Elvis Presley wife: Why did Elvis and Priscilla split up?

Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s romantic relationship is a tale as old as time. Despite being married, he was known as quite the ladies’ man, and Priscilla ended up finding other ways to console herself. In the end the pair split up and divorced, after various things brought their relationship to its end.

Elvis was known for having some quite high profile dalliances in his life.

In Joel Williamson’s book, Elvis Presley: A Southern Life, it’s claimed Elvis had one affair with Joyce Bova in 1971, which resulted in a pregnancy and an abortion, though Elvis did not know about it.

At that time, Elvis and Priscilla were barely cohabiting, and Elvis reportedly said, in Peter Guralnick’s book Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley, he planned to move Bova into Graceland and end his relationship with Priscilla.

Priscilla said Elvis changed a great deal during their time together, saying he was no longer “the gentle, understanding man I grew to love.”

Speaking to Chris Hutchins about her relationship with Elvis, described in a Daily Mail article from 2016, Priscilla said: “It wasn’t always like this,

“Elvis used to be kind, gentle and always attentive. But things changed long before our wedding day.

“I should have realised I was marrying an entourage and only had a share in its leader. It had to end.

“Graceland was the worst. It wasn’t a home, it was a carnival and I was one of the acts.


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“I had to get out and become a woman in my own right.”

Of course, Elvis’ various dalliances frustrated Priscilla, and eventually she found something to keep her busy.

With Elvis regularly away and seeing other women, Priscilla decided to focus on a hobby while she spent time away.

She began taking karate lessons from Mike Stone, on Elvis’ suggestion, after the couple met in 1968 at the Mainland vs Hawaii Karate Championships.


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Soon, Priscilla began her affair with him and in 1972 she left Elvis to move in with Stone.

Priscilla said, as chronicled in Calress Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley, when she told him about Stone, Presley “grabbed … and forcefully made love to” her, declaring: “This is how a real man makes love to his woman.”

She later retracted this statement in an interview, calling it an “overstatement”.

In 1972, they separated and filed for a legal separation on July 26 and Elvis filed for divorce on January 8, 1973, on his 38th birthday.

The divorce was finalised in 1973, and the pair attempted to stay close after their divorce, with Priscilla named as one of the executors of his will after his death.

Despite their separation, according to Hutchins, Elvis would still not fully leave Priscilla alone, and even recalled a story from his friend Terry O’Neill, where Priscilla and Terry’s “love-making” was interrupted by phonecalls from Elvis.

The pair remained close until Elvis’ death, with the pair leaving court holding hands after their divorce took place.

Of course, the couple also had a child together, Lisa Marie, who would have likely pulled them together.

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