A Former Capitol Hill Staffer Once Claimed She Ended Her Pregnancy With Elvis Presley's Baby So He Wouldn't Lose His Attraction to Her
Elvis Presley had many love affairs over the years – both when he was married and unmarried, attached and unattached. One of them was with Joyce Bova, who worked for the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., for many years.
Presley met Bova in 1969 while she was on vacation in Las Vegas. Bova and Presley hit it off right away, despite the fact that he was still married to Priscilla Presley. The couple saw each other off and on, in various cities and even at Graceland, from 1969 to 1972. Bova said she finally ended the affair not long before the King of Rock and Roll’s 1973 divorce from Priscilla – and the beginning of his relationship with Linda Thompson – due to his escalating substance abuse.
In her 1994 memoir, Don’t Ask Forever: My Love Affair With Elvis, Bova claimed that she realized she was pregnant with Presley’s baby during their three-year relationship. She allegedly had an abortion – without Presley’s knowledge – allegedly because of his marriage and because he told her he wasn’t romantically interested in mothers.
Presley allegedly told Bova he wasn’t attracted to mothers
Bova and Presley shared a connection on several levels – not least because they were both twins at one point. Bova was close with her twin sister, Janice Bova. Meanwhile, Presley’s twin died in childbirth just half an hour before Presley was born.
Their relationship heated up after their first meeting in Las Vegas at one of Presley’s shows. Despite the fact that Presley was married, the couple declared their love for one another. Bova dreamed of marriage and children with Presley, and she claimed he asked her repeatedly to move to Graceland.
But one conversation with the King of Rock and Roll disturbed Bova as it pertained to their possible future together. After she realized she was pregnant, she wrote in her memoir, she asked her boyfriend why he didn’t talk much about his daughter with Priscilla, little Lisa Marie Presley. (According to Bova, Presley never knew about her pregnancy or her later abortion.)
Presley gushed about his then-three-year-old daughter. But when it came to her mother, he allegedly said simply, “Well, she’s a mama, ya know, she does the motherin’. A mother is different. Once a woman’s a mama, she changes.”
According to Bova, Presley went on to say that mothers shouldn’t be trying to “be sexy and attracting men.” “It’s not right,” he told her adamantly, adding that “a woman’s not attractive in that way after she’s a mama.”
Bova’s heart sank upon hearing this news. But when she tried to push Presley on the issue, he said that his mind was made up; mothers were just not “exciting” to him.
Many of Presley’s other partners and associated backed up Bova’s claims over the years
Several others in Presley’s life have confirmed that he was not interested in being romantically involved with women who had had children, even if they were his own.
For example, Sonny West, Presley’s longtime bodyguard, argued in his 2007 memoir (Elvis: Still Taking Care of Business) that Presley’s close relationship with his mother, Gladys Presley, led him to put all mothers on a pedestal. At that angelic height, he simply couldn’t see them as sexual beings.
Additionally, although he didn’t confirm Bova’s claims of pregnancy specifically, he did name her as one of Presley’s girlfriends during his marriage to Priscilla. West claimed that Presley made a point of seeing Bova whenever he was in Washington, D.C., and even flew her out to Memphis for his 37th birthday.
In her 1985 memoir, Elvis and Me, Priscilla revealed that she was afraid her husband would lose her attraction to her after she gave birth to Lisa Marie. He had made similar comments to her over the years, and their sex life drastically waned after she gave birth to their daughter. When she became pregnant not long after their 1967 wedding, she briefly considered an abortion in order to salvage her marriage to Presley.
Even Thompson – a lyricist, actress, and pageant queen who married Caitlyn Jenner and David Foster, and gave birth to Brandon and Brody Jenner, after her four-year relationship with the King – made similar claims in her 2011 memoir, A Little Thing Called Life.
She worried that, if she married Presley or had his children, she would be relegated to the role of “mother” in his mind. Thompson was concerned that this would cause them to lose their romantic spark, as well as that she wouldn’t be allowed to go on tour with him anymore.
Bova alleged that she had an abortion after realizing she was pregnant with Presley’s baby
Naturally, giving Presley’s strong opinions on mothers, Bova was devastated to hear that she couldn’t keep both her boyfriend and the baby they’d allegedly created together.
“I could not have a baby and have his love,” Bova realized, tears streaming down her face. “Elvis was telling me that if I had his baby there could be no ‘us’; there would be only me. Alone.”
Afraid of being rejected or abandoned by Presley, both as a romantic partner and as a father to her child, Bova scheduled an abortion without informing him. Neither he nor any of the members of the Memphis Mafia were told about the situation, although she avoided him for weeks after the procedure. She described the experience as a traumatic one that stayed with her a long time.
For quite some time, Bova kept her secret between herself and her twin sister. In part, she wrote in her memoir, she didn’t want to face the truth: “the truth that [she] didn’t have enough faith…to bring a life into the world alone.”
In addition to being afraid of being a single mother in the 1970s, Bova admitted she was afraid that she would lose Presley altogether.
“An even tougher truth I had to face is that I wanted Elvis more than I wanted a baby,” she wrote. “Even his baby.”
Eventually, Bova left Presley when his health began to take a steep nosedive due to his growing substance abuse and his refusal to get help for his addiction. They spoke rarely after that, and she moved on to marry an engineer and fellow ballroom dancer, Mark Kameo.
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