How Many People Claim to be the Child of Elvis Presley?

Elvis Presley might have been best known for his music, but his personal life was pretty interesting, too. Elvis famously married Priscilla Presley in 1967. 10 years Priscilla’s senior, Elvis, was 24 when they first met. During their five-year marriage, they had one child, and as far as most people are concerned, Lisa Marie Presley is his only child. That hasn’t stopped others from coming forward to claim they, too, were fathered by Elvis.

Lisa Marie Presley inherited Elvis’s entire estate

When Elvis died in 1977, his will dictated that all his assets be split between Lisa Marie, his father, Vernon Presley, and his paternal grandmother, Minnie Mae Presley. A fourth trust was created to pay for any other family members’ needs, but a provision was added. In the provision, Vernon and Minnie Mae’s deaths removed the fourth heir from staking a claim to his fortune and place all assets in trust for Lisa Marie. 

Studio photo of Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley | RB/Redferns

RELATED: Lisa Marie Presley: How Much Is The King’s Daughter Worth?

By 1980, Lisa Marie was the sole heir to the Elvis fortune. Vernon died in 1979 after suffering a cardiac arrest. The following year, Minnie Mae died at Graceland mansion. After Minnie Mae’s passing, all of Elvis’s money and property was placed into a trust for Lisa Marie. According to Biography, she was granted access to the account at 25. Lisa Marie, born in 1968, turned 25 in 1993.

Several people have come forward, over the years, to claim they are the child of Elvis Presley

While Lisa Marie is the only recognized child of Elvis, there have been plenty of people who have come forward to claim Elvis was their father. In 1987 a bombshell book was published that suggested Presley had a 24-year long affair with a woman named Lucy De Barbin. According to the book, Are You Lonesome Tonight?the affair resulted in a daughter named Desiree. Elvis was, reportedly, never made aware of her existence.

Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley & Elvis Presley in an undated photo at Graceland
Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley & Elvis Presley | Magma Agency/WireImage

In 2013, a Scottsdale, Arizona man named John Smith also alleged he was the son of Elvis. Smith, a country singer, alleges his birth resulted from a one-night stand between Elvis and his mother. Smith claims to have DNA evidence to back up his assertion but has not made it public.

In 2016, a story began circulating that a circus performer and Elvis impersonator was the late King’s son. According to The Express Elvis Aaron Presley Jr. was born to Angelique Delores Pettyjohn, an actor who was an extra in Blue Hawaii. As the story goes, Elvis’s manager talked Pettyjohn into giving the child up for adoption, and Elvis was never made aware of his existence. The birth and adoption allegedly occurred in 1961.

An Elvis expert insists none of the claims are true

Several other claims have been made, but none have been substantiated. According to Cory Cooper, an Elvis researcher, since the King’s 1977 death, a new paternity claim pops up “every few years.” Cooper doesn’t believe any of the claims are legitimate because no one has provided DNA proof. Noone has anyone been granted access to Elvis’ estate, either. At the time of his death, Elvis’s fortune was estimated to be worth $20 million. Today, Elvis’s estate is believed to be worth more than $250 million.

Elvis Presley performing to the adulation of a young crowd
Elvis Presley | Hulton Archive/Getty Images

RELATED: How Old Is Priscilla Presley and Did She Ever Marry Again After Divorcing Elvis?

The Presley family has also never acknowledged any other child’s existence, so legally, Elvis has only fathered Lisa Marie. Is it possible he had other children that he either did or did not know about? It’s possible. Until DNA evidence is provided, though, paternity can’t be substantiated.