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Elvis Presley Used the ‘Threat’ of Other Women to Keep Priscilla Engaged in His Interests



Elvis Presley became enamored with spirituality, much to the frustration of Priscilla Presley. While she wanted to support Elvis in all his ventures, she found his spiritual studies dull. It didn’t help that it took his attention away from her. She struggled to muddle through the books he gave her, but every time she made her disinterest clear, he threatened to find a girlfriend who was more invested.

Elvis Presley told Priscilla he’d leave her for a woman who paid attention to his interests

As Elvis became more interested in religion and spirituality, he spent his nights poring over books. He pulled back from Priscilla romantically and insisted she dive into his reading list.

“As his soul mate I was expected to search for answers as fervently as he did, but I just couldn’t bear reading the ponderous tracts that surrounded us in bed every night,” she wrote in her book Elvis and Me. “Usually, within five minutes of opening one, I’d be sound asleep.”

Elvis didn’t accept her lack of interest and began issuing threats. If she wouldn’t wholeheartedly jump into his studies, he’d find a woman who would.

“Annoyed at my obvious disinterest, he woke me to share an insightful passage,” she wrote. “If I voiced the slightest protest, he’d say, ‘Things will never work out between us, Cilla, because you don’t show any interest in me or my philosophies.’ Then, pointedly: ‘There are a lot of women out there who would share these things with me.’”

Priscilla was aware that Elvis Presley was pursuing other women

Elvis’ threats to find a new partner were especially frightening to Priscilla because she knew he would make good on them. From the very beginning of their relationship, Priscilla knew Elvis was having affairs with other women. He frequently complained about his girlfriend, Anita Wood, in conversation with Priscilla. She also found notes from other women stowed away in Elvis’ things.


He also began hosting Bible readings and used them as a way to flirt with attendees in front of Priscilla. He reveled in the attention they eagerly gave him.

“By the mid-sixties he was holding Bible readings in the den of our Bel Air home,” Priscilla wrote. “I sat next to him one evening as he read passages with great force. Facing us were several of his young female admirers wearing the lowest-cut blouses and the shortest miniskirts. They all listened attentively, disciples enraptured in the presence of ‘their’ lord.”

She lost her temper with him over his interest in spirituality

While Priscilla worried about the security of her relationship, there was only so much she could take. Elvis’ unwavering attention to his spirituality books meant he rarely paid her mind. He also began to fear having a physical relationship with her, which she resented. Eventually, she blew up at him.

A black and white picture of Priscilla and Elvis Presley sitting on the same side of a long table on their wedding day. She wears her dress and veil and he wears a tuxedo.

“‘I can’t stand it! I don’t want to hear anymore! I’m sick and tired of your voice going on and on! It’s — driving — me — crazy!’ I was hysterical, pulling at my hair like a wild woman.”

In response to her outburst, Elvis told her she looked like a “goddamn raving madwoman.” She begged him to pay attention to both his book and her. But in the middle of her pleas, he fell asleep.

Source: Cheat Sheet


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