Presley opened up at the press conference for Sofia Coppola's 'Priscilla' at Venice Film Festival on Monday
At the Venice Film Festival press conference for Sofia Coppola’s upcoming biopic, Priscilla, on Monday, the former wife of the late rock star, 78, opened up about meeting Elvis when he was 24 and she was 14, which the film depicts.
The pop culture icon said that the singer always “respected” her age and explained they had an instant connection when they met on a military base in Germany because they felt as if they could talk to one another.
“People think, ‘Oh, it was sex.’ No, it wasn’t,” Presley said at the press conference. “I never had sex with him. He was very kind, very soft, very loving, but he also respected the fact I was only 14 years old. We were more in line in thought, and that was our relationship.”
She continued, “It was very difficult for my parents to understand that Elvis would be so interested in me and why. And I really do think because I was more of a listener. Elvis would pour his heart out to me in every way in Germany: his fears, his hopes, the loss of his mother — which he never, ever got over. And I was the person who really, really sat there to listen and to comfort him. That was really our connection.”
“Even though I was 14, I was actually a little bit older in life — not in numbers. That was the attraction,” she added.
Presley also spoke about how she mostly saw Elvis in private at the time. The musician’s ex-wife shared, “I didn’t know why he put so much trust in me, but he did. And I never, ever, ever told anyone that I was seeing him, and that was another issue that he loved, is the fact that I never gave him up in any way. I never told anyone at school that I was seeing him. So, we built a relationship and then our relationship went on until yes, I left.”
"It wasn’t because I didn’t love him — he was the love of my life,” Presley then said about her separation from the recording artist in 1972. “It was the lifestyle that was so difficult for me, and I think any woman can relate to that.”
She continued, “But it didn’t mar our relationship; we still remained very, very close. And of course, we had our daughter [Lisa Marie], and I made sure that he saw her all the time. It was like we never left each other.”
Related: Priscilla Presley's Life in Photos
The co-founder and former chairperson of Elvis Presley Enterprises, who was said to be emotional during the press conference, also sung praises of Coppola’s film about her life. “It’s very difficult to sit and watch a film about you, about your life, about your love,” Presley said while reportedly tearing up. “Sofia did an amazing job. She did her homework, we spoke a couple of times and I really put everything out for her that I could.”
Coppola’s new movie, which stars Jacob Elordi, 26, and Cailee Spaeny, 25, as Elvis and Priscilla, respectively, is based on Presley’s 1985 memoir Elvis and Me and tells their story from her perspective. It notably was not given the rights to the rock star’s music by Elvis Presley Enterprises, unlike Baz Luhrmann’s 2022 film Elvis starring Austin Butler.
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Presley walked the red carpet of the A24 film’s international premiere and appeared at the press conference along with the writer-director and stars Elordi and Spaeny. (Priscilla was granted a SAG-AFTRA Interim Agreement waiver amid the strike since it was filmed in Canada with a non-AMPTP studio.)
“I’m so nervous because it’s my life,” she told The Hollywood Reporter in an August interview. “The people who are watching, they’re living it with you, and you hope and pray that they get it. They get your feelings, your hurts, your sensitivity."
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