Elvis' grandson struggled with Presley family name 'pressure', says friend

A friend of Elvis Presley's grandson has shed light on his mental health struggles before he died this week.

Benjamin Keough, the son of Lisa Marie Presley, died by suicide on July 12 in Calabasas, California at the age of 27.

After his death, his friend Brandon Howard told People magazine that Keough sometimes "struggled with depression" and he believed the Covid-19 pandemic made it worse.

"[Depression] is a serious thing with ... everything happening right now and everybody being locked in the house," he told the publication.

"It takes a lot. I wish I could have been there."

Howard added that the pressure to live up to the Presley family name "absolutely" contributed to Keough's mental health struggles.

"That kind of pressure is definitely a part of what happened."

"It's a tough thing when you have a lot of pressure with your family and living up to a name and an image ... It's almost like you're pressured into having to be a musician, having to be an actor. It was good for him to go around the world and discover himself and have his own friends. You never know what triggers it. You never know ... It's so random."

Howard recalled that even though Keough was fighting his own demons, he was a great, supportive friend who always lent a helping hand when he could.

"He has always been there for everybody," he said. "In any kind of situation, he would be the one who would come crash with you on the couch for weeks until you're actually feeling better."

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's Office has confirmed that Keough's death was self-inflicted.

Following his death, a spokesperson for Lisa Marie - who has 11-year-old twins Finley and Harper with her fourth husband Michael Lockwood - said: "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."

Benjamin kept a low profile with few social media accounts but had a small number of acting credits and was also a musician.

He was known for his strong resemblance to grandfather Elvis Presley, which his mother has admitted left fans shocked.

She previously said: "Ben does look so much like Elvis. He was at the Opry and was the quiet storm behind the stage.

"Everybody turned around and looked when he was over there. Everybody was grabbing him for a photo because it is just uncanny."

WHERE TO GET HELP:
If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.

OR IF YOU NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ELSE:

0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP) (available 24/7)
https://www.lifeline.org.nz/services/suicide-crisis-helpline
YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633
• NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757 or TEXT 4202
• NATIONAL ANXIETY 24 HR HELPLINE: 0800 269 4389

 

 

 

 

 

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