Priscilla Presley recalls ‘difficult’ early years of marriage to Elvis and ‘vicious’ gossip she endured

Couple was married from 1967 to 1973

<p>Priscilla Presley reflects on marriage to Elvis </p>

Priscilla Presley reflects on marriage to Elvis

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Priscilla Presley has reflected on her relationship with Elvis Presley, with the actor recalling how “difficult” the beginning of their marriage was and how “vicious people could be”.

Priscilla, 76, who was married to the late singer from 1967 to 1973, met Elvis in Germany, where he was stationed with the US Army, when she was 14 and he was 24. The couple married eight years later, and welcomed their daughter Lisa Marie Presley in 1968.

The actor opened up about their marriage, and the scrutiny she faced, while speaking to reporters at a new exhibition, “Elvis: Direct From Graceland,” at the Bendigo Art Gallery in Australia.

According to Priscilla, who exchanged vows with Elvis during a Las Vegas wedding when she was 21 years old, and whose wedding gown, veil and tiara are part of the exhibit, the beginning of the couple’s marriage was “very difficult”.

However, she noted that she “knew what I was in for” after being exposed to the media attention, gossip and scrutiny from a “very young age”.

“The beginning [of the marriage] was very difficult, but I knew what I was in for because I saw it at a very young age,” she said, according to The Guardian, before adding that the gossip was the hardest part. “That’s when I started not reading papers any more or [magazines] in the grocery stores.”

While reflecting on her early years of marriage to the “King of Rock and Roll,” Priscilla said she “found out how vicious people could be,” with The Naked Gun star recalling rumours that she was pregnant and claims that that had been why she and Elvis had gotten married.

Priscilla Presley opens up about marriage to Elvis

“There were rumours I was pregnant, and that’s why he got married and I’m going: ‘Oh my God, this is not gonna be good for me,’” Priscilla said. “So it was hard to get accepted.”

According to Priscilla, at the time, her ex-husband had encouraged her to ignore the rumours and to avoid looking at the tabloids, while also reminding her to be “cautious” and “aware”.

“He always told me: ‘Don’t pay attention … don’t even listen and don’t look at the tabloids. You know what the truth is so just be cautious, but be aware,’” she recalled.

This is not the first time that Priscilla has opened up about some of the difficulties she faced in her marriage to the superstar, as she previously told People that she used to get nervous anytime Elvis was alone, as she acknowledged that “women gravitated to him”.

“Women gravitated to him, so I would be nervous when he had to go places alone. I would even go with him to get his teeth cleaned!” she revealed during an interview last year. “I always had an eye on him because everyone in the world was after him.”

Priscilla and Elvis Presley married in 1967

However, Priscilla also recalled positive memories during her marriage to Elvis, who died in August 1977 at the age of 42, such as her joy in “taking care” of the singer.

“I was always ready to greet him at the door and pamper him,” she told People of her time as the star’s wife. “I loved taking care of Elvis very much. I loved tending to him. I loved feeding him. We would baby talk, because you have to have your own language when you have that many people around. It was a good life. It was different, but it was ours.”

The couple eventually divorced in 1973 when Priscilla was 27, with The Guardian noting that Priscilla, who also has a son, Navarone, 34, with Marco Garibaldi, later admitted to having affairs during their marriage in her 1985 book, Elvis and Me.

Despite their divorce, the pair remained close, according to Priscilla, who previously revealed that she spoke to her ex-husband just days before his death, at which point she said he had been “dealing with a lot of issues”.

“Elvis: Direct from Graceland” is open at the Bendigo Art Gallery until 17 July 2022.

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