Elvis Presley first met Linda Thompson, who was 15 years his junior, at a private movie screening in 1972, shortly after he separated from his wife Priscilla Presley. Soon, they began dating, embarking on a four-year relationship. Linda eventually left Elvis, struggling to cope with his downwards spiral and wanting to live a “normal life”, but the pair stayed close up until his death in 1977.
Opening up on their romance, Linda said in an unearthed interview on The Dean Z Show: “The year we shared sort of equates to 10 or 12 years in a normal life.
“In a normal relationship, you go to work, you come back, you meet for a few hours, you have dinner, you go to sleep. The next day you’re both off doing your thing,” she explained. “With Elvis it was so intense. It was so 24/7.
“There was such togetherness that it really did equate to about 10 years it felt like.”
The singer, actress and former beauty pageant winner went on to recall the heartbreaking thing Elvis told her during a deep conversation one day.
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“I asked him one time, when we were sitting and having philosophical talk, ‘What do you think is your worst flaw?’” she said.
“And he thought for a minute and he said, ‘Well, I’m probably only gonna say this once, but I think I’m a little bit self-destructive.’
“That stuck with me in the later years because he recognised it but he had already started the downward spiral and I don’t think he could stop it,” Linda admitted.
On the subject of the Hound Dog hitmaker’s decline, she continued: “Once I realised that Elvis took sleeping medication and sometimes some other things that maybe interacted with that.
“I didn’t know how to deal with this except to be there and to try to keep him healthy,” she explained.
Linda also recounted how, one morning, Elvis wasn’t able to breathe properly and prompting her to call an ambulance to take him to hospital.
“There were several times like that where it was really frightening.
“I finally just thought, I can’t spend my life trying to keep him alive,” she said.
In her 2016 memoir, Linda spoke out about why she broke off her relationship with Elvis, the split occurring just a year before his death.