Pop Culture

Priscilla Presley Never Married After Elvis. Now We Know Why.

Priscilla Presley has shed some light on why she never remarried after Elvis. Speaking during a Q&A at the South Point Casino in Las Vegas on Friday in light of Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla, she confirmed that she intentionally never married again, a resolve that began back when he was alive. 

“I just don’t think that he could handle that,” Priscilla, 78, said, per PeopleThe pair married in 1967 and divorced in 1973. Elvis passed four years later.

“To be honest with you, I never wanted to marry after him. I never had any desire,” she said. Her most serious relationship was with writer-director Marco Garibaldi, whom she was with for over two decades. Together they had a son, Navarone Garibaldi, but never married. 

“No one could ever match [Elvis],” Priscilla said. 

Priscilla wrote her side of their love story for People in 1985. They first crossed paths in 1959 in West Germany, where the US Army had stationed Elvis. Priscilla’s stepfather was in the Air Force. Elvis was 24 and Priscilla was 14. His friend Currie Grant asked her over to Elvis’s house. “Why, you’re just a baby,” Elvis told her after learning she was in ninth grade. 

“Something in his Southern upbringing had taught him that the ‘right’ girl was to be saved for marriage,” she wrote in People. “I was that girl. At the same time, he molded me into his woman. I wore the clothes, hairstyle and makeup of his careful choosing.”

Priscilla and Elvis’s relationship is the heart of Coppola’s Priscilla, which hit theaters Friday. The late Lisa Marie, the former couple’s only daughter, was not a fan of the film’s script (but she approved of Baz Luhrmann’s portrayal of her father in the film Elvis, released last year). In emails to the director that Variety obtained, Lisa Marie said of the script, “My father only comes across as a predator and manipulative. As his daughter, I don’t read this and see any of my father in this character. I don’t read this and see my mother’s perspective of my father. I read this and see your shockingly vengeful and contemptuous perspective and I don’t understand why?”

Through her representative, Coppola shared with Variety her response to Lisa Marie, in which said, “I hope that when you see the final film you will feel differently, and understand I’m taking great care in honoring your mother, while also presenting your father with sensitivity and complexity.” 

This exchange occurred months before Lisa Marie sadly passed at the age of 54 in January. 

As for Priscilla, she thought Coppola’s take was a well-made one. “I think she did some homework,” she said in an interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV. “I mean, she and I, we talked about it, and living with Elvis Presley, people think, ‘Oh, how wonderful, it’s great, it’s Elvis Presley,’ but I went through the ups and downs with him in a very crucial part of his life.” 

“His ups and downs, his struggles, his fears, so when you are living with someone so famous, and you have been through it with them, it’s that part of privacy that is hard to give up, it’s hard to share. I don’t want to give out too much because I want some of that myself, that’s just for me.”

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