Elvis Presley’s ex-girlfriend Linda Thompson slams ‘untrue’ biopic

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Elvis Presley first met his last long-term girlfriend, Linda Thompson, in 1972 when she was just 22-years-old. At 37-years-old himself, Elvis had lived a long life with many struggles. But, despite the massive age gap, they fell in love. Linda was one of the biggest parts of the star’s life before his death, but she was nowhere to be seen in Baz Luhrmann’s biopic.

When Elvis hit cinemas earlier this year, praise was heaped on by the King’s ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, and his daughter, Lisa Marie Presley. But Linda had a different view of the feature.

“Baz Luhrmann never contacted me,” Linda recently said in a new interview. She went on to call it a “disservice to Elvis”.

Linda also said of the film’s events: “There are many inaccurate and untrue elements.” In particular, she pointed out, the scenes depicting the final years of his life were not correct. 

Before his death on August 16, 1977, Elvis became dependent on alcohol and drugs. These were major factors in the heart attack he eventually suffered at his home in Graceland.

It was the details about this portion of Elvis’ life that Linda believes were not told properly in Luhrmann’s biopic.

Linda pointed out that, whenever he would fall ill before his death, she would be the person to help him out. She said: “Every time Elvis was hospitalised, I’d share his room … The film showed his ex-wife, Priscilla, at his bedside. She never even visited him, let alone stayed.”

Linda added: “Those last years, I saved his life about ten to 12 times.” She also criticised how Priscilla was portrayed in the movie.

The Elvis movie showed that the star’s split with his wife was somewhat amicable. But Linda claimed quite the opposite was true.

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Linda said Elvis “bitterly resented” Priscilla for leaving him for her karate instructor, Mike Stone. They eventually split up in early 1972.

Elvis and Priscilla officially divorced on October 9, 1973. As they walked away from signing their divorce documents, Elvis sang Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You to his now ex-wife.

Priscilla later commented on their split, saying: “I truly cherish the great times. As you grow up, there are always fears and insecurities. But as you get older you understand it all.”

Not everything between Linda and Priscilla was always this prickly, however. The former recently opened up on what she appreciated of Priscilla.

Linda said: “I’m pleased she saved Graceland for the fans.” In late 1981 Priscilla worked with the Elvis estate to open Graceland to the public. There, the King has been honoured ever since.

Linda also pointed out: “We are not enemies or friends, but always cordial when we meet. [Elvis’ daughter] Lisa [Marie] and I have stayed in touch off and on over the years.”

Elvis and Linda split up in 1976, just six months before he died in Graceland of a heart attack.

On her split, Linda said she was “tired” of looking after Elvis after his health began to deteriorate.

She said: “I struggled to accept the other women as I was faithful, 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.”

She added: “I was exhausted caring for him — 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.'”


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