A dramatic new development has emerged in the death of Elvis Presley: Presley's ex-wife Priscilla Presley claims he may have intentionally overdosed.
Priscilla made the comments to the Daily Mail ahead of the release of Elvis Presley: The Searcher, a new HBO documentary.
She claimed that the late rock icon "knew what he was doing" as he spiraled into drug addiction, which played into the heart attack that ended his life on August 16, 1977.
She said she and others around Presley did all they could to curb Presley's addiction, but he would not relent.
"People go, well why didn't anyone do anything? Well, that's not true," Priscilla said. "People there in the inner group did, but you did not tell Elvis Presley what to do. You did not. I mean, you'd be out of there faster than a scratched cat. They would try and no way."
This allegation from Priscilla, 72, comes after several letters Presley allegedly wrote to friend Joe Esposito were uncovered. In the notes, Presley comes off as depressed and possibly even suicidal.
'I'm sick and tired of my life," Presley allegedly wrote. "I need a long rest."
He also details that he was "embarrassed" by his drug addiction and "could not recover" from his 1973 divorce from Priscilla. He described the later issue as "the greatest mistake of my life."
"The handwritten note appears to be genuine," Presley's stepbrother Rick Stanley told Radar at the time. "To me, it's a clear indication that suicide was on his mind."
In the Daily Mail interview, Priscilla also detailed how Presley's addiction began. She claims that the drug habit formed while he served in the Army from 1958 to 1960.
"They gave [drugs] to the soldiers over there to keep them awake," Priscilla said. "He had manoeuvres that he had to do late at night, so the pills were given to the guys and that's how he started.
Presley's official cause of death is a heart attack, but the underlying factors that led to it have been contested in recent years. Alleged factors drug addiction, codeine allergy, obesity and cardiac arrhythmia has been theorized as leading to the "Can't Help Falling in Love" singer's death.
Elvis Presley: The Searcher will premiere Saturday, April 14 at 8 p.m. ET on HBO. The documentary will focus on Presley's life from his childhood in Tupelo, Mississippi, to his final 1976 recording sessions at the famous Jungle Room inside Graceland, his Memphis, Tennessee, estate.
Photo Credit: HBO