From seducing Priscilla at 14 to giving her drugs for school… why Elvis’s daughter Lisa Marie opposed new biopic

IF you heard that a rock star begged a 14-year-old girl into his bedroom shortly after they met, you’d be rightly shocked.

But that’s how Elvis Presley lured his wife Priscilla in the summer of 1959.

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Elvis is portrayed by Australian actor Jacob Elordi in the new biopic PriscillaCredit: AP
Priscilla is a co-producer on the film and thinks director Sofia Coppola has done an 'amazing job'

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Priscilla is a co-producer on the film and thinks director Sofia Coppola has done an ‘amazing job’Credit: PA:Empics Entertainment

And it gets worse for the man known as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, in the new film from Lost In Translation director Sofia Coppola.

In the film Priscilla, we see how the late singer, whose death at the age of 42 in 1977 was attributed to drug abuse, gives a schoolgirl pills “upper” and “downer” to regulate mood.

Elvis was portrayed by Australian actor Jacob Elordi as a controlling figure who determines what Priscilla wears, where she lives and who she meets. But putting the legendary entertainer in such a negative light caused a rift within the Presley clan.

Priscilla, 78, is a co-producer of the film and thinks Coppola has done an “amazing job”.

But the film was planned by Elvis’ estate and opposed by the singer’s daughter Lisa Marie Presley before her death in January.

Elvis Presley Enterprises did not give permission for the King’s hits, such as Blue Suede Shoes or Love Me Tender, to be used in the controversial production that opens in theaters here on New Year’s Day.

Perhaps they were worried that the story of Elvis chasing a schoolgirl might affect his £30 million annual earnings.

Priscilla has always maintained that they never had underage sex, even when she went to live at Elvis’ mansion in Graceland and insists that she always loved him.

It was this unconventional relationship that made Coppola want to make the film.

The director, whose father Francis Ford Coppola filmed The Godfather, says: “I was surprised by her story.

“I didn’t know she was going to high school when she lived at Graceland. I said, ‘I can’t imagine what that was like.'”

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Priscilla’s stepfather, an American Air Force officer transferred to Wiesbaden, Germany, brought her into Elvis’ sphere.

The then 24-year-old musician was called up for military service despite being a national heartthrob, topping the charts with hits such as Jailhouse Rock and All Shook Up.

One of his friends from the army, Currie Grant, asked Priscilla if she wanted to meet Elvis at his home.

Two weeks later, with the permission of her parents, Paul and Ann Beaulieu, she visited his home in Bad Nauheim.

When she told him that she had just turned 14, Elvis replied: “Well, you’re just a baby.”

Nevertheless, the next time she dropped by, he told her, “I want to be alone with you, Priscilla,” and insisted she come to his room.

In her memoir Elvis And Me, on which the film is based, Priscilla recounted how they would share “long, deep passionate kisses” and get naked in his bed without going all the way.

The film was planned by Elvis' estate and was opposed by the singer's daughter Lisa Marie Presley before her death

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The film was planned by Elvis’ estate and was opposed by the singer’s daughter Lisa Marie Presley before her deathCredit: Getty
In the film entitled Priscilla, we see the late singer giving the schoolgirl 'upper' and 'downer' pills to regulate her mood

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In the film, titled Priscilla, we see the late singer give the schoolgirl down-and-out pills to regulate her moodCredit: Getty

It seems that the shy young man was not alone then.

Earlier this year, an Amazon documentary titled Elvis’ Wives revealed that several schoolgirls had sexual experiences with the rock star.

Frances Forbes, who also started seeing him at 14, claimed: “He was attracted to younger girls and 14 was a magical age.”

And like Priscilla, encounters often did not result in full intercourse.

Priscilla was aware that the star was most likely seeing other women, but whenever she mentioned his infidelity, he would get annoyed.

Director Sofia says: “She saw him with other girls and that’s it. It’s such a different time.

“And there weren’t as many celebrities as there are now. He was really the bigger deal.”

It’s almost impossible to understate what a huge star Elvis was, his hip movements on stage were seen as a threat to the American way of life, and he sold around half a billion records.

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But the price of fame was an addiction to prescription drugs, which he often distributed to his mistresses.

He gave Priscilla pills to keep her awake at school and others to take her out of her excitement.

The film also shows the couple taking the hallucinogenic LSD together.

In March 1963, Priscilla’s parents agreed to let their daughter move into Elvis’ lavish mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, with the promise that she would continue to attend school and marry him when she was old enough.

At Graceland, she was surrounded by his family and separated from her own. Little by little, Elvis changed her appearance, he made her wear make-up, wear grown-up clothes and change her hairstyle.

He would criticize the way she walked or tell her to change her “boring” clothes. In her biography, Priscilla writes: “When I did something that was not to his liking, I was corrected. It is extremely difficult to relax under such a view.”

They were together for seven years before marrying in Las Vegas in May 1967, just before Priscilla’s 22nd birthday.

“Stormy Relationship”

Their only child, Lisa Marie, was born nine months after the wedding, apparently conceived the first time Elvis and Priscilla were making love.

Neither marriage nor fatherhood prevented the rock star from seeing other women.

What has changed is that Priscilla has also fallen in love with other men, including her karate instructor Mike Stone.

In early 1972, she told Elvis she was leaving him and the couple divorced in October 1973.

Sofia, 52, says: “I’m always inspired by other women’s stories. And I thought it took a lot of strength for her to leave.

“She didn’t have her own career or money or anything at the time.”

After the breakup, Elvis’ drug addiction spiraled out of control, and he was hospitalized for opioid abuse.

In August 1977, he was found dead in his Graceland home after consuming a cocktail of drugs.

Despite all these traumas, it was the good times that Priscilla wants to remember.

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She told Cailee Spaeny (25), who plays her in the film, to express the love she had for Elvis.

The young actress, best known for starring alongside Kate Winslet in the TV drama Mare Of Easttown, recalls: “One thing she said to me was, ‘Make sure there’s love between them,’ because obviously it’s a very strange and tumultuous relationship.

“But the love was there and I think she thinks well when she looks back on those times.

“To show the lows, but also the highs, I think that was important for us.”

Lisa Marie was reported to have emailed Sofia expressing her fears about the script four months before her death

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Lisa Marie was reported to have sent an email to Sofia expressing her fears about the script four months before her death Credit: Planet Photos
Critics are divided about the film

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Critics are divided about the film. Credits: Free for editorial use

While Priscilla was happy when Sofia suggested her memoir be turned into a movie, others were not.

Lisa Marie was reported to have emailed Sofia expressing her fears about the script four months before her death.

She wrote: “My father only acts like a predator and manipulator” and “I’m reading this and seeing your shockingly vindictive and contemptuous perspective and I don’t understand why?”

The director said he changed the script after the exchange.

Unfortunately, Lisa Marie died of a heart attack due to what the coroner believed to be complications from weight loss surgery.

We’ll never know what she would have thought of the final version.

Although critics are divided on the film, most agree that Cailee is brilliant in her portrayal of Priscilla.

She was mentioned as a potential candidate for an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.

Elvis’s ex-wife agrees with that.

Cailee, who sat next to Priscilla during the film’s premiere in Venice this year, concludes: “She turned to me and said, ‘I’ve seen my life through you and through this film.’

“And the weight off my shoulders when she said that is huge. I burst into tears.”

  • Priscilla is in theaters on January 1st.

Categories: Optical Illusion
Source: HIS Education

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