“The Girlfriend Experience” actress Riley Keough got candid about the grieving process after losing her brother Benjamin Keough one year ago, who struggled to live up to the family name.
Elvis Presley’s granddaughter Riley Keough opened up about experiencing grief after brother Benjamin’s death during her podcast appearance on “Just for Variety” hosted by Marc Malkin” days ago.
When asked how she has dealt with going back to work and grieving for her sibling, the 32-year-old said, “I think when you’re in grief, everything for the first time hits you.”
Riley Keough attends ELLE's 24th Annual Women in Hollywood Celebration at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on October 16, 2017 in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Getty Images
THE GRIEVING PROCESS
The California native further explained, "It's like, 'Oh, I'm experiencing this in grief now.' It’s the little things at first like I'm going to the grocery store in grief. Never done that before. And then it’s like, ‘I’m going back to the gym in grief.”
Riley shared that she had to re-experience everything in grief all over again until one has done everything else in grief, referring to her own experience.
"I'm doing a show called "The Terminal" at the moment, that was my first job back to work, and so that was like a new experience, being on set with grief," she said.
Riley shared she had to learn how to navigate things because everyone knew what she was going through and what had happened to her brother:
“It’s weird… you’re back in your office, so to speak, but your brother is gone. It’s bizarre.”
THE ACTING CAREER
Unlike their grandfather, a musical sensation, Riley pursued an acting career and stars in independent films specifically. The “Zola” star revealed in an interview with The New York Times that her family supported her work choices.
“They were very open to the idea of me doing whatever I wanted to do,” she told the outlet while sharing she always wanted to make movies ever since she was little.
Although she ventured into the entertainment world without feeling the pressure of pursuing a musical career, the same cannot be said about Benjamin.
CAUSE OF DEATH
Benjamin died by suicide at his home in Calabasas, California, in July 2020 at age 27. Following his passing, his older sister began to admit that she had preconceived notions about suicide.
Riley began posting videos on Instagram to “share that people you’d never know would take their life can take their life” and wanted to take away the bias surrounding suicide.
After Benjamin's death, his friend Brandon Howard spoke out about his tragic death. "Sometimes, he struggled with depression, which is a serious thing. It takes a lot. I wish I could have been there,” he told People at the time.
“That kind of pressure is definitely a part of what happened,” he said. Howard explained it is difficult when you have a lot of pressure with your family and living up to a name and image. "It’s almost like you’re pressured into having to be a musician, and having to be an actor."
The musician added it did Benjamin good to travel the world and discover himself and develop his friendships. "You never know what triggers it. You never know …It's so random," he added.
On what would have been his 28th birthday in last October, Benjamin’s mom Lisa Marie Presley talked about grieving for her son in the aftermath of his death.
The mom of four penned a heart-wrenching note on social media to mark her son’s birthday and shared a photo of him blowing out candles of a cake on Instagram.
The 53-year-old referred to her child as a beautiful angel and that she worshipped the ground he walked on, adding her heart and soul went with him.
“The depth of the pain and suffocating and bottomless without you every moment of every day. I will never be the same. Happy Birthday my sweet, sweet Boy. You were much too good for this world, she wrote.
Upon the announcement of Benjamin’s passing, a spokesperson for the family said Presley was inconsolable and was utterly heartbroken and beyond devastated. “She adored that boy. He was the love of her life," said the spokesperson.
PRESLEY’S BLENDED FAMILY
The singer-songwriter has a blended family of her own. Riley is her firstborn and her second oldest child was Benjamin, whom she shares with ex-husband Danny Keough.
Presley first experienced motherhood when she welcomed her daughter Riley in May 1989 with Danny. The pair who got married in October 1988 welcomed their second child, son Benjamin in October 1992.
Presley and the American singer went their separate ways and divorced in May 1994. In March 2021, reports stated the pair were living together eight months following the death of their son.
The exes were married for six years after Presley filed for divorce in the Dominic Republic. An insider told The Sun that she and the Chicago native were cooped up together in a new home with her 12-year-old twin daughters, Harper and Finely Lockwood.
Presley shares her twins with former husband and guitarist Michael Lockwood whom she wed in 2006. In their 10-year marriage, they welcomed their beautiful daughters in 2008.
However, they called it quits back in June 2016, and their divorce was officially finalized in May this year. The pair are still in the process of sifting through custody issues and visitation rights.
THE FAILED MARRIAGES
The late Elvis Presley’s daughter has tied the knot four times. Following her first divorce from Danny, she married "King of Pop" Michael Jackson in 1994.
The pair were together for less than two years before going their separate ways. Presley found love once again when she married Hollywood legendary actor Nicholas Cage in 2002. However, their marriage was short-lived as they ended it three months later.
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