Problematic Elvis Presley Stories That Ruin The Reputation Of The Kings
By Sarah Norman | August 9, 2023
Elvis Juggled Multiple Women
While Elvis is widely recognized as a legendary singer and cultural icon, many of these stories remain relatively unknown among his fans. These tales provide a glimpse into the darker and more debauched aspects of Elvis's private life, revealing a deeply troubled individual behind the glittering persona. It is important to note that these stories do not diminish Elvis's remarkable talent and influence as a singer. Rather, they shed light on the complexities and challenges he faced outside the spotlight.
Join us as we delve into these intriguing accounts, exploring the untold facets of Elvis's life that have rarely been discussed. From his questionable relationships and peculiar habits to his struggles with addiction and self-destructive behavior, these stories offer a deeper understanding of the man behind the music. Continue reading and discover the captivating and enigmatic world of Elvis Presley that often remained hidden from public view.
Elvis had a complicated love life to say the least. He publicly dated his first serious girlfriend, Anita Wood, for several years. However, their relationship couldn't withstand the introduction of Priscilla Beaulieu when Elvis was stationed in Germany. Anita Wood overheard Elvis expressing his dilemma between her and Priscilla to his father, and she made the decision to end the relationship.
During his marriage to Priscilla, Elvis was involved with five other women. One of them was Ann-Margret Olsson, his co-star in the movie Viva Las Vegas. When Priscilla discovered their relationship, she reportedly became upset and threw a flower vase across the room. Priscilla even started styling her hair like Ann-Margret in an attempt to imitate her and regain Elvis's affection, as she later revealed.
He Was Obsessed With Weight Loss Fads
Elvis had a tendency to push everything to the extreme, whether it was his relationships with women, his use of prescription pills, his passion for firearms, or even his eating habits. Despite his indulgence in food, he felt guilty and concerned about gaining weight, which became evident with his famous jumpsuit-clad figure in the 1970s. Consequently, he tried various ill-advised weight loss methods that were popular during that era.
According to the Independent, Elvis once believed that he could rapidly shed extra pounds by consuming a jelly made from bananas and his favorite drink, black cherry soda. He followed this peculiar diet for several weeks, but it did not result in sustained weight loss. He also attempted a method known as the "sleeping beauty diet," where individuals have a doctor induce a medically induced coma. The idea behind this approach is that while they are unconscious, their body would consume its own resources to survive. However, Elvis's pursuit of this method reportedly came to an end when he fell out of a hospital bed, causing him to awaken from the coma state.
Elvis Had An Extremely Close (And Weird) Relationship With His Mother
Elvis's relationship with his mother, Gladys, may have contributed to his emotional struggles as an adult. After the heartbreaking loss of his twin brother, Gladys formed a strong bond with her only surviving child. They even had their own secret language, which they continued to use as Elvis grew up. This language included special terms like "iddytream" for ice cream and "butch" for milk.
Tragically, Gladys passed away at the age of 46 from complications due to hepatitis. Elvis, who was just 23 years old at the time, was understandably devastated. According to those who were present at her funeral, Elvis was so overwhelmed with grief that he attempted to jump into her grave.
He Really Wanted To Be A Cop
If Elvis hadn't become the King of Rock and Roll, he would have loved to become a police officer. He even talked about this lifelong dream during interviews in the 1970s. Aside from his dreams of being a boy in blue, Elvis had a fascination with collecting authentic police badges from the cities where he performed, and he managed to amass quite a collection, some of which even bore his own name.
During the 1970s, Elvis obtained a blue police light and would occasionally pull over speeding drivers while impersonating a police officer. He would then present one of his badges, give them a lecture about the dangers of speeding, and even sign an autograph before swiftly driving off, leaving the surprised individual behind. Additionally, Elvis used police scanners to monitor accidents and would sometimes arrive at the scene to assist with directing traffic.
For Elvis, 14 Was The Magic Number
In the annals of rock 'n' roll lore, one cannot escape the shadowy tales that surround the enigmatic figure of Elvis Presley.In 1956, during the King's meteoric rise to stardom, that one of the earliest documented incidents emerged, revealing Elvis's flirtation with a young girl. Jackie Rowland, 14 years old, found herself in the company of the 21-year-old Elvis backstage at one of his electrifying performances. The rendezvous was abruptly interrupted when Jackie's vigilant parents stumbled upon the duo in a secluded side room. Sensing the precariousness of the situation, Jackie's mother sternly informed the King, "My little girl is under-age, and she is coming home with me."
Yet, this was not an isolated incident. Another woman, Frances Forbes, shares her own peculiar encounter, recounting how she would loiter around Elvis's abode at a tender age of 13. Initially, the young Elvis seemed oblivious to her presence, but as soon as she turned 14, his interest was piqued. For Forbes, that age held a mystical allure for the King. She noted:
It was a magical age with Elvis. It really was.
Thus began a series of escapades wherein Elvis extended invitations to Forbes and two other 14-year-old girls, enticing them to indulgent pajama parties at his home. These gatherings went beyond the realm of harmless fun; Elvis took on the role of a mentor, imparting wisdom on the art of makeup application while also engaging in tickling and kissing sessions with the young guests. But Elvis's hunger for youthful companionship knew no bounds. He yearned for more, and his manager dutifully obliged, providing a fresh supply of young girls at his behest. Lamar Fike, a former member of Elvis's crew, explained:
He was fascinated with the idea of real young teenage girls. It scared the hell out of all of us.
The King Loved Guns
Elvis had a strong passion for firearms, only outmatched by his love of karate. He was an avid gun enthusiast and had a collection so extensive that it could have started his own personal weapons store. At the time of his death in 1977, he owned over 40 guns, which included rifles and even a machine gun. In the 1970s, he grew increasingly paranoid and started carrying guns with him on stage often hiding the weapons in his boots.
Elvis The Pelvis Was Anything But
Despite Elvis's fame for his music and his provocative public image, reports suggest that his actual performance in the bedroom differed somewhat from his public persona. According to certain sources, he was less interesting in "sealing the deal" and more into foreplay. It's unclear if there was a reason that the King stuck to foreplay or if it was something that he was just more comfortable with.
He Was Very Controlling Of The Women In His Life
Ginger Alden, a pageant girl, started a relationship with Elvis when she was 20 years old, around the time when he was 41. However, she claims to have met him earlier in her life through her father, who worked in Army public relations when she was just five years old.
Both Ginger and her sister Terry, who was also a beauty queen from Tennessee, had the opportunity to meet Elvis as potential romantic partners. Out of the two, Ginger made the strongest impression on him. Unfortunately, Terry lost Elvis's interest after defeating him in an arm wrestling match. Elvis envisioned a future with Ginger, but their relationship was fraught with difficulties, and he displayed abusive behavior towards her. There was an incident where he fired shots over her car as she drove away following an argument. Elvis even asked one of his assistants to deflate Ginger's tires to prevent her from leaving, and he threatened to confine her within the confines of Graceland's gates.
Elvis And Priscilla Had An Interesting Life In Their Bed Chambers
Elvis and Priscilla allegedly had a fairly interesting life in their bedroom. Priscilla and a few friends of the couple have claimed that the King enjoyed watching his bride with other women. Joel Williamson, the author of Elvis Presley: A Southern Life, claims:
At times, Elvis introduced another girl into the sex scene in his bedroom. In this play, Elvis had Priscilla and the girl pretend to make love while he watched, filmed, and sometimes joined in.
He Allegedly Assaulted Priscilla When She Tried To Break Things Off
When Priscilla told Elvis that she no longer loved him and was now dating karate champion Mike Stone, Elvis became incredibly jealous. Priscilla wrote in her memoir:
He grabbed me and forcefully made love to me. It was uncomfortable and unlike any other time he’d ever made love to me before.
She continued, stating that Elvis told her:
This is how a real man makes love to his woman.
He Met Priscilla When She Was Only 14
Elvis Presley and Priscilla's controversial relationship began when she was only 14 years old and he was 24, during his time in the Army stationed in Germany in 1959. Despite the age difference and the legal implications, Elvis pursued a romantic connection with her.
After returning to the United States, the couple had limited physical contact until 1962. However, they maintained regular communication through phone calls during this period. Finally, they tied the knot in 1967 when Priscilla was 22 years old. Despite their marriage, Elvis continued his pattern of infidelity, engaging in multiple relationships outside of his commitment to Priscilla. Eventually, this led to their divorce in 1973.
He Was Obsessed Priscilla's Virginity
Virginity was incredibly important to Elvis. According to fellow military officers who served with the King overseas, when he started dating the 14-year-old Priscilla he spent all of his free time with her where they did everything but penetrative intercourse.
Joel Williamson, author of Elvis Presley: A Southern Life, writes:
He made love to her in every way short of penetration. It was as if Priscilla’s virginity was another thing that Elvis strangely and sorely needed to maintain.
Elvis Refused To Be Intimate With A Pregnant Priscilla
Elvis and Priscilla's marriage was on the rocks from the start. People close to him say that he didn't actually want to get married, but he felt pressured by his manager and Priscilla's parents.
Regarding the conception of their daughter, Lisa Marie, a former member of Elvis's entourage named Lamar Fike said that Elvis didn't use contraception effectively. According to a biographer who studied Elvis's life, both Priscilla and Elvis loved their daughter, but their marriage completely fell apart after her birth. Elvis refused to have any intimate relationship with Priscilla once she became pregnant, and some believe it was because her pregnancy made it clear that she was no longer a virgin.
His Palm Springs Home Was A House Of Debauchery
According to the salacious tell-all Elvis: What Happened?, written by three of the King's former security guards, Elvis was a nightmare whenever he was at his Palm Springs home. They claim that Elvis brought home a 17-year-old girl who later suffered permanent brain damage following an overdose at the home. In another instance, Elvis supposedly threw a pool cue at a young female fan who interrupted his game.
Quincy Jones Believes Elvis Was Racist
In 2021, Quincy Jones revealed that he never wanted to work with Elvis because he felt that the King was "racist." He explained:
I wouldn’t work with him. I was writing for [orchestra leader] Tommy Dorsey, oh God, back then in the ’50s. And Elvis came in, and Tommy said: ‘I don’t want to play with him.’ He was a racist mother — I’m going to shut up now.
There is no concrete evidence to prove that Elvis was explicitly racist. However, he clearly borrowed elements from black culture and presented them to the wider audience in a new context. The existing racism in American society played a significant role in his successful career, and it appears that he embraced and incorporated these cultural influences, whether consciously or unconsciously.
Colonel Tom Parker Cheated Artists Out Of Royalties To Add To The King's Income
Elvis Presley has songwriting credits primarily because his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, exerted strong control over his business affairs. Presley had a unique arrangement with music publishers, but if he wanted to record a song written by someone else, Parker would demand a third of the songwriter royalties for Elvis. This was ensured by Parker's influence and negotiation tactics. Songwriter David Hess explained that even though it was frustrating to be taken advantage of, knowing that a potential number one hit was within reach made the situation somewhat more tolerable. As an example, Presley is credited as a songwriter for "Don't Be Cruel," despite not contributing any lyrics or music to the song.
However, one songwriter who resisted such exploitation was Dolly Parton. In 1974, she released the song "I Will Always Love You," which later became a major success when Whitney Houston covered it for the movie The Bodyguard in 1992. The soundtrack album sold millions of copies, resulting in significant financial gain for Parton. In the 1970s, Presley expressed interest in recording the song, but he requested that Parton give up half of the song's royalties as a condition. Parton realized that she had a hum dinger of a song on her hands and turned down Presley's request.
Elvis Was Specific About The Way His Girlfriends Dressed
Throughout his relationships, starting from his earliest girlfriend, Elvis had a tendency to deeply involve himself in his girlfriends' personal style decisions. This became especially noticeable with Priscilla, to the point where she felt like a mere "living doll" under his influence. When Priscilla moved in with him as a teenager, Elvis took it upon himself to completely transform her wardrobe, urging her to adopt a more mature look.
Elvis insisted that she wear heavy makeup, dye her hair black, and style it to resemble his own. He even went as far as coordinating their outfits to match each other. Regardless of one's gender, it is important to exercise caution if your partner starts pressuring you to conform to their style choices.
Elvis And His Dad Partied Together
One of the stranger claims about Elvis' private life is the allegation that he and his father took part in group play. In 1970, after a show in Tampa, Elvis's father, Vernon Presley, went in search of his son and discovered him in a hotel room. To Vernon's surprise, Elvis was overseeing a performance involving a group of women that was inappropriate for a family audience. According to a witness:
[Vernon's arrival] didn’t stop the scheduled entertainment. Vernon just found a place to stand with the rest of us and watched as Elvis began directing the girls like a certain kind of movie director: You touch her here; you kiss her there; hang on to that; hold still.
His Palm Springs Home Was A Voyeuristic Paradise
Elvis had a peculiar interest in observing rather than participating in sexual encounters. He went as far as installing two-way mirrors in his Palm Springs mansion, allowing him to watch couples engage in sexual activities during parties and women changing clothes in the pool house. While the mansion still stands and was once a tourist attraction, it appears that the mirrors have been removed, or at least we hope they've been removed.
Elvis Had An Entourage Who Picked Girls For Him
Being a member of Elvis's crew meant doing a lot of odd jobs for the King, including the job of scouting girls to be presented to him as if he was ordering off the menu. Cronies were specifically instructed to prioritize girls with small and delicate feet because Elvis fancied himself an amateur podiatrist. One woman told Goldmine Magazine:
Elvis gave me the nickname of 'Little' because I was little. I was about 5’2” and had small feet. I think Elvis had a foot fetish because would always talk about my little sooties. I was like a little Barbie doll.
He May Have Given A Teenaged Priscilla Amphetamines
One of the more upsetting claims about Elvis is the allegation that he fed Priscilla amphetamines to keep her up at all hours for all night love making. Joel Williams writes that in these all night sessions Elvis took Polaroids of Priscilla that he locked up in a silver suitcase. That suitcase was supposedly bequeathed to Priscilla after the King's death.
His Debauchery Knew No Bounds
As Elvis's life became more and more insulated and his demands became more outlandish the members of his crew didn't bat an eye. It's been reported that at one point the King made a request of his men to track down teenage girls who were willing to mud wrestle while wearing white underwear. This story feels apocryphal, but you never know when it comes to the super rich and famous.
He May Have Tried To Adopt A Teenager From Her Mother
In 1960, Elvis developed a strong infatuation with a 14-year-old girl who happened to be the daughter of a nightclub owner. He was so fixated on her that he went as far as requesting her mother to relocate with them to his Graceland estate. When the mother understandably declined, Elvis allegedly said
I’m not going to do anything. I just want to raise her. I want her to be there as my wife.
Even with this additional context the mother declined Elvis's request.
Elvis Was Virgin Crazy Well Into His 40s
After Elvis's marriage to Priscilla ended, he engaged in multiple romantic involvements in Hollywood. However, when it came to longer-term relationships, he often pursued young and lesser-known women who were still virgins, although they were at least in their twenties. These women included a beauty pageant winner, a backup singer, and even someone who worked on Capitol Hill. This demonstrates that no matter how accomplished or impressive a person was, Elvis's behavior towards them could still be considered inappropriate.
The Man Liked His Pets
After achieving top of the mountain levels of fame, Elvis developed a collection of rather unusual pets. At one time, he owned a turkey named Bowtie, five dogs, several horses, donkeys, peacocks, ducks, chickens, a spider monkey, a mynah bird, and a chimpanzee. Among all of these animals, the chimpanzee was the most peculiar.
The chimpanzee, known as Scatter, had a habit of wearing suits and ties. However, Scatter had some problematic behavior. He drank alcohol, pestered women, and he even allegedly attacked some of them. Eventually, Scatter's behavior became so uncontrollable that Elvis decided to confine him to his own room at the Graceland estate. This decision was made to ensure the safety and well-being of the estate's residents and staff, who no longer had to be wary drunk, chaotic chimpanzee.
Elvis Pulled A Gun On A Marine
In 1957, a young Marine named Hershel Nixon had a terrifying run-in with Elvis while walking in downtown Memphis. Nixon approached Elvis, pretending that he had accidentally bumped into his girlfriend, using it as an excuse to strike up a conversation. As a playful response, Elvis took out what appeared to be a realistic toy gun and pointed it at Nixon's face, pretending to be angry and threatening to "blow his brains out."
Understandably, this action freaked Nixon and his girlfriend, leading them to file a warrant against Elvis. Fortunately, the parties involved were able to reconcile and resolve the situation without any further legal action.
Elvis And His Crew Boarded A Commercial Plane Packing Heat
According to Elvis's stepbrother, Rick Stanley, one member of Elvis's entourage, who was often sent to pick up hamburgers for the King earning him the nickname "Hamburger James," had no specific responsibilities outside of fetching fast food. One morning, Elvis became convinced that someone had stolen money and personal photos of him and Priscilla. The only crew member who was absent at that time was Hamburger James.
Out of nowhere, one of the crew members suggested that Hamburger James might be at the airport. Acting swiftly, Elvis and his team hurried to the airport and discovered that a plane bound for Memphis was about to depart. They suspected that the suddenly cunning Hamburger James might be on that very plane.
Elvis stormed into the airport, brandishing one of his many police badges, and demanded that the gate attendant halt the plane from taking off. Against all odds and logic, the plane complied with his request. Elvis's bodyguards, armed with guns, boarded the aircraft and discovered that their suspicions were correct – they found the elusive Hamburger James on the plane. He was promptly pulled off the plane, and Elvis allegedly slapped around the hamburger man. Stanley remembered:
Elvis reaches over while Hamburger James is looking straight at him, scared to death, and slaps him twice. Like in the movies, A slap, and then a backhand. Pow! Then pow! again. Then the most amazing thing happened. Hamburger James got a funny look on his face and wilted like a baby. He cried and cried. Like his heart was broken. He said he was sorry he stole, and he would give it all back, and he knew that he had done something that he couldn’t ever be forgiven for.
In 1977, Elvis Was Prescribed 10,000 Doses Of Narcotics
Elvis's personal physician, George Nichopoulos, provided him with a wide range of stimulants, depressants, and narcotics throughout the decade he served as The King's doctor. Dr. Nick, who inspired the character on The Simpsons, is believed to be accountable for Elvis's death, particularly by fans. In the year of his death, Elvis was prescribed 10,000 doses of narcotic medications by Dr. Nick. Among these medications, Elvis took amphetamines in the morning to energize himself and tranquilizers at night to aid in sleeping.
The belief that Nichopoulos was responsible for Elvis's demise reached a climax when someone fired a shot at him during a football game in 1977, just one month after Elvis's passing. Nichopoulos had his medical license revoked in 1995 and he passed away in 2016.
Neither Natalie Wood And Cybill Shepard Were Put Off By The King's Bedroom Behavior
Actress Cybill Shepherd had a short romantic involvement with Elvis, and according to her, their bedroom antics left something to be desired. In the book Elvis: A Southern Life, the author, Williamson, shares Shepherd's account of their time together:
He was a great kisser and very sweet, but not the stud she had expected. She ascribed the difficulty to the drugs he was taking.
In her memoir, Shepherd stated that she ended things with Presley not because of their less than stellar sex, but because of his drug abuse. When it comes to Woods, she bailed on the King pretty much immediately. Allegedly 20 minutes after getting together with the King she barged out of his room and stormed passed his entourage, saying:
What's the matter with your boss? He's all hands and no action. I thought he was supposed to be king of the sack, but he doesn't want to do it with me.
The Death Of His Mother Changed Him Forever
In 1957, when Elvis Presley was at the peak of his career, he was drafted into the United States peacetime standing army, removing him from the public eye. In March 1958, he was deployed to Germany as part of an armored division, where he worked as a truck driver. As the army base became overwhelmed with fan mail and persistent local women attempting to climb its walls, Elvis requested a transfer to a scout platoon.
Less than six months later, Elvis returned to the United States due to the passing of his beloved mother, Gladys Presley. Deeply saddened by her loss, Elvis reportedly coped with his grief through self-destructive behavior. After returning to Germany following the funeral, he engaged in excessive partying, including a bar fight during a visit to Munich. He also brought soldiers to a strip club in Paris and later invited the dancers back to their hotel. It was during this period that Elvis allegedly began a daily habit of using amphetamines, which marked the beginning of a pill addiction that would eventually contribute to his early death.