The Mistress of the Dark is stepping into the light. Elvira revealed in her new book that she has been in love with a woman for 19 years.
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In Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark, the 70-year-old recalled her first time seeing her now-partner, Teresa Wierson. At the time, the horror icon didn’t realize she was checking out a woman, mistaking Wierson for a male trainer.
“Dark and brooding, he gave off such intense energy that when he crossed the enormous gym floor, the waters parted and people stopped in their tracks to stare,” Elvira, born Cassandra Peterson, wrote of their introduction. “A typical sexy bad boy, he was unaware he was so charismatic that he’d garnered his own unofficial fan club. Watching him from the safety of my treadmill made my heart beat faster and the time pass much more quickly. I mean, c’mon, I was married, not dead.”
The actress, who was married to Mark Pierson from 1981 to 2003, didn’t strike up a romantic relationship with Wierson right away. They were just friends as Wierson took over for Elvira’s personal trainer.
For six years, the pop culture personality didn’t even realize she was sexually attracted to women. After her divorce, she spent a night out with Wierson, but it was never intended to be a date.
“After coming home from a movie, I told her goodnight and suddenly felt compelled to kiss her — on the mouth. As shocked as she was, I think I was even more surprised. What the hell was I doing?” Elvira recalled in her memoir. “I’d never been interested in women as anything other than friends. I felt so confused. This just wasn’t me!”
She soon realized she was very much attracted to her trainer. Elvira, who did not reveal if she identifies with a particular LGBTQ+ label, explained that she and Wierson had intense chemistry.
“I soon discovered that we connected sexually in a way I’d never experienced, and after a while it became clear I was falling in love with this beautiful, androgynous creature who’d appeared on my doorstep, like an angel, just when I needed someone most,” she wrote.
The Kansas native knew she was in love with Wierson. However, she was initially nervous about what coming out might do to her brand and image as Elvira. The character started when Peterson landed the hosting gig on a Los Angeles TV station’s horror show, Movie Macabre, focused on scary B-movies. She soon developed a cult following that allowed her to make movies and have a career for decades.
Still, the actress decided that it was time to live her truth, even if Elvira fans have a problem with it.
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“I’m very aware that there will be some who will be disappointed and maybe even angry,” the star noted in the book. “But I have to live with myself, and at this point in my life, I’ve got to be truthful about who I am.”
Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark hit bookstores on Tuesday, September 21.
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