We know that the icons definitely met on set at Paramount Studios in June 1960 (along with three European princesses), but what exactly happened after that? Only one man claimed to know – publicity and management agent Byron Raphael – who said he set up the secret liaison and witnessed the two most famous people on the planet walk out of the bedroom naked afterwards. Extraordinarily, this was when The King had just met and was supposed to be besotted with his future wife.
Elvis had just returned from doing military service in Germany and was back in Hollywood working on his next movie, GI Blues. While overseas he had met and fallen for 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu but fidelity was never the superstar’s strong suit. He was also officially dating 22-year-old starlet Anita Wood at the same time.
The King was even visited by the actual princesses Margrethe of Denmark, Astrid of Norway, and Margaretha of Sweden on set that summer, but it was an alleged encounter with the reigning queen of the silver screen that remains speculated about to this day.
According to junior agent Byron Raphael, it all started when Elvis’ representatives at the William Morris Agency were keen to send him and Marilyn on some high-profile public dates for publicity – but she said no.
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Byron said that he had kept the details secret for fifty years, but finally told Playboy and then the New York Post all the details in 2006.
The agent said: “He was very embarrassed but I think she turned him down because she felt it was too public, but Presley didn’t give up and secretly set up a meeting.
“Two weeks later, Elvis called me and said ‘I want you to pick up Marilyn.’ It was a rainy night and I brought her to the Beverly Wilshire hotel and we went upstairs to his room.
Byron added: “Then Marilyn, who was ten years older, said, ‘You’re pretty good for a guitar player.’ After two minutes they went into the bedroom and I didn’t know if I was supposed to leave, or stay and wait for them, so I sort of just dozed off.
“The next thing I knew I was startled awake by the door opening and I dove behind the bar. And they both walked out stark naked. I didn’t say a word, I just stayed quietly.”
The agent claimed that when it was all over, Elvis called a cab for Marilyn.
He added: “A few days later when I mentioned Marilyn to Elvis, he said, ‘She’s a nice gal, but a little tall for me.'”
It is all impressively detailed, but can it possibly be true?
Everyone in Elvis’ inner circle has also always denied that any such liaison happened. The only official description of a meeting between the two icons came from Memphis Mafia member Joe Esposito who confirmed they met very briefly in the June of 1960.
He said: “At Paramount Studios one time, him and I were walking to the dressing room and she was walking towards us at the same time and that’s when he met her. It was just a small, nice little conversation. He gave her a hug and all that stuff… Probably for about 3 minutes, and that was it.”
Byron’s account is salaciously appealing and he certainly worked closely with Elvis and also the star’s manager Colonel Parker for a number of years. He definitely had the access to know about such things and even set them up. However, even biographer Alanna Nash, who interview Byron and wrote three books about Elvis, concluded that she could only positively verify that short meeting on the Paramount lot.
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