Elvis Presley Turned ‘Ghost White’ After He Almost Shot Linda Thompson

Linda Thompson has had a string of famous former husbands and lovers, and one of the most intriguing was Elvis Presley. They bonded over their shared Southern roots and love for Tennessee, and Thompson considers him one of her great loves.

While she has fond memories of her time with the late singer, there were a few moments that left her frightened, including one where he almost shot her.

Linda Thompson
Linda Thompson | Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Linda Thompson was swept off her feet by Elvis Presley

Shortly after meeting Presley in 1972, Thompson embarked on a relationship with him that last more than four years.

At the time, she was 22 and Presley was 37, and she remembered they fell for each other quickly. In her memoir, A Little Thing Called Life: On Loving Elvis Presley, Bruce Jenner, and Songs in Between, she said her life revolved around him and making him happy.

Thompson shared they declared their love for each other after about two weeks when he was doing shows in Las Vegas. Furthermore, Thompson wrote that the only other time felt a love like that in her life was when she gave birth to her sons. “But at this moment of my life’s journey, all of my love was reserved for Elvis,” she shared.

Presley lavished Thompson with expensive gifts and took her on the road with him, and they enjoyed their time at home in Graceland.

But she admitted that Presley that he had a sweet nature that could sometimes flip into a hot temper. And according to her, he could be very impulsive.

Presley almost shot Thompson

During one of the couple’s stays in Las Vegas, Thompson had a close call. She had stepped out the of the shower and was standing at the mirror wrapped in a towel when she was startled.

She wrote, “I felt a rush of air behind me, against my lower legs. There were a couple of loud pings, and the glass mirror on the bathroom door shattered with a dramatic cascade of broken glass.”

As someone banged on the door, calling out her name, Thompson stood there frozen, afraid to move or step on glass. One of Presley’s people told her that Elvis was having target practice and the bullet shot through the wall.

Thompson noticed it struck the toilet paper holder that she’d passed seconds before. The bullet whizzed by her, hit the mirror and bathroom door, and entered the next room. She realized if she was on the toilet, she would have been hit.

Thompson confronted a shocked Elvis Presley

Thompson wrote that she was scared and angry, and she found Presley lying on the sofa of their suite in shock. “He was ghost white and clearly shaken up, but trying to appear calm,” she said.

Thompson yelled at him, telling him he could’ve killed her. She described his face as “ashen” and noted his legs were restless.

Nervous, Presley apologized and said he didn’t know she was in the bathroom. “Oh my God, I’m so sorry,” Thompson recalled him saying repeatedly. He was just as shaken as she.


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They spent a while digesting what happened, and she warned him about fooling around with guns. It wasn’t her last scary moment with Presley, but it was the last time she had a brush with a bullet like that.