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Linda Thompson: Ex-Boyfriend Elvis Presley Had a ‘Desperate Level’ of Need

And love me tender he did! In her new memoir, A Little Thing Called Life: On Loving Elvis Presley, Bruce Jenner, and Songs in Between, Linda Thompson details her nearly five-year, whirlwind relationship with the King of Rock ’n’ Roll, Elvis Presley. (Flashback! Watch a just-married Thompson discuss her ex, Presley, while standing next to new husband Jenner in the video above from 1981!)

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Linda Thompson arrives at the Los Angeles Confidential Magazine Celebrates The Grammys on February 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
Linda Thompson arrives at the Los Angeles ‘Confidential Magazine’ Celebrates the Grammys on Feb. 12, 2016, in Los Angeles.

Though he was then known and now remembered for his seductive, confident demeanor, the music legend needed extra attention from his girlfriend, according to Thompson. In fact, from the moment the pair met in Memphis on July 6, 1972, he requested she stay by his side. 

“He said, ‘But just know that I don’t like to be alone, and I want you to be with me. I really want you to be with me,’” she writes of her second encounter with Elvis, just one day after they met. “‘Okay, Okay,’ I said flattered, but not fully understanding the desperate level of his need.” 

Elvis Presley with girlfriend Linda Thompson at the Hilton Hotel in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1976.
Elvis Presley with girlfriend Linda Thompson at the Hilton Hotel in Cincinnati, OH, in 1976.

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She would soon learn. “If he was in the shower, he had me talk to him from outside the curtain as the steam wafted the scent of his Neutrogena soap in the bathroom around me,” reveals the award-winning lyricist, now 66. “We slept, woke, ate, read, laughed, and loved together, as if we were all either of us needed in the whole wide world.”

Though he was almost 16 years her senior, she would tend to him like her child. “It was natural for me to sometimes be the little girl, with him playing the daddy,” writes Thompson, who has sons Brandon and Brody with ex Caitlyn Jenner. “More often than not, though, I was the mommy, and he was the baby.” 

Linda Thompson's A Little Thing Called Life: From Elvis' Graceland to Bruce Jenner's Caitlyn & Songs in Between
Linda Thompson’s ‘A Little Thing Called Life: On Loving Elvis Presley, Bruce Jenner, and Songs in Between.’

Still, she was more than happy to put his needs first. After all, he was Elvis. Continues Thompson, “The only time I have since known a love so deep and complete was when I gave birth to my sons and felt the unconditional, powerful force of a mother’s love.”

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For more on Thompson’s relationship with Elvis — and exes Caitlyn Jenner and David Foster — pick up her new book, A Little Thing Called Life: From Elvis’ Graceland to Bruce Jenner’s Caitlyn & Songs in Between, out now.

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