Cult horror star Cassandra Peterson – best known as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark – has shared the first picture of her secret girlfriend of 19 years after surprising fans by revealing she is a lesbian in her new memoir.
Elvira, 70, had kept her relationship with Teresa ‘T’ Wierson secret until now because she said she feared alienating fans.
She shared a happy picture of her partner while appearing on the Tamron Hall show: ‘It feels scary and exciting, but also I’m very relieved, and so is my partner.’
Happy couple: Cassandra Peterson (right), who is best known as Elvira, shared a snap of her secret girlfriend of 19 years Teresa ‘T’ Wierson (left) on Tamron Hall’s show on Thursday
‘Very relieved’: Cassandra told Tamron Hall (right) that coming out has been both ‘scary and exciting’
She added: ‘Holding in secrets all the time, you know, it gives you gas.’
Peterson told Hall she felt there was much interest and surprise over her revelation because of her on-screen persona.
‘I think it’s because the character I play,’ she said. ‘Obviously I appeal to men. It’s a super sexy character, that’s “straight,” because she’s a bit of a horndog, she’s always chasing guys.
‘And so I think it’s a little shocking, for people to go, “Her of all people?” I think that’s why it’s such a big deal right now.’
The actress who played late-night horror hostess Elvira revealed she has been in a same-sex relationship with her former personal trainer Teresa ‘T’ Wierson since 2002 in her new memoir
In her memoir, Peterson discussed several anecdotes about her life involving romantic relationships and her other Hollywood experiences. Pictured left, Peterson performs her show ‘Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark’ at Knott’s Scary Farm at Knott’s Berry Farm on September 21, 2017 in Buena Park, California
Peterson recalled a quote from actor Danny Trejo that said, ‘You’re only as sick as your secrets,’ adding ‘it’s not a good feeling keeping that from people.
‘Of course my closest friends knew, but not the public, I don’t think anybody had a clue at all.’
She previously said she wanted to be open with fans in tell-all memoir Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark, released on Tuesday.
‘I’m glad to have it out there,’ she wrote. ‘I mean, it does worry me. I have moments where I go, “Maybe people won’t like me anymore” and “Maybe I won’t get work anymore.”
‘[But] I’m happy and relieved to finally allow our secret to see the light of day.’
Peterson first began portraying horror icon Elvira in the 1980s. Peterson explains that when she first noticed Wierson at the gym, she mistook her for a man.
‘Often, when I was doing my pre-workout warm-up on the treadmill, I couldn’t help noticing one particular trainer — tan, tattooed, and muscular — stalking across the gym floor, knit cap pulled so low over his long brown hair that it nearly covered his eyes,’ she wrote, according to People.
Elvira actress Cassandra Peterson, 70, released a memoir called Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark on September 21
‘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.’
The pair met in 2002 when Peterson was still married to her manager Mark Pierson and the pair went to her gym Gold’s Gym, where Wierson became Peterson’s personal trainer.
She admitted in her book that she was never attracted to women romantically before meeting Wierson, but after seeing a movie with her following her divorce, she got an urge to kiss the other woman.
‘I told her goodnight and suddenly felt compelled to kiss her — on the mouth,’ she wrote in her book.
Wierson also worked as her assistant before the women became romantically involved, according to the Sun.
She also worried the relationship status would affect her work, as her Elvira character was a sex icon among men.
‘Elvira has always had a thing for men, and men have a thing for her, so I worried that if I announced I was no longer living the ‘straight life,’ my fans would feel lied to, call me a hypocrite, and abandon me,’ she wrote.
Since the revelation in her book, her fans have given her an outpouring of support.
Peterson appears without her wig and usual gothic style at Wizard World Chicago Comic Con in 2014. She first Wierson at her gym and became friends. After divorcing her husband Mark Pierson in 2003, she revealed she felt the urge to kiss the other woman after seeing a movie with her
One fan wrote on Twitter: ‘Congratulations, queers, Elvira is one of us.’
Others celebrated her happiness and were glad she found a ‘wonderful relationship.’
The couple’s relationship is still private, despite friends and family knowing for a long time, and she has yet to reveal if they are married.
Although in a same-sex relationship, Peterson still claims she is attracted to men still.
Peterson also claimed in her memoir that she was sexually assaulted by late NBA player Wilt Chamberlain.
She claims the former Harlem Globetrotter had forced her to perform oral sex on him.
‘When a 7-foot-1, 300-pound man has his hand wrapped around your neck, there’s really not a lot you can do,’ Peterson wrote.
She also references Chamberlain’s memoir where he detailed his history of romantic relationships with women – which he claimed to be 20,000.
‘I had to wonder how many of those women actually consented to having sex with him,’ Peterson added.
Peterson also detailed an incident with late NBA star Wilt Chamberlain, where she claimed he sexually assaulted her by forced her to perform oral sex on him
Peterson and her ex-husband Mark Pierson, who she divorced in 2003 following 22 years of marriage
Peterson poses with Alice Cooper in her Elvira attire at the 26th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles
Peterson also wrote about her experiences with other male celebrities when she was a Vegas showgirl such as biting the lip of Andy Williams who allegedly tried to forcibly kiss her, and claims Tom Jones accidentally sent her to the emergency room following an internal injury sustained while they had sex.
Peterson was formerly married to film producer Mark Pierson, who worked on a few of her projects, for 22 years and the couple had a daughter together in 1994.
Following their divorce in 2003, Peterson then became romantically involved with her now girlfriend Wierson.
In addition to her romantic history, Peterson went into depth about other entertaining aspects of her life.
One of Peterson’s earliest projects was a stint on the popular 70’s television series Happy Days
Peterson back in her famous getup for an appearance on the NBC Today show in 2007 for a Halloween special
She was born and raised in the small-town of Manhattan, Kansas where she desired to be a horror film star after falling in love with the genre when she was eight.
When she was 18-months-old she suffered third-degree burns after accidentally tipping a pot of hot water onto her which left permanent scars on her body.
When she hit 14, she became a party girl as she started going to nightclubs and experimenting with substances such as alcohol and drugs.
She also was a teenage groupie at 18 and began working as a Vegas showgirl shortly after where she met and entertained several male celebrities.
Her career began in Hollywood when she joined a comedy acting troupe and began developing her acting skills.
Peterson became the iconic ‘Elvira’ after auditioning to become the hostess of a late night horror show.
Following her appearance, she became the iconic B-movie queen of horror of the 80s as it spawned several movies and television programs surrounding her character.