Several years ago Grant was writing a book to be titled, Elvis and Priscilla and according to his version of the story Priscilla sought him out at the Eagle's Club and said, Hi, I understand you've been to Elvis' Presley house. You just have to take me to meet him. If Grant's story is true, another legend dies. Because it was not kismet, as Priscilla would like to portray for the entire world, but the result of a scheme set up by her.
Of all the girls in the world he could choose from Elvis fell in love with a pert, five foot three inch, grey-eyed 14-year-old American military brat he met in West Germany. Priscilla Anne Beaulieu was the stepdaughter of US Air Force Captain Joseph Beaulieu
& was introduced to Elvis by a young airman named Curie Grant. At the time she was wearing a blue and white sailor suit dress with white socks.
The young couple continued to see each other on carefully monitored
Germany. After Elvis returned to the US and was discharged he convinced Priscilla's mother and stepfather to allow he to fly to Memphis to spend Christmas holidays. Then with help from Dee and Elvis' grandmother Minnie Mae Hood Presley, Priscilla's parents were wheedled into allowing her to come to Memphis to finish high school. She was supposed to live with Dee and Vernon in a house behind Graceland.
I read the things they say about how Elvis and Priscilla met, but I was with Elvis in Germany. I introduced him to Priscilla myself. It was not the way they say in the magazines or how Priscilla herself describes it. Now it shouldn't matter after all these years, I've kept this secret all along because of my respect for Elvis. He was so nice to me. He even came to my home in Germany and met my mother.
Today, Grant lives in a North Hollywood apartment, his family Coat of Arms prominently displayed on the wall behind him. His wife a striking brunette does not appear distressed be her husband's account of the love affair he had enjoyed with Priscilla.
My duty was to look after the American kids at US Air Force Eagle Club. They had a talent contest called the Saturday Night Hit Parade for the Americans. I was one of the prize presenters that night when I spotted this girl, whom I later found out was named Priscilla. She used to watch me all the time. I didn't know her but couldn't help noticing her there night after night. Finally I met her at the snack bar where she was playing the jukebox. I was eating a hamburger and said, Hi! What are you playing?
She smiled at me and said, I'm trying to find some songs by Elvis Presley. I adore him. I was 19 at the time and Priscilla had just turned 14. I thought she was cute.
From then on we talked every time she came to the club and we even went to see a movie. We talked about Elvis a lot, because both of us were two of his great fans. I was stationed at the same base as Elvis and one day his father Vernon came to see our charity show. He came backstage and introduced himself and said he would like to have Elvis see the show but couldn't because they would probably want him to sing and the Colonel would not let Elvis perform while in the Army because they would not pay him to do so. Then to my surprise he invited the other guys and me to his house.
From then on Grant became one of the many Army buddies and cohorts who freely went in and out of Elvis' home. We ate pizza all the time. Grant recalls. Maybe three or four time a week.
It was while Grant was enjoying Elvis' company that he told Priscilla he got to meet their idol. At first I don't think she believed me. So, one day I asked if she'd like to meet Elvis. She said I would have to ask her father because he would never believe her. Her father wasn't too impressed with the idea because Elvis was only home at night and it was a long drive back to Wiesbaden, but he finally said it was okay if I got her home by midnight.
May 1 1967 a few hours before the ceremony, he is still in doubt.
Is it right to get married? Jesus never
got married. He doesn't know if he can live up to the
marriage vows. He promised his mum to be a good man for his wife
but she died so young (at 46 on August 14
1958). He would give everything just to hear her advice right now.
Deep in his heart Elvis knows, he can't let Priscilla wait any longer. He
promised it to her, her dad and the Colonel. He had known
Priscilla (May 24 1945)
since they met in 1958 and he really loved her, no doubt about that.
"I loved playing house. I personally
washed all his clothes, along with the towels and the sheets, and took
pride in ironing his shirts and rolling up the socks the way my mother had
taught me. Here was an opportunity to take care of him myself. No maids or
housekeepers to pamper us," recalls Priscilla
Priscilla on the three weeks of their
honeymoon when they stayed on Elvis' ranch. "I think she had a fantasy of a
normal home life with Elvis, one in which he went to work like other
husbands came home in the evening, helped her cook dinner, and then sat
around with her at night. … 'We never have any privacy! 'she told me
once. And it was true. Just as she couldn't believe Elvis would want to
take all of us and our wives down to the ranch, I found it odd that Elvis
often circumvented her plans to be alone with him by inviting an entire
herd of people to come along." Alan of the
Memphis Mafia, Elvis' clan of friends
The doctor opens his door. 'Mister Presley?' 'Yes, sir?'
Your wife is pregnant. You are having a baby, congratulations!'
Elvis embraces his dad. 'You're gonna be a grey grandpa!'
'This is the best thing that has ever happened to me, dad. We didn't plan
to get a baby this soon, you know. But when Priscilla told me I was so happy and stunned I couldn't move. This is what marriage is all about. I
wish mama was here. She would be absolutely thrilled.'
Elvis can't wait to tell the news on the set of Speedway. Proudly he presents everyone a big cigar.
December 1967. Elvis doesn't feel good.
His film schedule isn't as tight and the Presley family moves back to Memphis. Priscilla has been busy decorating the new house.
But Elvis needs time for himself, doesn't know what to do next. He is tired of his movie career and misses the contact with a live audience.
Fortunately the Colonel is negotiating about a Christmas special with NBC next year.
It will be his first appearance before a live audience in eight years.
"Life would basically interfere with
his emotions, sometimes on a daily basis. If his father upset him, or one
of the guys, sometimes he'd go upstairs and not come down for two or three
days. He had a very difficult time confronting his emotions, confronting
conflicts. But eventually he'd come out of it. … You went with the ride.
Basically you went with it. one thing that I realized was that he loved
the chase. And once the chase was over, I knew I didn't have to worry on
anything - whether it was a new game or a girl or somebody new coming into
the group. He would always come home. And once you realized about him, you
knew it was just a matter of time; it just depended on how long he wanted
to play the game, and whether you wanted to wait." Priscilla Presley
"He didn't want me looking at anyone
else, not even the guys that worked for him. I was not to go in a room if
one of them was there by himself, I was afraid to say anything to any of
them for fear he would hear me and reprimand me later: What was I doing
down there in the first place? What did you talk about? What were they
talking about? I was with HIM." Priscilla Presley
She can't say he didn't warn her before
Lisa Marie was born (February 1 1968). Why didn't she understand that he
can't have sex with her? He can't make love to a woman who had a baby.
It's God's way of telling a woman she's not a girl anymore. Becoming a mum
means behaving in a respectful way. Priscilla doesn't know how to deal
with this. She feels emotionally and physically neglected. Desperately she
starts an affair with her dance instructor. And Elvis is also fooling
around. Women enough for the King! But Elvis needs some time to focus on
the rehearsals for the NBC-Christmas-special. He is determined to make a
glorious comeback. Elvis hardly spends any time at home and he and his
wife live separate lives. For Priscilla everything falls into place. All
those years her whole life evolved around Elvis, his moods and those longs
nights with sleeping pills. She can't take anymore and has to think about
herself for once before it's too late and she loses herself.
August 16 1970. Elvis is on a high. His
shows in Las Vegas are a big success. One of his background singers is
leaving the entourage and the 25-year old
Kathy Westmoreland takes her
place. Elvis immediately falls Kathy, who still is a virgin.
They click. Elvis and Kathy talk night and day about spiritual issues and philosophize
about the meaning of life. Elvis tells her: 'it's important for me to
entertain people … make people happy, let them forget their problems for
a while. That's why I am here on earth for.' Elvis Presley. "I wanted to stop the affair because
I couldn't stand myself anymore. I couldn't find no valid excuse for
committing adultery, love or no love … Elvis was furious. 'Does this
mean I have to get someone else, train them just like I want them?', he
snarled. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. 'Am I some kind of puppy
that you housebreak, train to be a good pet?', I demanded. 'I am a woman,
a human being. … You will just have to find yourself another
Gladys." Kathy Westmoreland
"I suppose since I was an only child
we might have been a little closer than - I mean, everyone loves their
mother, but I was an only child, and Mother was right with me all my life.
And it wasn't only like losing a mother, it was like losing a friend, a
companion, someone to talk to, I could wake her up any hour of the night
if I was worried or troubled about something, well, she'd get up and try
to help me." Elvis Presley
"With me Elvis could become a little
boy again, escaping from the responsibilities of family, friends, fans,
the press, and the world. Here, with me, he could be vulnerable and
childlike, a playful boy who stayed in his pajamas for days at a time. …
During the lulls he wouldn't know what to do with himself. He was like a
child. He would take pills or read or just eat - because he was bored. You
know, he just had to occupy his time with something to do."
Priscilla Presley. In a last attempt to save his marriage,
Priscilla throws herself on karate. It's Elvis's favourite sport and
Priscilla hopes she can regain the attention of her husband. But Elvis is
losing grip. The excitement of the shows in Las Vegas has turned into a
boring routine. Elvis turns to gambling, buys guns and takes more pills
than ever. Priscilla can't reach him anymore and finds comfort at her
karate teacher Mike Stone.
In the meantime Elvis' affair with Kathy
Westmoreland is over. Kathy can't justify to herself interfering in a
marriage. But what really kills her, is Elvis' way of life. The constant
intake of pills makes a normal daily routine impossible. Priscilla comes
to the conclusion her future isn't with Elvis. She tells him she's
leaving. Elvis is furious and forces her to have sex. "That's how a
real man makes love to his woman", he tells her afterwards. On July
26 1972 it's made official that Priscilla has left Elvis.
"I felt that I just couldn't reach
him anymore. He had bought his own image, and you couldn't have a real
conversation with him; he would just discredit you and everything else. I
don't care what anybody says - I think that deep down he wanted to be a
family man. But he was serving too many masters, he was too dispersed - he
had all this energy, and he didn't know what to do with it. He'd go off on
one thing, and then there would be an interruption; he'd go off in another
direction and then he was conflicted again. Because he had everything at
his fingertips. It was the same with women. He wanted to have his cake and
eat it, too - just like every man, I guess!
It's the rejection that hurts Elvis the
most. But deep in his hearts he knows it. It's his fault that Priscilla
walked. He will never have a happy family life like he had with his mum
and dad. He couldn't life up to the promise he made his mum.
On October 9 1973 Elvis and Priscilla see
each other again for the first time in a long time in court. Priscilla is
shocked by Elvis' appearance. His face is swollen, he's fat and he has a
faraway look. As soon as the divorce is finalised Priscilla leaves with
her sister. Outside, she turns around for the last time and waves to
Elvis. Priscilla is relieved to see Elvis gives her a wink. Six days later The King is rushed into
hospital in comatose. He has trouble breathing. Elvis Presley dies on August 16 1977. He is 42.