Elvis Presley’s Ex-Girlfriend Said He Was ‘Egocentric’ and ‘Gracious’

Even decades after his death, stories still continue to circulate about the life of Elvis Presley. Joyce Bova, Presley’s ex-girlfriend, once tied up some loose ends on a story that even Priscilla Presley couldn’t account for in her autobiography. Bova recounted her secret affair with the singer.

Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley | GAB Archive/Redferns

Elvis Presley rose to fame as The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll

Presley rose to fame in the ’50s with his first No. 1 hit, “Heartbreak Hotel.” And he increased the popularity of rock ’n’ roll along with it. However, Presley’s entertainment career was mostly put on pause in 1958 when he was drafted into the U.S. Army. But in the 1960s he returned both to making music and films. 

Presley’s career was quite a prolific one. “A major musical force, Presley had 18 No. 1 singles, including ‘Don’t Be Cruel,’ ‘Good Luck Charm’ and ‘Suspicious Minds,’ as well as countless gold and platinum albums,” according to Biography. “He was one of the first performers inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1986).”

Joyce Bova’s relationship with Elvis Presley

Bova said she met Presley in 1969 when she was a Capitol Hill staffer. Their relationship lasted only a few years at a time when Presley was married. In an interview with Elvis Information Network, Bova opened up about her time with Presley and why she felt she had to walk away. 

She said she was most attracted to his blue eyes and “the fact that he seemed embarrassed” about being so handsome. But despite their connection, Bova said there were also a lot of heated arguments and “drastic mood swings.” Still, Bova said she loved him deeply. “As much as I loved him, I needed a life too,” she said. “He was all consuming.”


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Joyce Bova recounted how Elvis was ‘egocentric’ and ‘gracious’ 

According to The Baltimore Sun, Bova claimed to have known Presley unlike anyone else. “He was egocentric — he never shunned a person who came up to him, never,” she said. “He was gracious like a big kid.”

However, the fact that Presley enjoyed attention didn’t work for Bova. “He wanted me at his beck and call,” she said. “But it was important for me to be my own person, and it baffled him how he could not control me.”

Bova said Presley once came to Washington, D.C.,  in 1970 and unexpectedly showed up at the White House, meeting with President Richard Nixon. 

“Even Priscilla Presley’s autobiography cannot account for her husband’s abrupt visit to Washington in December 1970,” The Baltimore Sun reports. “Elvis didn’t hop a commercial jetliner without his bodyguards just to show up unannounced at the White House. The King was in the capital, says Joyce Bova, to woo her back into their secret romance.”

However, the two ultimately went their separate ways.