November 18, 2018 11:02 PM
(ABC 6 News) -- He’s known as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and one of the most celebrated and iconic entertainers of the 20th century.
But how much do we really know about Elvis Presley’s life? A new book; decades in the making, contains shocking revelations allegedly based on hundreds of handwritten letters from King himself.
Minnesota Author, Gary Lindberg, made a stop at Barnes & Noble in Rochester this weekend where a special event was held for the release of his book; “Letters from Elvis”.
In 1988, Lindberg says he was given nearly 300 letters written by Elvis Presley and three of Presley’s closest friends (Marlon Brando, Harry Belafonte, and Tom Jones). All of the letters were addressed to their spiritual guide, Carmen Montez.
“All of the letters have been legally authenticated as genuine by a world- famous handwriting expert,” said Lindberg.
The first time Lindberg read the letters, he said he had tears in his eyes.
“He [Presley] was in almost perpetual emotional turmoil, his letters are confessional,” said Lindberg.
Lindberg says he's spent the past 30 years looking for a way to legally release Presley’s personal story. Now, he's finally seeing that dream through.
The most chilling revelation in Letters to Elvis surrounds Producer, Sam Katzman.
“[He was] The producer of two Elvis movies; Harum Scarum and Kissin’ Cousins, which were tremendous box office flops,” said Lindberg. “He [Katzman] ended up having a terrible feud with Elvis and his manager, Colonel Parker. Over a five year period this wealthy prouder and his gang - which is the only way we can characterize it - not only kidnapped him [Presley], but they tortured him and they sexually molested him.”
Lindberg believes this was one of the reasons Presley began using prescription painkillers.
“He was not only an early #MeToo victim, but he was also an early victim of opioid abuse,” said Lindberg. “Cornel Parker was afraid, deathly afraid, that if word got out of his sex symbol star; Elvis Presley, being molested … it would ruin his career. There was more victim blaming in 1968 when this occurred than there is even today.”
Lindberg says the letters suggest through it all, Presley remained a spiritual man who wasn't afraid to ask for help (at least from Montez).
While Lindberg has experienced some backlash after the release of his book, he stands by his goal. “I really hope that people will come to a much deeper understanding and appreciation of Elvis,” he said.
Created: November 18, 2018 11:02 PM
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