Priscilla Presley Engages in Legal Dispute Over Exclusive Name Exploitation Rights

Priscilla Presley Engages in Legal Dispute Over Exclusive Name Exploitation Rights

Priscilla Presley Engages in Legal Dispute Over Exclusive Name Exploitation Rights

Priscilla Presley is currently embroiled in a legal dispute with a company asserting its exclusive rights to utilize her name, image, and likeness.

Priscilla Presley Engages in Legal Dispute

Priscilla Presley Partners (PPP), established by Brigitte Kruse and Kevin Fialko, asserts that it played a pivotal role in arranging a deal for the A24 movie adaptation of Presley’s memoir. Additionally, PPP claims to have facilitated a resolution in an estate dispute concerning the will of Presley’s late daughter, Lisa Marie. In response, the company has filed a lawsuit seeking to uphold its contractual rights.

Alleging breach of contract against Presley, PPP contends that Presley, who was reportedly on the brink of bankruptcy before PPP began overseeing her business affairs, violated their agreement by backing out of a partnership involving Keya Morgan. Morgan, Stan Lee’s former business manager, is facing multiple charges related to elder abuse against the comic book icon.

Priscilla Presley Engages in Legal Dispute Over Exclusive Name Exploitation Rights
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Hearing in Court

A judge has scheduled an evidentiary hearing for Monday to determine whether Presley can be sued in a Florida state court.

Marty Singer, a lawyer representing Presley, issued a statement refuting the allegations in the lawsuit. He stated, “My client has made significant claims against PPP and its principals Brigitte Kruse and Kevin Fialko for misappropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars long before this lawsuit was filed.”

The alleged misappropriation of funds revolves around accusations that Kruse attempted to sell Presley’s home to herself. In a declaration to the court, Kruse claimed that she was instructed to do so as co-trustee of Presley’s trust, “in the same manner prior trustees held title to her home.”

According to the complaint, filed in Florida state court in October and initially reported by The Daily Beast, Presley sought out Kruse in 2022, a well-known auctioneer with experience in Elvis memorabilia auctions, to oversee her business and personal affairs. Kruse was appointed as manager and majority stakeholder in Priscilla Presley Partners (PPP), formed to leverage Presley’s name, image, and likeness (NIL). Additionally, Kruse was granted power of attorney.

Upon assuming her role, Kruse allegedly discovered that Presley was on the verge of insolvency, facing unpaid taxes totaling around $700,000. One of the factors contributing to Presley’s purported financial situation was her sale of rights and interest to her surname to Authentic Brands Group nearly 20 years ago, limiting PPP’s ability to exploit her first name only.

Shortly after settling an estate battle challenging the will of her late daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, Presley engaged in negotiations where Kruse, claiming to have provided “extensive assistance,” alleges she was approached by Morgan to assist PPP. Kruse spoke with Morgan and Michael Froch, a California attorney, about potentially representing the company, according to the lawsuit.

However, the following day, Kruse claims Froch sent her a cease-and-desist letter on behalf of Presley, revoking her power of attorney and alleging self-dealing.

The letter read, “I have been informed today by Ms. Presley that you have attempted to sell her home to yourself and are closing or have closed on a real estate transaction, selling her home wherein you are the seller. You have no effective power to do what is being alleged, and if true, I will have no hesitation to report this immediately to the authorities.”

Kruse, in a declaration to the court filed with a motion for a preliminary injunction, denied the allegations, stating, “It appears that this allegation stems from an ill-informed reading of property records and failure to check simple public records.”

The lawsuit accuses Presley of improperly cutting off all communication with PPP in violation of their agreement for her to disclose all opportunities to exploit her NIL.

“Though PPP was integral to the Priscilla Movie, all individuals other than Priscilla were excluded from the premiere of the Priscilla Movie at the Venice Film Festival on September 4, 2023, where it reportedly received a 7-minute standing ovation,” states the complaint, which claims that Kruse negotiated with director Sofia Coppola and A24 regarding the adaption of Presley’s memoir, Elvis and Me. A24 declined to comment for this story.

In November, NBC aired a production titled “Christmas at Graceland,” in which Presley participated without informing PPP, according to the lawsuit. Kruse also raises concerns about the company no longer receiving booking requests for Presley.

“Priscilla has been offered, and has accepted, and continues to offer and accept, additional opportunities to exploit her NIL, but has excluded PPP from the negotiations and/or approval,” writes Kathryn Saft, a lawyer for Kruse, in the complaint.

The lawsuit alleges that Kruse has invested a significant amount of her own money in developing various products and other intellectual property intended to launch alongside Priscilla. She seeks unspecified damages.

In a motion to dismiss the suit, Presley asserted that Kruse improperly sought to become her business manager and adviser.

“Eventually, Ms. Presley learned that Ms. Kruse and her associate were attempting to misappropriate Ms. Presley’s assets and were engaging in other acts of wrongdoing,” the filing states. “Thus, Ms. Presley began extricating herself from Ms. Kruse’s various entanglements.”

Presley argued that the suit was incorrectly filed in Florida state court and that she does not owe the company any fiduciary duties as a minority owner.

While the specific terms were not disclosed, the settlement to resolve Presley’s petition to invalidate her late daughter’s will addresses her name, image, and likeness rights. Lisa Marie Presley’s daughter Riley Keough agreed to “use her best efforts” to request Elvis Presley Enterprises, which controls the rock ‘n’ roll star’s NIL rights, “not to pursue litigation against Priscilla related to her name, image, and likeness.” She also agreed to allow Kruse to attend “any memorial service for Priscilla.”

Source: THRAlso Read, Megan Thee Stallion Releases Steamy Valentine’s Day Photos Ahead of 29th Birthday

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