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In the years of Priscilla Presley’s relationship with Elvis Presley, she dealt with constant, well-placed concerns about his infidelity. When they first started dating, Elvis’ girlfriend, Anita Wood, had the same concerns. She was aware that Elvis had met someone in Germany, and that this girl was sending letters to her boyfriend. Elvis told her that she had nothing to worry about, though.

Elvis told Anita Wood that Priscilla Presley shouldn’t concern her

When Elvis left for Germany with the army, he was dating Wood. They continued their relationship when he returned to the United States, after he met and began pursuing Priscilla. Wood discovered this after finding a letter from Priscilla.

“In the letter there was something to the effect of — ‘You need to call my daddy and talk him into letting me come over. I want to come really bad,’” Wood recalled, per the book Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley by Peter Guralnick. 

A black and white picture of Priscilla Presley writing a letter while sitting next to a picture of Elvis.
Priscilla Presley | Bettmann/Contributor via Getty

At this point, Elvis and Priscilla had talked about her coming to visit him in the United States. He denied all of this to Wood, though.

“When Elvis came home from the studio, I confronted him with the letter, and we had a terrible argument,” she said. “He said, ‘She’s just a young fourteen-year-old child and she just has a bad crush on me. She wants to come over. We’re family friends, army buddies, her daddy’s a good friend of mine.’ He tried to smooth it over that way.”

Wood didn’t buy this, though. She felt unnerved by the letter, and rightfully so. Elvis maintained sporadic communication with Priscilla, and would welcome her to the U.S. in 1962.

“Well, I did not understand, because I had seen pictures of Priscilla waving ‘goodbye,’” Wood said. “She was waving ‘goodbye’ like I was waving ‘goodbye’ when he left Memphis. Elvis kept saying, ‘She’s just so young, it means nothing.’ But I was still perturbed.”

Elvis’ friends said Priscilla Presley had clearly caught his attention

According to Elvis’ friends, it was clear that Priscilla was more to Elvis than just a young fan. He began talking about wanting a new girlfriend, and then started sneaking Priscilla’s name into conversation with increasing frequency.

“We didn’t know what he meant, but after a while he kept on talking about this girl Priscilla he met in Germany after I left,” his bodyguard Red West recalled in the book Elvis, What Happened? by Steve Dunleavy. “When he told me she wasn’t yet fifteen, I nearly had a heart attack. He assured me that this girl was different, much different from the average Memphis girl, and I was prepared to disbelieve him.”

Anita Wood eventually broke up with the singer

Wood remained with Elvis until 1962, but she finally had enough. She was ready to get married, and knew Elvis was both unfaithful and unwilling to settle down.

A black and white picture of Elvis dancing with his girlfriend, Anita Wood. They stand in a crowd of people.
Anita Wood and Elvis Presley | Bettmann/Contributor via Getty

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“I was in my young twenties, and I was ready to get married and have a family, and then the fact that this little girl [had come] all the way over from Germany — I mean, I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “So I just made the decision.”

Vernon Presley, Elvis’ father, told Wood he hoped they would get back together in the future. She told him she didn’t see a chance of that happening.