Elvis Presley ‘hoped for forgiveness’ in sombre final words to stepbrother | Music | Entertainment

When Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977, it was a shock to everyone. His fiancée Ginger Alden later described how the star had been filled with exciting plans for his personal and professional lives. As people around the world mourned the devastating death of the King of Rock and Roll, tens of thousands of weeping fans gathered outside the public funeral held at his home, Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee. Elvis’ stepbrother has now opened up about the King’s final words to him just two days prior, and how he was feeling remorseful about his actions in life with big ideas about how to change it all.

Billy Stanley recently revealed how he last saw Elvis at Graceland on August 14 – just two days before he was found dead of a heart attack in his bathroom. The King was showing his stepbrother his brand new karate knives for the first time.

While they were playfully sparring with one another, Stanley admitted he threw an unexpected punch, causing karate expert Elvis to react and counterattack. Stanley confirmed he was hurt by Elvis, but wasn’t bothered by it – it was his mistake after all.

He said: “[Elvis] saw that he hit me, so he immediately dropped the knives, grabbed my finger and walked me to the bathroom. We were standing by the sink, facing this huge mirror. Here was Elvis, making a big deal out of this, like he was going to have to do surgery or something. Meanwhile, I’m just standing there in amazement, smiling at him.”

Everything was soon forgiven between the family members, but Elvis quickly turned the mood around.

Elvis suddenly turned to his stepbrother and asked him something powerful: “Do you believe God forgives us for all our sins?”

Stanley recalled feeling “stunned” by the question. Elvis had obviously been thinking about his mortality in recent months, and it’s no surprise considering he had let his alcohol and prescription drug addictions get the better of him. These vices, on top of his declining diet, were ultimately factors in why the King died aged 42 just two days later.

Stanley consoled his stepbrother: “Well, yeah, I mean, we’ve talked about this for almost 17 years, Elvis.”

Elvis solemnly replied: “I just wanted to hear you say that, Billy.”

READ MORE: ‘Elvis fought for my song’ and made emotional change to the lyrics

Stanley revealed that Elvis discussed “firing his longtime manager Colonel Tom Parker“. Again, this isn’t a surprise considering it was later revealed that Parker had been stealing millions from the singer for decades.

Elvis also opened up to Stanley about his love life.  Stanley recalled that Elvis had “assured” him he would “find love again”. He noted that he had been in love “twice before” but would not give any names. Surely he was talking about his fiancee?

Asked who he meant, with a wry smile The King added: “You couldn’t even guess, Billy.”

In recent years, Elvis had split up with his wife, Priscilla Presley, and had gone through a string of lovers. He spent a lot of time with actress and singer Linda Thompson after meeting her in 1972, but their relationship crumbled at Christmas 1976. 

Just a few months later, Elvis met Ginger Alden and fell head-over-heels for the young model. Within a few months, they were secretly engaged. Ultimately, Ginger was the person who found Elvis dead in his Graceland bathroom on August 16, 1977. 

Ginger wrote in her memoir: “Just after 2pm, I awoke and walked into Elvis’s bedroom in search of him. The bathroom door was cracked open a little. I knocked on the door and said: ‘Elvis?’ There was no answer. Slowly opening the door, I peered in and saw Elvis on the floor. I stood paralysed. Elvis looked as if his entire body had completely frozen in a seated position then fallen forward.”


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