'The greatest love of Elvis' life': Elvis Presley's ex Linda Thompson devastated by Lisa Marie's death
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: The death of Lisa Marie has left a lot of people devastated and Linda Thompson is certainly one of them. Thompson, who once had a relationship with Lisa's father, Elvis Presley, said she was “absolutely devastated and shocked” to hear about 54-year-old's death.
While speaking to People on January 13, the songwriter said, "I was so happy to see her at Graceland to celebrate what would have been Elvis’ 88th birthday, and then, of course, at the Golden Globes." She continued, "She seemed to be on a more positive trajectory emotionally after the unfathomable loss of her beloved son, Benjamin", while referring to Lisa Marie’s late son, Benjamin Keough, who died by suicide at the age of 27 in July 2020.
Who is Linda Thompson?
Linda Thompson is a songwriter, beauty pageant winner and former actress. Thompson started her acting career as a "Hee Haw Honey" on the American television variety show Hee Haw according to Wikipedia. Before marrying Olympic decathlon champion Caitlyn Jenner, and then music producer David Foster, Thompson was in a relationship with the "King of Rock and Roll", Elvis Presley. The duo dated for four years before getting separated around Christmas in 1976.
It is rumored that she wanted a normal life which was not possible with Presley's lifestyle. However, they broke up on good terms and remained good friends until Presley's death. The 72-year-old won a BMI Film & TV Award in 1994 for Most Performed Song from a Film - 'I Have Nothing'. She shared Special Recognition Awards in 1997 and 2004 with several others for work related to the Olympics, including lyrics for the official 1996 Olympic theme song, 'The Power of the Dream', sung by Celine Dion.
Relationship between Linda Thompson and Lisa Marie
Thompson stated that she and Lisa Marie had remained in contact since the King of Rock and Roll’s death. “Lisa and I kept in touch off and on for all these years — most recently by text,” she told the outlet. “In fact, the very last text to me was a simple ‘Love you, Linda’ with a heart emoji.” She recalled Lisa being “so much like her daddy,” who was 42 when he died in August 1977. “It was uncanny,” she explained. “[Lisa Marie] had his deep, soulful eyes, his pouty lip and his raucous, irreverent sense of humor. She was a beautiful contradiction like Elvis … complicated in her simplicity.” Thompson added, “She was brutally honest, straightforward, loving and loyal. I don’t think there was a phony cell in her body. I believe she lived her life authentically.”
What did Linda Thompson say about Lisa Marie?
Linda Thompson also recalled being the first person Lisa Marie called after Elvis Presley died when the 'Lights Out' singer was just nine years old. “I will always be profoundly grateful to the little 9-year-old Lisa Marie, who had the presence of mind to call me from Graceland the fateful day her daddy died to give me the news,” she said. “I was the first person she called. To me, that spoke volumes of how close we were, and how sure she was of my love for her daddy.” Thompson continued, “In fact, if there is any solace to be found now, it’s in my knowing that Lisa Marie was sure I loved her and her daddy without reservation and without any agenda.”
She also remembered the former couple’s time together. “When Lisa was a little girl, I played Santa Claus to her four times at Christmas, and I was the Easter bunny on Easter, hiding eggs around Graceland,” she said. Thompson noted that they shared other memories, like taking bubble baths together, Lisa Marie telling her “little girl secrets” and that “after she was grown, she wanted to introduce me to her loves.” “She, Michael Jackson and my family all spent time together in New York,” the songwriter said, referring to Lisa Marie’s second husband. “She brought Nicolas Cage to my house for me to meet him and get my opinion,” she added of Lisa Marie’s third husband.
From 1988 to 1994, Lisa was also married to Danny Keough with whom she welcomed daughter Riley and son Benjamin. Later she gave birth to twin daughters Finley and Harper, after marrying to Michael Lockwood from 2006 to 2021. “[Lisa Marie] came to several of my parties, and on one occasion, her daughter Riley insisted upon sleeping over at my house,” Thompson recounted. “She was about 9 years old then herself, so Lisa Marie let her have a sleepover. Those are all precious memories for me.”
Thompson went on to call Lisa Marie “the greatest love of Elvis’ life.” “I think most parents understand that unconditional love that can compare to no other. He was happiest and felt most complete when she was with us,” she shared. “The three of us would press our foreheads together, rocking back and forth. … We called that mugging. I could hear Elvis grind his teeth; the love was so intense.”