Linda Thompson Said Her Relationship With Elvis Made Her Fear for Her Sanity

<p id=”par-1_41″>Linda Thompson began a relationship with<a href=””> Elvis Presley</a> following his <a href=””>divorce from Priscilla Presley</a>. While Thompson loved Elvis, she grew increasingly concerned about herself as the relationship wore on. Elvis’ behavior grew troublesome, and Thompson worried her sanity was at risk.</p>

<h2 id=”h-linda-thompson-began-to-worry-about-elvis-wellbeing”>Linda Thompson began to worry about Elvis’ wellbeing </h2>

<p id=”par-2_31″>By the mid-1970s, Elvis’ health troubled everyone close to him. He ate large quantities of <a href=””>rich, heavy food</a>, resulting in physical changes. More concerningly, he also relied heavily on prescription medications.</p>

<p id=”par-3_71″>“In the months following the <em>Aloha from Hawaii</em> special, it wasn’t just his more voracious eating habits and slight weight gain that became noticeable and increasingly troubling,” Thompson wrote in her book <em><a href=”″ target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>A Little Thing Called Life</a></em>. “He was visibly impaired more frequently, it seemed to me, both when he was attempting to sleep, and during our waking hours. And yet he didn’t seem to notice any difference in his own behavior or acumen.”</p>

<figure class=”wp-block-image size-full” id=”emb-1″><img decoding=”async” width=”1200″ height=”1174″ src=”″ alt=”Elvis and Linda Thompson sit in the back seat of a car. He wears sunglasses and she has a bow in her hair.” class=”wp-image-3551972″ srcset=” 1200w, 511w, 768w, 1024w, 358w, 173w, 200w, 518w, 61w, 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px”><figcaption class=”wp-element-caption”>Elvis and Linda Thompson | Tom Wargacki/WireImage</figcaption></figure>

<p id=”par-4_39″>Thompson realized that Elvis could either not tell the way the drugs were affecting him, or he liked the way they felt. Either way, she worried for his safety. It began to make her worry about her own sanity.</p>

<p id=”par-5_84″>“This man, I now understood, needed a lot of care, and so I grew more resistant to always accepting his version of our reality,” she wrote. “Maybe I was the one who could see clearly, even though I had the submissive role in our relationship. I didn’t fear for my safety, trusting Elvis implicitly as I did. But I did begin to fear for my sanity, as I understood more and more how I was living a version of ‘the emperor has no clothes.’”</p>

<h2>Linda Thompson had some reason to worry about her safety around Elvis</h2>

<p id=”par-6_40″>While Thompson said she never worried about her safety around Elvis, she had reason to. Once, he asked Thompson if he could show his skill with a Samurai sword. She could tell he was under the influence of a drug. </p>

<p id=”par-7_67″>“He began swishing the sword around my body, and my face, showing me the different moves of a Samurai swordsman,” Thompson wrote. “I don’t think I breathed at all for at least sixty seconds, knowing as I did that his capabilities were impaired because of the drugs. But he was as good as his word, and he didn’t so much as scratch me, or even touch me.”</p>

<p id=”par-8_23″>When he stopped, Thompson told him that he couldn’t do it again. She felt she’d used all her luck surviving the first round.</p>

<h2>She said that watching Elvis ensured she would never take drugs</h2>

<p id=”par-9_13″>Thompson found <a href=””>Elvis’ drug use so alarming</a> that she swore them off entirely. </p>

<figure class=”wp-block-image size-full” id=”emb-2″><img decoding=”async” loading=”lazy” width=”1200″ height=”851″ src=”″ alt=”Linda Thompson smiles against a pink background.” class=”wp-image-3551977″ srcset=” 1200w, 640w, 768w, 1024w, 494w, 238w, 200w, 715w, 85w, 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px”><figcaption class=”wp-element-caption”>Linda Thompson | Harry Langdon/Getty Images</figcaption></figure>

<div class=”related-article related-article–simple”>
<span class=”related-article-flag”>Related</span>
<p class=”related-article__title”>
<a href=””>
Priscilla Presley Said Elvis’ ‘Greatest Fear’ in Their Relationship Led Him to Pull Away From Her </a>
<p id=”par-10_79″>“To witness someone become incapacitated and even rendered unconscious: That didn’t seem like something I’d want to get into,” she wrote. “Let me tell you, watching him destroy his health with prescription drugs was the best deterrent. If I had ever needed one to keep me from doing them myself, that was it. So I led a squeaky-clean, drug-free existence and hoped it would make it easier for him to do the same, but my efforts were mostly futile.”</p>

<p id=”par-11_19″><strong><em>How to get help: </em></strong><em>In the U.S., contact the </em><a href=””><em>Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration</em></a><em> helpline at 1-800-662-4357.</em></p>

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