He started a four-year relationship with Linda Thompson after Elvis Presley divorced Priscilla Presley, his wife of six years, in 1973.
Thompson was a lyricist and a beauty queen who married both Caitlyn Jenner and David Foster later in her life. She became one of Presley’s most beloved friends as well, and spent almost five years at Graceland with him.
Thompson comments on Presley’s views on monogamy in her 2016 book, “A Little Thing Called Life,” A source of conflict and pain for her was his interest in other women during their relationship.
Presley confessed to Thompson that he dated other women often.
After meeting at a private film screening in Memphis in 1972, Presley and Thompson shared a whirlwind romance.
The King of Rock and Roll had just divorced himself from Priscilla, his six-year-old wife, and made no secret of the fact that Thompson was romantically involved.
For Presley, Thompson dropped hard. Almost from the start, she was head over heels.
Yet in terms of their wealth of knowledge, they were very different. Thompson – who was ten years younger than her boyfriend – was also a virgin, while Presley had countless girlfriends and a failed marriage behind her.
The difference between their romantic pasts and their approach to their love lives often led to conflict.
Presley was not shy about revealing that he dallied with other women, according to Thompson, even though she was the one he said he really loved. He also allegedly told her, just 18 months into their relationship, that he had never been faithful to a woman for so long. Nonetheless, Presley told his younger girlfriend she was his “ideal girl” and that being with others was always a “disappointment”
Lisa Marie Presley, nine years old, was the first to call one of Elvis Presley’s former girlfriends after his death.
The King supposedly felt that it was “different” for women to be with other men.
Thompson went on to clarify that Presley had a double standard when it came to love and sex in A Little Thing Called Life.
When it came to Presley’s “theory about how women and men differ when it comes to matters of the heart,” Thompson paraphrased him by saying, “A man can have an affair and it doesn’t mean anything…. It’s just me rubbing up against someone and breathing hard. It doesn’t mean I’m falling in love with them.
But women are not constructed that way.
Unlike men, (according to Thompson), Presley believed that women ought to be more vigilant about who they had sex with.
There was a greater possibility that, he claimed, they might fall in love.
Priscilla Presley said that Elvis Presley almost “broke his vow” before their wedding night to not have sex with her.
Thompson also had disagreements over whether to stay with Presley or not.
Although Thompson did not exactly agree with Presley’s romance and fidelity ideas, she explained that she was “naive and blinded by love.” She chose to concentrate more on what he was telling her than what he was actually doing, which was, in part, hooking up with other women, because of her intense, enduring love for Presley.
Thompson admitted in A Little Thing Called Life, “In the end, though, none of his words could make up for the fact that I was deeply hurt by his need to be with other women,”
She added that while Presley kept from her the specifics of his dalliances, she concluded that he would never be truly monogamous or faithful.
Eventually, she realized, if they remained together, “his cheating would be a constant”
After all, she thought, Presley, too, was unfaithful to Priscilla – so marriage clearly didn’t deter him, either.
“That’s just the way he was,” mused Thompson. “There’s right, there’s wrong, there’s black, there’s white, and then there’s Elvis Presley.”
She started to think about breaking up with him as Thompson and Presley’s relationship became more tumultuous in 1974.
She was not sure, as much as she loved him, that she could stand his drug use or infidelity. Nonetheless, until late 1976, just eight months before Presley’s premature death in 1977, the couple’s love for each other held them together.