Elvis Presley split from his wife, Priscilla Presley, in 1973, after he found out about her infidelities with her karate instructor. But before that, he had many affairs with countless women throughout his career. Some of them were quick flings, while others – such as Ann-Margret – were far more serious romantic relationships that lasted more than a year. And, even after Elvis divorced Priscilla, he remained unchanged. Linda Thompson later recalled how Elvis’ entanglements were habitual for him.
Linda met Elvis in 1972, just after he had split with Priscilla. The young, 22-year-old beauty queen quickly fell head-over-heels for the King of Rock and Roll. And, before long, they were madly in love. The pair remained together for just over four years – but all good things must come to an end. Linda ended up splitting from Elvis after she couldn’t handle his affairs any longer.
Writing in her 2016 memoir, A Little Thing Called Life, she confessed too late that she realised “his cheating would be a constant” in their relationship if she stayed with him.
“That’s just who he was,” she said. “There’s right, there’s wrong, there’s black, there’s white, and then, there’s Elvis Presley.”
What made things worse was that Elvis had his own theory about how men and women thought about sex. According to Linda, Elvis surmised that “men and women differed when it came to the affairs of the heart”.
She recalled him saying: “A man can have an affair, and it means nothing… It’s just me rubbing up against somebody, breathing hard. It doesn’t mean I’m falling in love with her. But women aren’t built like that.”
Linda admitted that she went along with his theory because she was “naive and blinded by love”.
But in the end, Linda continued, “none of his words could make up for the fact that I was deeply hurt by his need to be with other women”.
She said in another interview with the Mail that other women were not the only problem in their relationship, however.
“I struggled to accept the other women as I was faithful,” she continued. “But I was so addicted to loving him that I lost myself and what I wanted while he was addicted to drugs — they were his true mistress.”
As a result, Linda was forced to look after Elvis when he was on a binge. “I was exhausted caring for him,” she continued. “It was like looking after a newborn baby. I was scared he would die on my watch. When I asked him to reduce his medication, he’d say: ‘Don’t worry about me, honey, I’m going to live till I’m 85.'”
When Linda realised she needed to break away from Elvis, she started weaning herself away from him.
She last saw him in San Francisco in 1976 where she confronted him about his infidelity.
She said to him: “Honey, if there’s another woman, just be honest with me.” Elvis teared up, and simply confessed his love to her.
Linda explained they held one another before she left him – forever.