Benjamin Keough, who stunningly resembled his grandfather Elvis Presley, died in July 2020 due to a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. Lisa Marie Presley, Benjamin’s mother, reacted to the death via a statement released by her manager:
“She is completely heartbroken, inconsolable and beyond devastated but trying to stay strong for her 11-year-old twins and her oldest daughter Riley. She adored that boy. He was the love of her life.”
Lisa Marie’s final Instagram posts involved Benjamin. Her second to last upload showcased matching tattoos the pair got on Mother’s Day several years ago. “It’s a Celtic eternity knot,” Lisa wrote, “symbolizing we are connected eternally. We carefully picked it out to represent our eternal love.”
Benjamin reportedly suffered from depression stemming from the pressure to succeed
Benjamin shot himself during a party celebrating his girlfriend’s birthday. Benjamin’s girlfriend, Diana Pinto, went to check on him during the party and found his bedroom locked. Pinto used a bobby pin to unlock the door – she found Benjamin unresponsive on the bathroom floor.
Authorities pronounced Benjamin dead at the scene. According to The Sun, Benjamin had a history of depression and drug abuse. The report allegedly claimed he’s spent three stints in rehab but had only completed the program once. It added that Benjamin had attempted suicide between five and six months prior.
It further revealed that Benjamin had ‘major depression’ several months ago. The Sun reported that ‘an apparent gunshot’ was heard minutes after Benjamin and Diana argued in the backyard of the residence. Benjamin Keough didn’t leave a suicide note.
A family member told the outlet that Benjamin’s depression stemmed from a pressure to succeed: “He was depressed, he didn’t really have an education, a job or a passion, he was lost in life, and he has always been in his grandfather’s shadow.”
Musician Brandon Howard, Benjamin’s friend, shared similar views. Howard told People that the pressure to live up to the Presley name ‘absolutely’ contributed to Benjamin’s depression.
“It’s a tough thing when you have a lot of pressure with your family and living up to a name and image,” Brandon said. “It’s a lot of pressure. It’s almost like you’re pressured into having to be a musician, having to be an actor.”
Priscilla Presley, Benjamin’s grandmother, had told Us Weekly that the family tried to help Ben discover his identity. She said:
“Ben’s very much his own person. He strives for that so we don’t make a really big deal about it. There’s a resemblance [to Elvis], but we just let him be Ben, which I think is beautiful so that he can find out what he wants to do and be who he is.”
Benjamin’s family struggled with grief following his tragic death
After Benjamin’s death, Priscilla wrote on Facebook that the entire Presley family was struggling with grief. “These are some of the darkest days of my family’s life,” Priscilla said. “The shock of losing Ben has been devastating.”
Riley, Benjamin’s sister, wrote on Instagram that he was ‘too sensitive for this harsh world’. She continued: “I hope you feel my love. I hope you feel god. You are god. I can’t believe you’ve left me. Not you sweet Ben Ben. Anyone but you. I guess this is true heartbreak. I hope we meet again.”
Navarone Garibaldi, Lisa’s half-brother, told Us Weekly: “On behalf of everyone Ben touched: We are all shocked and heartbroken to have lost such a caring, compassionate soul.”
Lisa Marie and Danny Keough, Benjamin’s parents, reconnected due to their shared grief. Priscilla described Danny as ‘completely lost, as Ben was his only son’. In October 2020, Lisa posted a heartbreaking tribute to Ben, saying she would never be the same. She added:
“Please wait for me my love, and hold my hand while I stay to continue to protect and raise your little sisters and to be here for Riley. I know you would want that. Happy Birthday my sweet sweet Boy. You were much too good for this world.”
Marie’s last Instagram post was an article she wrote on People on National Grief Awareness Day 2022. Lisa said it was impossible to move on after a loved one’s death, that grief was incredibly lonely, and that she felt stigmatized and judged due to the manner of his death. She wrote:
“I already battle with and beat myself up tirelessly and chronically, blaming myself every single day and that’s hard enough to now live with, but others will judge and blame you too, even secretly or behind your back which is even more cruel and painful on top of everything else.”