In “Elvis and Ginger,” Ginger Alden breaks her silence about being Elvis Presley’s last love and living in Graceland. Alden was just 20 years old when she became involved with Presley, and the two were engaged when he died suddenly in 1977 at the age of 42.
FOX411: How did this book come about?
Ginger Alden: I had written down my memories with Elvis shortly after he had passed away. I went on with my life, had my son and during the course of this time there was a lot of hearsay, fabrications and speculation being thrown out about our relationship and it was difficult to sit back and know about some of the stuff being said but I wanted to raise my son. I knew it would take a lot of emotion and time. My son turned 20 last year, went off to college and I had time and sat down and was finally able to put it all together.
FOX411: Elvis was very interested in numerology.
Alden: He was on a very serious spiritual quest. He was really intrigued by numerology. We spent many hours looking over books. It wasn’t always the easiest for me to understand but I was there for him, trying to understand. I found it intriguing.
FOX411: He also studied a lot of Eastern philosophy.
Alden: I think Elvis was always searching for answers for why he had become as famous as he was and he felt he was supposed to bring joy to other people through his music.
FOX411: It sounds like he spent most of his time upstairs in Graceland.
Alden: Yes but his upstairs was his sanctuary. He had everything in there. He had his daughter’s room, his office, an organ. He was happy and I think a lot of that came from being on the road and staying in hotels.
FOX411: You write that Elvis would take packets of pills at night.
Alden: Elvis was wonderful and in a great mood 98 percent of the time. But he had a problem with a dependency on sleep medication. I wrote honestly about what I witnessed and how I tried to guide him to even a healthier eating style but Elvis thought he knew what was best for him and sometimes he would say something. He would be a big kid and wouldn’t be happy about it. I challenged him a few times. There were mood swings that I realized came from the sleep medication. It wasn’t often, they were few. I didn’t feel it was fair to define Elvis by that.
FOX411: He also shot guns when he was angry.
Alden: I think everyone has heard those stories of Elvis firing pistols at various times. Once again this was caused by a mood swing from the sleep medication and I forgave Elvis. He apologized.
FOX411: He was very generous.
Alden: He was so concerned about other people’s welfare from maids to doctors to housekeepers. People got cars, homes. It was amazing. He had one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever seen on anybody.
FOX411: What do you want people to know about Elvis?
Alden: That he was happy at the end of his life. We had made wedding plans. He wanted more children. He wanted to perform in Europe. He wanted to do films, more serious roles. He was human. He had good days and he had bad days. He laughed and he cried. I think a lot of people tend to look at his flaws and think that represented Elvis and that’s not who he was by any means.