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Elvis Presley had a different view of how men and women were allowed to behave in relationships. His theories became even more skewed when it came to affairs, Presley’s longtime girlfriend Linda Thompson once admitted. She claimed Presley’s cheating ruined his romantic relationships: “That’s just who he was.”

Linda Thompson and Elvis Presley photographed in 1971.
Linda Thompson and Elvis Presley photographed in 1971 | Jim James/PA Images via Getty Images

Linda Thompson claimed Elvis Presley just couldn’t be faithful

Just months after splitting from his first wife, Priscilla Presley, in the early 1970s, Elvis Presley met Linda Thompson. She was fresh off winning the Miss Tennesse beauty pageant when invited to a midnight movie screening in Memphis with Presley.

Thompson wrote in her memoir A Little Thing Called Life: On Loving Elvis Presley, Bruce Jenner, and Songs in Between that she gave Presley her number that night. She saw the king of rock and roll again two weeks later.

Thus began a relationship that had its challenges. But none were more prominent than rumors of Presley’s cheating.

In her memoir, Thompson wrote of Presley’s infidelities, “That’s just who he was,” she said. “There’s right, there’s wrong, there’s black, there’s white, and then there’s Elvis Presley.”

Presley had his own theories. He believed “men and women differed when it came to the affairs of the heart.”

She recalled him saying: “A man can have an affair, and it means nothing. It doesn’t mean I’m falling in love with her. But women aren’t built like that.”

Linda Thompson said she was ‘deeply hurt’ by Elvis Presley’s philandering

Elvis Presley was regarded as one of the most desirable men in rock and roll. However, despite his need to be in a committed relationship, he also utilized his status for affairs.

Thompson wrote, “None of his words could make up for the fact that I was deeply hurt by his need to be with other women.” In a CNN interview with Larry King, Thompson explained Presley’s infidelities.

“I know he saw other girls. Not the first year. The first year we were together, I think he broke his world record for having been faithful,” Thompson shared.

“I know that he didn’t because we were together the first year, 365 days for that first year, 24 hours a day. And after that, you know, he couldn’t do much without it being public knowledge. And certainly, I was no dummy.

Thompson later said in an interview for The Doctors that she and Presley were “kindred spirits” in spite of these relationship hurdles.

Elvis Presley would always profess sorrow for his actions, said Linda Thompson

Elvis Presley and Linda Thompson photographed in March of 1976.
Elvis Presley and Linda Thompson photographed in March of 1976 | Tom Wargacki/WireImage

Linda Thompson Once Admitted She Probably ‘Extended’ Elvis Presley’s Life ‘By a Few Years’

Linda Thompson said Elvis Presley always professed sorrow for his actions. She told CNN that the couple had “arguments” about Presley’s philandering. However, Thompson tried to rationalize his actions in her mind.

“I tried to reconcile in my mind; this is Elvis Presley. I understand that he is secluded from the rest of the world, and it’s not all about sex,” she explained.

“It’s not all about being physically unfaithful to me. He wanted to be surrounded by other people who might bring different ideas into his life,” Thompson summarized.

However, Thompson said Presley would always apologize for his actions when he was caught. “Most of the time, he denied it. Then he apologized profusely.”

Thompson said Presley told her, “You’re the only person I love, and nobody ever compares to you. And every time I have an indiscretion, it just makes me realize how much more you mean to me. And I would always forgive him.”

Linda Thompson and Elvis Presley’s relationship lasted four years before they split in 1976. Just one year later, Presley died at his Graceland home on Aug. 16, 1977