I wept in silence as Elvis got up to dress for the show. In order for our marriage to survive, Elvis would have had to take down all the artificial barriers restricting our life as a couple. There was too much room for doubt, too many unanswered questions for the mind to play upon. It was difficult for him to come to terms with his role as father and husband. And since neither of us had the ability to sit down and squarely face the issues jeopardizing the family, there seemed to be no hope. What really hurt was that he was not sensitive to me as a woman and his attempt at a reconciliation had come too late; I had taken possession of my life. That night I didn’t close my eyes at all, grieving over what I had to tell him. This was my one great love. Looking down at him I thought of all the times I’d traced my fingers over his lips, his nose, brushed my fingers through his hair, always while he slept. And now, I waited for him to wake up, waited for the right moment, if there ever could be one. At this point in our marriage we were so seldom together that I was having difficulty envisaging his reaction to my news; it had seemed so much easier to play it out in my imagination.
It was shortly after 2 p.m. I had already gotten up and started packing my things when Elvis awoke fairly alert and asked, “Where are you going?”
“I have to go back.”
“So soon? It’s early. You usually don’t go back this early.”
“I know,” I agreed. “But I have to get back. I have things to do.” I hesitated. “But first I have to tell you something.” I stopped packing and looked at him. “This is probably the most difficult thing I’m ever going to have to say. "I’m leaving.”
Elvis sat up and asked. “What do you mean, leaving?”
Never in the entire time of our marriage had I ever suggested walking out on him.
“I mean our marriage.”
“Are you out of your mind? You have everything any woman could want. You can’t mean that, Sattnin. Goddamn,” he said, his voice filled with anguish. “I don’t believe what I’m hearing. You mean I’ve been so blind that I didn’t know what’s going on? I’ve been so wrapped up I didn’t see this coming.”
“We’re living separate lives.”
Finally he asked, “Have I lost you to another man?”
“It’s not that you’ve lost me to another man, you’ve lost me to a life of my own. I’m finding myself for the first time.”
He looked up and stared at me in silence as I stood packing and snapped my suitcase shut. I tried to walk to the door but couldn’t stop myself from running back into his arms. We hugged, tears streaming down our faces. “I have to go,” I said. “If I stay now I’ll never leave.” I broke away, grabbed my suitcase, and headed for the door.
“Cilla,” Elvis called. I stopped dead in my tracks. “Maybe another time, another place,” he said slowly.
“Maybe so,” I replied, looking back. “This just isn’t the time.”
And I walked out the door.
Excerpt from Elvis and Me, Priscilla tells Elvis she wants a divorce.
I remember [Elvis] bringing a picture of Priscilla and the baby, and she was on the floor with the baby–she was kind of on her side, and the baby was laying right in front of her. And, I remember Lisa didn’t have any clothes on, it was just like a beautiful mother-and-daughter picture. And, I couldn’t get over how beautiful Priscilla was, because I’d always seen her with the big hairdos, and her hair was just straight and loose, and she was absolutely stunning. She was as beautiful as he was handsome. And, I thought, ‘What a couple they make!
Marlyn Mason, Elvis’ co-star in “The Trouble With Girls”
I remember the first night Priscilla came to the house, Elvis didn’t know what to expect. We were all there, myself and a bunch of other G.I.s were there. Currie Grant, he brought her over there to meet Elvis. She came in the door and all eyes turned when she came in the door. She was so beautiful and so gorgeous, but she was only fourteen years old which we didn’t know that at the time. It was one of those things where Elvis walks up and introduces himself to her. She was so nervous—she was telling me about this later on in life how nervous she was, she didn’t know what to say, there was a whole bunch of guys in the same room. That’s scary for a fourteen year old girl. But, Elvis knew that, he knew she was a little frightened so he was very nice to her, a gentleman, you know, takes her and they sit at the piano and they start talking. And we all backed away from her, so we knew it was something special. It was a wonderful evening, I’ll never forget because Elvis just sat there and he’d start singing old fifties songs, beautiful songs at the piano to her. I wish I had a camera that night, it was just so amazing when I think about it. When I see Priscilla nowadays we talk about those old days in the past. It’s just an amazing situation how it all worked out and they had this amazing love affair.
Joe Esposito on Elvis and Priscilla’s first meeting
She used to drive around Memphis in a fire-engine red Corvair convertible. She wouldn’t say whether Elvis had bought it for her. In fact, she wouldn’t say much of anything. She was as hard to get to as Elvis.
Elvis loved the song–that was when he and Priscilla were having their problems. I met her recently, and she told me that Elvis loved that song and he sung that to her on the day of their divorce. She said he kind of leaned in and sang a little bit of ‘I Will Always Love You.
He called me up and he asked me if I would “please talk to Cilla,” and tell her, “She’s making a mistake, and that I love her, and I really want to stay married.” He just pleaded on and on and asked me to “talk to her,” and tell her how much he loved her.
You know we planned the wedding for six months, but then when we married, there was so much regulation we couldn’t really relax until we got to Memphis. We’d been back there awhile when Priscilla went to the doctor and he made a test and told her the results were positive. Isn’t that right? Isn’t it positive? Or is it negative? Anyway, he told her it looked as though she were pregnant but he couldn’t be absolutely sure, because an early test isn’t always accurate. The excitement of the wedding and all might have affected the results.