She's been married and divorced four times and struggled with an addiction to painkillers. And last July, the unthinkable happened: Her 27-year-old son, Benjamin Keough, committed suicide at the family's Calabasas mansion.
"Those first few weeks were torture," says an OK! insider. "There were days she could barely get out of bed."
According to the insider, the fog is slowly starting to lift. The music scion, 53, who shares daughter Riley, 31, with Benjamin's father, Danny Keough, and 12-year-old twins Harper and Finley with her most recent ex-husband, Michael Lockwood, recently sold the California property, as well as an English manor she'd bought with Michael.
"Lisa Marie will never be over the loss of Benjamin, but she's learning to live with the pain and is looking forward to a fresh start," the insider reveals. "There's a lot she still wants to accomplish."
On her agenda: finally sharing her life story in a bombshell memoir. "She'll cover everything from her failed marriages to the truth behind her escape from Scientology, plus how she blew through the $100 million fortune she inherited from her dad. Now that Lisa Marie has come out of hiding, she wants to set the record straight," spills the insider, who says she's already signed a $4 million book deal.
"Lisa Marie always shied away from the spotlight, but she realizes it's not doing her much good to keep quiet any longer. There's so much she has to share."
Soon after Elvis' 1977 death, Lisa Marie's actress mom Priscilla joined the Church of Scientology. Lisa Marie remained a member for more than 30 years, but the insider says she was "unhappy" within the confines of the controversial church.
"Her experiences still haunt her to this day," shares the insider. "There are whispers she went through hours of auditing where she was questioned about the most traumatic moments in her life, including her dad's death."
By the time she was a teen, Lisa Marie had turned to drugs to numb her pain, and the insider says Priscilla would drop her off at the Scientology center when she was too much to handle.
"I was the typical mother who wasn't looking for the signs," Priscilla confessed in a 1988 interview. "You don't want to believe your 14-year-old daughter is on something."
When Lisa Marie wed non-Scientologist Michael in 2006, she began to pull away from the church and made her break around 2012. "I was slowly starting to self-destruct," she said. "They were taking my soul, my money, my everything."
By then, the songwriter was struggling financially. As the sole heir to Elvis' estate, Lisa Marie had inherited an estimated $100 million and Graceland, her father's sprawling Tennessee mansion. But in 2018, she sued her former business manager, Barry Siegel, claiming his "negligent mismanagement" left her $16.7 million in debt.
He hit back, insisting Lisa Marie's reckless spending was the real problem. "It's true that she loved to live the high life," says the insider. "Family vacations in Hawaii, the English estate, and then there's all the gourmet food, fine wine and jewelry. It adds up."
Legal bills also cost her big. After filing for divorce from Michael in 2016, she battled the musician for custody of the twins, and the insider says the price tag "was staggering."
Her love life has been filled with highs and lows. She was 20 when she wed Danny in 1988. "Lisa Marie was too young to know what marriage was about," says the insider. "She loved him, but also wanted to get away from her mother's control."
Just 20 days after their divorce, she said "I do" to late pop icon Michael Jackson. "Lisa Marie says despite all the hype surrounding them, their love was real," dishes the insider. "She says she didn't realize how troubled he was until several months into their marriage."
Next came Nicolas Cage. She was married to the actor (and Elvis superfan) from 2002-2004. "He could sweep her off her feet one minute then cut her down the next," says the insider. "Nic was obsessed with Elvis, but there were things about Lisa Marie that clouded that perfect vision he had of his daughter — like her temper. They pushed each other's buttons."
She thought she'd found the one with rocker Michael, but they called it quits after 10 years. The feuding exes battled it out in court over their daughters but finally came to a truce last December when Lisa Marie was granted joint custody of Harper and Finley. Now, her focus is on her daughters and healing.
"She's overcome her addiction problem and just wants to be a good mom to her girls," explains the insider, who says the writing process has been cathartic for the star. "Doing this tell-all is helping Lisa Marie put all the turmoil she went through in her past to bed."
After months of tears and trauma, Lisa Marie decided to let go of the 5-bedroom, 3,600-square-foot Calabasas spread where son Benjamin shot himself. She sold it for $2 million in an off-market deal earlier this month.
"Lisa Marie didn't want the house anymore, not with the memory of Benjamin's death in every room. It was too painful," shares an insider, adding that she's looking for a new place for herself and her young girls around Los Angeles. "She's been eyeing the Pacific Palisades, Brentwood and Beverly Hills."
Of course, no matter where she goes, she'll keep memories of Benjamin close. "She has photos of him, some personal items and other mementos," says the insider. "And this summer, she's planning on traveling to Graceland to lay flowers at Benjamin's gravesite. It won't be a big, fancy affair, just something low-key for the family."