Linda Thompson was married to Bruce Jenner from 1981 to 1986. When the world was anxiously awaiting Bruce Jenner’s interview with Diane Sawyer, Linda Thompson posted an Instagram message supportive of Bruce and the big reveal he was expected to make to the world. He collage was captioned:
“Once a champion of Olympian magnitude…now a champion for those who share the struggle to just be who they are. #compassion #acceptance #tolerance #education #evolution #kindness #inclusion #freedom #peace,”
Now that Bruce’s interview with Diane Sawyer is in the books, Linda Thompson is talking about her own experience with Jenner. In the telling of Bruce’s tale from her own perspective in a Huffington Post piece, she mentioned something that might have stunned tabloid-reading audiences back in the day if the Internet had only been around to capture it.
Elvis Presley thought Bruce Jenner was one handsome man. While that is not all that strange, it was how Elvis phrased it that stuck out.
“Damn if that guy is not handsome! I’m not gay,” The King said, “but damn, he’s good-looking!”
Linda Thompson claims that Elvis told her this while they were watching the 1976 Summer Olympics in bed in Graceland. She says she responded to Elvis by saying, ‘”Wow! He is gorgeous! I’m going to marry that guy someday!”
Elvis replied, “Yeah, sure, honey, over my dead body.”
Linda Thompson did, of course, marry Bruce Jenner — after Elvis died. What she saw Bruce go through in the years they were together is something she kept to herself until now. As she said:
“I have respectfully kept his secrets private and would have taken his confidences to my grave had he not spoken out.”
Linda Thompson says she is only speaking now with the intent to help other transgender folks who might draw inspiration from Bruce Jenner’s story.
“The sharing of my experience is meant to enlighten and inform — to lend a modicum of comfort and support for all those disenfranchised, struggling, discriminated-against, searching souls.
“Bruce’s story and his struggle are uniquely his; my experiences with Bruce are commensurately uniquely my own.”