Judge Hears Final Arguments in Presley Spousal Support Row

Lisa Marie Presley's 2007 postnuptial agreement with her estranged husband barred him from receiving spousal support if they divorced and now that contract should be enforced, the singer's lawyer told a judge Wednesday.

Attorney Gary Fishbein said in his final argument before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman that musician-producer Michael Lockwood's claims of being at a disadvantage when he twice signed the agreement should be rejected.

"Was this agreement unfair?," attorney Gary Fishbein asked. "I think the evidence and the case law supports the fact that didn't happen."

But Lockwood's lawyer, Jeff Sturman, said Presley had only one goal in mind when she brought up the issue of a postnuptial agreement less than a year after the couple married in Japan in 2006.

"She wanted to protect herself, that's what her goal was," Sturman said. "She was just out for herself."

The 50-year-old only child of Elvis and Priscilla Presley filed for divorce in Los Angeles Superior Court in June 2016, and a non-jury trial of the validity of her postnuptial agreement with Lockwood -- father of her 9-year-old twin daughters -- ended this morning with the judge taking the case under submission. She did not say when she would rule.

Lockwood, 57, maintains the agreement should be nullified because he did not understand what he was signing and because Presley did not have to give up anything in return for avoiding having to pay spousal support. He testified that he did not read the two versions of the postnuptial agreement Presley presented him in July and November 2007 before he signed them.

But Fishbein said Lockwood contradicted himself because he could not know if he was able to understand something unless he tried to read it first.

"He freely and voluntarily entered the agreement," Fishbein said.

Fishbein said Lockwood's admission he was not interested in a document that materially affected his marital relations "was in fact mind-boggling."

Fishbein said it was Lockwood's responsibility, not Presley's, to peruse and comprehend the agreement for himself.

But Sturman said Lockwood is not bound by the agreement because contract law required that Presley give up something in exchange for its enforcement. In contrast, Lockwood forfeited plenty, Sturman said.

"He essentially gave up his connections in the music world so he would be available to her," Sturman said. "He essentially gave up his career."

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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