Elvis Presley family feud with girlfriend Ginger after King’s death ‘Treated us like dogs’
Elvis Presley: Ginger Alden says there are a lot of ‘untruths’
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Ginger was the last person to see Elvis before he died and the one who discovered his body on August 16, 1977. She said they had discussed wedding plans just hours earlier. The King’s father confirmed that his normally commitment-shy son had been bursting with wedding plans and hopes for more children in his final months. So why did Vernon then ban Ginger from Graceland and make sure she was stopped outside the gates on the main street whenever she tried to visit the house or see the star’s grave?
In an in-depth interview in 1978, Vernon talked about his last conversations with his famous son.
He said: “I never got to know Ginger Alden well. She’s not much of a talker, but a while back Elvis told me he’d fallen in love with her. ‘This is the love I’ve been searching for,’ he said. ‘I want more children, a son. And I want Ginger to be my children’s mother.’
“After that, Ginger and Elvis came over to show me her engagement ring. That was one of the few times I’d ever seen her smiling.”
If Ginger was so special, why was she treated so harshly after The King’s death?
It didn’t help that soon after Elvis died, Ginger’s mother sued his estate, claiming he had promised to pay her mortgage and encouraged her to start expensive renovations which he would pay for.
Ginger also signed on to star in a film, Living Legend: The King of Rock & Roll, which was blatantly based on the drug-fuelled decline of Elvis’ final years.
However, the star’s uncle, Vester Presley said that the problems with Ginger dated back long before he died.
Vester was Vernon’s older brother and the gate guard at Graceland.
He said: “Ginger was only one of the girls Elvis was dating. He would have been a fool to marry a girl like that with all his money.
“She tried to take over the role of mistress of Graceland but there’s good and bad ways to go about it. You can’t go pushing the family around. You can’t treat them like they’re dogs.”
Vester added: “She was snooty and unbearable. She had it in her mind to take over the house. I guess she thought she was better than us. She thought she was somebody. She bossed the servants all the time.
“She had her clothes moved in and got to bringing her family in and causing Elvis to buy stuff for her. She used her influence with Elvis to get him to buy her family presents.
“Ginger wanted to come in her and take over. You don’t do that kind of thing unless you’re really married. She wandered around in places she didn’t belong.”
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It was clear that the Memphis Mafia and Presley family never warmed to Ginger like they had to Elvis’ previous long relationship with Linda Thompson.
Vernon’s comment that he rarely saw her smile is telling – Ginger never tried to forge bonds with her fiancee’s inner circle. But then she was only 19 when she met him and even Priscilla, after all her years at Graceland, later commented how difficult it was to get Elvis away from his gang.
Vester’s comments about gifts and family favours are a little unfair – Elvis lavished money, jewellery, cars and more on everyone from family and friends to the girls he was dating.
However, apart from Vernon, nobody close to Elvis took his relationship and even engagement with Ginger seriously.
Elvis’ cousin Billy Smith grew up around Graceland and was an inner member of the Memphis Mafia. He has more cynical view of The King’s relationships.
Earlier this year, he said on the Memphis Mafia Kid Youtube channel: “Elvis loved the women that he was with…but his career came first and that’s just how Elvis was… He really didn’t want to be married
“Elvis was somewhat fickle, it didn’t mean he did not love Ginger or Priscilla. He loved them… (But) he told me ‘I’ll probably never get married again.’
Billy’s son Danny pointed out: “He may have told them differently.”
Billy replied: “When they were alone I’m sure. He wanted to keep them with him. He could have been telling me one thing and telling them another.”
What everyone who knew Elvis agrees on is that the star would say whatever worked to charm potential partners and hated difficult conversations when things were over – leaving that to his father.
Whether he would have stayed with Ginger or eventually asked Vernon to cut her loose we will never know, but the former beauty queen’s fall from grace was swift.
Vester added: “Ginger Alden is dead now as far as the family is concerned. We don’t even recognise her as a human being. She couldn’t get in here on her own to save her life. She’s barred from inside the house… We’re not interested in her.”
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