Who’s Linda Thompson? The Woman Elvis, Bruce Jenner, And David Foster Loved
Linda Thompson once said, "I'm the kind of person who lives under the radar." As modest as that sounds, you can imagine it was tough trying to make that happen given her well-known dating history. Thompson walked red carpets often, called The King of Rock and Roll as well as The Best Athlete in the World her significant other, and that's only part of her story. After releasing a tell-all book about her life, new information surfaced that was only rumored before. Continue reading to find out what made Thompson so exceptional.
The Young Linda
Born to a low-income family in Memphis, Tennessee, Linda Thompson was raised with a Southern Baptist faith. The people around her noticed her beauty, and it wouldn't take long for high-profile celebrities to do the same.
She might've lived a simple life, but everyone couldn't help but see how stunning she was. She won homecoming queen in high school, but that would only be the beginning of all the crowns she would wear in her life...
Looks Paid For College
Thompson's looks were so sensational; she won Miss Liberty Bowl, Miss Tennessee, Miss Shelby County, and a few others that would end up helping her pay for schooling. After joining one beauty pageant, it all started to click.
Thompson would attend Memphis State University, where she double-majored in English and Drama. Growing up very modest, Thompson focused on her faith and traditional values. That wouldn't stop her from shining bright, though.
Hello There, Elvis
In 1972, Thompson not only won a few pageants, but it was also the year she met her first love. Due to living such a strict and faith-fueled life early on, Thompson didn't worry or have the time to fall in love in high school or college.
Her first lover was someone special. How many can say their early romantic interest was the King of anything? Elvis Presley and Thompson fell for each other, but Presley had deep feelings for someone else not long before meeting Thompson.
Seven Months Before Thompson...
While Thompson's first love was Elvis, the musician had loved someone else before her. He met Priscilla Presley when he was 24 and she was only 14, thus making their relationship highly unique.
The two practically had a love at first sight type of romance between them. One year after meeting, she would move to Graceland. Soon after, the two would have a baby girl together named Lisa Marie, and it all seemed like things were great.
Priscilla Knew Something Thompson Didn't...
It didn't take long for Priscilla to learn the dark side of fame after she began living with Elvis. He was always exhausted throughout the relationship because his career was his life.
The busy schedule and lack of sleep led him to start abusing substances. The King's way of living grew into something Priscilla couldn't handle, and she filed for a divorce. Thompson would understand Priscilla's despair, but not before falling in love herself.
Falling For A Sweet Southern Girl
It was no secret that Elvis was a lady's man. He had the reputation that a faith-driven girl had no business getting involved with romantically. Still, since Elvis was such a mega-star, it was hard for Linda Thompson to pass him up.
The whole situation enticed Thompson, and she became smitten. After all, he was The King of Rock and Roll, so who wouldn't at least give it a try? He had his eyes set on her, and it was only a matter of time until he made his move.
Thompson Gets An Invite
Thompson was only 22 when she met Elvis. One day, Elvis rented out a movie theater for a few of his friends to enjoy. After he heard Miss Tennessee was in town, he promptly sent her an invite.
They would end up sitting next to each other, and Elvis instantly knew he would have another shot at love. Would the romance last forever? In the moment, that was the last thing either of the two were thinking of.
They Didn't Watch The Movie
When you're clicking with someone new, it can be hard paying attention to the movie screen. Thompson and Elvis hardly knew one another, but the chemistry was there, and they kissed throughout the entire double-feature.
Shocked, Thompson couldn't believe what transpired. It felt surreal to her. It must have felt like she was in the movie herself. Nothing could've prepared Thompson for how that night unraveled, but it's safe to say not a soul would've been ready for that.
He Should've Married A Southern Girl
Elvis kept it classy when it came to making a move on women. Thompson revealed in an interview that Elvis pulled the classic "yawn and stretch" before putting his arm around her.
She assumed he was still committed to Priscilla, but at one point, he told her, "you know I'm not married anymore." Thompson responded with, "I didn't know that, and I'm sorry it didn't work out, but you should have married a southern girl." She gave Elvis her number at the end of the night, not expecting him to call her back.
Together In Graceland
Not long after arriving home from the movies, Thompson received a phone call. Her aunt answered and heard Elvis speaking, asking to talk to Thompson. He said it was an urgent call.
Elvis then told Thompson, "I just want you to know how happy I am that I met you. Can you come over tomorrow to Graceland and meet my father?" She didn't hesitate to accept this invitation. Once there, she met a few others as well. The pageant winner described that day as a dream.
It's Time For Vegas
Thompson would then go to Alabama for vacation, but she failed to leave Elvis a number to contact her. She only told him she'd be back and hoped to see him once again.
Upon her arrival, she got a call from Elvis, and he had a request. "You don't just disappear from my life, who do you think I am? I'm going to Vegas tonight, and I want you to come with me," he told Linda. He told her not to worry about luggage, just to bring a toothbrush.
Putting Her Life On Hold
This was when Elvis took priority in Thompson's life. She halted everything to be with The King. She had plans of modeling in New York, but her goals weren't on her mind with Elvis around.
He loved her so much and enjoyed showing her off. Elvis made the relationship public almost immediately. She followed him around everywhere and was madly in love with him. Over the next four years, they were a hot item, but would they ever marry?
Meet The Parents
Elvis was a generous man, especially with his loved ones. Thompson told Larry King in an interview: "Living with Elvis was like living with Santa Clause," because he would purchase her gifts all the time.
His generosity went beyond only material things. He would spend his precious time with good friends and those he had love for too. Elvis adored Thompson soo much and helped her in many ways. It was a match made in heaven.
They Were Always Together
Thompson stopped everything to be with Elvis, so she went with him everywhere. It could've been karate practice, tour, or rehearsal, and she was there. Thompson said that the first year of being together was a loyal one.
Sadly, rumors began spreading that he wasn't that faithful to Thompson. She attempted to block out all the negative noise and even forgave him after her own suspicions arose, but the pressure began to mount between the two.
Why They Didn't Get Married
At the start, Thompson felt she wanted to get married, but Elvis wasn't on the same page. As the years passed by, her desire to tie the knot faded away.
Starting her day at nine at night and ending it around two in the afternoon the next day wasn't her cup of tea. She imagined living a regular life. Thompson began to notice what Priscilla experienced, and it wasn't pretty. When Elvis finally got around to considering marriage, Thompson crossed that option off the list.
Helping Her Call It Off
The time came for the couple to call it off. They both felt the love failing, but neither wanted to do anything about it. The turning point was after Elvis flew in a different girl and asked if Thompson wanted to go home for a while.
She agreed and wrote him a letter detailing why she had to end things with him. She might've loved him, but she knew if she continued, it wouldn't be beneficial for herself.
Elvis Shares Thoughts On Thompson's Future Husband
Before the end of their relationship, Elvis and Thompson enjoyed the Olympics together. They saw Bruce Jenner cross the finish line, winning the gold medal in the decathlon. Who knew that would be such a critical moment?
In Thompson's book, she wrote, "Elvis remarked, "Damn if that guy is not handsome! I'm not gay, but [expletive], he's good-looking!" Soon after splitting with The King, the beautiful Thompson would go on to date and marry Jenner.
Bruce Jenner Arrives
When describing how it was when Thompson met Bruce Jenner, she says, "He was the classic jock." Jenner would always wear athletic attire and flip-flops. Many athletes do this, and he was no different.
Thompson became attracted to the athlete, saying that she loved his masculinity. She had no clue that underneath this tough exterior was an interior struggle with gender dysphoria. Things would quickly become interesting, as Thompson found herself in another whirlwind romance.
Meeting At The Playboy Mansion
Much like with Elvis, Thompson and Jenner hit it off quickly. They met in 1979 at a celebrity tennis tournament held at the Playboy Mansion. Jenner lived there for a while after breaking up with his first wife, Chrystie.
Linda received an invite to the awards ceremony where she would hand out trophies. Sure enough, Jenner ended up winning the tournament, and Thompson fell for the athlete, and he fell in love with her just as fast.
Jenner Didn't Want Miss Out On Thompson
After the two met, Jenner and Thompson spent the whole time talking. Jenner didn't want to leave her alone. He even stayed in his tennis clothes to ensure she wouldn't leave his sights.
After telling her he didn't want others to have a chance, Jenner asked Thompson out to dinner, and she agreed. This turned into an exciting, new phase for Thompson after sticking around Elvis for all those years.
Back To Red Carpets
Once again, Thompson found herself on red carpets, but with Jenner this time. The limelight didn't want to leave Thompson alone, the difference now was she was a mother and a wife.
Finally, Thompson felt a sense of fulfillment. Today, she says it was "too good to be true." Hindsight would make her correct, but she had no way of seeing how things would play out with all the twists and turns.
Elvis Was There In Spirit
These two didn't waste any time and decided to tie the knot. It turned out to be a classic story of the jock marrying the homecoming queen. The wedding took place in Hawaii, where Thompson always wanted it to be.
As she walked down the aisle, she chose to do it to an Elvis song. Jenner didn't mind as it was Thompson's favorite song, so he understood that the decision didn't mean anything. The happy couple would go on to have two sons, Brandon and Brody.
Brody And Bruce Jenner
Before their marriage, Jenner already had two kids. Thompson says she loves his children as her own and still keeps close with them today. Jenner and Thompson's sons grew up to be incredibly handsome men.
Now, Brody spends his time in Hollywood, while Brandon makes music. You might've caught Brody on the reality TV show, Laguna Beach and The Hills. Both of the sons inherited their parent's good looks and amazing personalities, which is beyond a blessing.
Thompson Learns The Truth
It took some time, but Jenner would eventually spill the beans. Seven months after the birth of their second child, Jenner told Thompson he had something to share. Still remembering the ways of Elvis, she thought he had an affair.
She braced herself for news like that but had no idea what to expect. That's when Jenner told her, "Its time you know the truth about me." The fantastic athlete revealed he identified as a woman and living as a male was miserable.
How Do You React To This News?
Not everyone receives news like this from their spouse. It's rare, so Thompson had shock written all over her face. She said after a few moments, her heart began aching for him.
The one she loved was in pain, and together they went to a gender dysphoria specialist. They found out Jenner's struggles would never go away. Thompson had to figure out if she would remain with him in his hardest days.
Jenner Kept It A Secret
Even though it was shocking news, Thompson was happy that Jenner didn't tell her until after having their sons. Thompson gets asked often if she wishes she knew about it before committing so many years of her life to him, but Thompson says she's thankful she was unaware for so long.
Thompson would've remained friends with him, but wouldn't have married Jenner because she wanted to marry a male. If Jenner would've told earlier on, they would've never had kids.
Seeing Caitlyn For The First Time
Once Jenner told Thompson the truth, the two separated. One evening, he called Thompson and said, "It's time you come to see your husband." Her thoughts raced as she began to play with the idea of Jenner having a change of heart.
Upon arrival, it wasn't Bruce who answered the door, but Caitlyn. He had become a she. Thompson told Larry King she fell to the floor due to all the shock. It was this moment that helped Thompson move on from the situation.
Bruce Would Begin Hormone Therapy Before Meeting Kris
After finally ending things with Thompson, Jenner thought it was time to begin his transformation process. He started this by doing hormone therapy and having plastic surgery done to look more feminine.
Thompson decided to keep the secret from their boys. She planned to wait until the process became more evident before telling, but out of nowhere, Jenner put the whole thing on pause. He wanted to give being a male one last shot after meeting Kris Kardashian. Jenner fell in love with her. The two ended up having Kendall and Kylie Jenner, but he still didn't feel right.
On To David Foster
Not long after Jenner, Thompson met David Foster, the music producer. The two would bond over music and spend time in the studio together. They ended up getting married in 1991, and Thompson felt this time things would be better.
Well, she was wrong. The two ended up having different views with marriage, as Foster worked long hours so he could provide for both of them. Thompson wanted to work still and do things she was talented in as well. Thompson decided things were about to go down a similar path, so she ended the marriage in 2005.
Focusing On Her Career
Thompson is single, but that doesn't mean she isn't looking. She hopes to find someone low-key and not in the entertainment industry. She hasn't been in a relationship since 2005, so that gave her time to write her tell-all book, Little Thing Called Life: From Elvis's Graceland to Bruce Jenner's Caitlyn & Songs in Between.
These days, Thompson enjoys tennis, the beach, hiking, and, most importantly, her blended family. She's happier than ever before doing things solo.
Elvis met Priscilla Beaulieu at a party at his house while he was stationed in Germany during his army service.
Priscilla was only 14-years-old at the time but apparently, she looked much older. Priscilla's step-father was a US Navy Pilot at the time and he banned her from seeing Elvis because she would always miss curfew when she was with him. Elvis was able to charm Mr. Beaulieu and he promised he would never bring Priscilla home late again.
Priscilla's First Trip
When Elvis left Germany, he and Priscilla stayed in touch over the phone. After a lot of negotiating and pleading, Priscilla's parents agreed to let her visit Elvis in LA if she complied with a number of conditions and if Elvis paid for her first class flight.
Elvis planned to take Priscilla to Las Vegas even though it was against her parents’ wishes. At this point, Priscilla was taking pills to keep up with Elvis.
Priscilla Was Still A Minor When They Got Married
Even though it was Elvis who asked Priscilla to marry him in 1966, many people have said that he did so because he was pushed into it. Priscilla was a minor when she and Elvis first got together.
Apparently, Priscilla threatened to go to the media or press charges against Elvis if he didn't agree to marry her. Elvis had no choice but to marry Priscilla. There was even the possibility that Elvis could have gone to prison for having a relationship with a girl much younger than himself.
The First Night
Elvis was known to like 'pure' girls and when he and Priscilla met, she was indeed a ‘pure’ girl. According to the couple, they first spent the night together on their wedding night, and Lisa Marie was born exactly nine months later.
Whether or not Elvis and Priscilla actually waited for marriage is very much unknown, but we do know that Elvis didn’t wait very long after the marriage to start having affairs with other women. So much for ‘pure’ girls.
There Were Multiple Affairs
Elvis wasn't just a singer, he was a bona fide heartthrob. Almost every woman wanted to be with him. Even though he was married to Priscilla, Elvis had many love affairs with other women. He felt like he needed constant female attention.
When asked about the affairs, Elvis claimed that he and Priscilla had an open marriage. The other women just took him at his word, but his word wasn’t super reliable because he was on a lot of pills at the time.
Elvis And Ann-Margaret
One of Elvis' most famous affairs was with the actress Ann-Margaret. Elvis and Ann-Margaret met on the set of Viva Las Vegas in 1964. Apparently, their instant chemistry was undeniable. They had a brief affair and when Ann called Graceland, her code name was "Thumper."
When Priscilla found out about the affair and confronted Elvis about it, he denied it and said he was just spending time with Ann for publicity.
Priscilla Is Not So Innocent
When most people think about Elvis and Priscilla's marriage, they think of Elvis as the cheater, but Priscilla wasn’t so innocent herself.
Elvis lost interest in Priscilla after she gave birth to their daughter, so Priscilla decided to have affairs with other men. Apparently, she slept with her dance instructor named Mark and had another affair with her karate teacher, Mike Stone. When Elvis found out about Priscilla’s affairs, he told her he would pay more attention to her.
Elvis and Priscilla really didn't get along after Lisa Marie was born. They were living in different cities and having relationships with different people.
In 1973, Elvis filed for divorce and became very jealous of the other men in Priscilla’s life. After the divorce was finalized, Elvis and Priscilla agreed to share custody of Lisa Marie. Even though they got divorced, Elvis and Priscilla remained friends. They left the courthouse hand in hand.
Priscilla Lost Herself
Priscilla felt like she lost her identity when she was thrust into the limelight as a very young woman. Everything about who she was was wrapped up in being Elvis Presley's wife.
Priscilla said, "I was kind of lost really in who I was earlier in my life, I really didn’t have teenage years, I learnt so much about him and was with him so much that I thought the way he did, I knew what he liked…I knew his thoughts, I knew everything as far as you could possibly do when you live together at such a young age."
The King Was A Twin
Elvis may seem like one-of-a-kind but actually, if things had unfolded slightly differently, we could have had two Presley brothers. Elvis actually shared his mother's womb with an identical twin.
His brother was named Jesse Garon Presley and was born 35 minutes before Elvis but was tragically stillborn. Imagine what it would have been like if Elvis’ brother had survived. Maybe they would have been in a musical act together, but there can only be one King.
Elvis Was A Germaphobe
In 2015, Priscilla told the public that Elvis had a serious issue with germs. His issues with cleanliness bordered on OCD. Elvis wouldn't use anyone else’s silverware. Priscilla said, "He never liked to go to people’s homes to eat because [he] didn’t like eating with other people’s silverware, so he would take his own silverware."
Also, whenever he drank out of a cup, he would put his lips near the handle because most people don’t put their lips there.
He's Always Looked Different
Elvis' signature look has been causing him to stand out from the crowd since he was a teenager. In high school, he looked much more mature than the rest of his classmates.
He grew sideburns and styled his hair with rose oil and Vaseline. This hairstyle would later become distinctly "Elvis." Elvis didn’t spend time playing sports or going to parties like the other kids in his class. He spent all of his time listening to blues and immersing himself in music.
Elvis Was A Gun Enthusiast
Elvis was from the South and he fully embraced the South's enthusiasm for guns. He was an avid collector of guns and he liked to carry guns with him at all times.
It’s reported that Elvis owned about 37 different kinds of guns. After Elvis died, one of his guns was auctioned off for $28,000. Elvis spent some time in the U.S. Army, and although he wasn’t thrilled about being drafted, he was excited about the guns in the army.
Elvis' Father Went To Jail
The public didn't know about Elvis’ father being locked up until after Elvis died. Elvis’ manager wanted to protect his public image, so he told Elvis not to talk about his father’s sordid past.
In 1976, Vernon Presley was imprisoned in Mississippi State Penitentiary for forging a check. Vernon was given the check for selling a hog. He wasn’t impressed with the selling price, so he added some more zeros.
Elvis Never Wanted To See Her Getting Ready
It later became clear that Elvis had many ideals when it came to the women he was interested in. In an interview with Country Living, Priscilla later revealed that Elvis always wanted to have a mystique about himself, and he wanted his wife to be that way, too.
"He never wanted to see me getting dressed. He wanted to see the result of getting dressed," she said. “I left because… I needed to find out what the world was like. I didn't really know who I was.”
Elvis' New Girl
Just five months after Elvis and Priscilla separated, Elvis started a relationship with Memphis beauty queen, Linda Thompson.
Elvis and Linda were together for four years. During that time, Linda revealed that she was shocked by how many substances Elvis was ingesting. Linda said that their relationship was "special," but that she knew that Elvis was never faithful to her. The pair split up just nine months before Elvis died.
Lisa Marie Got The Estate
Elvis' daughter Lisa Marie Presley was just 9-years-old when her father died. Even though she was only 9, she became the joint heir to her father’s large estate. She shared the estate with Elvis’s father and grandmother Vernon Presley and Minnie Mae Presley.
After Vernon and Minnie May died in 1980, Lisa Marie became the sole heir of Graceland, Elvis’ multimillion-dollar home. At this point, Lisa Marie has sold 75% of the estate.
Elvis' Weight Gain
As Elvis got older, he began to gain weight and lose his figure that he was known for. Apparently, Elvis' weight gain got out of control after a mild concussion intensified his depression.
Elvis was suffering from headaches and insomnia and his behavior became erratic. Elvis turned to pills to relieve the pain, which caused him to gain weight. These pills may have also contributed to Elvis’ untimely death.
Elvis' Secret Surgery
Elvis' partner Linda Thompson later revealed that Elvis had a secret facelift when he was 40 years old. Elvis was going through a midlife crisis and he thought he needed surgery to help him with his body image issues.
Thompson also revealed that Elvis was especially self-conscious about his "skinny little chicken neck" and that’s why he wore those trademark high collars. This was apparently the only cosmetic procedure that Elvis ever had.
Plenty Of Pills
People always assumed that Elvis was into drugs, which went along with the rock and roll lifestyle. Also, Elvis' addiction issues were public knowledge. People didn’t know the extent of his addiction though.
Elvis’s doctors had prescribed the star thousands of doses of pills around the time of his death. Linda Thompson said that Elvis would get the pills whenever he could. She spoke about a trip to the dentist during which "Elvis opened the cabinet and took out gigantic jars of pills. He began taking handfuls of pills and stuffing them into random pockets."
Elvis' Extreme Diet
After Elvis gained a bunch of weight, the public turned on him and started publically shaming the King. Elvis decided that he needed to go to extreme lengths to get back down to his previous weight.
These extreme lengths involved self-imposed sedation. Elvis would sleep for most of the day and only get up to go to the bathroom. He also started taking more pills. Everyone around him was worried about his health.
Lisa Marie And Michael Jackson
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie married pop legend Michael Jackson just 20 days after she divorced her first husband. They decided to get married in 1994 after Lisa Marie supported Michael during his child harassment trial.
Lisa Marie said, "I believed he didn’t do anything wrong, and that he was wrongly accused and, yes, I started falling for him. I wanted to save him. I felt that I could do it."
Plotting Against Priscilla's Lover
In 1973, during one of Elvis' shows, four men climbed on stage and tried to attack Elvis. Elvis was convinced that the men were sent by Priscilla’s lover, Mike Stone.
After this incident, Elvis became obsessed with getting revenge on Stone. At one point he said, "There’s too much pain in me … Stone [must] die." Some of Presley’s close friends actually offered to get a hitman to kill Stone, but Elvis declined the offer.
The Accidental Pregnancy
In 1971, Elvis had an affair with Capitol Hill staffer Joyce Bova. Joyce had an identical twin and she and Elvis were able to bond over that fact. Elvis spoke to her about his own twin brother who had died at birth.
Elvis and Joyce had a very close relationship, and Elvis offered to leave Priscilla to be with Joyce. At one point, Joyce got pregnant with Elvis' baby. She had an abortion and never told Elvis about the pregnancy.
After The Divorce
Elvis took the divorce from Priscilla pretty hard. His health started to decline after the official split and he started abusing substances more and more. He actually overdosed twice the year after the divorce. One overdose left him in a coma for three days.
Elvis was taking plenty of substances to cope with the loss of his marriage, even though it wasn't a faithful marriage. He really missed Priscilla and the public pressure got intense.