During the Venice Film Festival press conference for Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla, an adaptation of Priscilla Presley’s autobiography Elvis and Me, The King’s ex-wife made a surprise appearance.
Having initially welled up with tears saying, “It’s very difficult to sit and watch a film about you, about your life, about your love”, the 78-year-old praised the director for doing an “amazing job” on the movie which is set for UK release this Christmas.
The mother of the late Lisa Marie Presley, then set about defending Elvis Presley for dating her at 14 when he was 24, during his army service in late 1950s West Germany.
According to Variety, Priscilla said: “It was very difficult for my parents to understand that Elvis would be so interested in me and why. And I really do think because I was more of a listener.”
Priscilla continued: “Elvis would pour his heart out to me in every way in Germany: his fears, his hopes, the loss of his mother — which he never, ever got over. And I was the person who really, really sat there to listen and to comfort him.
“That was really our connection. Even though I was 14, I was actually a little bit older in life — not in numbers. That was the attraction. People think, ‘Oh, it was sex.’ No, it wasn’t. I never had sex with him.
“He was very kind, very soft, very loving, but he also respected the fact I was only 14 years old. We were more in line in thought, and that was our relationship.”
Priscilla ended up moving into Graceland when finishing high school in Memphis, Tennessee on the promise from Elvis to her father that they’d get married one day.
The King, obsessed with female virginity, didn’t have sex with her despite her pleas until they finally wed in 1968. Lisa Marie was born exactly nine months to the day after their Las Vegas wedding night.
Asked why she left him in 1972, she added: “It wasn’t because I didn’t love him — he was the love of my life. It was the lifestyle that was so difficult for me, and I think any woman can relate to that.”
Priscilla is out in select UK cinemas on Boxing Day and on wide release from New Year’s Day.