Elvis and Priscilla Presley were an iconic couple that undoubtedly left their mark on pop culture. But behind the scenes of their dazzling public life lies a trove of intriguing secrets. Priscilla has rarely shared the untold chapters of her life besides the rock 'n' roll legend or the years after his passing. From cheating scandals to Elvis' anger issues or even the fact that she was underage when they started dating, it's a wild journey to uncover. Keep reading because these hidden aspects of their lives are about to change how we view this famous pair.
A Life Defined by Love and Loss
Priscilla Presley's life was marked by a series of events that shaped her into the woman the world would come to know. Born in May 1945 to Ann Lillian Iversen and James Wagner, her early years were fraught with challenges. Tragically, when Priscilla was six months old, her father, James, lost his life in a plane crash while serving as a military pilot. In the wake of this heart-wrenching loss, Ann's path crossed with that of Paul Beaulieu, an Air Force colonel.
His entrance into their lives would become a defining moment for young Priscilla. Beaulieu embraced Priscilla as if she were his own, taking on the role of a loving father. Little did she know that this connection would lead her on a path that would intersect with Elvis Presley's legendary story.
A Hidden Family Secret
In Priscilla Presley's early years, the notion of having a different father never crossed her young mind. Paul Beaulieu, her stepfather, had been a constant presence in her life from such a tender age that she simply regarded him as her real dad. Yet, a surprising revelation was to come. One day, young Priscilla stumbled upon an old cupboard which held a hidden truth that would change her whole life.
She discovered that Paul was not her biological father. Choosing not to disrupt the harmony that had long defined their unique family, she didn't admit that she had discovered this secret. But he would soon connect her to her future husband.
A Childhood Shaped by Nomadic Wanderings
Priscilla Presley's early years were marked by the constant movement brought about by her stepfather's service in the Air Force. As a result, the young family found themselves frequently uprooted, embarking on a series of relocations that had a profound impact on Priscilla's childhood. She yearned for stability but only knew constant change. However, if it weren't for her stepfather's military affiliation and their constant moving, she would've never met Elvis.
In her later years, she did acknowledge the struggles she faced as a child. The frequent relocations left her questioning the possibility of forming enduring friendships, but it led to her one great love.
Priscilla and Elvis Had A Fateful Meeting Despite the 11-Year Age Gap
In the 1950s, Priscilla and her family's life took a momentous turn when her stepfather, Paul, was transferred to Germany. It was in this European setting that their paths would cross with the legendary Elvis Presley for the very first time. Priscilla, at the tender age of 14, was introduced to the 25-year-old musician who was then serving in the United States Armed Forces. Interestingly, before Priscilla even met Elvis in person, she had already encountered his music.
Her stepfather had brought home an album of Elvis before! Despite the significant age gap of over a decade between them, there was an unspoken connection.
Love at First Sight
Elvis Presley had swiftly ascended to stardom, his name synonymous with hits like "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Heartbreak Hotel." He was already used to performing and usually didn't give it a second thought. But that day that he met Priscilla, Elvis found himself in an unexpected position – he was the nervous one. The confident entertainer transformed into someone completely uneasy and anxious. He was the one completely starstruck and enamored.
Their encounter was the start of a heartwarming romance that would blossom into a legendary love story for the ages. However, the age difference between them was something to take into consideration.
Priscilla's Early Impression of Elvis Was Not Great
In her younger years, Priscilla openly admitted that she held no affection for Elvis. She even admitted that her friends had shown her magazines full of pictures of Elvis, and when she saw him perform, she was already familiar with his music. But she thought she could never date him and didn't like the idea of so many girls fangirling over him. However, she had no idea how that sentiment would soon change.
But life is full of unexpected twists, and this revelation was a remarkable contrast to the love story that would later unfold between Priscilla and the King of Rock 'n' Roll.
Elvis Didn't Mind That She Was so Young
Elvis Presley found himself captivated by a teenage crush that refused to fade. Despite their substantial age gap, it seemed a connection was bound to form and blossom into something more. The infatuation deepened after a night of conversation at a party, leaving Elvis unwilling to let it go. Priscilla's parents were weary and thought he would be a bad influence on her, but it seemed his charm and fame won.
The rest was history, and their love saga began. They got married years later when she was only 21. But once in Hollywood, everything changed, and of course, so did their tumultuous love story.
Elvis Relied on Priscilla for Emotional Support
Elvis Presley met Priscilla shortly after his mom, Gladys, passed away. He was going through a tough time and was drafted into the army and struggling mentally. This was when Priscilla came into play. She provided support and comfort to him that he didn't find anywhere else. She saw the side of him that he didn't show to the rest of the world, and it only strengthened their bond with each other.
Their love story might have been born from tough times and vulnerability, but it quickly became famous in the world of showbiz, and soon enough, everyone knew who Priscilla was.
They Talked on the Phone for Two Years Before Living Together
When Elvis finished his enlistment and left Germany in March 1960, Priscilla insisted that she would never see him again. She was still a teenager, after all, and couldn't just follow him, so it seemed their connection would fade. Despite this, Priscilla and Elvis continued to stay connected through telephone conversations and letters for two years. Though Priscilla's parents were doubtful he would keep in touch, the two actually did.
Though he was an adult living in the States and she was a teenager in Germany. Eventually, he convinced her parents to let her finish high school in the States so they could be together.
Elvis Begged for Priscilla to Move in With Him
Though her parents were hesitant at first to let Priscilla leave, Elvis had his ways. In 1963, Priscilla made her way to Memphis, taking up residence with Elvis. Eager to make her a permanent part of his life, he ultimately convinced her parents by asking for her hand in marriage. But Priscilla had no idea that as much as he claimed to need her and love her, he had a bad habit.
The King of Rock' n' Roll" had a huge secret. He had a habit of cheating and regularly slept with his co-star Ann-Margret from Viva Las Vegas.
Elvis Allegedly Only Proposed to Get Priscilla to Live With Him
Just before Christmas in 1966, Elvis made the decisive move and proposed. However, reports emerged that despite Priscilla's parents allowing her to move to the States for him, Priscilla had also threatened to go public about their relationship if he declined to marry her. In a disturbing account from an Elvis biography, his long-serving housekeeper, Alberta, allegedly found him in tears before the wedding, lamenting, "I don't have a choice."
Priscilla's father allegedly hounded Elvis, accusing him of transporting a minor for sex, adding more pressure on Elvis to speed up the wedding.
Their Marriage Was Highly Publicized
In May 1967, at the Aladdin Hotel, Priscilla and Elvis exchanged their vows in a ceremony that was both intimate and publicity-driven. The entire affair lasted a mere eight minutes, and right afterward, they moved on to a breakfast party while hosting a news conference. Despite their significant age difference, the media joined in blessing their union and couldn't wait to break the news of their marriage. It seemed to be a long time coming.
The official union brought a whirlwind of public attention. Could their bond handle all the outside criticism?
Keeping Her Virginity Until Marriage
Priscilla revealed that she remained a virgin until her wedding night, firmly believing that she and Elvis weren't a genuine couple until they tied the knot. In her 1985 autobiography, Elvis and Me, she recounted a poignant conversation with him, saying, "I'm not saying we can't do other things. It's just the actual encounter. I want to save it." Considering they were unofficially dating since she was 14 and he was 25, it seemed she could've been groomed.
Their first intimate encounter happened on their wedding night when Elvis was 32, and Priscilla was just three weeks shy of her 22nd birthday.
Priscilla's Devotion as Elvis's Homemaker
Priscilla understood that Elvis enjoyed home-cooked meals, clean dishes, and the occasional homemade dessert. This understanding fueled her commitment to being a dedicated housewife. She felt like it allowed her to take care of him and have him all to herself with no maids, chefs, or housekeepers around. She was still incredibly young but adored the lifestyle of being a wife and staying home to make sure Elvis had everything he needed.
Priscilla might've enjoyed it for a while, but that honeymoon phase would fade, and what would be left was something she never expected.
Navigating Elvis's Possessiveness
It seemed like their relationship was flourishing, and Priscilla was taking on the role of stay-at-home wife very well. But there was a side most people didn't know of Elvis. It was much darker than people would've suspected. Priscilla opened up about the possessiveness she experienced in her relationship with Elvis, including his attempts to control her clothing choices. She described herself as Elvis's "living doll," molding herself to his preferences, even dyeing her hair black to match his.
Priscilla had seemed to overlook everything else leading up to this point. But when Elvis started telling her what she could and couldn't wear, it raised a red flag in her mind.
Elvis Would Allegedly Slap Her to Remind Her Frowning Causes Wrinkles
In the early days of their marriage, Priscilla discovered some of Elvis's peculiar habits that could be pretty shocking. In an ode to how young she was when they began dating, she shared with the public that there were times she was sitting down and doing homework, and Elvis would slap her on the forehead. But why? If she were making any face that would give her wrinkles, he would slap her so she would relax her face!
This behavior was undeniably unusual and, in fact, borderline abusive. But Priscilla was so young and naive and didn't quite recognize it.
Elvis Had Intense Anger Issues
Priscilla also let out another secret that gave insight into Elvis' alternate persona behind closed doors. He would get very angry and act in erratic ways that were terrifying for Priscilla. In other words, he had an unusual way of venting his frustration: firing his gun at the TV. This behavior starkly revealed he struggled with anger management issues and needed help, raising another significant red flag in their relationship.
But as Priscilla continued to peel back the layers of their life together, little did she know that there were even darker secrets lurking in the shadows.
Priscilla Hid Her Makeup Routine
Throughout her marriage, Priscilla was devoted to keeping her husband pleased. However, during an interview, she revealed a fascinating facet of her dedication. Priscilla admitted that she always had lipstick on in front of him and never allowed him to witness her without makeup. She wouldn't even let him see her putting it on because that would break the illusion that she always appeared naturally done up with flawless makeup.
Priscilla's little secret sheds light on their relationship; though it may have looked picture-perfect to the outside world, it was full of secrets.
She Finally Saw Him Perform a Year After They Were Married
Elvis carefully maintained a boundary between his personal and professional worlds for many years. It wasn't until a year after their marriage that Priscilla got to see him perform on stage. Although that seems incredibly strange to most, Priscilla later admitted to the public that she didn't complain because she liked being his wife. So she just remained quiet until she was finally invited to see him perform and was ecstatic.
She admitted that she was captivated by him when she finally saw him perform and it left her in awe of the man she loved.
A Surprise Pregnancy and the Birth of Lisa Marie
Shortly after marrying Elvis, Priscilla discovered she was pregnant. At that moment, she grappled with the fear that a baby might strain their budding relationship. The topic of abortion came up, but neither of them could bring themselves to terminate the pregnancy. On February 1, 1968, their only daughter, Lisa Marie, was born, precisely nine months after their wedding night. Though her fears came true, and this added heavy strain on their relationship.
This unexpected turn of events would forever change the course of their lives, adding a new dimension to their relationship and responsibilities.
Life in the Shadow of a Superstar
Priscilla found it challenging to adjust to life as the wife of a superstar. She revealed that they wouldn't go out to eat because Elvis didn't like all the paparazzi following them or fans constantly coming up to him asking for pictures. Therefore, Priscilla felt isolated and couldn't embrace the life of a Hollywood A-lister. It was a normal life for her, and with a newborn baby, it felt like she was trapped inside her home.
It seemed Priscilla made a sacrifice for fame but an even bigger sacrifice to be a part of Elvis' life.
Priscilla Cheated on Elvis With Her Karate Instructor
Priscilla needed a reason to leave the house and have some routine. At Elvis's suggestion, Priscilla started taking karate classes, but her newfound hobby eventually played a role in the disintegration of her marriage. She became involved with her karate instructor soon after her classes ended. Even though she still harbored feelings for Elvis, her extramarital involvement forced her to reevaluate her marriage. She was starting to admit to herself that she wasn't happy.
Between Elvis' infidelity and Pricilla's new habit of cheating with her karate instructor, it seemed their relationship was doomed.
They Weren't Fulfilling Each Other's Intimate Needs
Priscilla candidly shared her struggles in her book Elvis and Me. She revealed that Elvis wasn't emotionally close to her, causing her considerable distress. She admitted some disturbing news that Elvis had once told her he wasn't able to have sex with a woman who had children. She feared he would never view her romantically again. She consistently felt rejected and her emotional and sexual needs were not being met.
Priscilla's feelings weren't about cheating and she didn't even address the infidelity; she just wanted to feel fulfilled as a woman. This desire created a lot of tension in their marriage.
Their Relationship Was Full of Tears
Fans dreamt of having a relationship like Elvis and Priscilla's. But little did they know behind closed doors, things were a lot darker than they could've imagined. Priscilla shared in her book that after Elvis learned of her affair, he "forcefully made love" to her. She later said she was exaggerating the event, but whether it was sexual assault or really exaggerated, it is a strange and unhealthy thing to experience in general.
Ultimately, it was too late, and their connection was riddled with mistakes. It seemed it was too late for them to repair the damage.
Elvis Had Dark Thoughts and Was Ready to Get Rid of Priscilla's New Boyfriend
In 1972, Priscilla and Elvis officially went their separate ways, and on January 8, 1973, his 38th birthday, Elvis filed for divorce. The singer, however, harbored deep suspicions about Priscilla's new boyfriend, Mike. He was her karate instructor, after all, and the sentiment was that Mike stole Priscilla from Elvis. Allegedly, this made Elvis so upset that he plotted something really horrible to finally rid himself of the problem with Mike and Priscilla.
Elvis's bodyguard plotted against Mike, with the intention of hiring a hitman. But Elvis ultimately backed down before it could progress further.
Priscilla's Path to Independence
In the wake of her split from Elvis in October 1973, Priscilla received a substantial payment of $725,000, along with child and marital support. What's more, she secured half of the proceeds from the sale of her Beverly Hills residence and a five percent stake in Elvis's publishing corporation. Though the divorce was sad and horrible, she was left with so much money it set her up to live her life independently.
It provided her the financial foundation and independence to carve out her own identity and break free from the enduring shadow of the King of Rock 'n' Roll. This was when she decided to become a businesswoman and pursue her own endeavors.n
The Bittersweet Bond Between Priscilla and Elvis
Priscilla and Elvis were not together, so people would assume they were on bad terms. But after their breakup, Priscilla and Elvis remained remarkably close friends. On the day their divorce was finalized, they left the court hand in hand, a testament to the enduring connection between them. They even continued to share joint custody and raise their daughter, Lisa Marie, together. This was a stark contrast to the emotional turbulence that occurred in their relationship.
But this divorce wasn't the lowest point of their history. In fact, Priscilla was about to experience something that would crush her.
Priscilla's Heartbreak Over Elvis's Death
There was one tragic day that would rewrite the course of Priscilla and Lisa's life. Elvis, the king of rock, passed away at the age of 42 in August 1977, succumbing to a heart attack. Priscilla was initially unable to accept the tragic news of Elvis's death. It felt like a cruel joke to her, and she thought people were lying to her on the phone. But the news sunk in, and she was devastated.
She struggled to come to terms with the reality of the situation. Was her love really gone? Would her daughter really be fatherless?
The Lonely Legend Behind the Spotlight
Decades after Elvis had passed away, Priscilla began talking about the dark truth of their relationship and Elvis' personality. She revealed a deeply personal aspect of Elvis's life. Despite his exceptional fame, he battled profound loneliness and inner turmoil in silence. She shared, "He really was alone. He really didn't have a peer, not with a group, and not really with anyone." He struggled with inner demons that he couldn't overcome.
Behind the glitz and glamour of fame, Elvis struggled despite looking like he was on top of the world.
Priscilla Took Over Graceland
As the trustee of Elvis's properties for the sake of their only heir, Lisa Marie, Priscilla faced the monumental task of managing Graceland, the mansion or, should we say, estate where they lived in Tennessee. At the time, the annual expenses for the estate exceeded $500,000, signifying its value at around $1,000,000. Priscilla took on the responsibility of ensuring Graceland's stability until the day when she could pass it on to her daughter.
It was a profound duty and an endeavor to protect and perpetuate the legacy of the King of Rock 'n' Roll and save the estate for their daughter when she was sold enough to take it over.
Priscilla's Vision for an Iconic Attraction
Inspired by other famous galleries and historic homes, Priscilla envisioned Graceland as a must-see tourist attraction that could sustain itself. With the assistance of CEO Jack Soden, Elvis's former home was opened to the public in June 1982. Astonishingly, the estate recouped its initial investment within just four weeks. This innovative approach proved to be the lifeline that kept Graceland thriving, ensuring its preservation without the need to let it deteriorate or resort to selling it.
Priscilla's vision not only protected Elvis's legacy but also turned Graceland into an enduring icon in its own right.
She Proved Herself as a Businesswoman
For over two decades, Priscilla served as the chairman and CEO of Elvis Presley Productions until Lisa Marie reached the age of 21. During her tenure, the trust's value soared to over 100 million dollars, a testament to her astute management. Priscilla also ventured into the fashion and fragrance industries with her hairdresser, Olivia Bis, and successfully ran a popular clothing store. Priscilla's journey exemplified her commitment to both preserving Elvis's legacy and building her own.
She recognized the need to secure a livelihood and provide her daughter with the means to generate income once the property was transferred to her.
From Elvis's Shadow to Her Own Spotlight
But Priscilla didn't want to disappear into the shadow of her former lover, so she decided to make a name for herself. In the 1980s, Priscilla achieved new fame as an actress when she starred in the hit TV series Dallas. Her talent earned her the 1984 Soap Opera Digest Award, recognizing her outstanding performance. Over the following decade, she charmed audiences with her appearances in three Naked Gun films alongside Leslie Nielsen.
This allowed her to carve out a name for herself, yet the legacy of being Elvis's ex-wife followed her wherever she went.
A Rollercoaster of Relationships
Following her split from Elvis in 1975, Priscilla embarked on a journey through various relationships. She dated a range of notable men, including the politician Kirk Kerkorian and the renowned photographer Terry O'Neill. There were even whispers of a one-night stand with the iconic Richard Gere, a blurry memory fueled by too many drinks. In 2017, she was romantically linked with Sir Tom Jones, although Priscilla later clarified they were friends.
It appears that, after Elvis, Priscilla navigated a complex path in her search for the right relationship, perhaps weighed down by the demands of her own busy life.
Priscilla Gave Birth to Another Baby, 20 Years After Her First Born
For 22 years, Priscilla shared her life with Marco Garibaldi, an Italian writer and programmer. They met in the early 80s, and in 1987, while Priscilla was still working in Dallas, the couple welcomed their son Navarone. However, in 2006, Priscilla and Marco decided to part ways. Navarone has since taken the helm of the rock band Them Weapons while becoming the half-brother of Lisa Marie. The rumors said the siblings were not close.
It was a bold move for Priscilla to have another baby 20 years later, and hopefully, the kids would eventually become friends.
Priscilla's Concerns About Lisa Marie's Marriage to Michael Jackson
Lisa Marie seemed to follow in her mother's footsteps by getting into a relationship with a high-profile musician. One of the world's greatest musicians, Michael Jackson. However, Priscilla couldn't help but have reservations about her daughter's relationship, given the striking similarities it bore to her own experiences with Elvis. She candidly expressed her concerns in an interview with The Guardian, saying, "I just didn't know if it was authentic or not. I just worried about if she was doing the right thing."
Priscilla's apprehensions mirrored those of many who followed the relationship, uncertain of the motivations behind this high-profile union and afraid Lisa was making the same mistakes she made.
Priscilla's Connection With Scientology
For years, Priscilla was associated with the Church of Scientology, a controversial religious organization with several high-profile members, including Tom Cruise. However, in 2017, the Church made headlines by confirming her departure. Yet, a spokesperson for Priscilla promptly refuted these reports, asserting her continued support for the religion. The Church of Scientology, often labeled as a controversial and even cult-like organization, was an intense organization for Priscilla to be affiliated with.
Priscilla's association with this religion has raised questions about her faith and how it impacted her life. Did she push this faith onto her children, also?
She Does a Lot of Charity
Despite being affiliated with a controversial faith and her history constantly shadowed by her relationship with Elvis, she heavily dedicated herself to charity work. Priscilla has been the ambassador for the Dream Foundation since 2003, an organization that provides support to those facing terminal illness. It grants people one final wish for something they'd like to do, and Priscilla helps make that possible, whether it be by funds or connections.
Her commitment to making a positive impact on the world reflects her desire to help others and leave a legacy behind that's not full of scandals.
Priscilla Still Sees and Talks to Elvis
Despite all the years that have passed, the relationships she's been in, or the different chapters of her life she's started, she's never forgotten about Elvis. In fact, she admitted to something most people would find scary. She once said in an interview that she feels she can still communicate with Elvis. She even said she can sometimes hear him or his music playing around Graceland or see him dancing.
Her words spark curiosity about the mystique of Elvis's enduring presence at Graceland, raising questions about whether his memory might haunt his house or whether Priscilla has some weird afterlife connection to him.
She Will Always Remember and Love Elvis
Priscilla remains a cherished figure in the hearts of those who loved Elvis, an artist whose records continue to break sales records. Ultimately, she still thinks of him fondly, and after the tragic passing of their daughter when she was 54 years old, Priscilla holds onto the memory of them even stronger. They might have been through many ups and downs, but she truly loved Elvis, and the love has lasted through the decades.
Priscilla's enduring connection to Elvis serves as a timeless reminder that their love and his music will forever hold a special place in the hearts of those who adore the King of Rock and Roll.