Meet Danny Keough, Lisa Marie Presley's Ex-Husband and Prominent Scientologist

Odette Odendaal
Jul 15, 2019
12:39 P.M.

Lisa Marie Presley’s first marriage to Danny Keough ended as quickly and quietly as it began, a man of many talents and strict beliefs that ended up being “good for her.”


Danny went to Los Angeles in 1984 where he performed as a bass player in gigs around the Los Angeles area and worked as a house musician at Mad Hatter Studios. The studio owner and jazz pianist, Chick Corea’s son Thad, was Danny’s best friend and the family also fellow Scientologists.


Born to Francis and Janet Keough on November 6, 1964, Danny’s parents divorced after which his mother married Alan Hollander, a Scientologist. Together they co-founded the Delphian School, a private Scientology academy, and although their marriage didn’t last their devotion to their beliefs did.

During an interview with PEOPLE, a Scientologist who knew Danny and his brother Tom since childhood said, “They had a normal upbringing—Little League and that sort of thing. Lots of art classes and music as well as the basics. Danny was a great kid with a great life—dogs and friends and sports and music. He is a very talented musician and extremely good-looking.”


A year after his arrival in Los Angeles, Danny met Lisa Marie Presley at the church’s elegant social facility, Celebrity Center.

Lisa Marie had an apartment there, and the two ended up living together. The only daughter of the King of Pop had been a Scientologist since childhood as well. Her mother, Priscilla, turned to Scientology about a year after Elvis died.


“Some people say I’m overcautious,” Priscilla explained during an interview. “But I have to think of things long-term, not short-term. It’s not easy raising a daughter as a single parent, especially in Los Angeles, where there’s a lot of peer pressure.”

Pressures led Lisa Marie into the world of drugs, and she became “boy crazy,” so Priscilla hoped that the church’s strict rules would have a positive impact on her daughter.


Gradually Lisa Marie let go of her wild ways while she dated Danny. The couple left their Universal City home in January 1987 and then lived in a series of houses they fixed up owned by Scientologists.

Then on October 3, under total secrecy, Lisa Marie and Danny Keough got married at the Celebrity Center International of the Church of Scientology in West Hollywood.


California law allowed them to file a notice of their marriage up to 96 hours after the union, and that allowed Danny and Lisa Marie to disappear for their honeymoon at an undisclosed location before anyone even found out they had married.

“Lisa, 20, married musician Daniel Keough, 23, her boyfriend for the past three years. Priscilla said, ‘I am thrilled for Lisa Marie. Danny is a great guy, and I couldn’t be happier for the two of them. The couple will be honeymooning for the next three months at an undisclosed location,’” a statement read issued by Priscilla’s publicist, Paul Bloch of Rogers & Cowan.


While three months for a honeymoon seemed like a long time, the reason became apparent when Priscilla’s publicist issued another statement six days later that read:

“Priscilla Presley today announced that her daughter, Lisa Marie, and Lisa’s bridegroom, musician Danny Keough, are expecting their first child in the spring of 1989.”


However, six years after Riley’s birth, Danny and Lisa Marie divorced quietly. Twenty days later she married Michael Jackson and Riley, at the perfect age to enjoy Neverland, had the best of both worlds. Between a fairy tale life with her mother and the down to earth lifestyle of her father.

“I grew up very privileged with my mother,” Riley told The Guardian. “But my dad didn’t live like that. And I think experiencing both sides has been helpful. My father had mattresses on the floor of his apartments. He lived in cabins and trailer parks. He just didn’t have much money.”

On Riley’s 30th birthday, Lisa Marie took to social media to mark the special occasion. "Mama Lion with cubs," she captioned the black and white picture with all four her children, Riley, Benjamin, Finley, and Harper.


Riley’s bash took place at Cha Cha Lounge in Los Angeles, and the actress’s party got attended by the likes of Dakota Johnson and others.

While Riley and Benjamin come from Lisa Marie’s marriage to Danny, Priscilla had the twins Finley and Harper with her fourth husband, Michael Lockwood.

Fans couldn’t help but comment on the picture Priscilla Presley posted along with her children as they noted the striking resemblance the 26-year-old Benjamin shares with Elvis.

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