Priscilla Presley on why she didn’t remarry after Elvis: ‘no one could ever match him’

I’m seeing Priscilla tomorrow and I can hardly wait. Even though the film has a SAG-AFTRA waiver and the actors have been promoting it, the most interesting promotional appearances are coming from Priscilla Presley herself. After many decades living in the shadow of her famous ex-husband, she gets to be the central character of the story. But, she’s still talking about Elvis, because that’s what people are interested in. She was at a Q&A at a casino in Vegas on Friday where she talked about why she never remarried. At first she decided not to remarry while Elvis was still alive. But even after he died, she never wanted to get married again. She says it’s because no one compared to him.

Priscilla Presley is opening up about her decision not to remarry after the collapse of her six-year marriage to Elvis Presley.

During a Q&A event at the South Point Casino in Las Vegas on Friday, the actress, 78, seemingly confirmed the rumor that she made a vow to never marry again as long as her ex-husband was alive.

“I just don’t think that he could handle that,” she said of the late rock music icon, to whom she was married from 1967 to 1973.

Despite the fact that Elvis died in 1977, Priscilla kept that promise over the past four decades. “To be honest with you, I never wanted to marry after him. I never had any desire,” she said. “No one could ever match him.”

Priscilla also explained why she and Elvis chose not to have more children after welcoming their daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, in 1968. “Elvis felt he had a very busy schedule and he did have a bit of guilt that he wasn’t around that much when Lisa was younger,” she told the audience.

“With his scheduling and his touring, he just felt he wasn’t around enough to give a lot of attention to having another child.”

[From People]

She also said that Sofia Coppola is the only filmmaker she would trust to do a biopic of her life:

“I love [Coppola’s] filmmaking. I think she does a great job. She is for women, and when she approached me about doing a movie about me, I was moved by it,” Presley, who is credited as an executive producer on Priscilla, noted. “If anyone were to do a movie, it would be for her. I would never support another movie from anyone else doing it.”

[From People]

I interpret her comment about no one comparing to Elvis in two ways. On the one hand, it is true that Elvis is literally incomparable–an icon who changed American popular music and culture forever. Nancy Sinatra also said a similar thing about Frank–that there was no point getting married again after having been married to Frank Sinatra. But on the other hand, I think that the marriage probably scarred Priscilla emotionally and made it hard for her to imagine trusting someone in the same way again. If your first marriage was that stifling and that miserable, why try it again? As for what she says about Sofia, it’s very sweet. Sofia is so adept at telling stories of female isolation and alienation, it is a perfect fit for Priscilla’s adolescence and early adulthood.

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Photos credit: IMAGO/Manfred Segerer / Avalon, STARSTOCK/Photoshot / Avalon, Getty and via Instagram

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20 Responses to “Priscilla Presley on why she didn’t remarry after Elvis: ‘no one could ever match him’”

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  1. Lucy says:

    Because she was literally groomed by the biggest star in the world. He’s probably the voice in her head that she uses to make decisions. She’s worried about his feelings after he died.

    • Eggbert says:

      Yeah she sounds brainwashed. And also didn’t she say after she had a baby Elvis could only see her as a mother and stopped being sexually attracted to her and they stopped having sex? Yeah how could she ever possibly move on and marry an actual supportive loving partner (said with sarcasm). I think too a huge part of her identity and financial stability was wrapped up in only being Elvis’s ex and she didn’t want to move on

      • Robert Phillips says:

        Also remember the time frame they divorced. Back then when a woman married she took the husband’s last name. She wouldn’t be a Presley anymore. Look I have no doubt he groomed her. But Priscilla has lived off of Elvis this entire time. That was even the supposed fued between her and Lisa before she died.

    • Selene says:

      What an interesting insight, I can see it. She’s still living for him after all these years.

  2. Scarlett says:

    Understandable, trauma bonds with predators are hard to break. Priscilla, Celine…it’s sad how people glorify and romanticize their relationships when all it is , is a predator grooming his victim.

  3. Tila says:

    There is no snark but would someone be able to shed a bit of light on why Pricilla’s cheeks look like that? Is it botched surgery? Or her face has sort of just ended upthat way? I remember Demi Moore having a similar look a few years ago on a runway but that seems to have faded. I’m just curious.

    • Talia says:

      Her doctor (who saw a lot of people in Hollywood) turned out to be unlicensed in the US and using non-medical grade silicone for fillers.

      Basically, he butchered her face and this is as good as it’s going to get after the remedial work.

  4. Cecil says:

    I saw Priscilla on Sunday, and it’s so good. Sofia Coppola is truly amazing, and I appreciated that the film didn’t hit you over the head with “this is grooming” or “this is abuse” and instead trusted that the story was enough to show that. Not enough films trust their audience, and this one definitely did, for the better. Cailee Spaeny is also doing some incredible acting here, without a lot of lines. I would recommend watching in a theater with a good sound system; the use of sound and silence is very effective in this film.

    • Seraphina says:

      Bought the book and will see movie. And I love hearing of women trusting other women to tell their stories. So many times we hear about how women are their own worst enemy. Time for that to end. There is power in numbers and I love love seeing women validating, trusting and helping other women.

  5. Libra says:

    His very busy schedule included not having sex with his wife after the birth of their child. That she is changing her story now to read that he was too busy for more children seems a departure from the years ago version I read .

    • kelleybelle says:

      And giving her sleeping pills to get her out of the way while he had other women … in the same house. Lying his face off about Ann-Margret, and yes, Madonna-whore complex.

  6. BlueNailsBetty says:

    Translation: I enjoyed the fame that being Elvis’ wife brought so even though we divorced I didn’t want to give up the Presley name recognition or the association with Elvis. After he died I was able to take control of his estate and make a fortune “protecting Lisa Marie’s inheritance”.

    She divorced Elvis for a reason and her lying about him being “unmatchable” as a husband is just sad (especially since the movie tells otherwise). He was a predator and groomer and I am truly sorry for what she went through during their time together. I’m also glad she made a boatload off of his name and estate (which she brilliantly built UP). However, by pretending she never remarried because Elvis was “unmatchable” is a big fat lie. After his death she saw her chance and knew she was more marketable as Elvis’ only wife and mother of his only child vs Priscilla Newhusbandsname.

    • Laura says:

      Also, she wasnt celibate either. She had an affair with karate guy towards end of her marriage and then after divorce had a long term relationship with Navarone’s dad. Weren’t there rumours about Tom Jones too? So Elvis could handle her being with other men, just not marrying them lol

      So the desire was still there, just not a desire for remarriage.

    • Cee says:

      Yeah, that was my take too. She would’ve lost the Presley surname.

    • theotherviv says:

      Thank you for this comment!
      Her victim mentality is what makes me want to hold back from watching this. I am sure it’s entertaining but it’s nevertheless also her re-writing history. I think Sofia Coppola likely cares more about imaging and artsy representation than about objectivity and fact-checking.

    • BQM says:

      She didn’t make a fortune protecting Lisa Marie’s inheritance. There basically was no inheritance. Priscilla, for all her flaws, built the Presley fortune.

  7. Chaine says:

    I have some compassion for her because she was groomed from childhood by someone who in his time was one of, if not THE most famous and charismatic star on the planet. She doesn’t seem to have ever confronted the facts of it and at her age, she probably won’t. At the same time, I am so sick of hearing her make excuses for him and it’s kind of gross that she is still profiting off of lauding their abusive relationship nearly a half century after his death and after the death of her child and grandchild who undoubtedly both suffered from the generational trauma associated with this relationship.

    • Anon says:

      Random reminder: Victims don’t have to be perfect.

      Temporal / perspective reminder: It’s hard for people today to understand how much more of a child any 14 year old girl was then than now (although 14 is still a child now!) AND how much of a STAR UNLIKE ANY OTHER STAR BEFORE HIM (and in many way after him) Elvis was. There was no internet, television was not anywhere like it was now-Fox, CW, etc. weren’t networks, there was no cable. Elvis was still GLOBAL and HUGE.

      Fun fact: Robert Kardashian dated Priscilla between the first and second time he dated Kris. Supposedly, Priscilla told him-or he realized-Elvis wouldn’t let her remarry or she wouldn’t remarry with Elvis alive, so he knew if he wanted to get serious, to go back to Kris.

      Finally (for now): I admire the fact that Priscilla is like you know what, I had botched surgery and I’m just going to get on with it anyway. Good for her! She always seems to try to look nice.

      Would love to learn that bouffant

  8. rea says:

    I like Elvis music but this relationship with Priscilla was grooming from the start and its hard to read about now imagine watching it. I know the Elvis estate is not too happy however its best for Priscilla to get to say her story the way she wants to right now than have it come out without her consent when she passes.