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Ginger Alden has revealed how E. Presley met his tragic end

RouTe (17 August 2017, 9:08)
Elvis Presley's fiancee tells of chilling moment she found star slumped on the bathroom floor 40 years ago
Ginger Alden has revealed how her fiance met his tragic end in heartbreaking extract from her memoir

Ginger Alden has revealed how her fiance Elvis Presley met his tragic end
Elvis Presley's fiancee Ginger Alden has told in her own words the moment she found the King dead (Image: 2002 Credit:Topham Picturepoint)

He was the King of Rock ’n’ Roll, cherished the world over. But 40 years ago this week the reign of Elvis Aaron Presley came to a sudden end. The singer, who had sold more than 60 million albums, had suffered a fatal heart attack , aged just 42.

In the months before his death, the Jailhouse Rock legend and dad to Lisa Marie, then nine, had been struggling with a raft of health problems. His love of junk food caused his weight to hit 25 stone, and prescription drugs left him lethargic.

But few could ever imagine it would all end in tragedy in August 1977. As the world mourned, one person was closer to him than anyone in those final days – his last love, fiancee Ginger Alden.

Ginger Alden has revealed how her fiance Elvis Presley met his tragic end
Elvis died of a heart attack aged just 42 at his Graceland home (Image: Getty)

Ginger Alden has revealed how her fiance Elvis Presley met his tragic end
Ginger said her world crumbled when she found Elvis collapsed on the bathroom floor (Image: Getty)

They had fallen for each other after Ginger’s sister Terry won Miss Tennessee and was invited to Elvis’s Graceland mansion in Memphis with her family. Ten months later it was Ginger, aged 21 and looking forward to becoming the second Mrs Presley, who opened that bathroom door and found the world’s most famous man collapsed in front of her.

Now, in an extract from her personal memoirs, Ginger, 60, reveals The King’s chilling final moments…

"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.

ELVIS PRESLEY'S OLD HOME IS LEFT CHARRED FROM FIRE



His legs were bent, the upper part of his chest and shoulders touched the ground, and his head was slightly turned to the left with his cheek resting on the floor.

His arms lay on the ground, close to his sides, palms facing upward. It was clear that, from the moment he landed on the floor, Elvis hadn’t moved. I rushed over, bent down beside him and said, “Elvis?”

A horrible fear shot through me. His pyjama top had slid forward a little. I touched his lower back. His skin felt cool.

I gently turned his face toward me. A hint of air expelled from his nose. The tip of his tongue was clenched between his teeth and his face was blotchy.

I gently raised one eyelid. His eye was staring straight ahead and blood-red. Frantic now, I reached for the phone by the toilet and called downstairs. His dad Vernon arrived, accompanied by his partner Sandy and Elvis’s cousin Patsy. “Oh God, son, don’t die,” he pleaded.

He looked as if he might collapse.

He sat down and shouted “breathe” with the rest of us as Sandy tried giving Elvis mouth-to-mouth. Looking over my shoulder, I saw a couple of paramedics arrive and quickly moved out of their way.

Ginger Alden has revealed how her fiance Elvis Presley met his tragic end
Ginger met Elvis just ten months earlier (Image: Getty)

Ginger Alden has revealed how her fiance Elvis Presley met his tragic end
She would have been Elvis' second wife (Image: Getty)

They began CPR as Lisa suddenly appeared in the bedroom doorway. “What’s wrong with my daddy?” she asked. I didn’t want her to see her father like this. “Nothing, Lisa,” I said, turning her away.

As I watched the paramedics carry Elvis downstairs and out the front door, the reality of what was happening suddenly hit me. I began to cry as the amb­ulance sped away. I suddenly felt very alone.

It was shortly after 4pm when I turned from the window in the living room. I would later learn that this was the time Elvis’s death was announced publicly.

This day had begun with excitement and hope for Elvis and me, but ended in heartache and disbelief. At the age of 42, my fiance, Elvis Aaron Presley, was dead.

The world around me had crumbled and my heart was broken. Elvis had become my total focus. I had become so consumed by being with him, and taking care of him, that my own needs and identity had been partly steamrolled by trying to keep up with his fast-paced life and be the best partner I could be for him.

I loved him and wanted to be with him, but I also was starting to feel a little lost. For me, trying to feel at home at Graceland was like trying to feel at home in the White House. Learning how to be part of Elvis’s life was like running next to a fast-moving train, grabbing a door handle and jumping on board.

On the day he proposed, he said: “Ginger, I’ve been searching for love so long, and never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would find it in my own backyard.

PRISCILLA PRESLEY DOESN'T THINK ELVIS WOULD'VE EVER BEAT HIS DEMONS



“I’ve been 60% happy and 40% happy, but never 100%. I’ve loved before but I’ve never been in love. Ginger, I’m asking you, will you marry me?” Elvis brought his hand out from around his back. In it was a small, green velvet box.

Nearly overcome by emotion, my voice quavered. “Yes,” I managed. Our relationship had been so intense, as if he wanted me to know almost everything about him in a short time. I felt I’d found my soulmate.

Our tranquil days and nights were occasionally interrupted, however, by Elvis’s mood swings. One night, Elvis and I were watching TV in Lisa’s bedroom when a programme came on that Elvis didn’t care for. He started making comments about it, then suddenly left the room.

He returned with a gun and shot the television. I didn’t like this behaviour, but I loved Elvis. He wanted me by his side nearly every minute. I was his primary focus, and he was mine.

Still, I often felt like I’d been transported to a foreign country where I had yet to understand the language and customs.

Getting to know the average person is one thing, but trying to understand Elvis, his job, and the many different people who surrounded and supported him, was a steep learning curve.

Ginger Alden has revealed how her fiance Elvis Presley met his tragic end
But the star struggled with weight gain and his health (Image: LFI)

Ginger Alden has revealed how her fiance Elvis Presley met his tragic end
The ring Elvis popped the question to Ginger with

The best analogy I can come up with is that Elvis at work was like a champion athlete competing in an event each day, with trainers, doctors and staff keeping him performance ready. I was concerned about his health. Elvis and I enjoyed eating similar things such as hamburgers, steak and omelettes, but I continued to notice certain foods were being brought to Elvis in larger than normal portions.

I hoped to move us toward a healthier diet, but I just didn’t know how to because he was used to getting what he wanted.

When I lost him, I lost the man who had turned my life upside down and become my friend, teacher, protector and lover; the man I’d loved deeply and planned to marry.

His funeral was a beautiful ceremony. Afterward, each row of people was instructed to file past Elvis’s casket. As I walked toward the front, I struggled to hold back tears. I had made it a point to never say goodbye to Elvis when leaving Graceland in the time we had together.

Now, looking at him for the last time, I forced myself to whisper goodbye.

My whole being – physically, emotionally and spiritually – had become intertwined with Elvis. To me, his death was no news story. It was my life being torn apart."

Adapted from Elvis and Ginger: Elvis Presley’s Fiancee and Last Love Finally Tells Her Story by Ginger Alden, published by Berkley Publishing Group.

BY LAURA CONNOR
19:48, 16 AUG 2017 mirror.co.uk