical equipment 'to appease her.'
Asked by his lawyer, Sturman, why he signed the post-nup in 2007, Lockwood said: 'Because my wife wanted me to.'
He said she became angry when he first hesitated to sign after his lawyer told him there were possible issues in the agreement that needed to be sorted out.
But he signed anyway, he said.
'She’s not a take-no-for-an-answer kind of woman,' he said of his soon-to-be-ex wife.
Asked if he would like the court to find that the pre-nup agreement is invalid, he added, 'I believe it’s something the court should decide.'
Lockwood told the court that when he and Presley separated in June 2016, he had nowhere to go so he first stayed in a Holiday Inn, then 'couch-surfed' for about two years, and has been making around $2,000-$2,500 a month working as a store clerk, a factory worker, teaching guitar and playing guitar in session recordings.
He said that he’s now living with his girlfriend Stephanie to whom he’s engaged to be married.
The revelation prompted Presley’s attorney to ask, 'Do you know that when you re-marry you would lose the spousal support from your previous marriage? Does that change your mind about getting married again?'
Lockwood answered, 'I don’t know about that.'
Presley - who was in court in a black dress and beige coat and ankle boots - said she doesn’t want to pay up and, countered Lockwood’s attorney, Sturman: 'She’s feeling angry and vindictive. She wants him on the street. She’s fine if he has nothing.'
Earlier in his opening statement, Presley's lawyer Fishbein told Judge Gould-Saltman that he found it 'incredible and unbelievable' that Lockwood’s 'position is that he didn’t read the post-nuptial agreement - which he signed twice.'
'You don’t need to have graduated from MIT to understand that you are waiving spousal support,' added Fishbein who also questioned Lockwood’s contention that when he signed the post-nup, his attorney - now deceased - didn’t explain it to him.
'This attorney had been practicing law since 1956 - he had more than 40 years experience in family law.
'Now Lockwood is trying to get out from under a agreement he voluntarily agreed to and signed. He wants a chunk of cash and a bunch of spousal support.’
Lockwood’s attorney, Sturman hit back telling the court that Presley, her lawyers and business manager took an 'unfair advantage' of Lockwood when they persuaded him to sign the post-nup.
'They cooked the books - they wanted him to sign something they thought could be enforceable later on.'
Despite the post-nup Sturman told the court, 'Spouses have a fiduciary (financial) duty to each other.
'Miss Presley is living off her inherited wealth….and Mr Lockwood has little or nothing. He is living at the poverty level. (Presley) is feeling angry and vindictive. She wants him on the street. She’s fine if he has nothing.'
Lockwood - who wore a blue suit and tie and a black shirt in court Monday - told Fishbein under questioning that didn’t remember signing the prenup.
'I don’t really understand contracts,' he said, adding that he didn’t find 'contracts and legalese interesting.'
But, he continued: 'Had I read it I would not have signed it…I think it’s unfair.'