The Dark Secrets About Colonel Tom Parker

By Molly 1 year ago

1. He was discharged from the army as a psychopath

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Firstly, Colonel Tom Parker was never even a Colonel! During his time in the army, Parker went AWOL which landed him in solitary confinement. The punishment led to psychosis. After 2 months in a mental hospital, a psychiatrist discharged him from the Army as a psychopath. He later purchased his Colonel title from a man in Louisiana.

2. He was an illegal immigrant when he arrived in the US

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Not only was the 'Colonel' part of his name a lie, but the rest was, too. Parker's real name was actually Andreas van Kujik. He arrived in the US as a Dutch illegal immigrant at 20 years old, deciding to go by his new American identity of Tom Parker.

3. It’s rumoured he fled to the US after committing murder

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Just before Parker left his country illegally, a woman a similar age to him was brutally bludgeoned near Parker's family home. The crime was never solved as no evidence was found as to who was responsible. It's believed that Parker may have been to blame.

4. He had a severe gambling addiction

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Arguably the main downfall of Parker was his severe gambling addiction. He was known to frequently gamble huge sums of money and continuously lost millions of dollars. The problem was it was Elvis' money that he was using to try and gamble his demons away!

5. He had debts of over $30 million

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His gambling spiralled. It got that bad that the Colonel was said to owe $30 million to the Hilton Hotel Group at one stage, all in gambling debts. It just goes to show that with some people, no amount of money is ever enough when it comes to gambling.

6. He burned $99 million in his lifetime

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This addiction poured Elvis and Parker's money down the drain. It's estimated that Parker's lifetime earnings were over $100 million. Despite this, by the time of his death, the Colonel had managed to lower the value of his estate down to barely $1 million.

7. He showed up at Elvis' funeral in a Hawaiian shirt and baseball cap

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The Colonel did show his face at the funeral of Elvis, who's life had practically been owned by him. However, he didn't arrive in a suit or smart clothing as a sign of respect. Parker wore what he wanted, which was a Hawaiian shirt and a baseball cap and showed no sign of emotion.

8. He convinced Elvis' father to sign over profits whilst at his funeral

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Parker then saw Presley's funeral as the perfect opportunity to squeeze more profit out of the late star's death. He saw the day as an appropriate time to approach Presley's father, managing to convince him to sign over control of his son's career to him.

9. He prevented Elvis from touring Europe due to fears

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Parker never obtained American citizenship, remaining an illegal immigrant. He prevented Presley from touring Europe out of fear of being discovered and likely feared his dark past would catch up with him. Presley never fulfilled this dream due to this.

10. It's said that the colonel took over half of Presley's earnings

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It's widely believed that the Colonel took over half of the rock star's earnings, which was a very high percentage for any manager to take at the time. Elvis was worked into the ground, only to come out with the same amount of earnings as Parker did.

11. He advised Elvis on all aspects of his personal life

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The Colonel's title was Elvis Presley's manager as an artist. However, he lived in a constant state of over-stepping this boundary. Parker advised Elvis in all aspects of his life, including his personal relationships and most choices that he made.

12. A judge found that his management of Presley's estate was unethical

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The controversy of Parker's management style attracted attention and landed him in court. A judge ordered an investigation in 1980, concluding that his practices were unethical. The result of this is said to have cost both Elvis (and himself) millions of dollars.

13. Parker focused on commercial success as opposed to Elvis' artistic development

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It was clear throughout the Colonel's career as Presley's manager that only one thing mattered to him, and that was money. He showed no interest in developing Elvis' artistic potential, but instead focused on quick, easy ways to make money out of him.

14. The colonel had a short fuse and big temper

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Parker was known for having a short fuse and a large temper, especially when things didn't go his way. He was no good at compromising and was known to manipulate and control Elvis in a way that suited him. But, most importantly, suited his gambling needs.

15. He was secretive and rarely discussed his relationship with Presley

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When questioned by the press or during interviews, Parker very rarely opened up about his relationship with Presley. He avoided discussing the ins and outs of his management with anybody publicly. Of course, this is because he knew there was a lot to hide.

16. He had an apparent lack of interest for Presley's well-being

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It was clear that Elvis had a problem with drugs. But, instead of prioritizing Presley's well-being, the Colonel had him working two shows a night, seven days a week, in the same Las Vegas venue. The despair and boredom are said to be the cause of Presley’s spiral.

17. He exploited Presley financially

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Whilst Parker battled with his gambling addiction, he kept Presley under strict control at all times. The Colonel turned down large, costly projects that Elvis wanted to participate in. Instead, he worked Presley hard involving him in low-cost alternatives.

18. He was known to accept bribes

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There has been information to show that the Colonel accepted bribes in relation to his management of Presley and the record label RCA. Therefore, some of the decisions he made were completely in favor of himself and the financial bribery that he was under.

19. His financial decisions were poor and unhelpful to Presley

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One of the most famously misjudged financial decisions made by Parker was pushing Elvis into a series of mediocre feature films. This led to a decrease in album sales, missed opportunities, limited artistic growth and ability to create meaningful music.

20. Parker isolated Presley from friends and family

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The Colonel appeared to have a goal of isolating Presley, making him easier to manipulate. He succeeded by filling his schedule with work, discouraging travel and interfering with his relationships. He even screened his communications, only allowing certain messages to reach him.

21. He discouraged Elvis from marrying

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Especially in the early stages of Presley's career, Parker was said to have strongly discouraged the idea of marrying or settling down. Potentially out of fear of losing control of Presley. Perhaps also because this could have affected the heart-throb image he was trying to portray.

22. The Colonel dictated how Presley spent his money

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As if it wasn't enough to take half of Presley's earnings, the Colonel still dictated how Presley spent his own half! He dictated how much he spent on gifts, travel and luxuries. This was all part of controlling and manipulating Presley into being a puppet.

23. He was convicted for theft

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In 1963, the Colonel was working as a booking agent for a number of artists, including Cliff Edwards and Gene Austin. However, he was found guilty of theft and fired from his job at the time. Parker had been stealing money from the box office receipts.

24. He was convicted for check forgery

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Whilst managing a country singer before Elvis, Parker became involved a check-forging scheme relating to the record label RCA. He did this to get around the problem of a large debt he owed. Eventually, the fraud was found out and RCA contacted the FBI.

25. The Colonel fled country to avoid arrest

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Similar to his past, the Colonel found himself yet again jumping countries to avoid prosecution for his illegal mistakes. He spent some time in Mexico, but was eventually caught and charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. Parker paid a large fine and served probation.

26. Parker served prison time

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Unsurprisingly, as Parker had several large run ins with the law, he did actually serve prison time. Following his theft in 1936, he was sentenced to one year in prison. However, he managed to wiggle his way out after just a few months for good behavior.

27. He was unfaithful in his marriage

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Parker married Marie Francis Mott in 1943. Whilst he tried to ensure the ins and outs of his marriage were kept private, it was known that he had affairs with several women. This included a showgirl named Marie Palmer and a singer named Jennie Tourel.

28. The Colonel was emotionally abusive to his wife

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There was also evidence to suggest that the Colonel was emotionally abusive to his wife. There are reports of him often belittling her and criticizing her appearance. He was also known to be highly controlling, isolating her from friends and family and discouraged her from pursuing her interests.

29. Parker's circus acts were unethical

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Before managing Elvis, Parker was as a promoter for travelling shows. His acts were extremely unethical and fabricated. For example, his "man eating chicken" act, alleged a chicken could swallow a rat whole. In reality, the ordinary chicken was force-fed a rubber ball, creating an illusion of a large throat.

30. He ran away from unpaid bills

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Whilst the Colonel's shows attracted attention and large crowds, he quickly made a name for himself as dishonest and a scam artist. In some cases, Parker would sneak out of town before the circus even performed, dodging unpaid bills and angry locals.

31. And now - dark secrets about the Presley family: why Lisa Marie Presley went through so many divorces

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Lisa Marie Presley was married four times - and divorced four times - so why the reason for all the failed marriages? Her first marriage she said failed because she was so young; her second marriage to Michael Jackson she then said was a big mistake; her third to Nicolas Cage was a whirlwind romance, and her fourth was another disaster.

32. One of her husbands had 'inappropriate photos'

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Her fourth and final marriage was to Michael Lockwood, and after filing for divorce, she claimed that she had found inappropriate photos, as well as other things, on his computer. But this had all began a lot sooner, about a year before they divorced, when she claimed he'd committed child abuse.

33. Lisa Marie Presley struggled with addiction

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While Marie was trying to do the best for her kids in calling out her husband's wrongdoings, this then turned the spotlight on her, and revealed that she had addiction problems - namely, cocaine and prescription medication. The kids would spend a lot of time with a nanny.

34. And she was in rehab several times

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She eventually got help for her addiction problems, and checked into rehab - but not just once. She ended up in rehab several times, the last time being 2016, while her children were in the care of her mother, Elvis's wife Priscilla Presley. She said the struggles and addiction started when she was 45 years old.

35. Lisa Marie apparently had A LOT of debt

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It wasn't even a costly divorce (or four) that made Lisa Marie go into debt - apparently it was the fourth divorce that revealed she was already having financial difficulty. The fortune she'd inherited had apparently disappeared due to IRS and creditors she owed money too.

36. The nanny sued her for impossible working hours

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A nanny named Christine White was employed by Lisa Marie after she'd given birth to the twins, but apparently the nanny didn't have a great working experience. She claimed that she'd been made to work around the clock, seven days a week, without breaks - and she ended up suing Presley.

37. Priscilla Presley's plastic surgeon did her dirty

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If it's one thing you think of when you see Priscilla Presley, it's plastic surgery - but did you know she was actually a victim of botched jobs? The doctor who performed the surgery was only after her money, was unlicensed and was eventually given a prison sentence.

38. And it was claimed she had 'corrective' work

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And, of course, with all the problems she went through with questionable injections and a doctor who didn't have her best looks at heart, it was claimed she then had to have 'corrective' work done, but a lot of people have had even more (negative) things to say about that.

39. Did Elvis like virgins?

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If you're a fan of Elvis's story, then you'll already know that he met Priscilla when she was very, very young. Priscilla had just turned 14. They began being intimate before they'd officially married, and the woman Elvis dated after his marriage to Priscilla was also a virgin.

40. Priscilla begged Elvis to take her virginity - but he refused

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At 15 years old, Priscilla (in her own words) begged him to take her virginity, but Elvis apparently refused by saying she was "too young". That didn't stop the pair from being intimate before consummating their marriage, which Priscilla described as "urgent".

41. She lost her teenage years to a life with Elvis

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Getting into a relationship and then marriage at such a young each is difficult in any situation, but to do it with a worldwide superstar with millions of fans, knowing your marriage would be in the spotlight? Priscilla lost her entire teenage years to Elvis.

42. Priscilla felt pressured to decorate 'how Elvis wanted it'

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When the married pair were sharing their Holmby Hills mansion, Priscilla revealed that - even though she was the 'homemaker' and wanted to be a good - she had to decorate the home how Elvis wanted it, and not how she/they wanted it. And looking at Graceland, it seemed that theme continued..

43. And they lived in a bubble

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Even though Priscilla worked hard to create a home that Elvis would like and they could share together, they seemed to live separate lives in their own bubble. Priscilla was trying to pursue her own hobbies and discover who she was, while Elvis wanted to stay at home when he wasn't working.

44. Elvis would apparently try to lose weight by sleeping

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We know that the king put on a few pounds in his later years. Well, he did try to shed them, through various means - including a 'sleep' diet. It was alleged that he would have a two-week period of sedation, where the sedatives would keep him asleep, waking only for brief opportunities to eat small portions of food.

45. And he would also try crash diets

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A crash diet is a very 'urgent' period of dieting while you're trying to lose as many pounds as possible by near starving yourself, or eating very low calories. Well apparently Elvis tried to do this, too, and it was claimed he would eat only 500 calories a day when he did this.

46. Elvis hated his neck

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So you might be surprised that Elvis hated any part of himself at all in his younger days, but it's claimed he had a big problem with his neck. Is this the reason for the huge collars after all, then? According to the singer, he had a "skinny chicken neck" which he wanted to keep hidden.

47. It was rumored the king himself had plastic surgery

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This would make sense if he really hated his neck that much - did his hatred push him to opt for plastic surgery? But it's actually claimed he had plastic surgery of a different kind, not on his neck: a mini facelift, and then a procedure he was considering that remained a mystery.

48. Elvis was a germaphobe, too

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According to his wife Priscilla, Elvis was actually a huge germaphobe - so much so, that he would even take his own silverware to other people's houses because he was worried how theirs had been cleaned. Even at restaurants, he apparently didn't like to drink from other cups or use other cutlery.

49. A woman claimed Lisa Marie stole her identity

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A woman named Lisa Johansen actually believed she was the real daughter of Elvis Presley, and that Lisa Marie Presley stole her identity. She even filed a 130 million dollar lawsuit against the family, for 'defamation and emotional distress'. She even wrote a memoir claiming her 'mother' had told her to hide her identity after Elvis's death.

50. The chimp that was trained to harass people

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Elvis Presley was also famous for having a pet chimpanzee named Scatter. He was originally used and trained as a 'party bit' where he would actually go around harassing women - when he wasn't in his cage. To make it worse, Scatter had a tragic life before he died.

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