Elvis Presley’s Granddaughter Riley Keough Speaks Out About Trip to the ER for ‘Very Eerie’ Illness

by Josh Lanier

Riley Keough detailed a scary moment early last year when she contracted a virus that seemed like it may have been COVID-19. And fans were able to watch it happen live as she was promoting her new movie Zola at the Sundance Film Festival in early January 2020.

The Hollywood Reporter discussed with her what happened, and what it was like to learn she had contracted the virus long before it was part of the public consciousness.

“In hindsight, it’s really terrifying. I went to Sundance, and as I was landing, I started getting a sore throat. And once I got in, I was so sick. I had a horrible sore throat, and it didn’t feel like a sore throat that I’ve had before. My body is also very sensitive. I can recognize when I’m having strep. I just know these things,” she said. “I’ve never had that painful of a sore throat before, and I’ve had strep multiple times. Tonsillitis, too.”

The Actress Became Sick During A Panel For Her Movie

During one of the reporters’ panels for the movie, she said that she wasn’t feeling well. And within 24 hours she said she had to go to the ER. Her symptoms worsened and she became increasingly scared. “In the waiting room, I was bending over and couldn’t get out of pain.”

After a barrage of tests, doctors said they believed she had pneumonia. But Riley Keough had pneumonia once before, and this was nothing like that.

“So it was very eerie to hear that I had pneumonia. Because I’ve had pneumonia previously and it was accompanied with a very bad cough and sickness. … So they basically sent me home and were like, ‘Yeah, I don’t know what to diagnose you with.’

A fan mentioned COVID-19 to her on Twitter. It was the first time she’d heard of the disease.

“At the time, I had never heard of it, and I was like, “What’s that?” So, I was on the way to the airport when I googled coronavirus, and that was the first I’d heard of it. And then I got on the plane, and that’s when Kobe Bryant died. And then the whole year was,” Riley Keough told the Hollywood Reporter. … So I still don’t know if I had coronavirus, but I surely could’ve. I don’t have the antibodies, but I got tested way later, so I don’t know if they left. I don’t know how that works, but I definitely could’ve had it.”

Riley Keough To Star In Major Summer Film Release

Riley Keough was at Sundance to promote Zola, the wild story about an exotic dancer who goes with a friend to Florida, sparking a series of wild adventures. The story is not for children, as it’s full of drug use, prostitution, nudity, and adult language.

But a lot of people are already familiar with the story. Zola began as a Twitter thread from Riley Keough’s character, Aziah “Zola” King. She retold the story to Rolling Stone, which they titled “Zola Tells All: The Real Story Behind the Greatest Stripper Saga Ever Tweeted.”