Vernon Presley reveals why Elvis's marriage to Priscilla fell apart in unearthed interview

Elvis 12/05/2020

In an unearthed interview of Elvis Presley’s father Vernon from 1978, he revealed reasons why Elvis and Priscilla’s marriage fell apart. 

Elvis was 24, serving in the US Army in Germany when he was introduced to 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu. When he returned to the US, Priscilla persuaded her reluctant parents to let her visit him in Memphis, even though she was only 15 at the time. 

When Priscilla came to visit, Elvis had resumed his chart-topping career and was a huge star. It wasn’t long before he asked Priscilla to come live with him permanently and continue her schooling in the US. 

Her parents were understandably resistant to the idea, but eventually agreed, with Priscilla joining Elvis permanently. She since recalled how the singer’s lifestyle left her exhausted, trying to keep up with his partying along with his friends - dubbed the Memphis Mafia.  

The couple’s romance blossomed over the years, eventually marrying, with Elvis' legendary manager Colonel Parker arranging the ceremony at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. 

Nine months later, Priscilla gave birth to their only child, Lisa Marie Presley. Starting a family saw the first sign of strain in the pair’s relationship - Elvis reportedly lost interest in the physical and intimate side of his relationship with Priscilla after Lisa Marie’s birth. 

Photo credit: Getty

Priscilla soon started up an affair with Mike Stone, her karate instructor, and in 1972 she told Elvis that their marriage was over. She moved in with him and a year later her divorce from Elvis was finalised. The pair remained friends, however, until the singer’s death in 1977. 

In an unearthed interview with Vernon Presley, he revealed that Elvis never really wanted to be married in the first place:

His mother and I didn't try to influence Elvis' choice of a wife any more than we'd tried to influence his choice of a career.

"We didn't care whom he married just so long as she was the girl with whom he'd be happiest. Gladys had died before the Army sent Elvis to Germany, where he met Priscilla Beaulieu."

"I’d remarried by the time Priscilla came to Memphis to finish high school, so she stayed with my second wife Dee and me. Being an Air Force officer's daughter, Priscilla had been brought up to be disciplined and strong-minded, but she is also a tender and loving girl,”

“I believe that Elvis' marriage to her failed simply because he realised after the wedding that he didn't really want to be married."

"When he was traveling, it wasn't practical for Priscilla to go along all the time, especially after Lisa was born. These separations put a strain on their relationship."